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20 Jun 2016
Tim Barnes Clay Tim Barnes-Clay

The 10 best family SUVs


SUVs have slowly, but surely, been growing in popularity among British drivers. Here are some of the best ones you can buy for your family.

Mazda CX-3

1. Mazda CX-3

The CX-3 is Mazda’s first small sport utility vehicle (SUV) – and it promises to take the competitive SUV market by storm.

With a flexible cargo floor, the CX-3’s spacious boot ensures it has the practicality to match its upmarket cabin and stylish exterior.

The Mazda’s coupe-like profile gives it a sporty stance and, with a high driver’s eye line, the family car offers a commanding view of the road.

The all-new CX-3 offers levels of efficiency, handling, refinement and equipment not yet seen in this growing car sector.

2. Volvo XC90

Volvo XC-90

The new XC90 has an interior that’s contemporary, airy and neat. Among the soft leather, wood and metal finishes, the seven-seater features chairs that free up space, both in the second and third rows.

The SUV boasts all the virtues that made the initial model one of Volvo’s most profitable cars ever, combining brilliant handling and comfort with superior get-you-there ability and flexibility.

The XC90 does it all - it’s perfect for a family, it looks good for business and it’s just the thing for anyone needing a safe, grippy car for all seasons.

3. Kia Sorento

Kia Sorento

The 2015 Sorento SUV is well-equipped, refined, and has lots of room in all three rows of seats. The boot is longer than its predecessor and loading up is easy because of its low sill.

You’ll probably only be looking at this car if you have kids, so safety will be at the forefront of your mind.

Well rest easy, because the Sorento has been awarded with a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. Importantly for an SUV, the Sorento has lower fuel consumption and emissions than before.

The manual models can achieve up to 46.3mpg on average with CO2 emissions of 161g/km.

4. Suzuki Vitara

Suzuki Vitara

The 2015 Vitara offers SUV practicality and an energetic feel. It’s also more polished and family friendly than its predecessor.

Whether you go for petrol or diesel, the Vitara delivers a balanced on-road drive, mixed with real off-road aptitude.

Some cabin plastics feel cheap, but the key touch points are agreeably padded.

5. Land Rover Discovery Sport

Land Rover Discovery Sport

This SUV has a more self-assured exterior and lavish interior than the departing Disco. It’s also more flexible as it now comes with the ability to transport seven people.

The cabin mixes style with elegant lines, top quality materials and spoonfuls of sporting character. What’s more, the Disco Sport’s high driving position gives a sense of self-assurance.

The Discovery Sport is comfortable, refined and rewarding to drive on-road, while retaining the breadth of all-terrain capability for which Land Rover is world-renowned.

6. Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

This 4x4 SUV is the ideal vehicle for an off-road adventure. The vehicle’s on-tarmac wherewithal is just as inspiring, and it has plenty of space for five-up.

Inside, the equipment continues with Nappa Leather trim, red interior stitching accents, a cargo net, a media centre with a touch-screen display and USB remote port.

Other features to make owning the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk a pleasure include tinted sunscreen glass, coloured grille surrounds and roof rails, and 17-inch aluminium wheels.

7. Honda HR-V

Honda HR-V

The 2015 HR-V has distinctive, sculpted lines. They are reminiscent of a coupe, and join together with robust, SUV aesthetics. Inside, soft touch fabrics and chrome highlight the premium direction Honda is going in.

The steering feels a little anesthetised and there’s some wind noise at motorway speeds, but otherwise the H-RV feels very much like a Nissan Qashqai opponent.

In other words, it’s a pleasant car for the family and does what it says on the tin.

8. Lexus NX300h

Lexus NX300h

The NX300h – a full hybrid - truly marks the company’s entry into the mid-size luxury SUV market. Step inside and, true to its status as a practical SUV, the NX comes with a variety of storage points around the cabin.

These include glove boxes, cup holders and door pocket holders for half-litre bottles.

Behind the wheel, the NX300h delivers an agile drive, as well as deluxe ride comfort for all the family. Furthermore, you can drive the NX300h for short distances in full electric vehicle mode with zero tailpipe emissions and fuel consumption.

9. Jeep Renegade

Jeep Renegade

The funky Renegade is Jeep’s first entry into the small SUV market. Inside, the Jeep edges towards premium. Functional details crafted from quality materials and innovative colours ensure the Renegade is likely to become a polished addition to your life.

It’ll be a practical addition too, courtesy of best-in-class interior space and clever storage areas. What’s more, this Jeep is good for your kids.

They’ll always remember mum or dad with that crazy cool Jeep – the SUV that no other parent in the neighborhood was trendy enough to buy.

10. Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke

The Juke brings all the benefits of the popular Qashqai into a more compact package. It’s what’s known as a “crossover” because Nissan has fused the rugged appeal of an SUV with the charm of a sports car.

Equipment on all models includes LED daytime-running lamps, CD radio, and a gearshift indicator to promote a more efficient driving style. At times the Juke does feel slightly skittish, but that just adds to the entertainment.

It’s not the biggest car, but it’ll fit four-up and you’ll get a buggy in the boot.

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