In lieu of air travel, road-tripping is arguably the safest way to get away during the coronavirus crisis. And with a combination of spaciousness, comfort and trail-blazing capability, the best vehicle for the job is undoubtedly an SUV. These five German automaker's collectively offer something for every journey, whether you're looking for a budget-friendly people carrier, a luxe off-roader, or a supercar-quick four-seater.
Having just been named by trusted automotive trade organization Ward's as offering one of the top 10 user experiences of all current vehicles, the seven-seat Q7 was a natural pick for this list. The base model gets a 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 248 hp and 273 pound-feet of torque, but a 3.0-liter V6 with 335 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque only costs an extra $6,000. A 12.3-inch instrument cluster featuring Google Earth capability and 10.1-inch touchscreen are fully customizable with infotainment, navigation and more. From $54,800
While similar in cockpit accommodations to the Audi Q7, the BMW X7 gets larger upgraded engines in the form of an M-tuned twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 producing 523 or the range-topping 612-hp Alpina tune, while the base model gets a 335-hp 3.0-liter in-line six. Seven standard all-electric seats are laid out in three rows, including a second-row bench seat with plenty of space for the rear-most passengers. Infotainment, navigation, and more are displayed on the integrated 12.3" touchscreen and digital instrument cluster. From $74,900
Porsche offers a dizzying number of iterations for each of its models, and the same is true for the performance-minded Cayenne. The base four-seat Cayenne classic hits 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and boasts 60.3 cubic feet of rear storage space with seats folded, while the smaller and more expensive Cayenne coupe sprints to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds but sacrifices six cubic feet of rear cargo space. Once the classic or coupe body style has been selected, five available powertrains range from the diminutive 335-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 all the way to a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 hybrid that delivers 670 hp and a blistering 3.6-second zero-to-60 mph time. Porsche Communication Management (PCM) and an HD 12.3-inch touchscreen serve as a control center for audio, navigation and communication.From $67,500 (Cayenne), From $76,500 (Cayenne Coupe)
A list of German SUVs wouldn't be complete without a G-Wagen. These luxe rides already cost six figures stock, so one might as well splurge for the AMG-tuned version of Merc's G550. The German marque's performance division cranks the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8's output up to up to 577 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque to handle all towing and hauling needs. An optional AMG trail package features off-road ride control suspension, a black underguard, rear mud flaps, all-season floor mats, and 20-inch AMG 5-spoke wheels in matte black. From $156,450
Volkswagen may not be competing directly with luxury automakers BMW and Porsche (though the VW Group owns both). But for a fraction of the cost of the other SUVs on this list, the budget-friendly, smooth-riding Atlas has plenty to offer road trippers. A standout three-bar grille up front, sporty bumpers and and either 18- 20- or 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels will turn heads while cruising roadways in roomy comfort. While the standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder's 235 horsepower will get you where you need to go, the 276-hp 3.6-liter VR6 is built to carry a full load, including seven occupants and all the gear you desire. All 2020 Atlas models feature Volkswagen’s innovative MIB II touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but best to spring for the top-end Atlas SEL Premium trim to get a 12-speaker custom audio system by Fender and Panasonic. From $31,545