2023 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
For years, the GLE has set the standard for blending upscale luxury features, cutting-edge tech, and impressive comfort and practicality in an SUV form. Mercedes offers this midsize SUV in various guises to cater to different tastes and budgets. It even comes with an optional third-row seat, though snug, for accommodating seven passengers if needed. The GLE has been a favorite of ours among luxury SUVs since its launch, and it continues to excel in 2023 with minimal changes. However, it faces stiff competition. The BMW X5 remains its staunchest rival, providing a comparable balance of opulence and performance. Other strong contenders include the Audi Q7, Genesis GV80, Land Rover Defender, and Porsche Cayenne. Check out our Expert Rating below for our test team’s assessment of the GLE’s comfort, fuel economy, and more. Don’t miss the Mercedes-Benz GLE for an outstanding luxury SUV experience, boasting a high-quality interior, sturdy build, and the latest advancements. We recommend the GLE 450 for its mix of power and efficiency, but even the entry-level GLE 350 is likely to please.
2023 BMW X5
When it comes to BMW’s impressive range of SUVs, the X5 is the trailblazer. Entering the burgeoning luxury SUV market in the late 1990s, this midsize gem became the springboard for the Bavarian brand’s extensive repertoire – from the compact X1 to the grandiose, three-row X7. Fast forward to 2023, and the multifaceted BMW X5 still holds its own as a versatile midsize luxury SUV, offering abundant in-car tech, comfort, and space. What’s more, it can accommodate up to seven passengers with an optional, albeit snug, third-row seat. Numerous engine options are available, from an eco-friendly plug-in hybrid to a high-performance V8. While the feature-rich X5 requires some dedication to unravel its array of menus and buttons, it remains a true all-rounder, excelling in both utility and performance, giving its rivals a run for their money.
2023 Porsche Cayenne
The 2023 Porsche Cayenne sets the bar high for luxury midsize SUVs, boasting remarkable versatility across its model lineup. As we enter the SUV’s third generation, expect a plethora of powertrain options and customizable features to suit even the most discerning tastes. Top-notch build quality, agile handling, a roomy and luxurious interior, and an abundance of tech and driver assistance features further cement the Cayenne’s status as an enticing, albeit expensive, choice. While there were no major enhancements for 2023, recent spy shots suggest a potential update in the pipeline for the following year. This impressive vehicle effortlessly delivers an exhilarating driving experience, dazzling interiors, and extensive personalization options for those who covet a 911 but require a more practical solution.
2023 Genesis GV80
Genesis, a relatively new player in the luxury car market, faces the daunting challenge of rivalling established German auto giants. However, with the debut of the GV80 two years ago, Genesis made a bold and attention-grabbing entrance. The GV80’s audacious design, complete with a massive shield grille and striking double-stripe lighting, truly sets it apart in the class. Setting aesthetics aside, the GV80’s real trump card is value. To obtain comparable features from Audi, BMW, or Mercedes, one would need to part with several thousand dollars more. Furthermore, Genesis offers one of the most comprehensive warranties in the industry, ensuring long-term peace of mind. Admittedly, the GV80 has a few shortcomings, such as a clumsy infotainment system, tight third-row seating, and a V6 engine that could be more fuel-efficient. Despite these minor drawbacks, Genesis’ first-ever SUV stands out as a near-perfect combination of luxury and affordability, challenging its German counterparts with confidence.
2023 Lincoln Aviator
Introducing the 2023 Lincoln Aviator, a midsize luxury SUV featuring three seating rows, perfectly positioned between the Nautilus and the Navigator in Lincoln’s exclusive SUV range. Its chief competitors – the sophisticated Audi Q7 and the dynamic Acura MDX – don’t quite compare with the Aviator’s optional plug-in hybrid powertrain capable of covering 21 miles on electricity alone before switching to its regular hybrid function. Regularly topping up the battery at home or public charging points can lead to substantial fuel savings. The Lincoln Aviator differentiates itself through its elegant interior style, smooth ride experience, and powerful acceleration. While some of its competitors might handle corners better, the Aviator’s unique appeal sets it apart from the rest of the midsize luxury SUV segment.
2023 Lincoln Nautilus
The Nautilus holds a prime spot in Lincoln’s all-SUV roster, perched between the more compact Corsair and the spacious three-row Aviator. This generously-sized two-row SUV comes equipped with either a turbocharged four- or six-cylinder engine to please all power enthusiasts. Even though the top-tier Black Label trim can be quite costly, it boasts premium luxury features that leave some rivals in the dust. The Nautilus’ roots can be traced back to its 2016 predecessor, the MKX, and the 2023 edition will mark its final year on the road before it sails off into the sunset along with its sibling, the Ford Edge. As such, Lincoln has kept 2023 modifications to a bare minimum with the expectation of unveiling an all-electric replacement in the near future. Boasting a tranquil cabin, velvety ride, and advanced tech perks, the Nautilus epitomizes American luxury without an overemphasis on raw power and opulent materials. Of course, it doesn’t shy away from flexing its turbo V6 muscle and flaunting its rich leather either. However, its heftier price tag and certain subpar interior elements might leave luxury aficionados wanting more.
