Best New SUVs That Debuted in 2017
A look back at a milestone yearby Mark McNabb, on
2017 has been an amazing year for the automobile. Sales have increased across the board, high-performance models are quicker and faster than ever, off-roaders are more capable than before, and a slew of new models have hit the streets. That’s what we’re looking at here: the all-new vehicles the debuted in 2017. But more specifically, we’re looking at the crossovers and SUVs that made their initial splash into the fastest-growing segment in the industry.
Before we dive in, it’s worth noting that practically dozens of SUVs and crossovers were revamped in 2017. Models like the Jeep Wrangler JL, Chevrolet Traverse, Mazda CX-3, and plenty more were made new again. But these are familiar nameplates. This go-round, we’re focusing on completely new models.
Continue reading for more information.
Alfa didn’t built some clunky knock-off of a Wrangler or Defender, but rather, a smooth and powerful machine with looks that kill
Alfa Romeo is making its comeback – both in the U.S. and around the world – an much of it hinges on the Stelvio crossover. Naturally, with crossovers being all the rage these days, Alfa couldn’t ignore the segment despite never having a historical tie with any high-riding, four-wheel-drives. Thankfully, Alfa didn’t built some clunky knock-off of a Wrangler or Defender, but rather, a smooth and powerful machine with looks that kill and an available Quadrifoglio drivetrain with its Ferrari-derived 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6, eight-speed automatic, full-time AWD, and 505 horsepower. Even in its “base” form, the Stelvio’s 2.0-liter turbo-four has enough power launch the 4,000-pound vehicle to 60 mph in roughly 5.5 seconds.
Prices start around $43,000 and crest around $48,000. The Quadrifoglio model hasn’t been prices at this time, but we’re expecting this monster to start somewhere around $75,000. And then there’s the name… Stelvio – it’s just so fun to say. Add Quadrifoglio to that, and the name alone is worth the asking price.
Read our full review on the 2017 Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
The Bentley Bentayga is redefining the boundaries of high-end automakers building luxury SUVs.
We’re having to stretch the terms of our timeline here, as the Bentayga began production in 2016, but the SUV’s importance can’t be understated. The Bentayga is Bentley’s first foray into the SUV realm. It marks a huge departure form the sedans, coupes, and convertibles the über-luxury brand is known for. Yet that luxury transcends the SUV title, making the Bentayga one of the most well-appointed three-row behemoths in the business.
It rides on the same MLB architecture underpinning the Audi Q7, but comes powered by a massive 6.0-liter W-12 making 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. As anybody could guess, an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD are standard. The outrageous powertrain is able to defy physics when hauling this 6,000-pound SUV to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds an onto the segment’s highest top speed of 187 mph.
The Bentley Bentayga is redefining the boundaries of high-end automakers building luxury SUVs. We’ve already heard of promising future rivals; Mercedes-Maybach, Roll-Royce, and Aston Martin will soon join the segment, too. Of course, it takes Wall Street money to play in this elite crew. The Bentayga starts at $235,500 and can quickly cost nearly $300,000 with a few options selected.
Read our full review on the 2017 Bentley Bentayga.
The EcoSport represents a good value to folks needing basic transportation but wanting to ride in style
As Ford considers killing off the Fusion, new entries to the crossover and SUV segments are popping up. The iconic Bronco nameplate is scheduled to return for 2020, and the ever-popular Expedition just got a refresh for 2018. But those vehicles are and will be expensive. Ford’s answer to the budget-constrained crossover lovers out there is the EcoSport – a tiny high-riding hatchback with a swinging rear tailgate and three- and four-cylinder engines. In truth, the EcoSport has been around for more than a decade in countries around the globe. It’s just now that Ford has decided to bring the EcoSport to the U.S. – from India, no less.
Still, the EcoSport represents a good value to folks needing basic transportation but wanting to ride in style. As mentioned, power comes from small engines. The base mill is a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder making 123 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. The 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated engine makes 167 horses and 149 pound-feet. A six-speed auto and front-wheel drive come standard, while AWD is optional with the 2.0-liter.
The EcoSport’s best selling point is its price: it starts at just $19,995 for the S trim. SE, Titanium, and SES trims progressively add more content. The SES tops the range and offers a sportier flare for $26,740. Besides the price, the EcoSport’s small footprint makes it a decent choice for inner-city living.
Read our full review on the 2018 Ford EcoSport.
The E-Pace is designed as Jaguar’s entry-level vehicle thanks to its size and a starting price around $38,600.
The Jaguar E-Pace is like the F-Pace’s little brother whose name confuses everyone not close to the family. No, the E-Pace isn’t a hybrid electric or some fancy fuel cell. Rather E comes before F alphabetically and is therefore “smaller” than F – or so Jaguar’s marketing and product planning teams thought. The E-Pace rides on Jaguar Land Rover’s D8 platform, which also underpins the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport. It’s designed as Jaguar’s entry-level vehicle thanks to its size and a starting price around $38,600.
