A friend of mine approached me a few days ago in regards to their next car. They wanted to get an SUV, as now they have 2 children and wanted a lot of room, that was European, well-manufactured, efficient, and somewhat luxury. Immediately the Volvo XC90 came to my head. It is to some level elegant, extremely well-priced, and is a 7-seater.

Then I got into a bit of an argument with them. Personally I would have chosen the BMW X5(as I will do when my wife and I have children) or the Mercedes-Benz ML, as I have always admired those SUVs. In Australia, where I live, they are easily the most popular in the $85,000AUD+ segment.

I didn't really feel like paying attention to the Audi Q7, but I eventually did, and whilst I liked it to some degree, after the test drive, I just looked at it and thought that it was
+ Uglier
+ More expensive(over here)
+ Less equipped(over here)
than the AU spec base ML or X5.

The X5 is the most pleasing over here. It has a navigation system as standard and is cheaper than the ML. If you choose the right wheels and colour, it also is more visually appealing too.

Then I remembered the Rangey. I payed a visit to Adelaide's Land Rover dealership and I found the Range Rover Sport. If you choose the top-spec, sure it will be loaded, but as a family car, it is not efficient. And the base Range Rover Sport here was pretty much bare; no Navigation, sensors, and didn't have a 7-seat option either. The Range Rover Vogue was appealing to some degree, but it isn't really a family car, as it too drinks as much as Amy Winehouse and doesn't come in a 7-seat option.

In 25 years time, when my future children are grown up, and I want an SUV, the Range Rover Vogue will appear a good choice, but for now, it isn't.

One of my friends reminded me of the Porsche Cayenne. I didn't even bother going to the dealership. The only claim to fame the Porsche Cayenne should rightfully have is the Turbo engine. Apart from that, I absolutely hate the car, and 95% of the time, their drivers too. It is one of the most ostentatious cars I have ever seen. There is no middle ground with this car. You ever love it or hate it, and most people like the second option far more than the first. Yes yes yes, it's the best selling Porsche at the moment, but for all the wrong reasons. It targets lawyers who are having mid-life crisis' and soccer-mums whose husbands bring in too much money. One car you would never see in my garage is the Cayenne. But the Panamera definitely has a chance.

So it really had come down to the X5 or XC90, for me.

But I would like to ask the Autospies community a question.

Out of these larger European SUVs, which one, in your opinion, is the best? Audi's Q7, BMW's X5, Mercedes-Benz's ML, Porsche's Cayenne(shudder), the LR Range Rover, or the Volvo XC90, in the following criteria: Family, luxury, and performance.

(sorry I have a plane to catch so there may be several grammatical errors in here)

Best European SUV around today?

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