2019 Lamborghini Urus review: Part SUV, part supercar – Roadshow
It took me a while to warm up to the 2019 Lamborghini Urus. With its sharp angles and outrageous price tag, this thing just kind of seemed like the utmost in conspicuous excess. Could a carmaker like Lamborghini actually make a softer, gentler, daily driver?
In short, yes. The Urus is a Lamborghini you can drive every day. And while I still don’t love the way it looks, I can’t argue with the fact that this is the best-performing SUV you can buy today.
Before you even see the badge, it’s obvious the Urus comes from a supercar maker. The hood is peaked over the Lamborghini emblem, the headlights are nice and squinty and the front fascia is dominated by huge air intakes. It’s all a little much for me, but things do get cleaner around back, with sleek taillights that are pushed high and wide, emphasizing the 6-foot, 7-inch width of this thing.
From the side, your eyeballs are treated to traditional Lamborghini proliferations of angles. And of course, you can dial up the obnoxious levels with colors like Giallo Auge (yellow), but I prefer the more subdued tone of Grigio Lynx seen here.
Goes like hell
Starting the Urus brings the SUV’s supercar heart to life. Press the bright red ignition button and the 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 roars to life, with 650 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque at your disposal, managed by a quick-shifting, eight-speed automatic transmission.
To the left of the start button you’ll find the “Anima” drive mode selector, with settings for Strada (street), Sport (that one’s self-explanatory), Corsa (track), Terra (off-road) and Neve (snow). Each mode has unique throttle, transmission, suspension, steering and traction control parameters — and they change the look of the digital gauge cluster, too. On the right side of the start button, you’ll find the Ego selector, which acts as a sort of individual drive mode, allowing drivers to change individual parts of the Urus’ behavior.
The back roads of the Bay Area are perfect for Sport mode and the Urus makes short work of a few straightaways. Lamborghini says the Urus will accelerate to 62 mph from a standstill in just 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of nearly 190 mph. Neither of those claims seem egregious if my experience with the car is any indication. However, they also aren’t surprising. I’d be upset if a Lambo didn’t post these kind of numbers.
What’s surprising about the Urus is its stellar handling. I’d expect a 4,800 pound SUV to exhibit some amount of body roll in the corners, but the Urus seems to defy physics — this thing stays remarkably flat. The air suspension lowers the Urus a bit, while rear-axle steering keeps the beast rotating, the torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system pushing power exactly where it needs to be, right when it needs to be there.
The Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class and GLS-ClassSUVs have a similar Curve mode that pushes up on the inside corner to level out the vehicle while turning, but where the Benz feels a little weird — in fact, some folks say they feel nauseous when using this system — the Lambo just feels, well, amazing. It encourages me to push harder through the corners, the Pirelli P-Zero tires providing grip for days. The Urus truly feels unflappable and unstoppable.
The Urus can go from 62 mph to a dead stop in just 110 feet thanks to massive 17-inch front rotors clamped by 10-piston calipers. The rear setup is more sedate: 14.2-inch rotors with six-piston calipers. In other words, the Urus provides plenty of stopping power, such that drivers can brake incredibly late for a turn if they have the guts.
Familiar, plentiful tech
Of course, daily driving isn’t always about fast drives on winding roads. And when it’s time to settle down, the Urus is happy to oblige.
A number of advanced driving aids are available, including full-speed adaptive cruise control (with automatic curve slow-down), lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, speed warning and pre-collision braking.
Inside, cabin tech is handled by a reskinned version of Audi’s two-screen MMI interface. The bottom screen is reserved for climate controls while the top screen is where you manage everything else. Both screens are operated by touch, and there’s some haptic feedback to let you know that you’ve pressed the correct icon.
Navigation duties are handled by Google maps, which is great; I love having the satellite view right there on the screen. The one-box destination entry is quick and easy, and you can enter destinations by voice, type or handwriting on the bottom screen. The system understands both traditional and cursive handwriting, and it’s quick to recognize inputs. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are on hand, as well, and there are a number of charging outlets, with two 12-volts in the forward cubby, two USB ports in the extremely small center console and two USB ports for rear seat passengers.
Cushy, but cramped
The cabin is exactly what you’d expect from a Lamborghini. The design is fussy for my taste, and I’d give anything for more in the way of small-item storage. But overall, it’s super-luxurious in here, with massaging, heated and cooled seats that are 18-way adjustable.
The rear compartment can be optioned with either two bucket seats or a three-across bench. The sloping roofline does take a toll on headroom, though, so taller passengers beware. Behind the rear seats you’ll find 22 cubic feet of space, which expands to 56 cubic feet when folded. That’s less room than you get in a Porsche Cayenne, but outdoes other luxury/performance SUVs like the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and Bentley Bentayga.
Top of the class
Speaking of the competition, nothing really comes close to the Urus. The Bentayga is probably the closest with its luxury features and 600-horsepower W12 engine (or smaller 542-horsepower V8), but it’s much heavier and not half as fun to drive. The 505-horsepower Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifolgio can match the Urus’ acceleration time thanks to its lower weight, but the brake-by-wire setup is tough to modulate and the suspension is super-stiff even in the cushiest setting. Of course, if you’re looking for an SUV that’s relatively cheap and fast, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk has 707 horsepower and starts at about $ 87,000. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo would probably be my cross-shopped vehicle of choice, though, since it’s almost as quick as the Urus, has plenty of luxury features and is priced some $ 70,000 less.
As it stands, my tester starts out at $ 200,000, but with options like $ 4,800 22-inch wheels, $ 6,000 for all the driver-assistance features and another $ 6,000 for the upgraded stereo system, my total price is closer to $ 264,000, including $ 3,995 for destination.
The thought of a Lamborghini SUV might seem blasphemous to some — it did to me — but I promise, there’s lots to like here. Customers seem to agree, as the company has already sold through its 2019 model year supply. Until an SUV from Ferrari arrives, the Urus is top in the super-SUV segment. And while it might take some getting used to, there’s nothing to hate about this fast-AF family hauler.