Best SUV comparison 2024

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10 best SUVs to buy in 2024

If you’re looking for a practical family car, you could be tempted by a large saloon, hatchback or estate, but more often than not an SUV is the default option for those in search of practicality.

Generally speaking, you get the same if not more space than you would in those other body styles, with the added benefit of a high-driving position that gives you a great view of the road ahead. Being higher off the ground makes it easier to get the kids in the back, too. And there’s no denying they’re very fashionable right now, which can be just as important outside the school gates.

Our team of expert reviewers have put all of the latest SUVs through their paces and have come up with the 10 best choices for a variety of budgets.

Volvo EX30
2024
Car Of The Year Award

1. Volvo EX30

10/10
Volvo EX30 review
Battery range up to 295 miles
Citroen C5 Aircross
2024
Family Values Award

2. Citroen C5 Aircross

9/10
Citroen C5 Aircross review

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Land Rover Defender 110

3. Land Rover Defender

9/10
Land Rover Defender 110 review
Range Rover
2024
Comfortable Cruiser Award
Highly Commended

4. Range Rover

9/10
Range Rover review
Kia EV9

5. Kia EV9

9/10
Kia EV9 review
Battery range up to 349 miles
BMW X5

6. BMW X5

9/10
BMW X5 review
Battery range up to 45 miles
Audi Q7

7. Audi Q7

9/10
Audi Q7 review
Battery range up to 34 miles
BMW iX

8. BMW iX

9/10
BMW iX review
Battery range up to 382 miles
Skoda Karoq

9. Skoda Karoq

9/10
Skoda Karoq review
Toyota C-HR

10. Toyota C-HR

8/10
Toyota C-HR review

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Advice about SUV cars

SUVs FAQs

An SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) typically has raised ground clearance making it look like a four-wheel drive car. People love the higher driving position and great view out you get in this type of car. They're typically designed to be more comfortable and easy to drive on the road than a proper off-road-ready 4x4, while also being practical for families.

While an SUV car looks like a 4x4 they don’t necessarily have four-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive systems can be heavy, making cars less fuel efficient. Many customers like the styling of SUV cars but don’t need off-road capability. That’s why many modern SUVs have the option to have both two- and four-wheel drive. Indeed some SUVs are two-wheel drive only.

Today, SUVs are some of the most popular cars you can buy.

On paper, this is a tie between the Mercedes-Benz GLE 350de plug-in hybrid diesel, and the BMW X1 xDrive25e, both offering 353mpg on the combined WLTP fuel economy test. Of course, that relies on you carefully charging up all the time and making the most of their electric driving abilities. For real-world economy, other great bets are the Toyota RAV4 (especially the plug-in hybrid version), the Mazda CX-5 SkyActiv-D, and at the smaller scale, the Peugeot 2008, which can hit 47mpg in petrol form.

To find out how to improve the fuel economy of your SUV, check out our guide on ways to get better MPG.

The Land Rover Defender is the theoretical winner here, with a maximum braked towing weight of 3,500kg. That can be matched by others, mind, and if we’re talking expert opinion, then the Caravan Club recommends the current Porsche Cayenne, which has lots of clever software that helps you tow more easily.

Check out or guides on the best SUVs for towing and UK towing laws for trailers and caravans.

The Skoda Kodiaq is the winner here, with a massive 835 litres beating even the massive Land Rover Defender’s 646-litre boot. Even the seven-seat version of the Kodiaq is big in the back, with 735 litres available. That said, if you want a seven-seater with a massive boot, check out the Peugeot 5008 which has a 780-litre boot when you fold the third row seats into the floor.

Take a look at our guide on the best cars with big boots to find out which cars we recommend.

Easy answer here — it’s the Land Rover Defender. Not only does it have permanent four-wheel drive, low-ratio gears, and optional adjustable air suspension, it also has a swathe of electronic off-roading aids from a low-grip launch control system to a camera setup that kinda-sorta allows you to see through the bonnet. Can’t afford a Defender? That’s OK — pick up a Suzuki Jimny. It’s tiny and unrefined, but brilliant in the mud.

Technically, you can pick up a Suzuki Ignis for around £18,000 and that’s kind of an SUV... OK then, what about a Citroen C3 Aircross for a similar price? Or a Volkswagen T-Cross for £23k? Sorry, we’re just messing about here, really. The actual answer is the Dacia Spring – it's an electric SUV that starts at less than £15,000, but it's small and doesn't have a very big range.

Approach choosing an SUV as you would any other car: think about price, value, economy, space, the type of driving you do, insurance costs - the lot! Do bear in mind not all SUVs are designed with practicality as their main focus: coupe-SUVs offer sleek looks, often at the cost of boot space or rear headroom, while some SUVs are more hatchback-like than others.

Depending on the size of your family and whether you need a seven seater, the Skoda Kodiaq is hard to beat.

The Suzuki Jimny is an amazing off-roader and a characterful, fun town car, but if you're covering motorway miles on a regular basis it's rather unrefined. These days it’s no longer sold new, but you may still be tempted by a used example. Just go into Jimny ownership understanding the car’s strengths and weaknesses.