Not every SUV was designed with the soccer mom in mind. While it’s true that the sport utility market is ideal for those who are just too cool to drive a minivan, there is also a huge segment of SUVs that were made with the adventurer in mind. A sporty SUV can go anywhere, travel on any terrain and do anything you ask it to. For that reason, we’ve put together a list of the best sporty SUVs ever created.
Will yours make the cut?
What is a Sporty SUV?
Sport Utility Vehicles, SUV for short, are part of an automotive classification that designates the ability to go off-road with ease. Sporty SUVs come with features such as raised ground clearance, four-wheel-drive, and added ruggedness over the rest of the model lineup.
Some of these also have a higher seating position and center of gravity to make it better off-road. Many of them also come with a high towing capacity like that of a pickup truck, but they feature the room to carry passengers like a large sedan or minivan.
In 2015, SUVs became the largest automotive segment in the world. Common names of an SUV include off-road vehicle, four-wheel drive, or four-by-four. Without further ado, it’s time to dig into to our favorite sporty SUV options.
Second Generation Subaru Forester 2.0XT (2004-2008)
Leading the list of the best sporty SUVs is the second generation Subaru Forester 2.0XT. This vehicle was in production from 2004 through 2008 and was originally introduced to the world at the 2002 Chicago Auto Show.
During the years there were many fine-tuned improvements made over previous models. Between the lightweight aluminum hood, hydro-formed front sub-frame and perforated rails, Subaru continued to create a sportier SUV with each refinement.
The biggest change was when the 2.5-liter versions were released including the turbocharged XT model. The Forester itself began its second generation in 2002, but it wasn’t until 2004 that Subaru released the XT. This sporty SUV features a 2.5-liter turbocharged DOHC engine. The exciting part about the turbocharger is that the Mitsubishi TD04 is the same unit used in the Impreza WRX.
From 2004, the XT also had active valve control system AVCS cylinder heads. In 2006, the Forester XT received a higher compression ratio that went to 8.4:1 from 8.2:1 which increased the horsepower to 230 and 235 ft-lbs. of torque.
While this compact sporty SUV didn’t feature a powerful V8 engine, it still packed quite a punch. It also had a much lower price tag than many of the other sport utility vehicles on the market at the time. The best part is that it wasn’t even discontinued or anything, so you can still pick a new one up at the dealership today!