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Nearly 70% of all vehicles sold in the U.S. last year were light trucks or SUVs. While exotic car sales are still holding up, it's becoming harder for any brand to offer a lineup without a utility vehicle of some sort.
Enter the Urus, Lamborghini's first foray into the truck and SUV market since the LM002, a blocky monster designed as a military truck.
The Urus is as far from the LM002 as it is from Lamborghini's Huracán and Aventador supercars. A $200,000 five-seat, four-door SUV with a 641-horsepower V-8 engine, the Urus is half SUV and half fire breathing supercar. We love it.
If it's attention you want, the Urus gets it. More than any other SUV, it looks wild and exotic. Even in the Los Angeles area, where supercars are commonplace, the Urus attracted plenty of oglers and smartphone photographers.
The interior is similarly wild. The Urus interior gives off fighter jet vibes, with angular surfaces and lots of information screens. The ignition button sits under a shiny red cover, so starting the Urus feels like launching the missiles in an action movie.
It also takes off like a fighter jet. Lamborghini claims that the Urus can get to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds, but some publications have reported 0 to 60 times of under 3 seconds. It'll continue pulling to truly insane speeds, eventually topping out at 190 mph.
Handling is similarly impressive. Despite its size and higher center of gravity, the Urus still corners like a sports car. Credit partially to its sophisticated suspension setup, which uses a high-voltage electrical system to constantly adjust damping. That makes the Urus flat and stiff through the corners while not being punishing on the road.
You can also manually switch to more aggressive suspension and engine settings with the "ANIMA" selector switch in the middle. In Corsa, or race mode, the Urus is loud, angry, low-slung and twitchy. It'll outpace any SUV on a canyon road and make a lot of noise doing it. Steering is the best we've ever experienced in an SUV and the chassis just attacks corners at an unbelievable pace.
Switch it to Strada and the whole thing settles down. A baffle in the exhaust closes, sealing off some of the thunder, and the suspension eases up. The Urus will happily cruise down a highway, with a fantastic semi-autonomous system that'll hold you in between the lanes and manage your distance to other cars. You also have massaging seats and a divine 3D audio system from Bang & Olufsen.
The Urus offers a slew of off-road modes that allow it to deal with snow, sand, mud or anything else you might expect to encounter in your SUV. Essentially, the Urus uses an arsenal of technology to team insane performance with serious capability.
The cabin technology looks sleek and comes with plenty of processing power to handle everything quickly, but it's not easy to adjust to and can be finicky. With two big screens in the center stack, a configurable display in the instrument cluster and a head-up display, there is a lot to mess around with.
That's fine if it's all intuitive, but it was often confusing to figure out how to control all of the information available. Even after swapping out the USB cable, the Urus had trouble with keeping a stable connection to our iPhone to play music.
The shifter also isn't intuitive; while you may think that the big center shifter with "P," "N" and "R" controls would be your best bet for shifting into drive, that's actually done by flicking the shift paddles behind the steering wheel. Once you get used to them, the shifter and multimedia controls are fine, but there is a learning curve.
You'll also have to get used to the design of the Urus, which is controversial. It's certainly distinctive and gets attention, but the angular styling language of Lamborghini's sports car looks a bit awkward when stretched over the Urus. It may get the most attention, but it isn't the prettiest SUV on sale.
Finally, the Urus isn't cheap. The base price is an even $200,000, but our tester stickered for $235,891. It's the most exciting, exotic SUV out there, and it's certainly got the price to prove it.
As with a lot of high-end vehicles, the Urus has essentially infinite customization through dozens of cosmetic options. There are multiple styling packages, dozens of interior combinations and a bunch of colors to choose from. It all comes down to taste, so we can't price the perfect Urus for everyone.
Instead, we'll point to a few features that we'd pay up for. First is the $2,778 panoramic sunroof, which adds a lot of light and openness to the interior. We'd also pay $3,157 for the full electric comfort seat, which includes the lovely massage functions.
Despite the obnoxious price, we'd also recommend the $6,313 full ADAS package, which provides a suite of automatic driver assistance systems like radar cruise control, lane keeping system and a traffic jam assistant. Last, we'd add yet another $6,313 for the advanced 3D audio system. The price is insane, but so is this sound system.
Add in a nearly $4,000 for destination and our Urus comes to $222,556 before you start adding cosmetic options, like our tester's $3,788 wheels. Exclusivity doesn't come cheap.
If you had to pick one car to handle every situation you throw at it, you couldn't pick much better than a Lamborghini Urus. Through freeways, canyon roads and Los Angeles traffic, the Urus proved exceptionally comfortable and incredibly exciting. It easily fit four adults for long journeys and offered a large cargo area, while turning heads everywhere it went.
It may not be a traditional Lamborghini and it's definitely not cheap, but the Urus is one of the most impressive vehicles on sale today.
Driving Experience: 5
Price as tested: $235,891
Ratings out of 5.