The 2013 auto show season is in full swing, which means the long-awaited debuts of a host of top SUV and crossover vehicles for the 2014 model year. Are you looking for the best car for larger families, needing seating for five or more adults and plenty of cargo capacity? How about a top SUV that can take you anywhere, whether that be paved roads or rocky, muddy trails. The best 2014 SUV yet released is no doubt the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover, a luxury behemoth of a five-passenger true SUV.
When creating a top list of SUVs, we need to differentiate between true sport-utilities like the 2014 Range Rover and softer 'crossovers,' a new breed of SUVs that feature plenty of space for passengers and luggage, but do not excel in all-weather, all-road capability. Toyota, BMW and Audi all offer crossovers with more and more interior luxury, but it is the new fourth-generation Range Rover's Terrain Response 2 system and outstanding 4WD performance that make it our choice for the best 2014 SUV.
Fourth-Generation Range Rover: Capable and Refined
Despite the 2014 Range Rover's mammoth proportions, it's actually quite easy to drive, thanks to Land Rover's industry-leading commitment to modern technology and safety features. Terrain Response, now in its second generation, is a sophisticated traction and stability control system that works in conjunction with Land Rover's 4WD system to keep the car pointed straight and true over all road surfaces. By reading the road or trail in milliseconds, the car constantly adjusts suspension damping ratios, torque to each of the four wheels and ride height to make optimal use of each driving situation.
The 2014 Range Rover has up to 11.7 inches of ground clearance, and yet is easy to get in and out of thanks to an automatically adjusting ride height system. With the exception of possibly the Jeep Wrangler, the Range Rover is the top SUV for rough roads at any price point.
Top Competitors: BMW, Audi and Toyota
If a five-passenger luxurious vehicle with plenty of space is what you and your family need, the Range Rover may be overkill at its approximate $88,000 price point. From BMW, you might take a look at the X5 sport activity vehicle. It's both more compact and tens of thousands of dollars cheaper than the Range Rover, but still makes a good go-anywhere vehicle with as much sports car performance as is to be expected with a vehicle weighing over 5,000 pounds.
Toyota offers a direct competitor to the 2014 Range Rover in its custom-built Land Cruiser, a car that has grown in size, capability, price and luxury over the years. The Toyota Land Cruiser starts at around $10,000 less than the Range Rover, and while it may not equal Land Rover's legendary 4WD system, it's quite the capable vehicle in its own right.
Buyers who are looking for big luxury but want to save a little coin would do well to check out the Audi Q7. This big bruiser starts at a whole $40,000 less than the 2014 Range Rover, and yet will satisfy most buyers' luxury tastes. Be sure to take a look at Audi's TDI engine choice, a powerful turbodiesel engine that provides some of the best fuel efficiency of all large SUVs.
The Best Car for You
The Range Rover is our top choice among the best 2014 SUV vehicles that are all-new or redesigned. Still, in some communities you may be able to purchase a two-bedroom house for the SUV's purchase price. The best car for you and your family is a vehicle that suits your needs that you can easily afford. Browse for a top list of new-for-2014 SUVs and crossovers that will fit your needs and budget. That said, no top list would be complete without the luxurious and amazingly capable 2014 Range Rover.