The year 2019 is set to be a big one for SUVs, with plenty of new metal set to hit showrooms. But which machines are worth waiting for?
The year 2018 saw a big push toward turbocharging across all sectors, and with massive changes in direction from plenty of car companies, electrification appears to be the next big thing.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that next year we’ll all be running around in fully electric vehicles (EVs). Instead, a reliance on hybrid tech will surge, with mild-hybrid vehicles appearing in increasing numbers.
This is because diesels have become a bit of a poisoned challice, with the Dieselgate scandal putting a lot of people off the oily fuel.
Getting the most out of each tank of gasoline is the real goal, which is why more and more hybrids will hit the market. And of course, full electric versions will become more common, with vehicles like the Audi e-tron coming on stream.
But there are a few gems that will be launched in 2019. And we’ve selected a broad range of styles from compact crossovers, to hardcore off-road machines, through to sports-focussed vehicles. So let’s get into it.
Top seven SUVs coming in 2019
The Ferrari Utility Vehicle, or FUV as the company likes to call it, will be far more than just a jacked up sports car.
Using a similar all-wheel-drive system to the GTC4Lusso, the FUV should come with a turbocharged V8 and mild-hybrid system. With adaptive suspension, a super-quick gearbox and punchy engine, it should be one of the quickest crossovers to ever hit the road.
While we know it’s coming next year, what we don’t know is how well it will handle off-road conditions. Ferrari doesn’t do anything by halves, so it will be one to watch in 2019.
While news of a Mercedes-Maybach SUV didn’t shock the industry, but what did was the actual vehicle itself.
While only a concept at this stage, it uses the same platform as the Mercedes-Benz GLS, but effectively puts a sedan body over the top. Not exactly the prettiest thing, but it is aimed at the Chinese market primarily, which is why it was revealed as an EV.
Chinese buyers are looking for luxurious SUVs en masse, and with the Chinese government offering incentives for EVs, Mercedes-Maybach designed this 750hp electric crossover.
The final styling hasn’t been locked in as yet, but reports from the Beijing Motor Show say that potential buyers quite liked its quirky looks. But it was the interior that was the real standout and if that goes through to production we wouldn’t be at all surprised.
The Lexus UX will be the company’s first compact SUV, slotting in below the Lexus NX.
Around the same size as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, the Japanese machine aims to claw back some of the market from its German rivals, and with Lexus’ typically solid build and reputation for reliability, it has a good chance, too.
Two models will be available at launch, the UX 200 and the UX 250h, the latter which will use the same hybrid drivetrain as the 2019 Toyota RAV4.
Lexus says the hybrid setup offers 176hp (131kW), and is said to be a focus for Lexus, with the engine and gearbox using the satnav data to pick the most optimal blend of engine and electric power to give you the best fuel economy on any given route.
Technically, the UX will be available in the US later this year, but most markets will get the new compact SUV next year.
Land Rover Defender
While most people mourned the loss of the Defender, it made a brief comeback in the form of the Defender Works V8, creating one of the most desirable off-roaders ever created.
But that was only a limited run. The new Defender will be here next year, and what we know is that it will definitely be electrified, and will most likely use something similar to the Range Rover Hybrid.
This means a four-cylinder Ingenium engine coupled with an electric motor creating a total output of 398bhp and 472lb ft of torque.
Of course, its bush bashing ability will be second to none, with short overhangs and wheelbase, allowing it to climb up and over obstacles with ease.
Clearly, it has a lot to live up to, and Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s style chief is going to have a big job ahead keeping purists happy but attracting new buyers.
Finally, BMW has created a large, seven-seat SUV, but one that’s not just an X5 with a couple of extra seats thrown in. Rather, the X7 is a ground-up build, based on the 7 Series platform, and is angled toward buyers opting for more luxury.
BMW wants to get a slice of the superluxury market, creating a vehicle that takes on the Bentley Bentayga and Range Rover SV Coupe. With a range of turbocharged engines (and plug-in hybrid options), the new X7 will have adaptive suspension, plenty of connective technology, room for seven and an opulent interior.
We’re eagerly awaiting some time behind the wheel.
2019 Audi SQ2
We had confirmation earlier this year that the SQ2 would be on its way, and it looks like 2019 is the year it finally appears.
Under the bonnet is likely to be the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder as found in the S3 hatch and sedan, coupled to Audi’s S-tronic seven-speed dual clutch gearbox. That means around 310hp and 295 lb-ft on tap – not bad for a small crossover.
The quattro all-wheel-drive system may be reconfigured to make the most of the SUV shape, but regardless, it will be a quick machine. Let’s hope there’s also a stove-hot RS Q2 in the pipeline (don’t hold your breath, though).
Range Rover Velar SVR
With sister company Jaguar already having unveiled a worked over SUV in the form of the F-Pace SVR, it’s time for Land Rover to launch its version.
To be called the Range Rover Velar SVR, it will use the same supercharged 5.0-litre V8, and with height-adjustable suspension, it won’t just be quick, but will be off-road capable, too.
And with a sharper body kit, it should prove to be one of the best looking machines on sale.