The normal dominance of the luxury SUV market by Mercedes and BMW faced a challenge this year from Lincoln, Cadillac, and Jaguar. The two American brands had success in shedding their lackluster reputations, and the British SUV made its long-awaited debut.
Lincoln Rises from Mediocrity
The MKX saw a sales jump this year. The crossover SUV competes directly with the Lexus RX and the Audi Q5. The second-generation model MKX looks a lot less like the Ford Edge, and buyers have noticed. Luxury SUVs should not look like airport shuttle trucks. The MKX has some class.
Lincoln replaced the MyLincoln Touch interface with the Sync 3 system late in the 2016 model year. The base model price is about $38,000. Upgrading from front-wheel drive to all-wheel and from a standard V6 to a turbo adds about $3,000, but for a luxury vehicle that’s totally worth it.
To get all the features usually found in high-end Mercedes sedans, buyers will need to move up from the Premiere model, skip the Select model and grab the Reserve model. It comes with voice-activated navigation, leather seats, an embedded modem and heated/cooled front seats. The starting price for the Reserve model is $45,000.
Cadillac Not Just for Old Guys
The XT5 SUV is in the lead for Cadillac this year. The public wants sporty-looking crossover SUVs instead of glorified, all-wheel drive minivans. The front grill is still a bit overbearing, but the XT5 is a stylish tank without looking anything like an impossible-to-park Ford Expedition.
The base model starts at $40,000. To get all-wheel drive and leather seats, buyers will have to upgrade to at least the Luxury model. All four versions of the XT5 have the same 3.6L V6 engine. Aside from parking assist, the base model does not have many luxury-class features. The Luxury model starts at $45,000.
Jaguar’s First SUV
The F-Pace is inexpensive for a Jaguar. The 2017 model starts at $42,000, but the catch is the engine is a turbo, 4-cylinder diesel. At least, all-wheel drive is standard. An upgrade to the supercharged, 340HP V6, gasoline engine is about $14,500. The estimated top speed for both engines is 155 mph.
There are four versions of the F-Pace. To get heated leather front seats, buyers will have to pass on the Pure and Premium models to grab the Prestige model. It starts at $50,000. The F-Pace is a sporty-looking compact SUV, but the main thing that distinguishes its appearance from the competition in its class is the Jaguar grill.