Rolls-Royce’s entry into the SUV segment uses a developed version of the Phantom’s 6.8-litre V12 engine, making it one of the market’s most powerful off-roaders. It also sits at the top of the tree in terms of outright luxury, and undoubtedly prefers to be driven in a more laid-back, stately fashion than the likes of the Aston Martin DBX or Bentley Bentayga.
Don’t think that this Rolls doesn’t justify its raised ride-height, though. The Cullinan boasts good wading depth and impression axle articulation, even if it does ultimately fall short of the standards set by the Range Rover. Of course, very little of this matters if you can’t bring yourself to like the way this car looks, and for £250,000 before options, we’d certainly expect something a bit easier on the eye.
BMW’s biggest, brashest SUV yet hasn’t arrived without its fair share of controversy. Most of this boils down to that excessive grille; but regardless of what your opinions might be as to the way it looks, the X7 is a surprisingly likeable SUV – particularly in range-topping M50i guise.
Its twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 lends an appealing blend of performance and refinement, while its cavernous interior is genuinely spacious enough to seat six adults comfortably. For a car so big it handles pretty tenaciously too, and its high-speed ride and stability are excellent. Around town it could ride with a degree more composure, and its interior could perhaps differentiate itself from that of the smaller X5 to a greater extent, but all told this is a highly appealing take on what a seven-seat performance SUV can be.