As the SUV market continues to expand at pace, there’s an ever-increasing list of cars to consider, with factors such as comfort, driving style, practicality and, of course, image all playing a part in the selection process. Whether you’re looking to do the cross-Channel dash or fly partway and drive the last leg, we’ve put together a list of the very best SUVs to take on an Alpine adventure.
For the driven: Rolls-Royce Cullinan
It was a big moment for Rolls-Royce when the great British marque pulled the covers off its first SUV, the Cullinan, back in 2018. Although panned by the purists, they overlooked the fact that figures like Lawrence of Arabia traversed the desert in an early armoured Rolls-Royce while the British Army and the Maharajas of India also favoured Rolls-Royce’s off-road prowess.
With that in mind, the Cullinan doesn’t seem so out of place, especially against the backdrop of Alpine resorts. With this being a Rolls-Royce, the Cullinan comes very well-appointed and can be customised and specced to the hills – quite literally in some cases — like the Pikes Peak mountain-inspired Cullinan that was commissioned by Google executive and his wife Ben and Christine Sloss.
With a starting price of £264,000, the Cullinan — which is named after the world’s biggest diamond – sure don’t come cheap. Add to that a few bespoke bits and you’ll soon find the price is well over £300,000. While the price is steep, the Cullinan is a mighty fine and surprisingly competent carriage in which to travel up a mountainside.
For the drivers: Bentley Bentagya S
While it might not strictly be a limited edition, the S badge bolted onto the end of this Bentagya makes it one of the speediest SUVs out there. With stiffer suspension and greater agility, the Bentagya S will make short work of any mountain pass with its 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V8 producing 542bhp.
Just in case you need to prove its sporting prowess, the S will crack the 0-60mph dash in just 4.5 seconds and push on to a top speed of 180mph. Like Rolls-Royce, Bentley also offers a bespoke service by the name of Mulliner, through which it’s possible to bring your wildest dreams, wishes and whims to life. With the Bentagya available in a fetching shade of Alpine Green paint and with one of the finest interiors around ass standard, Bentley’s SUV is one mighty fine winter road trip cruiser.
For the environmentalist: Jaguar i-Pace
In today’s busy electric vehicle marketplace, Jaguar doesn’t always stand out as the obvious choice but, after the British carmaker launched its first full-electric car back in 2018, the i-Pace has held up well against the competition. With innovative looks penned by legendary designer Ian Callum to match the marque’s pioneering electric tech, the i-Pace was (and still is) a radical car for a brand that has roots in racing dating back to the 1940s.
Competitively priced against the competition listed here at £65,000, the i-Pace will comfortably cover off 250-miles on a single charge and offer up fun driving dynamics too. That said, watch out when the temperature starts to drop, as the range might do too.
For the traditionalists: Range Rover
Who better to turn to for the job than the company that practically created the Sports Utility Vehicle? When the covers came off the original Range Rover in 1969, there was nothing quite like it on the market. Few cars could be as comfortable on either a mountainside or in the depts of Mayfair.
Since then, the Range Rover lineage has expanded but still, the range-topping new Range Rover, which is due to hit the streets imminently, remains a remarkable road trip steed. If the new, fifth-generation is anything like its predecessors were, then the new Range Rover will drive as well as it looks. For those in a rush, opt for the outgoing Range Rover 50th edition, which was built to celebrate the car’s half-century.
For the image-conscious: Aston Martin DBX
Like Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin was late to the SUV game but it’s more than made up for its tardiness with its newest DBX — the potent DBX 707. Despite the visual upgrades on the standard DBX, the 707’s appearance continues to split opinion but there’s no denying its sleek silhouette stands out against the crowd of block-shaped SUVs.
With slippery styling and a brand that conjures up images of Bond nipping to the Alps for a spot of downtime (or villain hunting), the DBX is one for the image-conscious but also for those with a penchant for speed. Adding to the DBX’s already punchy performance stats, the 707 sports the same 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 only its been tuned up to 707hp. No prizes for guessing where the inspiration for the name came from.
For the extremists: Brabus 800 Adventure XLP
For those who thought the standard Mercedes-AMG G63 was a little too tame (er, nobody), German tuning company and creators of bonkers Mercedes have come up with the 800 Adventure XLP.
While the current car was well suited to snow already, Brabus clearly thought there was room for improvement and added 69cm to the length of the standard car, raised the suspension by half a metre for greater ground clearance and then tinkered with the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine to boost power from a 577bhp up to 789bhp.
While the 800’s top speed of 130mph is limited by the chunky off-road tyres, it can still manage to cover off the 0-62mph dash in 4.8 seconds. Weighing in with a price tag of £330,000, the 800 can even be specced with a drone (called the ‘Wingcopter’) that’s capable of 150mph. Handy for mapping out unchartered territory at breakneck speed or for filming your on-slope antics.
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