Want to get comfortable in something other than the same old premium sedan that everyone on your block picked up after they got that big promotion? How about a luxury crossover SUV. Not only do you get many of the same creature comforts found in a traditional high-end automobile, but you also gain significant practicality and in some models a 'go-anywhere' attitude thanks to good ground clearance and advanced four-wheel drive systems. Not to mention the fact that there's enough room to haul the entire family from point A to point B inside this class of vehicle without sacrificing legroom.
Let's take a quick look at 10 outstanding luxury crossover suvs.
01. 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee mid-size SUV has long been the pinnacle of the off-road oriented brand, and when ordered in Overland Summit trim it provides buyers with features such as heated and ventilated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, a navigation system, dual automatic climate control and 20-inch rims. An air suspension system that can lift or lower the ride height of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is also offered with the Overland Summit model, as is the choice between the Quadra-Drive II or Quadra-Trac II four-wheel drive systems. The Grand Cherokee Overland is best sampled when paired with its optional 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 that is tuned to provide 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, managed by a six-speed automatic transmission.
02. 2012 GMC Yukon
The 2012 GMC Yukon is a big, full-frame SUV that provides outstanding towing and the availability of nine passenger seating (depending on how it is ordered). Those seeking the plushiest possible ride from the GMC Yukon will order it in Denali trim, which not only adds gear such as an adaptive suspension system, high levels of sound insulation and full leather upholstery but it also comes with slick exterior body work to set the truck apart from its more pedestrian siblings. The GMC Yukon Denali also comes with a six-speed automatic transmission and a unique 6.2-liter V-8 that puts out a hefty 403 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive can be added to the Denali package as an option.
03. 2012 Buick Enclave
The 2012 Buick Enclave adopts a different tack when looking at how to comfortably transport up to eight passengers at a time in a premium setting. The Buick Enclave's chassis was developed off of a full-size sedan design, giving it a smooth ride that is surprisingly responsive for a vehicle of its size. The large crossover's Premium Group trim delivers niceties such as heated and cooled leather seats, HOD headlights, parking assistance, a remote starter, upgraded interior trim and three zones of automatic climate control. All versions of the Buick Enclave can be had in front-wheel or all-wheel drive trim, and a 288 horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 that also generates 270 lb-ft of torque is standard (along with a six-speed automatic transmission).
04. 2012 Lincoln Navigator
The 2012 Lincoln Navigator is an old-school full-size SUV cruiser that can be had in regular and extended (L) editions, each of which can accommodate between seven and eight passengers. The Lincoln Navigator is a great example of 'luxury via excess' in that it pummels the senses with a heap of premium gear, including power everything, a navigation system, the SYNC vehicle interface, heated and cooled leather seats, a surround sound audio system and a sunroof. The Navigator is motivated by a 5.4-liter V-8 that produces 310 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque, sent to either the rear or all four wheels (if optional four-wheel drive is ordered) by way of a six-speed auto gearbox.
05. 2012 Cadillac SRX
The 2012 Cadillac SRX provides an alternative to big luxury SUVs thanks to its relatively compact, five-passenger crossover layout and a focus on above-average driving dynamics that simply aren't often found on heavier models. The Cadillac SRX handles more like a tall wagon than a SUV, especially when found in the Performance trim which includes a more taut suspension system (which upgrades to an adaptive arrangement when paired with all-wheel drive), quicker steering, a navigation system, heated leather seats, a surround sound system and the availability of three zones of automatic climate control. Drivers will be pleased with the 308 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque that the vehicle's 3.6-liter V-6 places under the right foot, and a six-speed automatic comes with the SRX at every trim level.
06. 2012 Volkswagen Touareg
The 2012 Volkswagen Touareg is a stealth luxury competitor, a crossover that draws attention not because of the badge on its grille but rather through what it actually has to offer potential buyers. The Volkswagen Touareg feels confident at a wide range of speeds, even through the corners, and its five passenger environs can be outfitted with gear ranging from leather seats, wood trim and a heated steering wheel all the way up to 20-inch wheels and a navigation system featuring an integrated rear view camera. The Volkswagen Touareg also comes with standard all-wheel drive and the option of a 225 horsepower, 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 engine that can also be relied on to produce 406 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission handles the shifting duties for the VW crossover.
07. 2012 Land Rover Range Rover
The 2012 Land Rover Range Rover is an odd duck, the last word in European luxury wrapped in an all-terrain package that has decades of history fording rivers and crossing deserts to call its own. The top-tier Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography package includes practically every creature comfort known to man, with highlights showing as a heated windshield, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree parking camera system, four zones of automatic climate control, a locking rear differential and an adaptive suspension system. The five-passenger Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography is motivated by a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine that delivers 510 horsepower and 461 lb-ft of torque, sent to the vehicle's full-time four-wheel drive system via a six-speed automatic transmission.
08. 2012 Lincoln MKT
The 2012 Lincoln MKT is an intriguing luxury crossover choice for drivers who want power but not at the expense of fuel economy. The seven-passenger Lincoln MKT EcoBoost is outfitted with a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes use of twin turbochargers in order to produce 355 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard - as is a six-speed automatic transmission - but fuel economy remains a strong 16-mpg city and 21-mpg highway. Adding the Elite package to the EcoBoost trim introduces a surround sound audio system, a panoramic sunroof and a navigation system to go with heated and ventilated leather seats and three zones of automatic climate control.
09. 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV
The 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV is the single largest model available from the premium brand, and it's stretched interior can accommodate as many as eight passengers (although the top-end Platinum trim is designed to haul seven). LED headlights, special leather upholstery, 22-inch rims, heated and cooled seats, a sunroof and a rear seat entertainment system are some of the standard items that come with the Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum, and a rearview camera helps drivers when reversing the enormous vehicle. The Escalade ESV leaves the factory with a six-speed transmission managing a 6.2-liter V-8, and this engine grinds out 403 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is optional with the Cadillac.
10. 2011 Lexus LX
The 2011 Lexus LX 570 is another premium 'ute that draws from an off-road heritage - although this time it's by way of its Toyota cousin, the Land Cruiser, which donates much of its running gear to the luxury model's cause. The platform sharing doesn't hinder the Lexus LX 570 in its mission to coddle and accommodate, however, as the seven-passenger SUV offers features such as a heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, wood and leather generously spread throughout the cabin, a navigation system, heated seats for the first two rows and a surround sound audio system. Power is excellent thanks to the inclusion of a 5.7-liter V-8 that is good for 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft of torque, output that makes it to the pavement via a full-time four-wheel drive system and a six-speed automatic transmission.