10 New Trucks and SUVs for the Driving Enthusiast
Traditionally, “fun” cars haven’t always been practical. The inverse is also true, “practical” cars aren’t always fun, though there are exceptions. This becomes ever apparent when you go to pick up lumber in a Mini Cooper S or need to squeeze extra passengers in a Mazda MX-5. It’s just not happening.
So what’s a driving enthusiast to do? Well, you could buy a second car, or you could pop for a vehicle with more space and more capability, all without compromising on sportiness. Oh yes, you could opt for a zesty truck or SUV. Not sure which tires to kick at the new car lot? Check out these 10 performance machines, below.
2016 Nissan Juke NISMO (and NISMO RS) Base Price: $24,800 ($28,000)
If anything, the Nissan Juke NISMO is proof that sports cars can take different forms. It may be a compact crossover from the outside, but from the inside, it feels like a lithe, zippy coupe with plenty of rev-range to spare. The ‘RS’ even offers up a punchy 215 horsepower. Have your cake and eat it too.
2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Base Price: N/A
Of course, not all driving enthusiasts prefer roads. For those who don’t, meet the new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor. It swaps its old V8 for a twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 and can tackle dunes like a trophy truck. Arguably, most sold won’t ever venture off-road to this severity, but they surely can if need be.
2016 Tesla Model X P90D (Ludicrous Speed Upgrade) Base Price: $125,000
Its looks may be polarizing, and its drivetrain may be blasphemous (to diehard performance fans), but my goodness can the Tesla Model X hustle! Zero to 60 mph disappears in only 3.2 seconds, and the quarter mile falls in just 11.7 ticks. It also seats seven with cargo room to spare. Being green feels good, very good.
2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Base Price: $66,600
In stark contrast, the Grand Cherokee SRT is effectively the anti-Model X. It’s in-your-face, it turns large quantities of fuel and air into heat and noise, and it clings to a big 6.4-liter Hemi V8. It’s basically an American muscle car wrapped in SUV clothing. What’s not to love (apart from the fuel economy, of course).
2016 Mazda CX-3 Base Price: $19,900
You’d think the company that produced the nimble MX-5 Miata could pull the same trick with a crossover vehicle, and well… they have. The Mazda CX-3 not only drives like a proper sports car, it feels like one inside, and for a very reasonable price.
2016 Range Rover Sport SVR Base Price: $111,000
Range Rover has been pumping out practical SUVs seemingly since the beginning of time, and their latest SVR offering is surely no different. It seats five, features a capacious boot, and can even haul a boat trailer. It’s also a 162 mph track terror and one of the fastest production SUVs ever to go ‘round Germany’s Nurburgring.
2017 Honda Ridgeline Base Price: N/A
The all-new Honda Ridgeline splits the difference between the truck and SUV worlds (it’s based on the equally new Honda Pilot). We recently got behind the wheel of the 2017 Ridgeline, and while we can't tell you all the details just yet, let's just say it's on this list for a reason.
2016 Porsche Macan Turbo Base Price: $76,000
An Audi Q5 not sporty enough for you? May we interest you in a Macan Turbo. Stuttgart’s compact crossover is distantly based on the svelte Audi’s platform, but with a flurry of changes, the most important of which being its 400-horsepower twin-turbo V6. It also handles like it’s riding on rails.
2016 BMW X5 M Base Price: $98,000
Much like the Macan Turbo for Porschephiles, the BMW X5 M is a bane of the BMW purists—it’s big, it’s heavy, and it’s not an M3 or an M5. It is however brutally fast and quite adept when the roads get twisty. Beneath its hood, the M badge signifies 567 furious German horsepowers, supplied via a big 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. The grocery run never felt so good.
2017 Bentley Bentayga Base Price: $230,000
Lunacy comes in car form, and it’s got a name. Bentayga. Bentley’s new super-SUV claims a top speed of 187 mph (courtesy of a twin-turbo W12 engine), making it the world’s fastest SUV. It’s also got a trick anti-roll system, giving it enough poise to negate its 5,400 pound heft. Got enough funds to buy one? Do it, do it now.