Luxury SUVs with six-figure price tags getting more popular

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Range Rover is expanding into the more affordable arena with the new mid-size Velar model for a base price of $50,000. (KABC)

For the first time since the big Navigator SUV debuted more than 20 years ago, Lincoln was able to do a new one completely from scratch for 2018. It's still based on a truck chassis, but was designed from the get-go to be a luxury vehicle.

The new Navigator features power and smoothness under the hood, thanks to a high-output twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine making an impressive 450 horsepower. Also making its Lincoln debut, a new 10-speed automatic transmission for both efficiency and smoothness.

And of course there's the luxury inside, particularly in the top Black Label trim. If you can think of a feature in an upscale luxury car, you can find it here, from soft leather seats to the latest safety and convenience technology.

Of course, you're also paying a luxury car price. While the new Navigator starts at $72,000, the tested Black Label had a bottom-line price of just a hair over $100,000.

The Navigator's long-time rival Cadillac Escalade can carry a very lofty sticker price too. Check every box, including Platinum trim level and all-wheel drive, and the Escalade can just touch the six-figure mark on its window sticker.

Of course the European SUV brands have had a big head start on high price tags. And these days, it almost seems that the sky is the limit.

For example, if you visited the Land Rover booth at last year's L.A. Auto Show, you might have noticed the ultimate Range Rover called SV Autobiography. A favorite of celebrities and athletes, this one comes in at a sticker price of $208,000. The Range Rover SV Autobiography will be sold in limited numbers, obviously.

And Range Rover is actually expanding into the more affordable arena with the new mid-size Velar model. Base price for that one is $50,000.

But $200,000+ seems to be the new prestige mark for European luxury SUVs. The outgoing Mercedes-Benz G-class is available as a lifted, widened, in-your-face version called 4x4 Squared. You have to literally pull yourself up into it, as it sits so high off the ground. And you'd have to pull $225,000 out of your bank account to get one.

Upscale buyers don't seem to be batting an eye at these prices.

The Bentley Bentayga can come in at well over $300,000 with options, and soon it'll be joined by the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, which will make its official debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. Expect a price deep into six figures (possibly as much as $400,000) for the Cullinan when it goes on sale in 2019.
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automotiveauto industryauto newsmercedes-benzluxury vehicles
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