Looking for a new SUV? Well, you’re spoilt for choice. To help you pick we’ve whittled the talent down to our top 3 Hankook-clad contenders. Keep reading to find out which 4x4 bags the top spot.
From an automotive perspective, the 2020s will probably be best remembered as the SUV’s heyday. Never in history has there been such a myriad of choice for those who want some off-road ability — or at least the styling to suggest it.
Whether you’ve hung up that petrol pump for the last time and want to try EV life, or you’re looking for a 4x4 that’s as good on the tarmac as off it, there’s an SUV for every occasion on this list.
3. Tesla Model Y: Hankook Ventus S1 Evo 3 EV (Sound Absorber)
Admittedly, an electric SUV might not work for everyone, but with up to 331 miles of range and a staggering 3.5 second 0-60mph sprint (in top-rung Performance specification), Tesla’s decorated Model Y won’t leave many wanting for more.
It’s no one trick pony either. With the rear seats folded flat you get an enormous 1,869-litre of cargo space, plus, all-wheel-drive variants benefit from ample traction in inclement conditions. While it won’t phase a Land Rover Discovery when the going gets properly rough, on-road (where they will both spend most of their time) the Landie is left floundering in the Tesla’s shadow — thanks to the Y’s low centre of gravity and sharp steering.
And, with no combustion engine noise to hush, the Tesla can add serene mile-munching to its resume. This useful trait is further enhanced by Hankook’s SoundAbsorber technology, which all but eliminates the road noise that plagues some EVs. If an all-electric 4x4 is top of your shopping list, look no further.
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2. Porsche Cayenne: Hankook Winter I*cept Evo 3 X
Despite being unfairly vilified by some die-hard enthusiasts, Porsche has continued to diversify its line-up over the years to include both SUVs and EVs. But, regardless of the shape and stature of these models, the Stuttgart brand has never diluted the driving experience.
That’s why the latest third-generation facelifted Cayenne is still the 4x4 for those in the know. However, while we recently reported on Porsche’s most powerful 739-hp Cayenne Turbo E-hybrid, it’s the base spec 348-hp model that’s our pick of the range.
With the entry model you still get most of the same physics-defying cornering ability as the spiciest variant but, for a whopping £60,000 discount, it merely asks that you push the accelerator a bit harder to make swift progress. That sounds like a bargain, if you ask us.
Unlike some other road-biased SUVs, the big Cayenne doesn’t fall down when you show it more challenging terrain, either. Although Porsche can’t take all the credit for this — the standard fit Hankook Winter I*cept Evo 3 X tyres scored impressively in Auto Bild’s recent winter tyre test. With testers noting very strong aquaplaning resistance and a balanced premium profile, it’s easy to see why Porsche selected them as the model’s OE option.
1.BMW X5 PHEV: Hankook Ventus Evo SUV
That leaves us with the victor: BMW’s X5 PHEV. And, on the face of it, you might be scratching your head to work out why. Afterall, its environmental credentials aren’t as strong as the Tesla's, and it won’t best the Porsche for driving feel. Then why have we placed it in pole position?
The answer is simple: the X5 PHEV is the most versatile SUV on the market. While it can’t out-gun the runners-up in their respective fields of talent, it’s the BMW's ability to impress across every discipline that makes it a worthy winner.
In the XDrive 50e a 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol is paired with an electric motor to offer just shy of 500 bhp — good for 0-60 mph in the four second range. Those figures would be respectable for the fire-breathing M variant but are nothing short of remarkable when you consider this is an efficient high-riding hybrid capable of 60 miles of electric driving.
Then there’s the luxurious cabin which bristles with the latest tech and one of the best infotainment setups in the business. A 500-litre boot capacity should also be ample for most, while the driving dynamics and ride comfort are so polished, they transcend the SUV class entirely — offering most executive saloons a run for their money.
The X5 PHEV is all the SUV you’ll ever need, and then some. But as far as the styling goes, do you think the recent facelift has done enough to modernise the aging exterior design?
Hero image credit: Porsche