Welcome to the Ultimate List of the Most Powerful, Fastest and High-Performance SUVs On the Market (No Boring SUVs Allowed)

Updated: September 2018

At last count, there are about 138 SUVs and trucks available for sale in the United States. Almost all of them have non-exciting engines, are slow accelerating and are so boring that many of them have sleep sensors to alert you when you inevitably fall asleep or die of boredom behind the wheel.

It looks like bad news for car fans, especially as SUVs continue take market share according to car sales data published each month. If you dig further into the data is looking like luxury SUVs are the fastest growing segment and account for almost 60% of luxury vehicle sales. Each month it seems there are new luxury models and they get gobbled up by the car buying public.

We get it. SUVs give you an elevated driving position, all-wheel drive (often), lots of space, they look good and are practical for families. For car people, the true fanatics of automotive performance, we need more. We want our SUVs to be fast, agile and fun. We want the fast SUVs whether they are small, medium or large. Whether entry level or luxury level, they need to have performance in mind. We want them to line up at the lights against our sports car friends and shock them at their ferocity off the line. Yes, that is the SUV we want.

With that in mind we started by going through every SUV you can buy today to find the fastest, most powerful, agile and fun. We were pleasantly surprised to find almost twenty SUVs that we considered “not boring”. The criteria wasn’t just straight-line speed or engine size or horsepower. It had to be special and it had to be considered a true performance machine when compared to a sporty sedan. No free passes.

Our friends have an interesting (although not surprising) approach. Take AMGs twin-turbo V8/V12 engines and stuff them into their SUVs. Good plan. Same goes for the folks at BMW who never met a twin-turbo V8 they didn’t want to shoehorn into the X5M and X6M. Both AMG and BMW have SUVs easily in the high 500 horsepower range. These horsepower monsters are great straight line performers, but are also surprisingly good in corners when thrown around.

If you want your performance SUV to handle like a sports car, don’t worry because there are some genuinely great canyon carvers on the list too. Alfa Romeo arguably has the most fun SUV around in this regard, taking their cracking twin-turbo 2.9 L V6 with 505hp, adding it to the Stelvio to create the Quadrifoglio version and it is as good as the sedan in the twisty stuff. If you want ultimate performance then look at Lamborghini Urus (yes, Lamborghini also makes an SUV these days) or Cayenne Turbo, both very serious solutions if you want to destroy anybody in a race.

While we’re on performance, I was shocked when I looked at some of the performance numbers and had to fact check to make sure there were no mistakes. Sure, I have come to expect big horsepower numbers these days, but I did not expect sub 4-second 0-60 mph times in 2+ ton SUVs. Nuts. For instance, you can go from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds in the Lamborghini Urus and the Tesla Model X P100D with ‘Ludicrous Speed’ upgrade does it in 2.8 seconds. Holy crap.

Speaking of electric SUVs we found some tasty performers in the Model X and the Jaguar I-Pace S, a good sign for electric SUVs and serious performance fans.

Price wise this is an expensive segment. We focused on the top of the performance heap so as expected there are a lot of luxury brands on our list. If you want the fastest SUVs expect to pay well into the six-figure range. In fairness, these SUVs have beautiful interiors, are loaded with tech and safety equipment. The interior materials and build quality are off the charts. If you want performance on a budget, then cars like the Jaguar I-Pace S or the Audi SQ5 (not on our list) can be had for under $70,000.

So here it is. The fastest, more powerful and highest performance SUVs you can buy today:

The 10 Most Powerful SUVs (Horsepower & Torque Figures)

#NamePricePowerTorque
1Tesla Model X P100D ‘Ludicrous’$140,000762 hp791 lb/ft
2Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk$86,000707 hp645 lb/ft
3Lamborghini Urus$200,000641 hp627 lb/ft
4Maserati Levante Trofeo SUV$169,980590 hp538 lb/ft
5Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 4Matic$126,295577 hp561 lb/ft
6Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 4Matic$111,860577 hp561 lb/ft
7Range Rover Sport SVR$113,600575 hp461 lb/ft
8BMW X5 M$102,695567 hp553 lb/ft
9BMW X6 M$102,695567 hp553 lb/ft
10Rolls Royce Cullinan$350,000563 hp627 lb/ft

The 10 Fastest SUVs (0 – 60 mph Acceleration and Top Speed)

