Saturday, June 25, 2022

The 8 Most Beautiful SUVs Of The 2020s (So Far)

For two decades, the demand for SUVs has continued to grow. Consumers are more interested in larger vehicles for several reasons. They have more interior space, people want to sit higher up, and there is an increased feeling of security. With car companies building more SUVs, there are fewer other options available. Many SUVs produced are redesigned or facelifted versions of already popular choices, but occasionally car companies will come up with a brand-new product.

Of course, there is safety in offering vehicles manufacturers already know will sell. Still, now and then, they take risks, and it can be worth it to offer a new model to put them in line with the competition or be the first ones to introduce new technology. New vehicles also give car companies the chance to use their ingenuity and imagination to shake things up and excite customers with new designs. Sometimes they work, and other times they don’t, but without risk, there is no reward.

Here are eight new SUVs that got it right.

8 Aston Martin DBX

Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Aston Martin. Some may say that the last one doesn’t fit, but in reality, all three are known for creating works of beauty. Aston Martin never fails to deliver breathtaking vehicles backed up with refined mechanical engineering. Last decade alone, they built several stunners, including the Rapide, the V12 Zagato, the DB11, the Vulcan, and the ultra-rare and experimental Valkyrie.

This decade’s first new model is the DBX—Aston Martin’s take on the luxury-super-SUV. It’s clearly an Aston Martin with the themes based on the brand’s modern design cues. Aston Martin has successfully developed an SUV that’s muscular and refined, and though its front end looks familiar, the DBX is more than just a DB11 on stilts. It has well-proportioned fender flairs and skirts, sleek door panels, dual exhaust tips, and a built-in boot spoiler that make it look fast standing still. The beautiful interior is well-appointed with the leather and tech that every luxury SUV should provide.

Related: Why The Aston Martin DBX Is The Best Luxury Sports SUV

7 BMW iX

BMW attempted to enter the electric vehicle market in 2014, and it’s fair to say it didn’t go so well, but BMW didn’t give up. Seeing that green vehicles are the future, they are designing a new range of electric vehicles. So far, they’ve built the i4 sedan and the iX Sports Activity Vehicle to kick things off.

Things start with the IX having a futuristic look on the outside. Yes, the styling can be divisive, but BMW has always been at the forefront of design, and as soon as customers adjust, it will be seen as beautiful as other BMWs. Behind the new kidney grilles are robust hood flares that let everyone know it’s made to perform. Menacingly angular headlamps and sharp body panels look athletic while maintaining aerodynamics. It has a seductive interior that begs you to get behind the wheel and let it show you what it can do. There is the option for quilted leather seats that look buttery and inviting, plus the full suite of technology and equipment.

Related: How The iX and i4 Are Important To BMW’s EV Plans

6 Alfa Romeo Tonale

Since returning to the American market, Alfa Romeo has been on quite a roll. The 8C in 2007 and the 4C in 2014 made sure people would notice their comeback. Those sports cars were available in limited numbers, but when they introduced the Guilia in 2015, they became a viable option for those tired of the German offerings. All three cars are striking to look at, but to appeal to more Americans, they built the Stelvio in 2016. The compact luxury crossover immediately became a bestseller in the States and put a dent into the sales of its competition.

Alfa Romeo introduced a subcompact SUV, the Tonale, to take a larger share of the SUV market. It looks very much like the Stelvio but with more visually appealing proportions. It features the signature Alfa Romeo Trefoil front grille along with the new squinting headlights and trademark phone dial wheels. Its masterful Italian designers ensured that while other subcompact SUVs look awkward, the Tonale seems natural. The dimensions may be smaller, but the fittings are upgraded from the somewhat less impressive interiors in the Giulia and Stelvio.

5 Audi e-tron Sportback

The phrase “beautiful inside and out” means having physical beauty and a personality you want to be around. It usually refers to people, but it’s also the best way to describe the e-tron Sportback. Audi always designs good-looking vehicles with sporty interiors and smooth ride quality, and the brand has set themselves up for success again with a design to appeal to anyone in the market for a luxury SUV.

