Riding in style, with all the comforts and amenities money can buy (at a reasonable price), still means consumers need to do their homework to ferret out the best large luxury SUVs. Although not anywhere near as crowded as the midsize or crossover SUV list, luxury large SUVs still come in a variety of styles, capabilities, and appeal.

Want to go off-road – in luxury? Are you more concerned with overall prestige, style, performance, or resale value? Check out these five contenders for Best Luxury Large SUVs, noting the base starting manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP):

  • Cadillac Escalade ($62,495 – $86,680) – It’s number one on U.S. News and World Report’s list of Luxury Large SUVs, as well as a Consumer Guide Recommended pick – and the 2010 Cadillac Escalade may make sense for buyers who want and need more people- and cargo-carrying capability, towing, ultra luxury and show-me styling. Car and Driver says, “Cadillac’s full-size luxury sport utility continues to impress with its strong V-8, extroverted appearance, and posh interior. This old-fashioned body-on-frame SUV is very capable and can tow up to 8300 pounds, but the trade-off is ride quality that can get quite sloppy.”
  • Mercedes-Benz GL-Class ($59,950 – $82,850) – Few competitors can match the 2010 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class in terms of the total package: luxury, comfort and driving experience in a 7-passenger large luxury SUV. Edmunds editors remark, “Classy and refined, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class rises above the competition with its confident road manners and excellent build quality.” Just don’t expect it to tow or go off-road, as this car-like SUV isn’t meant for that. Check out the BlueTEC diesel model for extra value (and good fuel economy).
  • Infiniti QX56 ($56,700 – $59,800) – Offering good performance and capability, comfortable seating for up to eight, refined ride, and the cachet of the Infiniti brand, the QX56 full-size luxury SUV suffers from a bit of bland exterior styling. Still, it is a good value. According to Consumer Guide, “This big rig doesn’t trounce its key competitors any more than does the less-expensive Nissan Armada upon which it’s based. QX56 is a capable, albeit thirsty, SUV that also boasts the promise of kid gloves customer service associated with a premium brand.”
  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport ($59,645 – $73,345) – Hankering to go off-roading, look great in town and drive well on-pavement? Check out the 2010 Land Rover Range Rover Sport full-size SUV. With seating for only five, this SUV’s nonetheless fit for royalty – roomy, luxurious, and plenty of power (although the supercharged engine models may be almost too much to handle). Left Lane News remarks, “With a heavily-revised interior and a powertrain selection worthy of its nameplate, the 2010 Range Rover Sport is not only a viable option in the performance luxury SUV segment, it’s one of the best in the business.”
  • Lincoln Navigator ($54,950 – $60,015) – With adult-friendly third-row seating, lots of safety features, good driving dynamics and styling, the 2010 Lincoln Navigator also offers superior cargo-carrying capability and many standard features. Still, among this list of best luxury large SUVs, the Navigator’s engine lacks power, according to some reviewers. Car and Driver says, “Lincoln’s version of the Ford Expedition is distinguished by its massive chrome grille and more luxury-laden interior. Like the Ford, it has an independent rear suspension for improved dynamics, but it’s no match for refined unibody competitors such as the Mercedes GL and the Audi Q7.”

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