A lot of the models in the Luxury SUV segment are getting long in the tooth, despite it being a popular, growing category for owners who like to be see and be seen in their pricey sports utility vehicles. For the Autoytel 2013 Luxury SUV of the Year, the finalists are all recently re-designed, refreshed or completely new; a unique feat when most auto manufacturers seem to rely on consumers to return to products that are 8+ years old.
Read on to which which Luxury SUV tops to the list and which 2 runners up made the cut.
The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is the Autobytel 2013 Luxury SUV and is a second generation re-design that hasn't messed with the qualities that make it the best-in-class bestseller. Starting at $62,400.00 for the GL350 BlueTec, it comes in $5000.00 less than its closest selling competitor that is nearing 7 years old since its latest refresh – and the GL still out-delivers in interior style, technology and innovations. All four trims levels of the GL-Class have the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system and seven-speed automatic transmission, with the top AMG trim topping the price charts with a $116,925 price tag in exchange for a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine, good for 550 horsepower.
"Mercedes-Benz has delivered a product that simply works… very well." -Autobytel review
The all-new luxury SUV offering from Infiniti is much more than a luxury version of its sibling, the recently re-designed Nissan Pathfinder. The Infiniti JX35 is the new entry from the automaker better known for exciting driving experiences than 3-row family hauling and has the exterior and interior styling to show that, even it had to sacrifice some sportiness for this elite, family-oriented class of vehicles, it can still look and drive like it belongs in the lineup. Starting at a reasonable $42,000, the Infiniti JX35 can be optioned-out the wazoo with technology, comfort and safety features that are expected of this class, to $54,000.00 – a full $10,000.00 less than our category winner this year.
Infiniti, again, made the cut with the Autobytel editorial team, as a finalist for this year's Luxury SUV of the Year with the Infiniti FX37. Given a facelift and a list of improvements, including a 3.7-liter powerplant with increased horsepower with a slight boost to mpgs, and a bevy of interior and technology upgrades, the FX37 is proof again that Infiniti has a cool, calm eye on climbing the Luxury SUV ladder. Surely, if the list of finalists could go on, the Infiniti QX56 would be joining the FX37 and the JX35 in our awards and honorable mentions.
The editorial team of Autobytel has chosen the previous vehicles as the best of what we have seen in the category for 2013, and while there are many others in this class that probably deserve some kudos as well, we'd love to hear which you would choose for yourself. Let us know on the Autobytel Twitter or the Autobytel Facebook page.
2013 Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ
2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
2013 Ford Fusion
2013 Cadillac ATS
2013 Jeep Wrangler
2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
2013 Porsche Boxster S
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
2013 RAM 1500
2013 Mazda MAZDA5