The sportback shape has become a trendy architecture for SUVs that want to be sporty as well. Its body has the Q5’s dynamic look with large angular air intakes, matrix headlights, and an intimidating front grill that almost looks like it’s baring its teeth. It has a streamlined body and a backend that recalls the swiftness of the RS7 super sedan. The wheels are unique to Audi’s e-tron lineup and have razor-sharp spokes that look futuristic. The inside is ultramodern and uncluttered with class-leading technology and plenty of room in the back. It’s not the fastest in its class, but its suspension gives it a more comfortable ride on the highway.

Related: 10 Features That Put The Audi E-Tron Sportback Ahead Of Other EVs

4 Genesis GV80

When Genesis split from Hyundai, a brand with rather frumpy designs, they became eye-catching instead of eye-closing. Since its origin Genesis has built attractive vehicles that aim to challenge the big boys in the luxury car market. They hired Manfred Fitzgerald, a former executive at Lamborghini, Bozhena Lalova, who was in charge of interiors and trim at Mercedes, and Luc Donckerwolke, the former design director for Bentley. With that kind of development team, it’s no wonder they’ve quickly built vehicles with appealing and elegant designs.

The GV80 is Genesis’s first mid-size SUV offering. It has a handsome but conservative exterior reminiscent of the Bentley Bentayga. The front end is a Genesis original with an oversized radiator grille, subtle side bulges, chrome trim, and fender grilles like the ones on the BMW’s E46 M3. The interior is where it shines. It has a classy, minimalist design with quality materials both in the front and the back. Many of its features come standard on the GV80 while they are optional add-ons in their rival SUVs, making the GV80 a terrific value.

3 Ford Mach-E

It was a scary moment when Ford announced it would be using the Mustang name as part of its new electric SUV. How could an SUV have anything to do with Ford’s legendary pony car? It may not have convinced traditionalists when it debuted, but the Mach-E also sold out in numbers that caused Ford to stop taking pre-orders. The interest came due to the performance it offered, which made it successful in living up to the name Mustang.

Its exterior is very Mustang-like. If you were to cut the car lengthwise halfway down its doors, it would look almost identical to its sports car big brother because of the bulges on its hood and the shape of the headlights. The front grille is slightly different because electric vehicles don’t need air intakes, but it does share the same side rear-quarter windows, the slope of the roof, and its taillight shape. The Mach-E’s interior is a step-up from the sports car’s tech features, most noticeably the 15.5-inch touch screen. Unfortunately, the interior does share two things with the Mustang sports car, and that’s the seating’s lack of support and lower-quality materials.

Related: HotCars Best Electric Car Of 2021: Ford Mustang Mach-E

2 Nissan Ariya

Welcome to the future. Electric cars are currently built with large batteries made of nickel-cadmium. The Ariya uses liquid-cooled lithium-ion batteries. That means they are lighter, smaller, and easier to maintain. What’s more, they are more environmentally friendly, and isn’t that what this is all about?

On the outside, the Ariya is built in a style Nissan calls Timeless Japanese Futurism. The grille has a subtly illuminated logo that lights up when it’s ready to drive, the windows blackout when parked, and the headlights are a new style that foreshadows what’s coming to all of the brand’s vehicles. Nissan decided to forego the traditional interior style with something much more futuristic. It’s quieter than other vehicles because of extra sound-absorbing materials. Nissan also made the center screen moveable to accommodate the driver to make it more comfortable during operation.

Related: Electric Crossover: 2023 Nissan Ariya Vs Kia EV6

1 Kia EV6

Just because you want something new doesn’t mean it has to be exceedingly expensive. Kia has always intended to be a less expensive brand known for its reliability. Since they started selling cars in America, the brand’s models have become more stylish and desirable. The Kia Stinger and Telluride are two examples of how far they’ve come. After offering a few hybrid cars, the EV6 is Kia’s first foray into the world of the full-electric.

The EV6 has an intriguing design with a front end that sticks out among its competitors but doesn’t look odd. Its stance feels like it’s ready to pounce and can’t wait to be driven. The headlights are fashionably squinty but are broad and triangular where they meet the front body panels. The roof has a sweeping back end and a boot spoiler similar to the DBX. Kia has updated what you expect from its interiors using ambient lighting, two large screens, a rotary control knob, as well as tech such as adaptive cruise control, driver assistance systems, optional ventilated seats, and a Meridian sound system.

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