V8 SUVs aren't quite as common as they used to be, with more manufacturers seeking to maximize fuel economy by way of 6-cylinder engines, superchargers, and even turbochargers. Still, the best V8 SUVs currently available have been in the mix for quite some time, keeping the 8-cylinder tradition alive and bringing considerable amounts of torque to the table. 8-cylinder SUVs are still a great option for anyone who needs versatile power or high-end performance from their people mover. Let's take a quick look at 10 of the best V8 SUVs available right now.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Hunting
1) 2016 GMC Yukon Denali
The 2016 GMC Yukon Denali is an upscale version of the domestic brand's fullsize SUV that features an exclusive 6.2-liter V8 engine that has been tuned to provide 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission sends that output to either the rear or all four wheels (if optional 4-wheel drive is selected), giving the GMC Yukon Denali an advantage over its less-endowed Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban cousin. Available in two different wheelbases, and capable of seating as many as eight passengers, the Yukon Denali is a formidable and luxurious V8 SUV.
2) 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser
The 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser is what you might call a “stealth luxury” vehicle. Not many people expect the Land Cruiser to sit at the apex of the automaker's lineup, but that's exactly where you'll find the V8 SUV. It's the most expensive vehicle that Toyota sells, but it's also one of the best equipped in terms of premium features as well as off-road technologies (standard low-range 4-wheel drive, dynamic suspension system, Multi-Terrain Select system). A 5.7-liter V8 provides 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque for the 7-passenger Land Cruiser, and an 8-speed automatic transmission comes standard.
3) 2016 BMW X5 xDrive50i
The 2016 BMW X5 xDrive50i features a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, which boasts 445 horses and 480 lb-ft of torque. Surprisingly quick, despite not being marketed as the brand's fastest sport utility vehicle, the BMW X5 xDrive50i can sprint to 60 mph in a scant 4.9 seconds, thanks in part to standard all-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission. 7-passenger seating can be added to the X5 xDrive50i, but we recommend against it — it's better to enjoy the more comfortable 5-passenger configuration and its 66 cubic feet of total cargo space instead.
Photo Credit: Porsche Cars North America
4) 2016 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
The 2016 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S is a V8 SUV that's even more bonkers than the BMW. The 2016 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S also makes use of a pair of turbochargers to help get the most out of its 4.7-liter V8. A total of 550 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque are on offer from the beast-like SUV, and not only does the Turbo S feature all-wheel drive but it also comes with a torque-vectoring rear differential and an active suspension system to help keep the 5-passenger model on track. An 8-speed automatic transmission handles the gear shifting duties for all versions of the Cayenne.
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5) 2016 Cadillac Escalade
The 2016 Cadillac Escalade rides on a mechanical platform that is very similar to that of the Yukon Denali. This means it's motivated by the same 6.2-liter V8 engine good for 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, can be had in both 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive editions, and also features magnetic ride control suspension. Separating the Cadillac Escalade from its GMC cousin is a second level of luxury gear and remarkable styling that establishes the vehicle as one of the most aspirational products built by General Motors. Top trim levels of the Escalade come with adaptive cruise control and an automatic braking system that can intervene to prevent collisions both front and rear.
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6) 2016 Dodge Durango
The 2016 Dodge Durango is a bit of a tweener, a V8 SUV that is a little too big to be considered a midsize model, but not quite as large as fullsize sport utility vehicles offered by some of its rivals. This status fits the Dodge Durango quite well, as its wheelbase gives it good passenger room (up to seven) as well as a unibody chassis that is strong enough to tow a hefty 7,400 lbs. The vehicle's available 5.7-liter Hemi V8 churns out 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, and it's managed by an 8-speed automatic transmission. Low-range 4-wheel drive can be ordered with the Durango if you want to take the SUV off-road.
Photo Credit: Infiniti
7) 2016 Infiniti QX80
The 2016 Infiniti QX80 is a most unusual V8 SUV, a vehicle that has more in common with a sport sedan than a sport utility thanks to its well-engineered chassis and lithe bodywork. The Infiniti QX80 features a standard 5.6-liter V8 that includes all-wheel drive as well as 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque, with a 7-speed automatic transmission also along for the ride. While interior room might be a bit cramped in the third row, this is an SUV that's best appreciated from the driver's seat.
Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz
8) 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS550
The all-new 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS550 presents traditional luxury SUV shoppers with gobs of power wrapped in a civilized package. This Benz, a replacement for the discontinued M-Class, carries over the 4.7-liter V-8 engine, twin-turbocharged and upgraded to produce 449 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive helps keep the GLS550 planted through the corners, and 7-passenger seating inside the Mercedes-Benz is comfortable and spacious. A 7-speed automatic transmission is standard with the vehicle, which can also be ordered with a substantial level of active safety gear (lane departure assistance, blind spot monitoring and assistance, forward collision warning).
Photo Credit: Lyndon Bell
9) 2016 Land Rover Range Rover
The 2016 Land Rover Range Rover is the ultimate luxury SUV for anyone who's ever wanted to take their living room off-road. Unstoppable thanks to its Terrain Response system, full-time 4-wheel drive, and bevy of electronic aides, the Land Rover Range Rover is a Sahara-crosser that you can also have valeted at the ballet. The Range Rover's 510-horsepower, 5.0-liter supercharged V8 (which is also good for 461 lb-ft of torque) is a masterpiece, and its 8-speed automatic transmission ensures that runs to 60 mph are accomplished in a spirited 4.7 seconds. Don't forget, too, the Land Rover's extensive customization program, which allows for an almost bespoke ordering process.
10) 2016 Lexus LX 570
The 2016 Lexus LX 570 takes the bones of the Toyota Land Cruiser and gives them an upmarket pizzazz intended to lure in shoppers who want the prestige that goes with the brand's badge. Under its skin, the Lexus LX 570 V8 SUV features the same 5.7-liter, 8-cylinder motor found in the Toyota, which means 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft of torque matched with an 8-speed automatic transmission. You also get the same unusual fold-down third row seats (bringing passenger capacity to seven), the Multi-Terrain system, full-time 4-wheel drive, and an active suspension system.