If you want a high-performance SUV, you probably think you need to pay big money for a relatively new model, since sporty SUVs haven’t been around all that long. Well, you’re wrong — and this list proves it. Here are five high-performance SUVs you can get without spending an arm and a leg — though I won’t personally endorse their reliability or longevity.
The X5 4.6is is the predecessor to the BMW X5M — a sort of "half M" SUV, with more power than the standard model, but not quite the bonkers performance of the M version. The 4.6is had 340 horsepower, which was substantial at the time, and came in this gorgeous Estoril Blue color, much like other BMW M models of the time. This one is offered by Western Auto Brokers in the Seattle area for $9,995.
The Grand Cherokee SRT-8 is the most expensive model on our list, and also the newest — and also the only non-European, which is likely the reason for its improved resale value, as many are wary of European luxury SUV reliability. The Grand Cherokee SRT-8 boasts a 6.1-liter V8 with a raucous 425 hp — and even though it doesn’t quite have the nicest or most luxurious interior in the world, it’s still fast and exciting to drive. This SRT-8 is offered with 154,000 miles for $13,990 from Suburban Ford in Ferndale, Michigan, near Detroit.
The Mercedes-Benz ML55 AMG was the first high-performance German luxury SUV. It used a 5.4-liter V8 with 354 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, and it was surprisingly unrivaled until BMW debuted the X5 4.6is a few years later. Now almost 20 years old, the ML55 is surprisingly easy to find for cheap: This one is offered with 118,000 miles by WIT Boyz Auto in Chatfield, Minnesota, for just $5,995.
Porsche’s first SUV debuted with a high-performance "Turbo" variant when it came out in the mid-2000s. Offering a twin-turbocharged V8 with an impressive 450 hp, the Cayenne Turbo was highly desirable back then — though, in time, many shoppers have turned away from the aging Porsche due to high repair bills. This particular 2005 Cayenne Turbo has traveled an impressive 148,000 miles, and it’s listed at Marietta Sportscar in the Atlanta area for just $7,990.
The Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI isn’t quite a sporty, high-performance SUV like the other models on this list, but it sure puts up some good numbers: Thanks to a massive 5.0-liter turbodiesel V10, the Touareg V10 TDI makes 310 hp and a ridiculous 553 lb-ft of torque, thereby giving it more pulling power than many diesel-powered heavy-duty trucks. Of course, it also suffered from reliability woes, but that doesn’t make it any less cool; this particular example is offered with 128,000 miles by DK Auto Sales in South Florida for $10,990.
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