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
How good is the Volvo EX30? So good that it was crowned Carwow Car of the Year 2024. It's a small, affordable electric SUV with all the style you'd expect of a Volvo with a cool, minimalist interior. It's also really good to drive, being comfortable over bumps and quiet on the motorway. If you go for the most powerful model, it's hilariously quick, too. Its size means it's not the most practical SUV out there, and the infotainment system isn't very intuitive to use, but overall the EX30 is an easy car to love.
Citroen C5 Aircross
2024
Family Values Award

2. Citroen C5 Aircross

9/10
Citroen C5 Aircross review
Another Carwow award winner in 2024, the Citroen C5 Aircross is our favourite family car, because it's just such good value. It's spacious inside and has a massive boot, with a sliding rear bench that lets you open up a massive boot space – all for the price of cars half the size. It also helps that the C5 Aircross is really comfortable to drive. There are a few areas inside where it feels a bit cheap, but it's hard to complain at the price.

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Land Rover Defender 110

3. Land Rover Defender

9/10
Land Rover Defender 110 review
The other cars on this list are SUVs, but the Defender is not. It’s a proper off-roader, a 4x4, capable of climbing every mountain and fording every stream. Other SUVs tackle the school run. The Defender can tackle the school run when the school is on the other side of the Kalahari. Rugged and tough, but also comfy and refined on the road, with an excellent but expensive plug-in hybrid option that’s surprisingly frugal on long journeys. The three-door 90 is the stylish option, while the long-wheelbase 130 has the most space. The 110 sits between the two and is the sweet spot in the range for most buyers.
Range Rover
2024
Comfortable Cruiser Award
Highly Commended

4. Range Rover

9/10
Range Rover review
If you're looking for a luxury SUV, look no further than the Range Rover. It's suitably posh-looking on the outside, but when you step inside it's like opening the door to a stately home. The seats are incredibly comfortable and everything you touch feels as expensive as the price tag suggests. The infotainment isn't the easiest to use but the displays are crisp. It's almost better in the back, where there's loads of space and you can recline the seats to make long journeys as relaxing as possible.
Kia EV9

5. Kia EV9

9/10
Kia EV9 review
Battery range up to 349 miles
The Kia EV9 is a massive electric SUV that's available with seven seats, or a six-seat layout with a pair of swivelling chairs in the second row. The interior is really spacious wherever you sit and the look and feel is generally top notch, minus a few cheaper materials here and there. The big battery version's official range is a useful 349 miles, and it has super-fast charge speeds if you do need to top up while out on a trip. It's very expensive for a Kia though, and while the EV9 is more spacious, a BMW iX feels a bit more special inside.
BMW X5

6. BMW X5

10/10
BMW X5 review
Battery range up to 45 miles
The BMW X5 is one of the best all-round SUVs you can buy. Sure it ticks all the practicality boxes, but it also gets a high quality interior, so even though it's certainly not cheap, you feel like your money has been well spent. If you're a keen driver, the X5 is also more fun to drive than any SUV of this size should be – and if this really appeals there are high-performance 'M' versions to go for, too.
Audi Q7

7. Audi Q7

8/10
Audi Q7 review
Battery range up to 34 miles
The Audi Q7 is starting to show its age a bit inside, but that doesn't take away from the fact it's still a stylish, upmarket SUV – and it costs less than a BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE. The interior is really spacious, you get loads of kit as standard, and it's really comfortable to drive – everything you want from a big family car. It's not much fun on a twisty road though, somewhere the X5 is definitely better.
BMW iX

8. BMW iX

9/10
BMW iX review
Battery range up to 382 miles
Let's get this out of the way: Yes, the BMW iX isn't much of a looker. However, inside this electric SUV you're treated to one of the coolest interiors of any car on sale today. You get all the usual stuff like big screens and high quality materials, but the design is just different enough from the norm to feel futuristic and a bit special. The iX is also great to drive, quiet and refined, and we've seen over 300 miles from a charge in the big battery version.
Skoda Karoq

9. Skoda Karoq

9/10
Skoda Karoq review
The Karoq might just be the most sensible car you can buy. It’s massive inside — there’s a whopping 588-litre boot back there, and you can get Varioflex rear seats that come out altogether to make even more space. It’s well-built and given Skoda’s reputation, should be reliable, too. You can even get it with a frugal 1.0-litre engine that sounds way too small to shift something like a Karoq around, but proves to be anything but. Exciting? not really. Refined, comfortable and all the car you'll likely ever need? We'd say so.
Toyota C-HR

10. Toyota C-HR

8/10
Toyota C-HR review
If you've been scrolling through this list thinking everything looks dull and samey, may we introduce the Toyota C-HR. The design is borderline wacky, with sharp creases in the bodywork that make it look like it was designed in origami. As well as standing out from the crowd the C-HR is really comfortable over bumps and you get an economical hybrid engine, though it's not the most practical thanks to its tiny boot.

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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.

SUV stands for Sports Utility Vehicle. An SUV looks like it is suited to going off-road but these days SUVs don't necessarily come with four-wheel drive, which gives you the traction you need in tough conditions. You're more likely to see SUVs in supermarket carparks than in the wilderness. They are practical family cars that give passengers and driver a great view out thanks to their raised height over your average hatchback.

The Sports Utility name refers to the kind of lifestyle car makers want customers to imagine when driving them - going off for a weekend hiking or to the beach surfing - when doing more mundane tasks such as taking the kids to school. Whether you buy into the outdoorsy lifestyle or not SUVs are practical cars that can do most jobs very well.