The 5 Best Luxury SUVs of 2013

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Here's a look at five great luxury SUVs that can get you through rough roads and bad weather while you enjoy rich leather seating and some of best surround-sound audio systems on the market today.

"Driving a really good luxury SUV is all about having the nicest 'useful box' that money can buy," says Richard Homan of Kelley Blue Book, which recently named 2013's Best Luxury SUVs.

"Even rich people don't want to spend more money than they have to, so they want vehicles that fulfill as many of their needs as possible," he says. "Good luxury SUVs will drive nicely, but can also hold umpteen children and lots of your stuff."

Homan and other KBB editors picked the best luxury SUVs by rating all 2013s in the segment for everything from ride quality to horsepower.

Click below to check out the top five vehicles on KBB's rundown. All dollar figures refer to the manufacturer's suggested retail price for each vehicle's base version.

Fifth-best 2013 luxury SUV: Infiniti JX
Base price:
$41,250

Infiniti ( NSANY) just added the JX to its lineup this model year, offering consumers a rare chance to buy a seven-seat luxury SUV for a relatively modest price.

"The JX offers a feeling of luxury and three good rows of seating at a very impressive price," Homan says. "Every time we've had it in for test drives , we just continue to appreciate its good points."

The JX's generous second and third rows offer plenty of passenger room, or you can fold the seats flat to create a cavernous 76.5 cubic feet of cargo space. The second-row seats even tilt and slide as much as 5.5 inches to allow for easy third-row access.

The Infiniti also features a continuously variable automatic transmission and a 265-horsepower V-6 engine, as well as all sorts of standard or optional safety equipment. For instance, an available Blind Spot Intervention system will apply the brakes automatically if you're about to hit an approaching vehicle that's in one of the driver's blind spots.

Fourth-best 2013 luxury SUV: Lexus RX
Base price:
$39,660

Considered the world's first luxury SUV when it premiered in the 1999 model year, the Lexus ( TM) RX continues to get rave reviews for its mix of ample space, high-quality finishes and good performance.

"This is one of those vehicles that does everything well," Homan says. "It's quiet, it gives you a good view of the road and it sort of feels substantial when you're driving it."

The five-passenger SUV comes in two versions: a gas-powered RX 350 edition and a hybrid RX 450h.

The popular RX 350 comes standard with front-wheel drive, a 270-horsepower V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission. There's an optional F Sport trim line that offers all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic.

Third-best 2013 luxury SUV: Porsche Cayenne
Base price:
$48,850

Expect to leave all of the other soccer moms and dads in the dust if you drive a Porsche Cayenne, as the high-performance SUV offers as much as 500 horsepower.

"I call the Cayenne 'The Porsche of SUVs' because it's got plenty of engine power," Homan says. "If you need to win an SUV (cross-country race), this might be the vehicle to do it in."

The base Cayenne has a beefy 300-horsepower V-6 engine, but 400- and 500-horsepower V-8 versions are available -- as are diesel and hybrid editions.

Yet the Cayenne still manages to start at less than $50,000, which Homan calls "cheap for a Porsche."

Second-best 2013 luxury SUV: Mercedes GL-Class
Base price:
$62,400

Completely redesigned for 2013, the GL-Class is one of the few luxury SUVs that Homan feels can really go off-road.

"It's not going to do rock climbing, but it's going to be responsive in off-road situations," he says.

On the road, the GL-Class offers responsive handling and plenty of muscle. Even the base GL-Class sports a twin-turbo, 362-horsepower V-8 engine, while costlier trim lines offer as much as 550 horsepower.

Inside, the GL-Class can seat seven people comfortably, with third-row seating that even the 6-foot-5-inch Homan says he feels pretty comfortable in.

Best 2013 luxury SUV: Land Rover Range Rover
Base price:
$82,650

Whether you're conquering the Australian Outback or just heading to your local Outback Steakhouse for dinner, the Range Rover will get you there in comfort and style.

"You always expect a Range Rover to be out in the wilds where they made their name, but the vehicle does just as well in the 'urban jungle,'" Homan says. "No matter what you define as an SUV, this model will fulfill your needs."

Completely redesigned for 2013, the five-passenger Range Rover features an aluminum frame that improved acceleration, handling and fuel economy by cutting some 700 pounds off of the previous version's weight.

The base 2013 also comes standard with a 375-horsepower V-8 engine, while a 510-horsepower supercharged version is also available.

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