Deciding what qualifies a particular model of sport utility vehicle as luxury, and what does not, is a pretty subjective exercise. Typically, it’s all marketing. It’s whether an auto manufacturer wants to appeal to a particular type of buyer who’s interested in, and can afford, a luxury sport utility vehicle, or whether that manufacturer prefers to try to capture sales volume by keeping prices competitive. That said, there are some qualities and characteristics that are typically agreed upon that help define luxury SUVs.

Although luxury sport utility vehicles have been around for a while and have enjoyed steady popularity, the concept might still seem like it’s at odds with the purpose of a sport utility vehicle. What’s important in a luxury sport utility vehicle is that it’s capable of going off road, should the driver choose to do so. In many cases, with most of the luxury sport utility vehicles on the road, the chances are slim that they’ll ever travel through a forest or along a riverbed. But generally, part of what makes anything luxurious is that it offers more capability than its user will ever actually need, and the same holds true for luxury SUVs. In addition to the off road capability found in any sport utility vehicle, luxury SUVs need more features to help set them apart and make them appealing, and for that, auto manufacturers borrow some tricks from their other luxury vehicles. Luxury sport utility vehicles have super comfortable cabins that have been designed and built with top quality materials, often finished with stylish wood and metal trims. Passengers enjoy top end stereos with sound quality that rivals the average person’s home theater system. Auto manufacturers know that passenger relaxation is a top priority in a luxury SUV, since it’s one of the keys to impressing people. Of course, the driver’s comfort is not overlooked. The cockpit is designed so that everything is as convenient as possible, yet the driver can remain engaged. Powerful engine options make luxury SUVs fun to drive, even though the driver is probably as comfortable as he or she would be at home.