We drove a $250,000 Lamborghini Urus SUV to see if the 2019 Car of the Year runner-up was equal to the hype — here’s the verdict
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So what’s the verdict on this 2019 Car of the Year runner-up?
We did a “Real Reviews” episode on the Urus to see how the world’s first “super-sport utility vehicle” (SSUV) fared in some real-world situations, and you can watch here to see how it did (spoiler alert: it lived up to its billing, although my 9 year-old was a harsh critic).
The upshot is that the Urus is every bit a Lamborghini and a worthy, first SSUV. As it turned out, I got to at least sample how its 40/60 front-rear-wheel traction distribution adapts to lousy weather, and it adapts magnificently. I drove the Urus into and out of Manhattan in a sloppy snow-and-ice storm, and while in a Huracan I might have been extremely nervous, in the Urus I was in command. I can only imagine what this thing is like on dirt roads.
In more benign conditions, the Urus is ferocious. It has abundant horsepower and abundant torque on tap in any gear, and even if you aren’t busting toward the legal speed limit — testing the 0-60 mph dash of 3.5 seconds or tasting the top speed to 190 mph — you can always do that Lambo thing, making use of the the paddle shifters and the manual mode, wringing unholy engine howls and whines from the V8 while tooling this two-ton beast around at mellow velocities.
What it genuinely does that, most other SUVs don’t is inspire cornering confidence. I had no qualms about diving into a curve and powering out, as the suspension and steering leaned in and the throttle let me hover between braking and accelerating.
We’ve driven sporty SUVS a-plenty at Business Insider, but the Urus is in a new category. It’s over-the-top design advertises its Lamborghini-ness, and while the driving dynamics aren’t Huracán-y or Aventadorish, they are pretty freakin’ flashy. If it hadn’t been for the elevated driving position and the somewhat more plush seats, I might have thought at certain moments that I was in one of those cars.
The three boxes of flat-packed furniture in the cargo hold — as well as a passenger in the back seats — were a reminder that I wasn’t.
So what’s the point, ultimately, of the Urus?
Well, it has to be all Lambo, but it also has to sell to people who don’t have that much use for a supercar or hypercar. Or maybe they do and just want a second Lambo in the driveway. Yes, I know, that’s sort of ridiculous. But that’s why the Urus exists.
And I, for one, am glad it does.
Congratulations to Lamborghini for doing the impossible — that’s why the Urus is a 2019 Car of the Year runner-up.