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Best large SUVs of 2023
The best large SUVs are amongst the best family cars, as they’re usually spacious, often have the option of seven seats, and are equally usually refined, comfortable, and luxurious. Here are ten of the best large family SUVs, and they’re not all expensive…
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In theory, the answer here is the Mercedes-Benz GLE (which shares most of its structure with the even-larger GLS). Get the GLE 350de diesel plug-in hybrid, and you’re looking at a claimed fuel economy figure of 353mpg. Obviously, that’s only achievable if you’re religiously plugging it in and charging it up every day, and making the most of its impressive 58-mile electric range, but actually long-haul fuel economy isn’t too shabby either — you might get over 45mpg if you’re careful. The new Range Rover P440e plug-in hybrid matches the Merc’s claimed economy figure, but being as it’s based around a petrol engine is unlikely to match it for long-haul consumption.
Read our guide for some tips on how to improve the MPG of your car.
It’ll depend on the dog, but the best all-rounder for canine companions is probably the Land Rover Discovery. Fold down the third-row seats, and you’ve got 1,137-litres of space, which is enough for even a Great Dane to stretch out in. The (optional) adjustable air suspension also helps, lowering the back of the car to make it easier to get in and out. Land Rover also offers a number of dog-friendly accessories, from safety barriers to load-bay liners, a portable shower, and even a foldaway ramp, so that dogs with short legs can get in and out easily.
We’d probably best go with the expert opinion of none other than the Caravan Club, which pronounced the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid as its best big SUV tow-car. It’ll haul up to 2,105kg of braked trailer weight, with a 140kg ‘nose weight’ load for the retractable tow-bar. There are SUVs that can technically haul more (up to 3,500kg) but the Caravan Club praised the Cayenne’s ability to switch driving, suspension, and gearbox modes for the best towing experience.
Check out our recommended SUVs for towing.
The simple answer here is the SEAT Taracco. The big SEAT has a starting price tag of just £33,415, but comes with seven seats as standard. That makes it better value even than the Skoda Kodiaq, which costs from just over £34,760, but charges you extra for seven seats. The SEAT and Skoda are, of course, mechanically identical under the skin. The Dacia Jogger is also worth a mention here — seven seats and a massive boot for under £20,000. But it’s actually quite a compact vehicle so you may feel it doesn’t count as a large SUV.
It kind of has to be the Range Rover. Yes, we know about Land Rover’s reputation for unreliability, and if that worries you then the Mercedes GLS is right over there. However, the Range Rover’s combination of comfort, luxury, styling, whisper-quiet refinement, long-range (70 electric miles on a charge) plug-in hybrid, and incredible off-road prowess puts it above the rest for us.
It’s a bit of a split decision here, as there are a few good choices. The Tesla Model X would have been our top pick, but that’s no longer on sale in the UK (although you can still order left-hand drive versions).
So, what about the BMW iX? Not pretty on the outside, but it’s got a great cabin and can go for up to 380 miles on a charge in the longest-range version. Plus, it feels like a proper, agile BMW to drive, somehow. If you need seven-seats with battery power, then the best choice is the Mercedes EQS SUV, which is huge inside, has a 364 mile range, but which feels a bit boat-like in corners thanks to suspension that’s too soft. Skoda’s electric Enyaq, which is really more of a compact model, is worth considering too.
Check out our pick of the best electric SUVs.
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