Buying Guides

Best Premium High-Performance Crossovers

Move a lot of stuff in a hurry

Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief

Yes, you can carry bags and bags of groceries and gear, as well as scare your kids with the speed and handling of a performance crossover. More than ever before, premium carmakers are building faster, more powerful versions of their trusty crossovers. Big displacement engines, turbocharging, and suspension improvements make these steeds as fast, if not faster than two-door sports cars and four-door sports sedans. Here are five potent crossovers that will rip up pavement with the best of them while cossetting your whole family in luxurious interior appointments.

BMW X3 M Competition


for racers with kids

  • PROS: Almost insane levels of power for a small SUV, BMW's best inline-six engine, adaptive dampers and stiff chassis provide agility that belies its weight and size, beautifully sporty interior.
  • CONS: Expensive, thirsty, probably way too much power for average humans.

The X3 M is an absolute monster that might as well be a four-door supercar since in 503-horsepower Competition trim can hurtle to 60 mph in less than four seconds. That's seriously fast for any segment, but in a five-passenger, grocery-getting premium SUV, it's just nuts. Two-tone leather sport seats, an excellent iDrive 5.0 infotainment system, and sporty carbon fiber make the cabin on par with the level of performance. Sure, the best-selling X3 is the X3 M40i xDrive, which is plenty fast enough, but the more nuclear, more opulent, and more everything X3 M is bonkers. We love it.

Audi SQ5


for the mildly lead-footed

  • PROS: Conservative but attractive styling, smooth power delivery, comfortable ride, excellent interior ergonomics, impressively efficient for a crossover this powerful.
  • CONS: Not as precise of a handler as some competitors, a little short on cargo and second row passenger space.

The SQ5 might not be the fastest in the bunch, nor is it the best in the twisties, but if you want a comfortable and quick small crossover that strikes the right balance between performance and style, the SQ5 is an excellent choice. Steering and balance are excellent, and the turbocharged V6 is plenty powerful. Inside, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and the Virtual Cockpit make easy work of driving and infotainment.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR


for Fast Off-Roaders

  • PROS: Powerful is an understatement, great driving dynamics for something this big and heavy, opulent interior, great off-road chops.
  • CONS: Seriously expensive in SVR trim, reliability is questionable, thirsty at the pump.

The SVR version of the Range Rover Sport Supercharged is an absolute beast of a performance SUV with one of the most powerful around thanks to 575 horses worth of supercharged V8 power. Inside, the interior is primed for comfort thanks to big, supportive leather sport seats in front (and back!), solid space for four, and great visibility thanks to the large glass. It also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard. The selectable all-wheel drive system means you can go from pavement to off-road without skipping a beat. Just be careful not to throw too much gravel with all that power.

Porsche Macan Turbo


for porsche lovers who need space

  • PROS: Seriously fast, excellent in the curves, crazy good steering, handsomely styled.
  • CONS: Smallish interior, can get very expensive when optioned out.

The Cayenne's baby brother is no slouch. Thanks to a 440 horsepower twin-turbo six-cylinder engine, the Macan Turbo with the Competition package will rocket to 60 mph in four seconds, coming close to the Cayenne Turbo's capabilities. The Macan Turbo comes standard with a trim-specific bodykit, adaptive headlights, power sport seats, Alcantara headliner, and a powerful Bose sound system as standard. But none of that will matter when you're nailing those exit ramps like a bat out of hell.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio


for track lovers

  • PROS: Scintillating performance from the Ferrari-derived engine, unique looks that set it apart from the rest, an engine note for the car gods, interior better than a high-end Fiat deserves.
  • CONS: Iffy reliability, less luxurious than competitors.

When a crossover can hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, it'll surely make supercars soil themselves. The Stelvio QF's 2.9-liter V6 that's sourced from Ferrari delivers 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. The steering is seriously communicative, and the brakes are extremely powerful. It's essentially a stilted version of the Giulia QF sedan but made better with all-wheel drive. The cabin might not be as posh as competitors, but that matters little when you're thrashing the Stelvio around corners like a race car. Good things there's Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, and lane-departure warning to civilize manners.

Why not just get a sports car?

  • Performance crossovers provide far more utility and space.
  • Most sports cars can only hold two people comfortably, whereas performance crossovers can typically hold five adults.
  • Most high-powered crossover models add all-wheel drive security and four seasons traction.

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