SUV started out as boxy, truck-like vehicles with body-on-frame designs. Automakers have prioritized making tall cars that provide practicality and comfort for off-road driving. Enthusiasts considered these SUVs boring because they lacked driving pleasure; they were loud and, of course, very slow. But times have changed. Modern SUVs are very luxurious, comfortable, practical, and most importantly, they can perform as well and handle as, if not better than, regular sedans and station wagons.
While today’s SUVs have the performance to put a smile on your face, they’re usually too big, heavy, and blunt to handle, just like sedans and sports sedans. By design, SUVs feature a high center of gravity, high curb weight, heavy-duty suspension, and extreme body roll that works against the car when driving on twisty roads. This has seen automakers improvise clever suspension tuning and start fitting high-powered engines into 2022 SUVs to make them sportier and more fun to drive. We have features like torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive systems and adaptive suspension that make otherwise chunky SUVs behave like sport sedans. Here are the 10 best sports SUVs money can buy in 2022.
ten 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT
While there was split opinion when Ford gave this electric SUV a muscle car nameplate, we admire that despite the backlash, the Mach-E lived up to the Mustang name. Being an electric vehicle, it’s damn fast, but unlike many electric cars, the Mach-E handles like its muscle car sibling, even with the chunky body style.
The Mustang Mach-E is available in different versions, each offering impressive acceleration numbers, thanks to the torquey motors. The sportiest GT performance version goes from zero to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds – as fast as the V8-powered Mustang muscle car.
9 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio 2022
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is what you get when you base a sporty SUV on a performance sedan. It benefits from the chassis of the Giulia Quadrifoglio and the 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that produces 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, enough to propel the car from standstill to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds.
In a world of multiple performance SUVs, no feels or sounds like the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio – It’s one of the most attractive SUVs that feels more like a sports sedan, whether it’s carving through a bend or exploding in a straight line. It benefits from programmable adaptive suspension and 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution.
8 2022 Porsche Macan GTS
Where other SUV automakers focus on practicality and luxury, Porsche has gone a step further and made the Macan GTS generally fast and nimble. It’s an SUV that can challenge a sports sedan on a race track in terms of performance and handling.
The Macan GTS rides on adjustable air suspensions that stabilize the car in tight corners. The steering is also precise and beautifully weighted with minimal body roll. The engine of the Macan GTS is a 434 hp twin-turbo V6 engine which takes 4.3 seconds to reach 100 km/h.
seven 2022 Ford Puma ST
Based on the Ford Fiesta ST, the Puma ST shares the basics with the hot hatch but adds a bit of practicality. It also inherits the same 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that sends 197 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission.
The most impressive highlight of the Ford Puma is its handling and agility that is sure to put a smile on your face on a winding road. Like the Fiesta ST, it also benefits from stiffer suspension, quick-acting steering, a mechanical limited-slip differential and stronger anti-roll bars. However, Ford doesn’t offer a four-wheel-drive option for the Puma ST, which is absurd for an SUV meant to venture both on and off-road.
6 2022 Aston Martin DBX
SUV proportions and towing capacity are some of the things that set the Aston Martin DBX apart from its sports car siblings, but its nimbleness and pretty face are in keeping with the brand’s legendary attributes. The DBX’s impressive handling benefits from the naturally weighted linear steering that responds superbly on a twisty road.
Under the hood, the Aston Martin DBX features a Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine. It produces 542 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, enough to propel the car from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 181 mph.
5 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63S 4Matic+ Coupe
The German automaker believes that the performance of the new Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ Coupe is more of a classic racing car than an SUV. This is due to the car’s pleasant handling and driving behavior, thanks to the standard air suspension tuned aggressively for spirited cornering.
Mercedes-AMG has equipped this SUV with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that develops 503 hp and 516 lb-ft of thrust to all four wheels. The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63S 4Matic+ Coupé beats other sports SUVs in its class because it is more comfortable and luxurious. Its interior is full of technological gadgets and noble materials.
4 2022 BMW X3 M Competition
Like most sporty SUVs on this list, the BMW X3 M Competition relies on a thrilling performance sedan, the BMW M3 Competition. While the BMW X3 M Competition is heavier, larger and more practical, it shares its internals with the M3.
Under the hood is a twin-turbocharged straight-six that sends 403 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque to all wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. That means the car does the 0-60mph sprint in just 3.7 seconds. Elsewhere, the SUV’s handling, grip and body control are precise, as you’d expect from an M-badged sports car. It benefits from an impressive steering system and a race-tuned suspension setup.
3 Audi Q8 2022
Gearheads perceive the Audi RS Q8 as a cheaper version of the Lamborghini Urus due to the close mechanical ties between the two performance SUVs. Additionally, the 2022 Audi RS Q8 offers nearly identical performance to the Urus with the fire-breathing 4.0-liter twin-turbo engine producing 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque.
As you’d expect, the Audi RS Q8 is pretty quick, going from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. Add to that the car’s precise handling which benefits from Audi’s intelligent suspension with anti-roll bars; they minimize body roll when cornering and maximize comfort on straight roads.
2 2022 Porsche Cayenne Coupe GTS
Introduced in 2003, the Cayenne still lives up to the brand’s reputation for producing performance cars. And now more than ever, the Cayenne Coupé GTS is incredibly agile for an SUV. The adaptive suspension contains body lean in corners while the steering remains precise and perfectly weighted.
The Cayenne Coupé GTS uses a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine developing 454 hp, powerful enough to propel the car from standstill to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds. However, the fastest Cayenne version is the 631 hp Turbo GT, which takes 3.1 seconds.
1 Lamborghini Urus 2022
The Lamborghini Urus is arguably the best super SUV in the world. It merges the practicality of a sports utility vehicle with the performance of a sports car. Beneath the metal is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The engine conspires with permanent all-wheel drive to propel the car to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. Behind the wheel, the SUV feels nimble and stable in turns for a car that weighs over 4,000 pounds. It benefits from ride heights that can be adjusted according to your driving style, four-wheel steering and active anti-roll bars.