Whatever the weather, these rides will get you to the slopes in style.Model year 2012 brings several snow-worthy (and ski-ready) options, including the dramatic and all-new range Rover Evoque from LAND ROVER ($43,995), a compact crossover SUV that’s available in either four-door hatchback or two-door coupe body styles. Land Rover’s decision to offer the latter option is daring for its sheer unusualness: All other high-end SUVs and crossovers have conventional four- or five-door layouts. The two-door Range Rover Evoque is a sporty — even sexy — departure from this routine. It comes with a turbocharged engine, panorama sunroof, touchscreen electronic interface, and, of course, Land Rover’s tenacious Terrain Sensing all-wheel-drive system.
But maybe you’d prefer something with the linebacker torque of a direct-injected diesel engine? Both BMW and Audi deliver.
There’s the $51,450 Audi Q7 TDI, a tour de force of luxury, space, and brute low-end power, too. An incredible 400 lbs.-ft. of torque — more than most V-8s deliver — is available just off idle, enough to give this large-living lux crossover SUV the grunt to pull away with authority and to pull a 6,600-lb. trailer.
The $57,575 BMW X5 xDrive35d is similar in layout, but leans more to the sporty handling side of the aisle. It also boasts some of the latest technology, including email access and live/real-time news updates through the in-car Internet link. The high-output (and
turbocharged) diesel engine delivers both athletic acceleration (0-60 in about 7 seconds) and reasonable fuel efficiency: 26 mpg on the highway.
A final suggestion, if your inclinations run green: Porsche has added a hybrid version of the Cayenne SUV ($69,000) to the lineup. A supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 is teamed up with a 34-kw electric motor/battery pack to produce a spectacular 380 hp combined — 80 hp more than the standard Cayenne and only 20 hp off the mark set by the V-8-powered Cayenne S.
One of the neatest features of the hybrid Cayenne is that it can operate at highway speeds with the gas side of the powertrain completely shut off. An eight-speed automatic and full-time AWD are standard, along with a suitably Porsche 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds.