High-riding SUVs look suitably imposing, give you the ever-popular high driving position and are big enough to carry a family and its luggage without breaking a sweat. Lots even come with four-wheel drive to give you peace of mind in icy winter weather. If this sounds like your kind of thing and you want to choose your ideal new model, we’ve narrowed down a list of the 10 best SUVs currently on sale.
On the other hand, if you’ve already picked the perfect new car, click ‘login’ in the top-right-hand corner to sign up and configure a brand new model, or browse our extensive selection of pre-reg, ex-demo, new, nearly new and used cars. For more options, read our list of the 10 best large SUVs and 10 best family cars for other great new models.
[2018 update: A new entry for 2018, the Volvo XC40, shoots straight to the top of our list. It combines a posh interior with funky looks and loads of high-tech safety kit. Elsewhere, the new BMW X3 takes seventh position while the recently released Skoda Karoq rounds off the top 10.]
Here are the 10 best SUVs on sale:
- Volvo XC40
- Skoda Kodiaq
- Peugeot 3008
- Audi Q7
- BMW X1
- VW Tiguan
- BMW X3
- Audi Q5
- Range Rover
- Skoda Karoq
1. Volvo XC40
The Volvo XC40 is a funky-looking mid-size SUV with a stylish interior and space for five adults. All models come with plenty of kit – including a nine-inch portrait touchscreen infotainment system – and loads of flashy interior trims while top-spec cars get gorgeous unvarnished wood inserts made from actual driftwood. Lovely.
Its boot isn’t quite as roomy as in some larger SUVs, but Volvo has the competition licked when it comes to high-tech autonomous driving features. Pick the optional Pilot Assist system and the XC40 can pretty much drive itself – on motorways at least. Combine this with comfortable suspension that, unlike in some rivals, doesn’t try to be overly sporty and you’ll have no trouble covering long distances in the XC40.
2. Skoda Kodiaq
The Skoda Kodiaq is a hugely practical family SUV with room for five tall adults inside. Pay a little extra and you can get it with an extra row of kid-sized seats in the boot, too. All models get a minimalist – if slightly monochrome – cabin that feels impressively robust and a high-resolution infotainment system that’s bright and easy to use.
There’s a wide range of engines to choose from and you can even get the Skoda with four-wheel drive for extra grip in slippery conditions. It isn’t the most exciting car to drive, whichever model you pick, but it’s pretty comfortable and its vast boot means it’ll swallow far more luggage than most similar-size SUVs.
3. Peugeot 3008
When it comes to eye-catching interiors, the Peugeot 3008 has the competition well and truly licked. Its small steering wheel and the high-mounted digital display that replaces conventional analogue instruments really feel a cut above what you get in most mid-size family cars.
It’s pretty roomy, too – there’s space in all five seats for adults to get comfy and the Peugeot’s flat rear floor means there’s lots of space for your passengers’ feet. The boot’s pretty generous, too, and its square shape and large opening make it a doddle to load. Sadly, unlike most cars in our list, you can’t get the 3008 with four-wheel drive.
4. Audi Q7
The Audi Q7 is a luxurious seven-seat SUV that’s more at home on the Autobahn than romping through the great outdoors. Pick a 3.0-litre diesel model and you’ll happily devour hundreds of motorway miles comfortably and very quietly – thanks to its special sound-deadening glass.
Unfortunately, the Q7 is significantly more expensive than some cars in our list, but it does come loaded with bundles of high-tech kit, including some advanced autonomous driving tech, and you can get it with Audi’s super-sharp digital Virtual Cockpit display instead of conventional analogue dials. Unfortunately, while the boot is massive, the rearmost seats are only really suitable for kids.
5. BMW X1
The BMW X1 is a small five-seat SUV that’s more fun to drive than most high-riding family cars and comes with plenty of upmarket features. You get BMW’s intuitive iDrive infotainment system as standard alongside some plush interior trims that feel nicer than those in a Mercedes GLA or Audi Q3. There’s enough space in the back seats for three adults and its boot is pretty roomy, too.
The X1 feels more agile than most tall SUVs, but to get the most out of it you’ll have to pay a little more for some key optional extras. An automatic gearbox to give your left foot a rest and adaptive suspension to stop the car’s body from leaning are well worth having, but they’ll set you back nearly £2,000 together.
6. VW Tiguan
The VW Tiguan is closely related to the larger Skoda Kodiaq but it does away with the Skoda’s extra rearmost seats in favour of a plusher cabin with some more upmarket materials. There’s still enough space in the back for adults to get comfy, however, and even a big weekly shop won’t come close to filling its boot. If you do need to cart six friends around, there’s also a larger seven-seat model called the Tiguan Allspace.
The Tiguan’s raised driving position gives you a great view out which helps make it pretty easy to drive in the city. You also get a good selection of engines to choose from, including perky petrols that are ideal for nipping around town and frugal diesels for motorway cruising – most of which can be had with four-wheel drive for extra peace of mind in slippery conditions.
7. BMW X3
The BMW X3 comes with a sumptuous cabin that’s packed with plenty of plush materials and more high-tech features than you can shake a stick at. Pay extra for the Professional Navigation pack and you’ll get a huge digital driver’s display and futuristic gesture controls – borrowed from the uber-luxurious 7 Series.
Sadly, the X3 doesn’t serve up quite as much space in the back seats as the Mercedes GLC. Thankfully, its boot is just as practical and it’s more fun to drive – especially with the optional adaptive sports suspension fitted. You can even get a 360hp M40i model that’ll sprint from 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds, but it’ll be seriously expensive to run.
8. Audi Q5
The Audi Q5 is a comfortable family SUV with a superb interior and a practical boot. You’ll be able to carry four friends in comfort in its well-built cabin and all Q5s come with an intuitive infotainment system with plenty of sat-nav and smartphone-mirroring features as standard.
It isn’t quite as roomy as the BMW X3 and doesn’t feel quite as sporty on a twisty country road, but its range of smooth V6 diesel engines make it an excellent long-distance cruiser. It’s pretty easy to drive in town, too, thanks to its raised ride height, large windows and light steering, but you’ll have to stump up a whopping £2,000 if you want Audi’s super-soft air suspension to really iron out those potholes.
9. Range Rover
The Range Rover is an opulent SUV with a plush cabin, ample space for tall passengers and almost unmatched off-road ability. Nearly everything you touch inside feels like it belongs in a Victorian mansion – well, besides the three high-resolution infotainment screens – and rear head and leg room is generous enough to give some limousines a run for their money.
All models, from the frugal hybrid to the rip-roaring supercharged petrol V8, come with four-wheel drive, so you’ll have no trouble tackling a few muddy farm tracks and you get air suspension as standard to soften the blow of monster potholes. Sadly, all these upmarket features mean the most basic model will set you back nearly £80,000.
10. Skoda Karoq
The five-seat Skoda Karoq is an affordable but still very practical small family SUV. It has one of the biggest boots of any car its size and some roomy back seats with enough space for three adults to sit side-by-side. Everything in its sensibly-laid-out cabin feels solid and an intuitive touchscreen infotainment system is standard across the range.
The Karoq doesn’t look quite as exciting as some flashier SUVs and top-spec models are more expensive than most alternatives, but the Skoda is comfortable and easy to drive and comes with a wide range of petrol and diesel engines. If you want four-wheel drive, however, you’ll have to stump up for a top-spec 2.0-litre diesel engine.
Save money on your next car
Already picked the perfect new car? Visit our new car deals page to see how much you can save on a range of new SUVs or read our lists of the 10 best family cars and 10 best large SUVs on sale for a roundup of what else is available.