The Perfect SUV

The first corner approaches... do I carry enough speed over what my survival instinct is telling me to so that I'll get enough downforce? Are my tires warm enough in order for me to approach the bend at this speed? How about the brakes, do I have the right bias or will I oversteer like last time?

These are the kind of questions that pop up into your head when your drive a race car and this is what bring such automotive creations so so far away from the "race car on the road" dream every automotive enthusiast has at a certain moment in his life. Race cars are limited, as they only serve a certain purpose.

Well, to a certain extent, you get the same feeling of being limited in out daily sedans, wagons, coupes, convertibles, small cars and MPVs. Each of these cars cater to certain transportation needs, each one with its own advantages and disadvantages, but they all have one major drawback, one that somehow reminds me of how it feels to drive a motorsport-destined machine: a ground clearance that makes you addicted to good roads.

This doesn't bother me too much in everyday driving, but there are certain times when I just think all the systems around me are useless if my world is literally shaken when I hit a bump or want to get to a location that requires me to part ways with the road.

This problem could be solved by three letters: S, U and V. An SUV, or a CUV, doesn't make you feel like you're driving a machine made of glass. And yet I don't look at an SUV and say to myself "I've got to have this!"

Why? Simply because there isn't one that's good enough. Please allow me to hit the "pause" button of this story for a second, to tell you that I won't take price into consideration here, because you just can't place money in the same sentence with perfect - it is understood that if you want something to be extremely good, you have to be prepared to accept its price tag.

Now, about the choices... Since I also need car-like handling and I want performance, I have to go for the Porsche Cayenne. The German carmaker might have crossed a few of its rules when it added an SUV to its line-up, but just take a short drive in a Cayenne and you'll instantly feel that you're dealing with a machine that isn't a stranger to dynamic performance. But wait, I can't do that.

Yes, the Cayenne Turbo quenches my thirst for going fast, but I will be entered in the same category with of people who have bought it just for status and live questionable lives, an image I really wouldn't want to be associated with.

Fine then, a Range Rover (maybe Sport) it shall be. These Brits have their way of making you feel special and I could even go for that superb 5.0-liter supercharged V8, which is refined enough to please me from the first moment I start the car.

Oh no, the aforementioned problem would only become deeper. I'm no football player, so I think I'll say no.

I could go for the Mercedes G-Klasse, which is the perfect example of an off-roader that's been house trained. Not only could I go absolutely everywhere I want to, but I would enjoy one of the most powerful personalities in the automotive industry. However, all the modern-day changes still don't allow it to offer the level of performance of a Cayenne.

In fact, this is a big issue: SUVs can't really come with a gentlemen-like character, since their true history only includes a decade or so of evolution, while cars taht come with that asset don't raise up to modern on-road performance standards.

Speaking of going fast, there's also the M-division's vision of what an X5 or and X6 should be, but those cars are a bit too... tight for everyday use, especially in common with other human beings.

Maybe, I'm looking in the wrong place and I should turn to America or Japan for my perfect SUV. Have a bit of patience, there must be something that's better than what I've enumerated so far. Nope, there just isn't.

OK, maybe I want to be a bit more sensible and adapt to the green-focused era we live in. Besides that ridiculous Audi Q7 with a V12 TDI engine, there's no diesel-powered SUV that could really offer me dynamic thrills.

That just lives gasoline-electric hybrids. That's all ICElectric, but let's dig a bit deeper. Lexus has the RX... hmm... not a real match for the cars above, and there's the Cayenne S Hybrid. This seems to offer a good compromise, but we're back to the issue I've already talked about.

You might have noticed that I haven't mentioned any car that has kept a closer relationship to the "standard" ones, such as the Audi A6 Allroad, but this is because these ones don't raise up to the standards set by many of the aforementioned vehicles.

This would all be simpler if I were in the market for a lower-priced SUV or CUV. In that area, Europe isn't the only answer and there are multiple cars that offer a good package.

But if I want a perfect SUV, there really seems to be no solution. The little boy inside of me is screaming "Mega Track!", but that's just a desktop wallpaper icon. How about you, do you have any super-SUVs in mind?
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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