An SUV has become the car of choice for many family buyers and it's easy to see their appeal. Along with an elevated driving position an SUV is practical, spacious and comfortable.
There's a huge amount of choice on the market when it comes to SUVs from large SUVs like the Land Rover Discovery to smaller SUV models such as the Ford Puma. Plus there's everything inbetween.
The choice can be a little overwhelming but fear not, we have put together a list of what we think are the best 10 SUVs on sale right now. You can almost certainly find something here that will float your boat.
The X5 offers space, versatility and a great driving experience wrapped up in an air of luxury. It can’t quite compete with the Land Rover Discovery’s 4x4 capability - but it’s very popular for the package it offers. It’s the best SUV of this size you can buy. The X5’s boot is a big 650 litres (1870 litres with the seats down), but not quite as big as the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 - although, the split tailgate aids loading. On the plus side, it’s massive for passengers - with optional third-row seats. Inside, there’s no shortage of luxury and connectivity - including various driver assistance systems and autonomous tech. On the road, standard fit air suspension makes for an impressively cosseting ride.
The Audi Q7 is a top quality SUV offering generous amounts of room around each of its seven seats. With so many different options over how much of the space is used for seating and how much is used for cargo, it’s also incredibly versatile.bWhen it comes to driving, Audi’s big SUV is comfortable and quiet, keeping life relaxed on every journey. The best Q7s ride on air suspension - which was standard on post-facelift cars of 2019 onwards - but optional before that. The engines blend performance, economy and refinement, while lots of safety equipment and a five-star Euro NCAP rating means your family will be well looked after.
With a comfortable cabin, economical engines, up to seven seats and a reasonable prices - you’d be hard pressed to find a better value large family SUV than a Honda CR-V. That is, unless you do higher mileage. Honda doesn't offer a diesel engine in the 2018-onwards CR-V, meaning your choices are limited to a petrol line-up and hybrid offering. It’s a shame that the infotainment isn’t as good as you’d find in a Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, for example, but that shouldn’t be enough to put you off the CR-V entirely. The five-seater version is great, but if you need seven seats - just be aware that the third row seats are really only suitable for children. They also hinder boot space.
Kia is a brand that continues to go from strength to strength and its flagship Kia Sorento is a perfect example of this. It's a handsome design while the fit and finish of the interior has improved so much that Kia's large SUV doesn't feel out of place alongside its premium rivals from Land Rover, Audi and Volvo. True, this is no longer the bargain SUV it was several generations ago - prices start at close to £40k new, but it nonetheless represents good value for money. This latest Kia Sorento comes with the choice of diesel or electrified petrol hybrid power, while the car's wider and longer body provides better space and comfort for passengers. As ever, it comes with Kia's excellent seven-year warranty.
Citroen C5 Aircross
Families will love the Citroen C5 Aircross because it focuses on comfort more than anything else. And boy is it comfortable, offering a line-up of very quiet, refined engines and one of the smoothest rides around. All Citroen C5 Aircross models are front-wheel drive, but Citroen’s grip control feature - which cleverly utilises the traction control system to provide optimum grip - can be added as an option. Another plus is the rear bench - which has three equal-sized seats that can be slid backwards and forwards, individually recline and offer plenty of head and legroom. The cabin feels quirky although it's let down by the slow infotainment, but overall the Citroen C5 Aircross represents good value for money as a used SUV.
The Mazda CX-5 is a bit of a hidden gem, offering a superb interior with high-quality materials, plenty of space and generous equipment levels on even the most affordable Mazda CX-5 models. It’s also great to drive and well built although the small engine range and price tag put off some buyers. We'd say it has an interior which is arguably better than mainstream alternatives like the Skoda Kodiaq and generous kit. It’s strength lies in the fact that it feels just as agile as smaller SUVs with superb steering and little in the way of lean through the bends.
The Peugeot 5008 goes down the bold and striking path when it comes to SUV styling. Yet, despite its SUV shape, the 5008 retains the MPV flexibility of its predecessor, with a huge interior space, bags of tech and seven seats. Inside, it’s all high quality soft touch materials and textured cloths, which wouldn’t feel amiss in a BMW. The sweeping dashboard features a central 8-inch touchscreen that makes it easy to control the temperature, radio, navigation or connectivity. All models get three rows of seats as standard and the third row can be folded away into the floor to provide a van-like 1060 litres of load space. You also get three Isofix anchor points across the second row.
The SEAT Tarraco is a practical seven-seat SUV with a good quality cabin, impressive drive and a reputation for being relatively cheap to run. The Tarraco is a lot like its popular Volkswagen group siblings - the Skoda Kodiaq and Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace. Like those, the SEAT Tarraco has a choice of 2.0-litre TDI and 1.5- or 2.0-litre TSI petrols with optional four-wheel drive. We personally favour the diesels for this large SUV, and the lower-powered 150PS diesel engine will suit most. But the 190PS version is best for lots of motorway driving, coming with 4WD and an automatic gearbox as standard - the caravanner’s dream combo.
The Skoda Kodiaq and family life go together like chips and gravy. Firstly, with the rear-most seats dropped, the Kodiaq has a huge boot. The seats on the second row slide back and forth, while the outer rear seats come with Isofix mounting points for easy fitting of child seats. Secondly, it’s very easy to get to grips with and drives well - with vRS models adding a dose of sportiness. The 2.0-litre diesel is available with 150PS or 190PS, with both providing more than adequate performance and decent fuel economy. You’d be better with the 1.5-litre TSI petrol if you don’t cover many miles, but it does feel a bit underpowered - especially when the car’s full. You can add four-wheel drive if you plan on towing.
- Read our full Skoda Kodiaq review
Class-leading on character, safety and practicality - the Volvo XC90 is easy to recommend. The Swedish SUV will carry seven people and a shedload of their stuff in style - with a clean, modern design that’s as desirable as any of its premium-badged rivals. You'd have to be built like a Harlem Globetrotter to struggle to get comfy in the middle row of seats. All three middle-row seats can be slid, reclined or folded independently of each other. On the road, it’s a very easy-going car to drive, but it definitely offers more tranquility than excitement. An automatic gearbox, four-wheel drive and hill descent control are all provided as standard across the board.