You’ll either love or loathe a performance SUV but even the most die-hard opponent should be able to appreciate the engineering that goes into them. Manufacturers have proved very adept at defying the laws of physics to produce some pretty entertaining examples of the breed and there’s something that appeals to the inner schoolboy in a two-ton plus machine that can knock off the 0-62mph sprint in less than four seconds.
There’s no getting away from the fact that the SUV sector – both the premium performance end and the more mainstream sector – are growing at an astonishing rate and it’s hardly surprising that most manufacturers are chasing a slice of the cake. But should you really be considering an SUV at all? It might be a wide generalisation but from a driving perspective you’d be far better off with a fast estate than an SUV. 4x4s tend to be heavier and taller and while manufacturers can install all-manner of innovative systems to try and minimise the effect of a high centre of gravity, an SUV is never going to be as sharp a driving tool as a quick estate.
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They also tend to be more expensive to buy, use more fuel and are often less commodious and practical than their boxy bodies would initially suggest. And their low-profile tyres seriously diminish any off-road potential their styling might imply. But if you must have a performance SUV these are the ones we reckon will provide the best driving experience.
Click on the list below to read our in-depth reviews of each car, or click on to the next page to read the list in order...