Buying Guides

Top 6 Most Powerful SUVs Under 6-Figures

These SUVs prove high-performance and practicality can coexist

Jane Ulitskaya, Digital Content Specialist

Traditionally, performance-focused car shoppers gravitated towards powerful sports cars like the Chevy Corvette, Ford Mustang, and the Audi TT RD. As the popularity of crossovers and SUVs has spiked, it's now easier than ever to find the high-performance and power you want along with the space and practicality you need. In addition to hair-raising horsepower numbers and lightning-fast acceleration, these SUVs have price tags under $100,000 allowing you to check both boxes: fun and practical. Whether a solo trip to the track or a road trip with the entire family, these SUVs hold the power.

2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

Best

for Daily driving

  • PROS: Hot-rod-like power, good around corners, comfortable and luxurious cabin
  • CONS: Stiff suspension, poor fuel economy

At a starting trim base price of $87,400, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk gives you the performance of a hot-rod with the space and comfort of a daily driver. The fact that the top trim for the Grand Cherokee has "Track" in the name is no coincidence. The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is right at home on a racetrack with a beastly supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 under the hood. The engine is good for 707-horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque resulting in impressive acceleration (a 0-60 of just 3.5 seconds). Luckily, the massive Brembo performance brakes are just as competent to bring the large SUV to a stop quickly.

2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR

 
  • PROS: Fast, comfortable, and stylish
  • CONS: Questionable reliability, finicky infotainment system

The Jaguar F-Pace SVR is one of the newest performance SUVs on the scene and it looks good out of the gates with 550-horsepower, 502 lb-ft of torque, and startlingly quick acceleration. The 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine rockets the F-Pace SVR to 60 in 4.1 seconds. The sport car-like power is complemented by the performance suspension and a firm yet compliant ride that you would expected in a luxury vehicle. For a starting trim price of $79,990, the F-Pace SVR also provides ample space in both rows of seats and handsome styling inside and out.

2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Best

for Standing out on the road

  • PROS: Best-in-class 0-60, truly unique styling, handles like a sports car
  • CONS: Low reliability, less space than competitors

With its claim to fame being a best-in-class 0-60 time of 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 176 mph, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is an enthusiast-approved SUV. The Ferrari-derived 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 offers up 505-horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque for driving thrills on a track or highway. Thanks to AWD, supportive seats, room for 5 passengers and a starting price well below $100K, the $82,095 Stelvio Quadrifoglio is so much more than just a pretty facsia.

2020 BMW X3 M Competition

 
  • PROS: Engine is smooth and powerful, agile handling, luxurious and comfortable interior
  • CONS: Stiff ride, excessive drive mode settings

The BMW X3 M Competition is proof that compact SUVs aren't just for grocery shopping and soccer drop-offs anymore. For 2020, the X3 compact crossover gets BMW's M performance treatment for increased horsepower and reduced 0-60 times. Going with the Competition trim ups the horsepower of the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged six-cylinder to a healthy 505, along with 442 lb-feet of torque. As a result, the crossover gets a 0-60 time of 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 161 miles per hour. At a starting price of $77,895, the X3 M Competition is packed with creature comforts like standard heated leather seats, customizable ambient interior lighting, and room for both passengers and cargo.

2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring

Best

for Fuel efficiency

  • PROS: Powerful hybrid powertrain, 3-rows comfortably seat 6 or 7, standard AWD
  • CONS: Plug-in hybrid technology adds weight, only modest gains in efficiency

Lincoln isn't known for building sports cars, but the new 2020 Lincoln Aviator has landed and is rivaling performance SUVs. The gas-only Aviator models are powered by a standard twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine for 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft. of torque, but going with the Grand Touring hybrid adds a 75-kilowatt electric motor to boost horsepower and torque (494 combined horsepower and 630 combined lb-ft. of torque). The ample hybrid power makes accelerating effortless, and the Aviator Grand Touring also offers standard AWD for the ideal balance of handling, balance, and grip. Although there is a price premium for the Grand Touring model, the luxury SUV comes in at a reasonable $69,895 for the trim's base price.

2020 Dodge Durango SRT

 
  • PROS: Impressive amounts of power, intimidating muscle-car styling, spacious interior
  • CONS: Bulky interior, jerky off-the-line, dated styling

Your first clue to the Dodge Durango SRT's performance chops is that it shares its 6.4-liter Hemi V8 with the Dodge Challenger Scat Pack. This muscle-car engine gives the Durango SRT a generous 475-horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque for a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds (impressive considering the Durango weighs over 5K pounds). With the lowest starting price on this list of $62,995, the Durango SRT is prepared to take on both track outings and family outings with 3-rows of comfortable and spacious seating.

Why Buy a High-Performance SUV?

  • Quick acceleration
  • Frightingly fast top speeds
  • Suitable for the track or a family roadtrip

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