2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
The 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport has been completely revamped for the year, fitting snuggly between the prestigious Range Rover and the more compact Velar in the brand’s lineup. This midsize luxury SUV boasts a stylish exterior, a lavish high-tech cabin, and a plethora of cutting-edge driver assistance features. The Sport’s interior is a technological marvel, featuring a sleek 13.1-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 13.7-inch digital instrument panel. Although its name suggests something sporty, the reimagined Range Rover Sport truly excels in providing a refined and lavish experience. While it may not be an outright performance beast, it definitely stands out as a top-tier luxury SUV.
2023 Audi Q7
In today’s expansive Audi SUV range, one model stands out for those seeking both luxury and family versatility: the 2023 Audi Q7, the sole option with a third-row seat. Although not exceptionally spacious, the Q7 boasts a high-quality cabin, an impressive selection of advanced tech, and agile on-road character. As a member of the second-generation Q7 family, which debuted in 2017, the design is beginning to show its age. Nevertheless, it competes strongly against rivals like the Acura MDX, BMW X5, Genesis GV80, and Mercedes-Benz GLE. To determine if the 2023 Q7 is the perfect SUV for you, explore the various categories in our team’s Expert Rating. The Audi Q7 is among the top three-row luxury SUVs available, praised for its opulent interior, refined performance, and extensive tech offerings, only marred by a clunky infotainment system and limited third-row space.
2023 Volvo XC90
Occupying the pinnacle of Volvo’s SUV range, the versatile XC90 shares the spotlight with its compact siblings, the XC60 and XC40. With seating for seven across three rows and a trio of engine options, including a plug-in hybrid, this swanky midsize luxury SUV boasts premium interiors, eco-friendly powertrains, and an abundance of high-tech driver aids. The 2023 model features revamped engines, enhanced infotainment, and the introduction of Volvo’s 48-volt mild hybrid technology to its T5 and T6 powerplants, rebranded as B5 and B6. Additionally, last year’s mid-cycle refresh of the Recharge T8 plug-in hybrid boosted its electric-only range to 32 miles. The 2023 XC90 sports an all-new Google integrated infotainment system, complete with Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play, plus over-the-air (OTA) software updates. This opulent and roomy SUV holds its own against the likes of Acura MDX and Infiniti QX60, but do keep an eye out for the imminent arrival of its next-gen successor, whether bearing the XC90 moniker or otherwise.
2023 Audi Q8
As Audi’s pinnacle non-electric SUV, the Q8 holds a prominent position in the brand’s offerings. This sporty adaptation of the three-row Q7 is a luxurious two-row variant, combining comfort and style with ample power and space. The Q8’s cutting-edge digital dashboard and dual-touchscreen infotainment system contribute to its contemporary interior. It also boasts a generous towing capacity, and for those seeking even more power, there are the separately reviewed SQ8 and RS Q8 models. Despite its strong credentials as a luxury SUV, the Q8 has its shortcomings: it can’t accommodate as many passengers as the Q7, the infotainment system may be challenging for some, and it suffers from limited visibility and less than stellar fuel efficiency. Rivals include the highly-ranked Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, Porsche Cayenne Coupe, and the newcomer Genesis GV80. For a comprehensive review of the Q8, consult our Expert Rating below, which examines comfort, utility, and more. Attractive performance and an array of luxury features support the Q8’s coupe-like design, but a steep price tag and minor compromises keep it from being the top choice in its class.
2023 Land Rover Range Rover Velar
Land Rover boasts a split identity, with the iconic Range Rover and Defender harking back to the brand’s storied origins, while the contemporary Evoque caters to first-time luxury SUV buyers. The 2023 Range Rover Velar straddles the middle ground, marrying the Evoque’s chic design with enhanced space, power, and capability. As a true-to-form Land Rover, the Velar comes equipped with formidable off-road prowess and standard all-wheel drive – perfect for tackling wet and snowy environments, even if you’re not an intrepid explorer. This year sees the Velar return with minimal changes; last year’s HSE trim is now dubbed HST, offering similar features. The 2023 Range Rover Velar is a plush, stylish, and engaging luxury SUV, albeit marred by a dual-screen infotainment system that is visually striking but disappointingly slow and awkward to operate for media, navigation, and climate control functions.
