Sportier Utility Vehicle

Want This, Get This: BMW X5 M or Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

March 25, 2013 Buying Guides By Photo by BMW and Jeep

Editor’s Note: Time for a driveway upgrade? Gear Patrol’s new series, “Want This, Get This”, moves to the automotive space this week, presenting a lust-worthy SUV along with a more affordable alternative that scratches the same itch. Read on for the dream car and its reality-based substitute.


The BMW X5M ($88,850) is the heavy hitter of the performance SUV world. With its 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 under the bulging hood delivering 555 horsepower and 501 lb-ft of torque, the X5 M gets to 60 in a frighteningly quick 4.5 seconds. Plus, the big BMW Motorsport SAV (BMW’s term for Sport Activity Vehicle) defies its heft, handling corners and curves like a sports car. The interior isn’t what we’d call posh, since the cabin decor appears more sporty and driver focused than, say, a Land Rover Range Rover, but everything is high quality and committed to exploiting the road hungry intentions of this beast. Just prepare to pony up, since it’ll easily creep past six figures when you add options.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

If you don’t have the kind of coin that the X5 M commands, but you still want to humble sports cars at traffic lights, then the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 ($60,295) is your chariot of choice. With 470 horsepower from its HEMI V8 engine, this homegrown SUV is nearly as quick as the Bimmer but without the upper-crusty cred, getting to 60 in a ridiculous 4.8 seconds. Though it lacks the refinement of the big Bimmer, its interior also has sporting intentions: gone are the seas of gray Chrysler plastic in exchange for better materials and ergonomics. It’s about $30K less than the BMW, and you’ll still be able to leave long patches of rubber behind in your wake.

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