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Fastest, Most Powerful SUVs in Canada: Gas-Powered Goodness

For those who like to go places in a hurry, power and speed aren’t just restricted to sports cars – or electric vehicles, for that matter. Almost every automaker offers an SUV, and some are making some extremely fast ones.

We’ve got lists of the most impressive gas-powered ones on the market, including:

If you’re shopping for a high-revving SUV now, we offer some of these used models at more affordable prices (packing less horsepower, mind you!). Models like Stelvio, Explorer, Wrangler, Durango, and more. You can view them all here.

The 5 Five Highest-Horsepower SUVs

Nearly all the SUVs on this list are premium or high-end luxury models. But hey, higher performance comes with a higher price tag, and if your budget affords it, these are the top picks to seek out.

1. Dodge Durango Hellcat – 710 horsepower

Dodge Durango Hellcat | Photo: Dodge 

The Durango Hellcat tips the scales at an awesome 710 horsepower, along with 645 lb-ft of torque, thanks to its supercharged 6.2-litre Hemi engine. It was meant to be a one-year-only for 2021, but it’s returning for 2023. Pricing is expected to start north of $120,000.

That Hellcat engine has a twin-screw supercharger with its own dedicated cooling circuit, forged steel crankshaft, cast iron block with aluminum-alloy heads, and a cold-air scoop in the front fascia. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and in addition to Sport and Track drive modes, there’s a Valet setting so your Durango isn’t setting speed records in the parking garage.

Speaking of speed, the Durango Hellcat clips zero to 96 km/h (100 mph) in 3.5 seconds, and did the quarter-mile in an NHRA-certified 11.5 seconds at 290 km/h (180 mph). But it’ll also carry three rows of passengers and tow up to 8,700 lbs to get your family and camper to the great outdoors in a hurry.

The regular, non-Hellcat Dodge Durango made our list of the best mid-size SUVs in Canada.

2. Cadillac Escalade-V – 682 horsepower

Cadillac Escalade-V | Photo: Cadillac 

Caddy’s biggest-ever bad-boy is a new model for 2023, building on the brand’s high-performance “V” series. It carries a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 making 682 horsepower and 653 lb-ft of torque, with a ten-speed automatic transmission. Zero to 100 km/h takes less than 4.4 seconds.

Of course you want to go fast, but you also want to be comfortable, and so its standard features include full-time all-wheel drive, an adaptive air suspension, and Magnetic Ride Control. This has metal particles in the damper fluid that react to an applied electrical current to immediately stiffen or soften the ride. 

Other features include unique front and rear fascias, six-piston Brembo brakes with red calipers, 22-inch wheels, quad exhaust tips, 38 inches of front infotainment and instrument cluster screens, and massaging front seats. It has three rows of seats and you can get it in regular-length or as the longer ESV, which adds more third-row legroom and extra cargo space. Pricing will start around $180,000.

Caddy’s big SUV made our list of the best luxury SUVs in Canada.

3. Lamborghini Urus – 657 horsepower

Lamborghini Urus | Photo: Lamborghini 

Purists were shocked when this Italian automaker announced it would build a sport-utility, but you can’t argue with zero-to-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds as the Urus Performante, a new addition for 2023, can hustle through the speedo. If you don’t need to go quite that fast, the Urus S does it in a comparatively-pokey 3.5 seconds. Top speed is 305 km/h.

The Urus does this courtesy of a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 that makes 657 horsepower, a jump of 16 horses over the 2022 lineup, along with 627 lb-ft of torque. Although the Performante and S share the same engine, along with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, the Performante is quicker due to a curb weight that’s 47 kilograms less than the S. It has more carbon-fibre components and lighter-weight steel springs to the S’s air suspension, which also lowers the Performante’s ride height.

Pricing should start somewhere around $300,000 for this two-row sport-ute. You can also add a carbon-fibre roof, 22- or 23-inch rims, and a self-parking feature if you don’t want to back it in yourself.

4. Bentley Bentayga Speed – 626 horsepower

Bentley Bentayga Speed | Photo: Bentley 

You won’t be late to afternoon tea with this British bombshell, which gets you from standstill to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds. The Bentayga is available with a V8 and as a plug-in hybrid, but the Bentayga Speed holds the power cards with its 6.0-litre twin-turbo W-12 engine, making 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. That goes to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Bentley claims a top speed of 305 km/h for this twelve-cylinder model.

The second row can be optioned with a bench or two separate seats, and a small third row can be added as an option for up to seven passengers. All will be coddled in the luxury one would expect. The list of options stretches as far as the wheelbase does, and includes two-colour leather upholstery, carbon fibre interior trim, carbon ceramic brakes, rear-seat entertainment, and off-road driving modes. It starts around $355,000 before you start adding in the extras.

5. Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT – 631 horsepower

Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT | Photo: Porsche 

The Cayenne lineup stretches across several models, and the Turbo GT at 631 horsepower isn’t actually the most powerful. That crown belongs to the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, a plug-in variety that makes 670 horsepower when the gas engine and electric motor work together, but we’re focusing on SUVs that aren’t full hybrids. 

And even though the Turbo GT has a lesser horsepower number, it’s not as heavy. It scoots from zero to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds with a top speed of 300 km/h, while the hybrid takes 3.8 seconds and reaches 295 km/h.

The Turbo GT uses a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, making 631 horsepower plus 626 lb-ft of torque, and with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. It includes an adaptive air suspension, 22-inch wheels, sport exhaust, and seats four. It starts around $215,000 but Porsche always offers a huge number of options for its vehicles. 

You can upgrade this speedy sport-ute with add-ons including $13,000 custom colours, ceramic composite brakes, tinted taillights, carbon fibre floor mats, and a carbon fibre wallet for the owner’s manual.

All our used, certified Porsche Cayennes and Macans can be found here.

Other Powerful SUVs for the Sport-Ute Crown

While these SUVs didn’t make the top-five list, they have some pretty impressive power credentials, along with some interesting qualifications.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 – 470 horsepower

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 | Photo: Jeep 

This Wrangler’s “392” designation indicates the cubic-inch displacement measurement of its 6.4-litre Hemi V8 engine, cranking out 470 horsepower and a matching 470 lb-ft of torque with an eight-speed automatic. What we like here is that while the 392 is powerful, it also has all the important 4x4 Jeep stuff to go well off the pavement, over the rocks and then back again. You get beadlock-capable wheels, leather upholstery and navigation, but it’s also close to $110,000 to get into one.

Ford Explorer ST – 400 horsepower

Ford Explorer ST | Photo: Ford 

Ford’s popular Explorer SUV comes in a few models, including a hybrid, but the ST is the power-topper. Both the ST and Platinum use a turbocharged 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6, but the ST perks it up to 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 35 ponies and 35 lb-ft over the Platinum. It uses a ten-speed automatic transmission with four-wheel drive. What we like is that even with that power, the Explorer is meant to be family-practical. It has three rows of seats, it can tow up to 5,600 lbs, and it takes regular-grade gasoline. The price starts around $64,000.

The Explorer may be mid-size, but with its 3-row option, makes our list of the best 7-seater SUVs out now.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge – 591 horsepower

Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge | Photo: Rolls-Royce

The world’s best-known luxury automaker offers the regular Cullinan with its 6.7-litre V12 making 585 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque, but if you opt for the Black Badge version, you get 591 horses and 664 lb-ft of torque, along with zero to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, and a unique black grille and Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, along with Black Badge-specific 22-inch forged aluminum-alloy wheels. We like it because it’s ridiculously over-the-top luxury all the way, but with that extra power up its sleeve. It starts around $475,000 but as with all Rolls-Royces, buyers are encouraged to personalize it, from off-the-shelf options to one-off colours and hand-crafted accessories that take it to “the sky’s the limit.”

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio – 505 horsepower

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio | Photo: Alfa Romeo 

This Italian sport-ute is all about performance, but it’s the top-level Quadrifoglio – named for the four-leaf clover emblem that appears on the performance models and originally a good-luck charm on the race cars – that catches our eye. While most Stelvio trims use a 2.0-litre turbo making 280 horsepower, the Quadrifoglio derives its twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 from Ferrari, making 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque, and taking 3.8 seconds from stopped to 100 km/h on its way to a top speed of 283 km/h. We like its gorgeous interior and eye-catching styling. Starting price is around $104,000.

Audi RS Q8 – 591 horsepower

Audi RS Q8 | Photo: Audi 

It takes just 3.8 seconds for the RS Q8 – the top level of Audi’s largest SUV – to sprint from zero to 100 km/h. That’s due to its twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, making 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. Its eight-speed automatic sends the power to all four corners, where you’ll find an RS-tuned adaptive air suspension front and rear. It holds up to five and can tow up to 7,700 lbs. We like the fact that the styling is relatively low-key, making it almost a sleeper on the street. Starting price is around $136,000.

Ready to buy a used SUV?

View all our pre-owned sport utilities and crossovers here. Every vehicle we offer has completed a thorough inspection, comes with a no-charge 30 Day / 1,500 km warranty, and is covered by our money back return policy to ensure your new purchase is exactly what you expected. 

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