2023 Land Rover Discovery
In today’s sea of luxury SUVs, the Land Rover Discovery remains a standout choice. Renowned for its off-roading prowess, the Discovery also flaunts impressive levels of luxury and innovative technology. Amidst the sophisticated Range Rover, stylish Velar, and robust Defender, the Discovery holds its own as an appealing choice for a family SUV with three rows. The 2023 model ushers in several updates to its standard and optional features, most notably the introduction of the limited-edition Metropolitan Edition trim – now the priciest option in the lineup. Derived from the R-Dynamic HSE trim, this edition boasts notable additions such as exclusive 22-inch rims, striking exterior accents, a head-up display, and heated and ventilated seats for all passengers. All models now get adaptive cruise control as standard, with a digital instrument cluster being added to later-production models. The Discovery is distinguished by its plush cabin and exceptional off-road capability. Land Rover has addressed previous issues with the infotainment system, but the Disco’s primary drawbacks lie in its hard-to-reach third-row seating and an elevated driving stance.
2023 Acura MDX
Introducing the 2023 Acura MDX, a premier choice among midsize luxury SUVs, boasting three rows of seating in an upscale, roomy cabin. This is quite a rare feature in this class, where a third row often seems like a last-minute addition or a space that adults would rather avoid. Acura has given the MDX a complete makeover for the 2022 model year, enhancing its aesthetics and elevating the quality of its interior components. Additionally, they’ve launched the performance-driven Type S variant, powered by an impressive turbocharged V6 engine. Coupled with the MDX’s all-wheel-drive system, which provides excellent traction on snowy or icy surfaces, it delivers an agile handling experience on dry roads too. The revamped MDX showcases a refined cabin with top-notch materials, and every model comes fully equipped with cutting-edge driver assistance features. Although the infotainment system leaves room for improvement and its acceleration could be better, the MDX is undoubtedly one of the finest luxury three-row SUVs on the market.
2023 Infiniti QX60
Introducing the Infiniti QX60, a luxury three-row SUV from Japan that competes with rivals like the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, Lincoln Aviator, and Volvo XC90. Last year, Infiniti revamped the QX60, giving it a fresh appearance, up-to-date technology, and a more lavish interior. Unfortunately, the driving experience remains lackluster, as the SUV’s performance has not been significantly improved. However, in terms of value, the QX60 comes loaded with standard features and offers a range of luxurious extras, making it a solid choice for those in need of a spacious family vehicle. The challenge lies in deciding if these qualities are enough to sway you from choosing one of its aforementioned competitors. Our test team’s Expert Rating provides an in-depth analysis of the Infiniti SUV’s strengths and weaknesses, revealing that while it boasts an attractive design and well-equipped interior, numerous minor flaws prevent the QX60 from being a top contender in the three-row luxury SUV segment.
2023 BMW X6
The 2023 BMW X6 is an expression of style over practicality. Pioneering the coupe-like SUV trend with its distinct, sweeping roofline, the X6 sets the standard for sporty utility vehicles, even if some rivals may now have a slight edge. Stemming from the midsize X5 SUV platform, the X6’s design entails a reshaped roof that slopes into a fastback rear, resulting in a slender silhouette. However, this aesthetic choice entails compromises in rear headroom, cargo capacity, and visibility due to smaller rear windows. Despite these trade-offs, fashion-forward enthusiasts are captivated by the X6’s striking appearance. While we appreciate the BMW X6, it’s worth noting that its competitors have surpassed it in certain aspects. A midcycle update is anticipated for 2023, so holding off on purchasing an X6 until its release might be worthwhile.
2023 Lexus RX 350
Reinventing a well-loved model can be a risky move for any carmaker. After all, if the vehicle is a top-seller, consumers must already be happy with it, so why tamper with a winning formula? The reality is that as time progresses, virtually all cars, trucks, and SUVs need periodic updates to remain current. As such, the best-selling Lexus in the market, the RX midsize crossover SUV, has been completely revamped this year. The previous generation’s poorly received RX L and its cramped third-row seat are now history, and every 2023 Lexus RX provides seating for up to five people across two rows. If you’re seeking a three-row Lexus crossover SUV, fear not; whispers are circulating that a new Lexus model based on the forthcoming Toyota Grand Highlander will replace the old RX L. With a complete modernization of its predecessor, the Lexus RX upholds the brand’s legacy of meticulously engineered, serene, and plush luxury vehicles. Boasting a comparatively low entry price and a generous lineup of standard features, the RX does convey considerable value within its class. However, it falls short in performance and cargo space compared to some competitors and trips up on a few tech aspects that other brands have already mastered.
