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Premium SUV comparison test - $40K to $50K - Part Two

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In Part One of Auto123.com's premium SUV comparison test, the overall winner proved to be an obvious choice. However, as pointed out by many readers, we failed to include a number of worthy contenders.
 
These SUVs/CUVs are ultra-competitive alternatives in a very popular market segment.

So, we've decided to revisit our experiment and incorporate the top three absentees from the original list, namely the Audi Q5, Lexus RX and Nissan Murano. These SUVs/CUVs are ultra-competitive alternatives in a very popular market segment.

In order to make a standardized assessment of each vehicle, the same group of test-drivers hit the same routes in nearly-identical weather conditions. Also, the objective criterions were the same for all, making the final evaluation that much easier.

Once again, the prestige factor wasn't taken into account -- only performance was. Likewise, we had to use our good judgment when factoring in the various options included in each vehicle. Some were loaded with optional features and accessories. For instance, while the Lexus RX came with a single options package, its price was more than $15,000 above the base MSRP!

All models in this second comparison test were similarly powered and featured all-wheel drive, meaning they theoretically had equal chances of winning.

In reality, though, our test-drivers were able to determine the best of the bunch based on their respective score sheets, which we will post on the last page. We've ranked the three newcomers separately and then we've put together the overall rankings by considering the vehicles from our initial test.
 
All models in this second comparison test were similarly powered and featured all-wheel drive.