One of the most iconic supercars of all time was the Lamborghini Countach, produced from 1974-1990. The fastest-ever Countach went from zero to 60 in an astonishing 4.7 seconds.
Things have changed.
There are now five top-rated SUVs available in the United States that are quicker than that Countach, and a lot more that aren’t far behind. As modern SUV shoppers are learning, you no longer have to sacrifice speed in order to have four doors and a comfortable back seat. These are the fastest SUVs on the market today.
2016 Ford Explorer Sport
Using a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 that produces 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, the 2016 Ford Explorer Sport is capable of going from zero to 60 in 5.9 seconds. This massive turbo-charged engine is routed to an all-wheel drive system through a six-speed automatic transmission. It is easily the fastest Ford SUV ever.
What’s more, it accomplishes all this despite carrying around a third row.
The Ford Explorer sits at No. 15 out of 18 in our midsize SUVs rankings. Critics docked it for an unwieldy infotainment system, poor visibility, a cramped second row, and low predicted reliability score.
2016 Mercedes-AMG G65
With a curb weight of more than three tons, it takes a lot of power to get the G65 moving. Which is why Mercedes-AMG’s tuners gave it a twin-turbo 6.2-liter V12 engine making 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to get this vehicle from zero to 60 in 5.2 seconds, a once-unfathomable time for a luxury large SUV.
All-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic transmission come standard.
2016 Audi SQ5
Turbochargers are in vogue these days, but Audi went a different direction on the 3.0-liter V6 it put in the SQ5. A supercharger pushes the luxury compact SUV to 354 horsepower 346 pound-feet of torque, resulting in a zero to 60 sprint of 5.2 seconds.
Standard all-wheel drive reduces wheel spin at launch, helping make the most of that power.
2016 BMW X5 xDrive50i
Zero to 60 takes just 4.9 seconds in the 2016 BMW X5 xDrive50i, a credit to the 4.4-liter V8 which makes 445 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The BMW X5 ranks No. 5 out of 20 in U.S. News & World Report’s luxury midsize SUV rankings. Test drivers raved about its handling and plush, supportive front seats, though they complain that cargo space is limited.
2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
When Chrysler’s SRT team got ahold of a Grand Cherokee they gave the midsize SUV a massive 6.4-liter V8, which makes 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. That would be enough to smoke the tires right off were it not for four-wheel drive and a launch control system. With those in place, the Grand Cherokee SRT goes from zero to 60 in 4.8 seconds.
The Grand Cherokee ranks No. 7 out of 18 midsize SUVs. Critics say it’s an excellent off-roader, though keep in mind the SRT version has a different suspension, tires, and steering. If you think the Grand Cherokee SRT is fast, imagine it as a Hellcat.
2016 Porsche Macan Turbo
Porsche cars have always gotten a lot of attention for their zero to 60 times, but now that extends to Porsche SUVs as well. The Macan Turbo can get there in 4.6 seconds on account of a twin-turbo, 3.6-liter V6 making 396 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. That’s faster than a 2013 Porsche 911.
The Macan is our top-rated compact luxury SUV. Its handling reminds some test drivers of a sports car and its excellent predicted reliability rating and premium cabin made it a hit, despite poor cargo space and a high price.
2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged
Two years ago, the Range Rover Sport Supercharged set the track record for SUVs around the Nurburgring, but it isn’t just a top-end hauler. With its 5.0-liter supercharged V8, it makes 510 horsepower, 461 pound-feet of torque, and goes from zero to 60 in 4.6 seconds.
Helping make that happen is four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission with low-end gearing.
Ranking No. 10 out of 18 luxury midsize SUVs, the Range Rover Sport drew rave reviews for its off-road capabilities and upscale interior, though shoppers should beware of its below-average predicted reliability.
2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S
If the Mercedes-AMG G65 is one of the Mercedes-Benz SUV ever built. The GLE63 S AMG is the fastest. It screams from zero to 60 in just 4.2 seconds. This is facilitated by a nine-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 making 577 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque.
The GLE earns high marks from critics for its composed ride, cargo space, and upscale cabin, though the GLE ranks at just No. 13 out of 20 luxury midsize SUVs.
2016 BMW X6 M
Like the Mercedes-AMG GLE63, the BMW X6 M has a 567-horsepower V8 engine, all-wheel drive, and goes from zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds. The BMW has an eight-speed automatic where the Mercedes-Benz has a nine-speed, but they are highly similar vehicles.
Reviewers like the X6 M’s agile handling, but poor rear headroom and a small cargo area left enough to be desired that it ranks No. 14 out of 20 luxury midsize SUVs.
2016 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
The best SUV for going fast is the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. Zero to 60 times under four seconds used to be the territory of supercars, and maybe there’s such a thing as a super-sport utility vehicle. In any case, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S gets there in a mind-boggling 3.8 seconds using a 570-horsepower twin-turbo V8, 590 pound-feet of torque, all-wheel drive, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. It has a top speed of 176 mph.
The Porsche Cayenne isn’t just fast, it’s the No. 4 luxury midsize SUV in our rankings. Critics were wooed by the supercar-like acceleration, tight handling, cockpit design, and extraordinarily comfortable interior. The MSRP is $157,300, however, which puts it in the supercar range.
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|2016 Ford Explorer Sport||$31,050||365|
|2016 Mercedes-AMG G65||$119,900||621|
|2016 Audi SQ5||$40,900||354|
|2016 BMW X5 xDrive50i||$54,700||445|
|2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT||$29,995||475|
|2016 Porsche Macan Turbo||$52,600||400|
|2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged||$64,950||510|
|2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S||$51,100||577|
|2016 BMW X6 M||$60,600||567|
|2016 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S||$58,300||570|