#NameEngine0-60 mphTop Speed
1Tesla Model X P100D ‘Ludicrous’Electric2.8 sec155 mph
2Jeep Grand Cherokee TrackhawkSuper 6.2L V83.5 sec180 mph
3Lamborghini UrusTurbo 4.0L V83.6 sec190 mph
4Maserati Levante Trofeo SUVTurbo 3.8L V83.7 sec187 mph
5Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 STurbo 4.0L V83.7 sec174 mph
6Porsche Cayenne Turbo STurbo 4.8L V83.8 sec176 mph
7Alfa Romeo Stelvio QuadrifoglioTurbo 2.9L V63.8 sec176 mph
8BMW X5 MTurbo 4.4L V83.8 sec160 mph
9BMW X6 MTurbo 4.4LV83.8 sec156 mph
10Rolls Royce CullinanTurbo V124.0 sec155 mph

The Best SUVs In Detail

Lamborghini Urus

Lamborghini Urus

  • Price: From $200,000
  • Power: 641 hp
  • Torque: 627 lb/ft
  • Engine: Twin-turbo 4.0L V-8
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 sec
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Lamborghini calls the Urus is the world’s first Super Sport Utility Vehicle. “Luxury, sportiness and performance meet comfort and versatility”. Ok then. We can tell you that the Urus is exactly what you expect from an SUV made by Lamborghini. It has the driving dynamics and performance of any SUV we have driven. It looks aggressive and stylish and is clearly a Lambo (including bright colored paint jobs). Wild styling and ferocious performance in an SUV package. Yep, its a Lamborghini ok.

Mercedes-AMG GLS

Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 4Matic

  • Price: From $126,295
  • Power: 577 hp
  • Torque: 561 lb/ft
  • Engine: Twin-turbo 5.5L V-8
  • 0-60 mph: 4.3 sec
  • Top Speed: 165 mph

If you need more room and three rows, then the top of the range Mercedes GLS SUV is the one for you. In AMG GLS spec you get twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8 with 577 hp. A great seven-speed automatic with all-wheel-drive system helps make the GLS genuinely quick for such a large SUV.

Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography

Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography

  • Price: from $208,200
  • Power: 557 hp
  • Torque: 502 lb/ft
  • Engine: 5.0L Supercharged V8
  • 0-60 mph: 5.2 sec
  • Top Speed: 155 mph

It isn’t just that the Range Rover SVAutobiography Long Wheelbase has 557 horsepower and accelerates like a sports car; it’s that it does it all with a sense of effortlessness and composure, owed in part to the 516 pound-feet of torque, standard all-wheel drive, and eight-speed automatic transmission. This is a vehicle that weighs almost three tons yet can reach a top speed of 140 mph. And despite the 22-inch wheels and low-profile tires, its ride is smooth and comfortable.

Rolls Royce Cullinan

Rolls Royce Cullinan

  • Price: From $350,000
  • Power: 563 hp
  • Torque: 627 lb/ft
  • Engine: 6.75 L twin-turbocharged V12
  • 0-60 mph: 4.0 sec
  • Top Speed: 155 mph

This is Rolls-Royce making an SUV. We still don’t know many details, but we do know it will be the pinnacle of effortless performance and luxury. The new standard for an SUV.

Tesla Model X P100D 'Ludicrous Speed' Upgrade

Tesla Model X P100D ‘Ludicrous Speed’ Upgrade

  • Price: From $140,000
  • Power: 762 hp
  • Torque: 791 lb/ft
  • Engine: 100 kWh 350 V lithium-ion electric
  • 0-60 mph: 2.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 155 mph

The Model X is the quickest SUV ever. With standard all-wheel drive, loads of storage and seating for up to seven adults it ticks all the must-have SUV attributed. With 762 horsepower and 791 lb-ft of torque, a 100kWh battery powering all 4 wheels, the Model X P100D hits all our performance requirements. The performance in a straight line is astonishing.  Standstill to 60 mph is over in a barely believable 2.8 seconds. That makes it one of the fastest accelerating cars ever and easily the fastest SUV on our list. Sign me up for the electric car revolution if this is what we get.

Maserati Levante Trofeo SUV

Maserati Levante Trofeo SUV

  • Price: from $169,980
  • Power: 590 hp
  • Torque: 538 lb/ft
  • Engine: 3.8 L V8
  • 0-60 mph: 3.7 sec
  • Top Speed: 187 mph

We went all the way to the top of the  Maserati Levante range. This year in March, at the New York International Auto Show, Maserati elevated the model by introducing the Levante Trofeo.

It is the fastest variant in the brand’s budding SUV lineup and a vehicle built specifically for overseas markets. Whereas the original Levante’s three-liter, twin-turbo V-6 engine churned out a maximum of 430 hp, the Trofeo’s 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V-8 delivers 590 hp (at 6,250 rpm) with 538 ft lbs of torque (at 2,250 rpm). The Trofeo sprints to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and produces a top speed that is more than 23 mph faster than the entry level Levante.

