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.

Men's Style (Australia) - - Contents -

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

BMW X2

Audi Q8

Volvo XC40

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