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10 Fastest SUVs You Can Buy For $30,000 – HotCars

by Nov 6, 2022Blog0 comments

The sheer number of sports-car-beating SUVs you can get for $30,000 is a testament to how far this segment has come.
The SUV market exploded in the early 2000s and has not slowed down since. Most automakers on the planet are building an SUV or crossover of some sort to get in on the sales gains over sedans and hatchbacks.
With the SUV becoming such a popular body style, many car manufacturers have built sportier and high-performance versions of their vehicles to gain the attention of more premium buyers. This strategy has been spectacularly successful, resulting in an entire super-SUV segment all on its own. Not only does the segment consist of normal manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW, but even the traditional supercar companies like Porsche, Lamborghini, and even Ferrari have joined in on the fun.
As new versions keep being released, the older SUVs depreciate and get cheaper by the month, resulting in some good deals for anyone wanting to get in on the fast SUV market. Here are 10 of the quickest SUVs you can buy for around $30,000, ranked by their 0-60 times.
The first-generation Audi Q7 may not be the best-looking SUV in existence, but it is great value for money – especially on the second-hand market. The Q7 was available with a range of engines, from a 3.6-liter VR6 to a 6.0-liter twin-turbo diesel V12. Unfortunately, the V12 is quite rare and much more expensive than any of the other models.
The quickest and fastest version sold in the US was the Q7 4.2, which had a 4.2-liter naturally aspirated V8, producing 345 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. This propelled the Q7 from 0-60 mph in just 7.4 seconds – about as fast as a hot hatch of the era – and on to a top speed of 160 mph.
The Dodge Durango R/T is the sportier version of the Durango line-up, before getting to the SRT models. The R/T is powered exclusively by a 5.7-liter naturally aspirated HEMI V8, producing 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque.
The Durango R/T accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds and continues on to a limited top speed of 130 mph. The Durango is a practical 7-seater with enough room for the entire family and their cargo, all while making some awesome grumbly American V8 noises.
Related: Everything You Should Know About The 2021 Dodge Durango R/T
all available for less than $30,000.
The Infiniti QX70 was a coupe SUV sold by Nissan’s luxury brand between 2013 and 2017. The range was available with two engines for the US market – a 3.7-liter V6 and a 5.0-liter V8. The QX70 was designed to be sporty to drive, yet still comfortable and luxurious, so Nissan used the same platform found in the 370Z.
As a result, the QX70 could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds and top out at a limited 155 mph. Today, the QX70 is a great alternative to the regular choices of mid-size SUVs and is available on the used car market for less than $30,000.
The Jaguar F-Pace is one of the prettiest SUVs currently on sale. Even the first generation, which was introduced in 2016, is a great car with some great engines. The mid-range model that falls within the $30,000 budget is the F-Pace 35t – fitted with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6, producing 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque.
The F-Pace 35t accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and tops out at an electronically limited 155 mph. The F-Pace was recently updated with more elegant styling and technology, making the vehicle even more desirable.
Related: The 2022 Jaguar F-Pace Is A Unique Luxury Performance SUV
The Range Rover is the big boss of the SUV segment, offering both top-end luxury and off-road capability. The Range Rover Sport is the smaller and less expensive version, featuring better road performance, but keeping the off-road technologies.
The Range Rover Sport Supercharged is the model just below the top-of-the-range SVR and features a 510 hp supercharged 5.0-liter V8. It accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds and continues to a limited top speed of 155 mph, all while listening to a fantastic V8 rumble and supercharger whine.
Related: Everything We Love About The New Range Rover Sport
The second-generation Mercedes-Benz ML-Class was one of the most successful SUVs in the German company’s line-up. The top-of-the-range version was the AMG, specifically the ML63 AMG. This version of the ML – before it became the GLE – was still fitted with the glorious 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8.
The ML63 AMG produced 510 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque, which allowed the sporty SUV to achieve a 0-60 mph time of just 5 seconds, and on to a limited top speed of 155 mph. The ML63 AMG was a great super SUV – when Mercedes fixed all the issues with the engine bolts.
The original Porsche Cayenne Turbo S was fitted with a 4.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8, which produced 513 hp and 531 lb.ft of torque. The Cayenne Turbo S was capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds and had a top speed limited to 170 mph.
The Cayenne Turbo S was the beginning of Porsche’s fast SUV production, which has now resulted in the likes of the Cayenne Turbo S e-Hybrid and the fantastic Cayenne Turbo GT – one of the fastest-accelerating SUVs on the market. Pretty great performance for under $30,000.
Related: 10 Reasons Why The Porsche Cayenne Is Awesome
The WK Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 was one of the craziest SUVs of the late 2000s. It was a luxury off-roader that could do 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds, finish the quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds, and thanks to the lack of an electronic speed limiter, could continue on to a top speed of 170 mph.
All this performance in a vehicle that weighed 4,800 lbs and cost just $40,000 when it was new. The Grand Cherokee SRT8 was a truly exciting and enthralling vehicle which is the 2000s equivalent to the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
The original BMW X5M was both the first turbocharged and all-wheel-drive M-model in BMW’s history. The X5M was introduced with the S63 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, which produced 547 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. The X5M could do the 0-60 mph sprint in just 4.0 seconds, making it the fastest and most powerful vehicle in its segment at the time of production.
The X5M’s new engine wasn’t the most reliable, but BMW fixed most of the problems with two technical updates, resulting in the S63 becoming one of the most reliable German V8 engines on sale. The BMW X5M is a great car, offering all the practicality of a normal X5, but with sports car acceleration and handling. The X5M even had a top speed of 171 mph when the M-Driver’s Package was optioned.
Michael De Kock is passionate about cars and everything from avocados to particle accelerators. He has studied psychology and knows a little bit about fixing cars (old Land Rovers mostly). He also blogs and has a book, 125 Creative Writing Prompts for Petrolheads, available on Amazon. His philosophy in life: Stop the hate – Adopt a V8.