Editors' Picks June 2024: Some German SUVs and an excellent sports car



This month sees some recently-refreshed luxury SUVs join the list of Editors’ Picks. Both the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne are fresh for 2024, and both are extremely tempting luxury performance SUVs for the well-off buyer. The vast array of powertrains available for both of them ensure there’s a version for all comers, and any enthusiast would adore the extra-high-performance versions of both. Of course, enthusiasts will enjoy the last car on this month’s list the most with the Lotus Emira. It’s simply spectacular to drive, and we can’t recommend it enough to the hardcore driver.

In case you missed previous Editors’ Picks posts, here’s a quick refresher on what’s going on here. We rate all the new cars we drive with a 1-10 score. Cars that are exemplary in their respective segments get an Editors’ Pick designation. Those are the ones we’d recommend to our friends, family and anybody who’s curious and asks the question. You’ll find the entire list of Editors’ Picks at this link here, which we keep updated as cars are either added or dropped from the list. The vehicles you’ll find below consist of every car we rated in June that earned an Editors’ Pick.

2024 BMW X5

Quick take: The X5 is most desirable in its PHEV and M60i V8 trims, but the whole lineup is extremely competent and brings together excellent performance, excess luxury and cutting-edge tech for its segment.

Score: 7.5

What it competes with: Mercedes-Benz GLE, Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport, Maserati Levante, Genesis GV80, Audi Q8

Pros: Superb to drive with knockout powertrains; excellent utility and creative features; styling is sporty and attractive but not over the top

Cons: Infotainment system can be a pain; M Competition model is a little over the top; gets pricey quick with options

From the editors: 

Senior Editor, Electric John Beltz Snyder — “I really like the dual-opening liftgate/tailgate combo. The liftgate portion up top opens quickly, allowing you to throw something inside or grab something out of the back. Flipping down the lower tailgate part gives you a nice place to sit and change shoes. Another benefit is that you can open the liftgate without unsecured items immediately falling out. And with the way the X5 M Competition encourages you to drive it hard, you will end up shifting loose cargo around at some point.”

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “I’d snag the X5 M60i out of all the various X5 variants. It’s a way to get that rip-snorting V8 without the M Competition’s racetrack-tuned suspension, which makes it an ideal and still-fun daily driver. The PHEV is improved and very likable, too, but there frankly isn’t a “bad” version of the X5 to get. My biggest issue with the car is its infotainment system that can be rather frustrating to use if you fiddle with the climate control often.”

In-depth analysis: 9 thoughts about the 2024 BMW X5 M Competition

 

2024 Porsche Cayenne

Quick take: The Porsche Cayenne impresses on every front and is undoubtedly the best all-around driver’s SUV. You’ll pay a pretty penny for its capabilities, but it’s the best option that money can buy.

Score: 8

What it competes with: Mercedes-Benz GLE, BMW X5, Range Rover Sport, Maserati Levante, Genesis GV80, Audi Q8

Pros: Nothing drives better at its price; tech is leading-edge and works well; unlimited customization and a plethora of performance versions

Cons: More expensive than competitors; limited cargo space; you’ll be forking out big money for every last option

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “If performance is what you’re craving in an SUV, there’s no better all-around solution than a Porsche Cayenne in the trim of your choosing. Of course, there’s plenty of luxury and truly competitive tech onboard the Cayenne now too with its most recent refresh, making it all the more well-rounded. I’d advocate strongly for the S if you’re on a budget to snag a V8, but it’s impossible to argue against the E-Hybrid variants too with their respectable electric range and still-stellar performance.”

Senior Editor, West Coast James Riswick — “It’s best to think of the 2024 Porsche Cayenne as Cayenne version 3.5. It does not amount to a massive difference from the car it replaces, but that probably would’ve been the case had it been a clean-sheet redo. It’s more than the usual mid-cycle refresh, however.”

In-depth analysis: 2024 Porsche Cayenne Review: The do-it-all machine

 

2024 Lotus Emira

Quick take: It’s hard to do better if you want a pure driver’s car. The Lotus Emira is a bombshell of a vehicle in every way for enthusiasts and will be a legend for years to come.

Score: 9

What it competes with: Porsche 718 Cayman, Chevrolet Corvette, BMW M4

Pros: Tremendous driver engagement and road feel; lively and beautiful sounding engine; modern enough tech

Cons: Noisy and unrefined on the highway; tight cabin seating position; very little utility

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “If what you’re after is driving enjoyment above all else, the Emira is the sports car for you. It’s not the quickest in a straight line, but the chassis is one you won’t quickly forget. Plus, what separates it from past Lotus models is a sufficient level of refinement and luxury that’ll make you want to drive it more often for the mundane tasks of life. Its mini supercar-like looks, beautiful sound and tactile feel for every driving element will have you falling in love with this mid-engine sports car at every turn.”

In-depth analysis: Lotus Emira V6 First Edition Road Test: The most fun for $100,000

 

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