Bentley Bentayga

Bentley Bentayga

  • Price: From $229,100
  • Power: 600 hp
  • Torque: 664 lb/ft
  • Engine: Twin-turbo 6.0 L W-12
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 sec
  • Top Speed: 187 mph

This is an ugly SUV but boy is it world class in every other department. It has a powerful twin-turbo 6.0-liter W-12 that makes 600 hp and 664 lb/ft of torque, rocketing the heavyweight to 60 in 3.6 seconds. The interior can be configured a number of ways and is chock full of the most sumptuous leather and high end elements you could ever want in a car. Luxury SUV at its best.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

  • Price: From $81,390
  • Power: 505 hp
  • Torque: 440 lb/ft
  • Engine: Twin-turbo 2.9 L V6
  • 0-60 mph: 3.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 176 mph

This is the most fun car on this list. Period. The end. Its 505-hp engine is the same as the coupe QV and it is an absolute masterpiece. Couple the cracking engine with the sexiest of all SUV designs we have seen in years and you know you are looking at something special. No doubt about it, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio raises the performance bar. It is just awesome. Alfa Romeo claims it’ll go from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds and having driven it I believe it. Can’t say I hit the claimed top speed of 176 mph but given how hard this thing pulls all the way to 100mph it wouldn’t shock me if they were being conservative.

The fantastic thing about the Quadrifoglio is that it really is a driver’s SUV. It’s no less capable than any high-end sport sedan and it’ll go up against the best on the market – all while carrying more cargo in the back and providing you with a more elevated view of the road ahead. Ultimately, this is more than just a high-performance street SUV. This is a fully-trackable SUV that would probably embarrass some highly regarded performance cars at a track day event. In fact, it recently destroyed the record for an SUV at the Nurburgring with a time of 7 minutes and 51.7 seconds. That’s not just impressive, that’s mind-boggling.

Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar I-Pace

  • Price: from $69,500
  • Power: 394 hp
  • Torque: 512 lb/ft
  • Engine: Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
  • 0-60 mph: 4.5 sec
  • Top Speed: 124 mph

The Jaguar I-Pace is an electric SUV that blends luxury and performance – exactly what you’d expect from the British automaker. The key performance advantage from electric engines is the lack of a torque curve, meaning all 512 pound-feet are available at all times. That, plus standard all-wheel drive, makes the I-Pace quicker than many conventional vehicles with significantly more horsepower. The I-Pace has a range of 240 miles from its 90-kWh battery.

Porsche Macan Turbo (With Performance Package)

Porsche Macan Turbo (With Performance Package)

  • Price: From $87,700
  • Power: 440 hp
  • Torque: 442 lb-ft
  • Engine: 3.6 L V6 twin turbo
  • 0-60 mph: 4.2 sec
  • Top Speed: 169 mph

The Macan Turbo (with performance package) is a compact SUV that is all about performance. Five doors, five seats, decent space for the family and a 440-hp twin-turbo V-6 mated to a seven-speed transmission with all-wheel drive. The $10k performance package gets you an additional 40 horsepower and 36 lb-ft of torque over the Turbo Macan and we say it is totally worth it.

It is crazy fast and we guarantee that any purist will fall in love with this diminutive Porsche daily driver. For that extra money you also get lower ride height, 5mph higher top speed, standard sport exhaust, Sport Chrono package and bigger front brakes. The interior is handsome but small. As with all Porsches, performance comes at a steep price; if you want to blend serious performance with versatility, however, the Macan Turbo has few peers.

Blistering acceleration, sports-sedan handling, athletic silhouette. At the test track, its 3.7-second zero-to-60-mph run and 12.4-second quarter-mile beat those of the already blistering Macan Turbo by 0.5 second each. A relatively low seating position gives it a sports-sedan feel from behind the wheel, and the Macan’s weight transfers fluidly and predictably through corners.

Sure, you won’t confuse this Porsche’s steering feel with that of a Boxster or a 911, but its precision is unimpeachable and for a 4500 pound crossover is way better than you imagine it should be. This is a daily driver that goads you into driving harder, with sky-high cornering limits and progressive controls that instill confidence no matter the speed. Pin the throttle while exiting a corner and the car squirms for a beat as the all-wheel-drive system and the optional torque-vectoring system quickly work out the best way to send all that power to the ground.

Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S / AMG GLC 63 S Coupe

  • Price: From $80,750
  • Power: 503 hp
  • Torque: 516 lb/ft
  • Engine: Twin-turbo 4.0L V-8
  • 0-60 mph: 3.7 sec
  • Top Speed: 174 mph

The twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 from the C63S makes its way into the GLC and GLC Coupe. You will need to opt for the S version to cross the 500 horsepower mark. With 503hp and 516 lb-ft in Mercedes mid-sized SUV it hustles to 60 in a rapid 3.7 seconds. Not bad for an SUV that is used every day to ferry kids around.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 4Matic / GLE 63 S Coupe 4Matic

  • Price: From $111,860
  • Power: 577 hp (GLE63 S)
  • Torque: 561 lb/ft (GLE63 S)
  • Engine: Twin-turbo 5.5L V-8
  • 0-60 mph: 4.1 sec
  • Top Speed: 155 mph

The GLE63 gets a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8 that makes 550 hp (577 hp in S trim) and a seven-speed auto; all-wheel drive is standard on all. Handling and braking are surprisingly athletic, too, despite the SUV bodywork.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Porsche Cayenne Turbo / Turbo S

  • Price: From $124,600
  • Power: 550 hp (570 hp for S)
  • Engine: Twin turbo 4.8L V-8
  • Torque: 590 lb/ft
  • 0-60 mph: 3.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 176 mph

Despite their size and weight, the Cayenne Turbo and Turbo S are quicker than ever. The Cayenne gets a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that has the turbos inside the V of the cylinders of the engine. Porsche says that shortening the exhaust paths into the turbochargers on this engine made the engine more responsive and improved power delivery. It reaches 60 mph in 3.7 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono Package.

Read more about the Turbo.

BMW X5 M

BMW X5 M

  • Price: From $102,695
  • Power: 567 hp
  • Torque: 553 lb/ft
  • Engine: Twin-turbo 4.4 L V-8
  • 0-60 mph: 3.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 160 mph

The BMW X5 M is a heavy SUV with a military grade twin-turbo V8 generating 567 hp that helps propels it from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. Given its size and weight this is also a great handling SUV that feels more like a sports car to drive.

BMW X6 M

BMW X6 M

  • Price: From $102,695
  • Power: 567 hp
  • Torque: 553 lb/ft
  • Engine: Twin-turbo V-8
  • 0-60 mph: 3.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 156 mph

The X6 M is just like the X5 M with its own unique style. Just like the X5 M it is fast and handles amazingly well for a 5000+ pound SUV. Definitely less practical than the X5 M but it looks cooler.

Dodge Durango SRT

Dodge Durango SRT

  • Price: From $62,995
  • Power: 475 hp
  • Torque: 470 lb/ft
  • Engine: 6.4-liter V-8
  • 0-60 mph: 4.4 sec
  • Top Speed: 180 mph

New for 2018, the SRT package allows the Durango to do things rarely seen in the midsize SUV class, though it comes at a luxury price. It has a 475-hp 6.4-liter V-8, driving all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic. It hits 60mph in 4.4 seconds and tops out at 180mph. The eight speed auto works well and handles the abundant 470lb/ft of torque very well. Bonus for parents with four kids, there is room for six. Its a muscle-car SUV in a family-friendly package.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR

Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR

  • Price: From $113,600
  • Power: 575 hp
  • Torque: 461 lb/ft
  • Engine: 5.0 L V8
  • 0-60 mph: 4.3 sec
  • Top Speed: 162 mph

We love the Range Rover Sport and have been big fans of its supercharged 5.0-liter V8 for a long time. The eight-speed automatic is silky smooth and helps the big SVR haul in 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. Dripping in style and luxury this is an SUV can also handle the rough stuff.  As Car & Driver said: “No rival better mixes handling prowess, off-road talent and an SUV sense of functional plushness. But more importantly, none comes close the lewd sense of fun it keeps so amply on tap”.

Jaguar F-Pace SVR

Jaguar F-Pace SVR

  • Price: From $79,990
  • Power: 550 hp
  • Torque: 502 lb/ft
  • Engine: 5.0-liter supercharged V8
  • 0-60 mph: 4.1 sec
  • Top Speed: 176 mph

A Jaguar sports car by Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) the F-Pace gets a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 and a top speed of 176 mph. The F-Pace is the most stylish and fast Jag you can buy for your family. It turns the great F-Pace into a real performance machine. It comfortably seats five and has more than enough cargo space when compared to others in the small SUV segment. The ultimate Jaguar performance SUV.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

  • Price: From $86,000
  • Power: 707 hp
  • Torque: 645 lb/ft
  • Engine: 6.2 L V8
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 sec
  • Top Speed: 180 mph

This is a Jeep with a supercharged 707-horsepower engine and 645 lb/ft of torque – what is there not to love? The V8 is the same unit used in the Hellcat Challengers and Chargers by Dodge and it transforms the Grand Cherokee. While you would be just as happy opting for the Cherokee SRT, we say go all the way and order the Trailhawk. It is a good looking, rugged SUV, has comfortable seats and nice enough cabin. The infotainment system comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and works really well. Add that 707hp engine, all-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic, and a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds and this may be the one for me. America’s answer to high-performance SUVs from Europe surprised us and made us smile from ear to ear.