The E-Pace uses the same 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder in all trim levels, though Jaguar bumps the power to 296 horses and 295 pound-feet of torque if you pay the extra $8,600 for the R-Dynamic trim. A nine-speed automatic and front-wheel drive are standard. AWD comes standard with the R-Dynamic trim.
Read our full review on the 2018 Jaguar E-Pace.
While the Urus might not be Rambo’s “First Blood,” it’s undeniably a better performaner while adimately following Lambo’s modern design flare and brand ethos.
Who would have ever guessed Lamborghini would ever build an SUV? Well, it’s happened – again. It’s easy to forget the LM002 Lambo built as a military vehicle but soon became a civilian model best known by its nickname, the Rambo Lambo. So, while the Urus might not be Rambo’s “First Blood,” it’s undeniably a better performaner while adimately following Lambo’s modern design flare and brand ethos.
Rambo’s new Lambo is powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 packed behind its headlights that makes an impressive 641 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. An intelligent AWD system is designed to work in both off-road and high-performance situations, while its massive 285-series front and 325-series rear tires fight for grip. The sprint to 60 mph takes only 3.5 seconds and will hit 190 mph.
The world didn’t need a Lamborghini SUV, but we’d argue we’re better off for it. We all know the Urus will quickly become Lambo’s best seller, which will generate profits for even more ludicrous exotics and hypercars. The Urus will start around $200,000, which is a good discount over is corporate cousin, the Bentley Bentayga. Yep; the two share the same MLB underpinnings, though the similarities stop quickly after that.
Read our full review on the 2019 Lamborghini Urus.
The new Range Rover Velar is one sultry machine
The new Range Rover Velar is one sultry machine. Though it looks much larger, the mid-size crossover actually slots between the smaller Range Rover Evoque and larger Range Rover Sport. The Velar shares its architecture with the Jaguar F-Pace, but separates itself with sleeker looks, impressive off-road chops, and that Range Rover brand cache.
The Velar impresses with a swanky, screen-filled interior with multi-use knobs that control more than one thing, but in an intuitive way. It offers seating for five in two rows of seating and three engine options to choose from. The standard is a 2.0-liter turbo-four running on gas. A second 2.0-liter turbo runs on diesel. Those fond of horsepower will enjoy the 380-horse 3.0-liter supercharged V-6. All engines are paired with the ever-present eight-speed automatic. Naturally, Land Rover’s full-time 4WD comes standard, too.
Pricing for this classy crossover begins just shy of $50,000. Those wanting the turbodiesel will have to upgrade to the mid-grade S trim and pay $56,000. The luxury-minded will find the SE model more befitting. That model starts at $67,400.
Read our full review on the 2018 Range Rover Velar.
The Atlas’ square jaw and slab slides do their best John Wayne impression while a well designed and plushy interior offer Martha Stewart levels of hominess and comfort
Volkswagen is still wiping soot off its face from the #dieselgate debacle, but the Atlas should be the soapy shower the automaker needs. This three-row crossover was designed specifically for Americans and is built by Americans in VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant. The Atlas’ square jaw and slab slides do their best John Wayne impression while a well designed and plushy interior offer Martha Stewart levels of hominess and comfort. Volkswagen offers several trim levels to choose from, meaning there’s an Atlas for most every middle-class family. Prices start at $30,500 and range up to $49,000.
VW also gives families the choice between a 2.0-liter turbo-four or a 3.6-liter V-6, along with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Options include things like tri-zone climate controls, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic moonroof, and navigation.
Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas.
The XC40 retains that modern Volvo design flare, but compresses everything into a neat little package
The XC40 is Volvo’s answer to youthful yet sophisticated families and empty nesters wanting to be youthful yet sophisticated. This compact crossover slots under the XC60 and way below in the wonderful XC90 in terms of size and price. The XC40 retains that modern Volvo design flare, but compresses everything into a neat little package. There is room for five inside, but four will be more comfortable. There’s cargo space with the rear seat folded down and the dash has plenty of impressive technology.
A single 2.0-liter turbo-four is offered, but it comes in two output levels: 184 horsepower in the T4 model and 248 horsepower with the T5. The difference is a larger turbo on the T5. The T5 also comes standard with AWD, whereas the T4 only comes in FWD.
The XC40 in Momentum trim starts at $35,200 and the R-Design trim starts at $37,700. Volvo is also offering its new Car By Volvo ownership option, where customers can pay a flat rate to basically rent the vehicle. Things like maintenance, insurance, roadside assistance, and other hassles are all included. That’s pretty convenient for those youthful yet sophisticated folks, regardless of their age.
Read our full review on the 2018 Volvo XC40.