It’s hard for car enthusiasts to find joy in luxury SUVs. It’s just the nature of the segment, as its entrants are designed to coddle and comfort their passengers. However, a crop of modern luxury SUVs, particularly ones from Germany, have actually injected just enough style and driving fun to actually pique the interest of some enthusiasts. The new BMW X5 is among the best at this and it actually shocked us with how impressive it is to drive. But how does it stack up against its competitors?

Car and Driver recently brought all four of the best German luxury SUVs on the market; the BMW X5 xDrive40i, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne; to see which is best. And the results are actually a bit surprising.

We won’t ruin it for you, as you should go and read C&D’s comparison, but it’s interesting to see how certain cars fared. For instance, the Mercedes-Benz, once a pinnacle of luxury and refinement, was actually a bit less luxurious and refined on the inside than its competition. Which is unusual for the brand. The Audi Q7 also fared a bit better than a car of its age should have. The Q7 is by far the oldest car in the test (though it’s just been refreshed, this test was conducted before the facelift model was made available) but it really hung on against much newer cars.

What’s very interesting is how the BMW X5 handled against the Porsche Cayenne. Those two cars have long been rivals in the segment, as the X5 has always been the sportiest car of the bunch if you exclude the Porsche. Once the Cayenne enters into the equation, it always becomes the handling champ. That’s not really any different in this test but what’s surprising is how close it is elsewhere. It’s an interesting comparison and one you should check out. Especially considering that these are cars customers actually buy a ton of.

[Source: Car and Driver]