SUVs are usually roomier, more practical and generally larger than your average hatchback. This means they’re often heavier too – making them perfect partners for diesel engines. Diesel engines tend to have more grunt (or torque) at low revs than petrol engines, and are generally more efficient when pulling heavy cars.
To help you pick the best diesel SUV for you and your family we’ve thumbed through the list of cars on sale in the UK and highlighted the best options.
BMW X5/X6 – the sporty ones
The BMW X5 and X6 are great SUVs whichever way you spin it. Yes, the X6 has less room inside than the X5 thanks to its sportier shape, but both are extremely refined and comfortable, come with very luxurious cabins, handle brilliantly and are economical for such large vehicles.
You can get either car with a 2.0-litre four cylinder diesel which – if you stick with the normal two-wheel drive version rather than the 4×4 – can achieve over 50mpg. There’s also a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel which can achieve 48mpg and there’s an incredibly fast triple-turbo 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel which can manage 43mpg and get these two-tonne cars from 0-60mph in just 5.3 seconds.
Range Rover – the luxury off-roader
The Range Rover is the pinnacle of the SUV class. Not only is it arguably the most luxurious 4×4 on sale, but it’s also the most comfortable and the most practical. It’s certainly one of the best vehicles in the world at off-roading too.
Because the Range Rover weighs more than two tonnes it’s never going to be the most economical machine. However, the diesel engines available are a 3.0-litre V6 which is claimed to achieve 38mpg and a 4.4-litre V8 which returns 32.5mpg and sprints to 62mph in 6.5 seconds. Getting hold of one couldn’t be easier either – just use the carwow Range Rover configurator to specify yours and wait for dealers to get in touch with their offers.
Porsche Macan – for chasing sports cars
The Porsche Macan is definitely one of the most sporty SUVs on the market today. It handles pretty much like a sports car while still being refined, quiet, comfortable, luxurious and practical. It’s even pretty good off-road – not as good as the Range Rover, but good enough for what most owners will need from it.
The only diesel engine available for the Macan is a 3.0-litre six-cylinder unit which can achieve 46.3mpg and emit just 159g/km of CO2 for an annual tax bill of £180. It can still achieve a 0-62mph sprint in 6.3 seconds thanks to power figures of 254hp and 428lb ft of torque.
Volvo XC90 – the super-safe stylish one
Volvo’s legendary flagship model returned in early 2015 and it’s better than ever. The XC90 focuses on refinement, luxury and comfort – critics have praised it for having seven of the most comfortable seats ever found in a car. The XC90 interior is something to be admired being both brilliantly built and excellently designed. It’s also loaded with more safety technology than any other car on sale – it even has a system to protect you if you drive off the side of the road at high speed.
The only diesel engine available for the XC90 is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit achieving figures of 149g/km of CO2 and 49.6mpg. Build an XC90 in our configurator to see the full list of options and to see how easy car buying can be!
Volkswagen Touareg – popular for a reason
The VW Touareg is a great alternative to the usual crop of luxury SUVs that dominate the marketplace. It’s as comfortable and as refined as its competitors, it’s good-looking and it comes with loads of gadgets. The Touareg is not bad off-road either, and it comes with that prestigious VW badge. It’s a very easy car to live with and is as comfortable around town as it is whisking the whole family to the south of France for a week.
The Touareg comes with a choice of two diesel engines. Both are 3.0-litre V6 units: one has 204hp and the other has 262hp. Both achieve around the 43mpg mark and the most powerful version will thrust you to 60mph from a standstill in 7.3 seconds. Spec up a Touareg in our configurator to see what savings you can make from the top VW dealers in the UK.
Audi Q5 – for a great choice of diesel engines
The Q5 is Audi’s answer to the likes of the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport. It’s a similar size to the Touareg, but adds a slightly classier interior and those love-or-loathe aggressive Audi looks. The UK’s best Audi dealers are also offering decent discounts – see what you could save on the Q5 by configuring one on carwow.
