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5 best SUVs for twisties

CNET Car Tech finds the best SUVs for handling high speed corners.

Externally, the X5 M distinguishes itself from the standard X5 mainly through the front body work. On the M version, big vents filled with black honeycomb grilles stand ready to suck in air to feed the twin turbos.
Josh Miller/CNET
Josh Miller/CNET

We think of SUVs as lumbering beasts rolling sedately down the road, approaching slight turns with trepidation lest there top-heavy bodies tip them. However, a few models stand apart. They can tear through corners as if they were plot twists on Lost. We found five SUVs that, despite their bulky bodies and high riding style, handle better than most cars do.

Technically, all of these vehicles are crossovers. Although they have typically SUV-like bodies, they all have a  unibody, rather than body-on-frame, design. Having a unibody construction helps them with handling, but all of these vehicles use technology to keep their wheels on the road.

Using active-suspension technology is a common theme among these vehicles. Each model uses its own version of this technology, but the intent is the same: push back against natural body roll in the turns. The four-wheel-drive systems in these vehicles also do their part, but a few go so far as to push the outside rear wheel harder in a turn than the inside wheel, increasing rotation.

The overall effect is amazing, giving these  SUVs a feeling of being much smaller than they are when pushed hard.