Consumers shopping for the best luxury midsize SUVs have many choices in today’s market, both new and used. Some of the best are the car-based crossovers that offer superb handling and performance in combination with luxurious amenities, snazzy styling and that all-important but often elusive attribute of panache. Premium midsize SUVs range in price from $40,000 to close to $100,000, depending on model and options, so it pays to do your homework and look for the best deal.

These three top picks for Best Luxury Midsize SUVs are all car-based crossovers. Automotive experts seem to agree. See what you think, then get out and test drive your selections.

  • BMW X5Edmunds named the midsize luxury crossover SUV BMW X5 in its Top Recommended SUVs over $45,000 in 2009 and 2010. Reviewing the 2009 X5, Edmunds calls it “one of the best-handling midsize luxury crossovers you can buy,” although the ride may be firm for some, tight third row seat and hefty price. Consumer Guide comments, “Outstanding balance and grip make the X5 feel more like a sedan than an SUV.” Motor Trend opines, “For those who love the feel and drive of a BMW, not to mention those who don’t need a third row or a sport/ute capable of crawling over rocks, the new [2007] X5 is surely worth the premium.”
  • Porsche CayenneFirst introduced in 2003, the Porsche Cayenne is a midsize luxury crossover SUV that emphasizes sporty driving with engine choices ranging from V6 to 550-hp twin-turbocharged V8. There may even be a hybrid in 2011. Car and Driver says Cayenne GTS “is one of the best-handling, rip-roaring SUVs we’ve ever driven.” Edmunds lists the 2009 Cayenne in its Top Recommended SUVs under $45,000 category. In a review, Edmunds notes, “in terms of spirited driving, there are few better.” Consumer Guide comments “the price for Porsche virtues – thoroughbred performance, blazing acceleration, and nameplate prestige – will be too high for all but an appreciative few.”
  • Cadillac SRXAuto Week says of the completely redesigned 2010 Cadillac SRX, “That confused wagon as you knew it is gone. In its place is a pure crossover.” Based on the Provoq concept car, the 2010 SRX, says U.S. News and World Report, is “smaller and more luxurious than the model it replaces – and it looks sharper on the outside.” Jalopnik says of the second-generation midsize luxury crossover SRX, “Dump it into potholes and run it through deep slush and it soaks up those imperfections while feeling as solid as a German luxury wagon.”

Other Best Luxury Midsize SUVs to consider include Acura MDX, Lexus RX350, Lincoln MKT, and Mercedes-Benz M-Class.

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