The ordinary Q5 comes with three different diesel options. You get a choice of a 2.0-litre unit with 148hp or 187hp and a 3.0-litre unit with 254hp. The 2.0-litre diesels achieve 50.4mpg and 49.6mpg respectfully and the 3.0-litre unit is claimed to return 47.1mpg. There’s a more powerful version of the 3.0-litre unit with 303hp – called the SQ5 – which achieves 43mpg and a 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds.
Dacia Duster – the one that won’t break the bank
The Dacia Duster has made a serious impact in the SUV world. It provides everything you expect from an SUV but with a really low starting price of just £11,995 for a diesel version. Granted, it’s not the most luxurious, refined or attention-grabbing SUV here, but with the Duster’s excellent off-road abilities and practicality, it deserves your attention.
There’s only one diesel available for the Duster, but it’s a well-rated 1.5-litre unit which emits 130g/km of CO2 and manages 56.5mpg.
Audi Q7 – for gadget lovers
The new-for-2015 Audi Q7 is one of the most technologically advanced SUVs ever made, thanks to a high-tech dashboard computer screen, lots of safety technology and even some clever headlights which will automatically light up junctions at night.
The Q7 interior is impeccably built and designed, and it gives passengers and the driver a huge amount of room and comfort. It’s a giant car, but you can order it with a four-wheel-steering system which makes it easier to manoeuvre at slower speeds.
It’ll initially be available with a 3.0-litre diesel unit with 268hp, but from late 2015 you’ll be able to order it with a 215hp version of the same engine. Economy figures are 47.9mpg for the more 268hp version and slightly more for the lower-powered one. For more information read our full new Audi Q7 road test.
BMW X3/X4 – diesels so good there are no petrol choices
The X3 (left) and X4 (right) are effectively smaller versions of the X5 and X6. This means they still have fantastically luxurious interiors, great levels of refinement and comfort and they’re more fun to drive than most SUVs. The upside of being smaller is that they’re better suited for city driving than the X5 and X6, and easier to handle if you regularly have to park in tight spaces.
They’re both only available with diesel engines, and you get a choice of two 2.0-litre four-cylinder units and two 3.0-litre six-cylinder units. The mpg figures range from 54.3 to 55.4 for the 2.0-litre engines and from 46.3 to 47.0mpg for the 3.0-litre units. Choose the most powerful 313hp 3.0-litre engine and you’ll get from 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds. Spec up the X3 or X4 on carwow’s configurator to see if you could save some money on a new one.
Porsche Cayenne – the original sporty SUV
The Porsche Cayenne was the first SUV to drive almost as well as a sports car. The latest version looks and feels very similar to the Porsche Macan, but the Cayenne is bigger and therefore has more boot space and room for passengers. It’s still fun to drive down fast down twisty roads though.
The Cayenne comes with two diesel options: a 3.0-litre V6 (262hp and 428 lb ft of torque) and a 4.2-litre twin-turbo V8 (385hp and 627lb ft of torque). The V6 achieves 42.8mpg and a 7.3 second 0-62mph time, while the V8 achieves 35.3mpg and 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds.
Range Rover Sport – great off-road and on it
The Range Rover Sport mixes a quality interior, a comfortable ride and impressive off-road ability – just like the more expensive Range Rover listed above. However, the Range Rover Sport is slightly smaller and it acquires an extra set of seats in the back, so you can seat seven people in total. Spec yours in the carwow Range Rover Sport configurator to see what options you can choose and also to see how much you could save on its list price.
There’s one diesel available for the Sport and that’s the same 3.0-litre V6 found in the bigger Range Rover. It’s claimed to return 37.7mpg and will sprint to 62mph from rest in 6.8 seconds – more than half a second quicker than the bigger Range Rover.
Buy your next car with carwow
Use the carwow configurator to spec up your next car, then wait for the UK’s friendliest car dealers to get in touch with their offers.