Some people may remember a time when sport utility vehicles were sluggish and awkward. The birth of the SUV was welcome, but they certainly were not without their flaws. Fortunately, all those kinks have been ironed out, and some of these rides are made for performance; street performance. The fastest SUVs deliver the strongest horsepower and torque to scream the top acceleration speeds. Plus, they are typically equipped with a refined suspension, flawless transmission and responsive handli... (full review continues below)
Some people may remember a time when sport utility vehicles were sluggish and awkward. The birth of the SUV was welcome, but they certainly were not without their flaws. Fortunately, all those kinks have been ironed out, and some of these rides are made for performance; street performance. The fastest SUVs deliver the strongest horsepower and torque to scream the top acceleration speeds. Plus, they are typically equipped with a refined suspension, flawless transmission and responsive handling, making them as exciting to drive as any sports car on the road.
Starting the list of fastest SUVS is the BMW X6 M. Zero to 60 mph is accomplished in a lightning fast 4.3 seconds, thanks to its 4.4-liter V8 that generously delivers 555 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. If you want to have a little more fun, press the "M" button located on the steering wheel to quicken shifts and enjoy a more sensitive throttle.
Porsche Cayenne Turbo is next and definitely deserves its position as its 500 horsepower turbocharged V8 hits 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. You can even add on an optional Turbo Powerkit to bump output to a mind-blowing 540 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.
Next on the list of fastest SUVs is the BMW X5 M. It offers unparalleled handling and blazing acceleration. The X5 M is even faster than Cayenne, reaching 60 mph in a quick 4.5 seconds, thanks to its twin-turbo V8 that is good for 555 horsepower and 501 pound-feet of torque. Coincidentally, its braking ability is just as impressive as acceleration, taking an unheard 116 feet to stop from 60 mph.
The twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 in the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG earns it a position on the list. Add the AMG Performance package and it delivers 550 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. Braking performance is reassuring and strong, and there is definitely no hesitation when you step on the gas.
Another one of the fastest SUVs is the Infiniti FX50 S. A 5.0-liter V8 offers 390 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque to reach 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. The steering is tight and responsive, allowing this vehicle to boast impressive road-holding prowess.
Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is made for performance. A beefed-up five-speed automatic transmission sends power from the 6.4-liter V8 engine to all four wheels to take just 5.1 seconds to reach 60 mph.
Another one of the fastest SUVs is the Range Rover Sport 5 Supercharged. Its V8 engine pairs with a six-speed automatic that features manual shift control to deliver 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. Land Rover Range Rover SC also gets a special mention in this segment.
Cadillac Escalade has long been respected for its swift acceleration and fantastic handling. The suspension is adaptive, which allows for a more compliant ride while the 403 horsepower 6.2-liter V8 gives you all the acceleration power you need.
The 6.0-liter V8 in the Chevrolet Trailblazer SS cranks out 390 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. The available all-wheel drive system maximizes street performance, allowing it to reach 60 mph in well under 6 seconds. Note that the SS model is designed more for the street than for off-road performance.
Last on the list of fastest SUVs is the Audi Q7. The standard supercharged 3.0-liter V6 is already fairly quick, but opting for the 3.0T S increases output substantially to 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. This full-time all-wheel drive vehicle hugs corners while providing generous grip on slippery pavement.