THE RISE OF LUXURY SUVS
‘SPORTS UTILITY’ VEHICLES HAVE NEARLY OVERTAKEN PASSENGER CARS AS THE MOTOR OF CHOICE FOR AUSSIES… WHICH IS WHY EVEN HIGH-END BRANDS NOW MAKE ONE, WRITES Jez Spinks.
Sports Utility Vehicles are so popular, even Rolls Royce are making one
They were known originally as simply “four-wheel-drive station wagons”. The 1960s Jeep Wagoneer was regarded as the first, though if you lived outside the US it was the 1970 Range Rover that truly marked the birth of the breed.
We’re talking, of course, about luxury SUVS – elite high-riding vehicles that aren’t all necessarily equipped to climb terrain as steep as their sales curves.
In 2006, 17 luxury SUV models accounted for 18,342 sales in Australia. Five years later, both figures grew: 23 models; 29,928 sales.
Last year, three of the four luxury SUV segments grew a remarkable 45 per cent year on year – resulting in 67,856 total
sales spanning 36 models.
SUVS accounted for more than half of BMW and Lexus sales, and Audi wasn’t far off a similar statistic (42 per cent).
Aptly, for vehicles capable of towing a (luxury) yacht, such remarkable sales ratios are pulling along yet more models into the equation.
Jaguar debuted its first SUV, the F-pace, in 2016, while Maserati and Bentley have recently encroached on Range Rover terrain with, respectively, the Levante and Bentayga.
Here, Men’s Style guides you through the world of luxury SUVS in terms of the milestone models, the current picks of the breed, and the notable new members set to join the ever-expanding club.
Rolls- Royce Cullinan