2023 Land Rover Defender
Are you yearning to venture far beyond conventional roads? The 2023 Land Rover Defender will effortlessly guide you to the most remote locations. Drawing from its rich heritage as a versatile, multipurpose vehicle before the term SUV was even coined, the Defender boasts exceptional off-road capabilities to conquer the most intimidating challenges. Simultaneously, it embodies the essence of a contemporary Land Rover, with lavish amenities to ensure a comfortable drive on bustling city streets. With a multitude of Defender options available, buyers can opt for models tailored to master unfamiliar landscapes or navigate urban labyrinths. Choices include two-door and four-door variants, three powertrain alternatives, and multiple trim configurations. For 2023, a new extended-wheelbase, three-row Defender 130 joins the lineup. Whichever Defender you select, we’re certain you’ll share our admiration, as reflected in our Expert Rating below. The Land Rover Defender delivers outstanding off-road expertise—with the appropriate selections—and retains unrivalled on-road comfort. It’s a truly remarkable feat. All in all, we’re in awe of this contemporary reimagination of an iconic nameplate.
2023 Cadillac XT5
Poised to capture the hearts of luxury SUV enthusiasts, the 2023 Cadillac XT5 boasts a more spacious and affordable option than the XT4, XT6, and the full-size Escalade in the Cadillac lineup. Its attractive initial price point may entice buyers, but expect to shell out extra for upgrades to cater to the typical luxury consumer. The main drawback, however, is the XT5’s outdated design, dating back to 2017, which pales in comparison to the recently revamped Lexus RX aimed at a similar market. Additionally, car aficionados might find other slightly smaller options like the BMW X3, Genesis GV70, and Mercedes-Benz GLC more enticing due to their sporty edge. To get a well-rounded perspective on the XT5, peruse our Expert Rating for further insights. While it offers ample cargo space, seamless smartphone integration, and reasonable value in the midsize luxury SUV segment, the Cadillac XT5 falls short of standing out in any particular aspect and lacks the opulence present in most of its rivals.
2023 Cadillac XT6
As the largest member of Cadillac’s XT-branded crossover SUV family, the 2023 XT6 lies just beneath the truck-based Escalade in the range. Designed with families in mind, this three-row luxury SUV competes with rivals like the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, Lincoln Aviator, and Volvo XC90. For 2023, Cadillac has enhanced the mid and top-tier XT6 models by making navigation and ventilated front seats standard on both Premium Luxury and Sport trims. The powertrain options remain unchanged, with the higher trims receiving a potent 3.6-liter V6 engine, while the entry-level Luxury trim is equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. All XT6 models have the option for all-wheel drive. Boasting a sleek appearance and three-row seating, the XT6 offers useful tech features and a plush cabin for a positive first impression. However, when compared to competitors, the XT6 tends to lose its charm while also appearing somewhat overpriced.
2023 Maserati Levante
Maserati’s first-ever crack at creating an SUV resulted in the Levante, which remained the sole offering in the niche until the recently unveiled 2023 Grecale came along. As the larger sibling, the Levante brings luxury and a spirited driving experience to the table, especially with its range-topping Trofeo variant and its ferocious twin-turbo V8 powertrain. Despite retaining its eye-catching design and fearsome engines for 2023, the Italian SUV must contend with fierce competition from its German contemporaries like the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X6, and Mercedes-Benz GLE, which deliver comparable performance but with superior construction and fewer economy-grade components. Regardless, the enigmatic charm of a Maserati shines through within the Levante, ensuring its appeal is anything but ordinary.
2023 Lexus GX
The Lexus GX 460 harks back to the halcyon days of luxury SUVs, retaining much of its 2010 design, an old-fashioned body-on-frame structure, and a naturally aspirated V8 powertrain. These features, coupled with a full-time all-wheel-drive system and an ingenious suspension setup, provide commendable off-road capabilities. The GX 460 also comes with a well-constructed, hushed cabin and user-friendly controls. Nevertheless, its dated design leaves it trailing behind contemporary rivals such as the Land Rover Discovery and Mercedes-Benz GLE in terms of comfort, tech, and fuel efficiency. It also underperforms in practicality, exhibiting a cramped cargo space behind the third row. However, if you appreciate the classic feel and distinct appearance of the GX 460, it might just be the old-school SUV for your modern-day needs. For a detailed assessment of the vehicle, consult our Edmunds Expert Rating below. While the Lexus GX 460 is solidly built and has a powerful, smooth engine, its age shows in certain aspects, such as inadequate braking performance. Most other luxury SUVs have outclassed the GX 460 in nearly every department.