The rear exterior of a white BMW X5

7 best used SUVs

We’ve listed our 7 Best SUVs, whether you want a tough, practical family car or something that's a bit more luxurious or sporty.

The lofty driving position, the extra clearance and the general ruggedness and style of it all… It’s not hard to see why the SUV is so popular.

With demand for SUVs of every size and shape at an all-time high, every manufacturer has gone all-out to offer as many as it can, from small and frugal to big and overindulgent, there’s an SUV for every lifestyle. To help you pick the great ones from the mediocre ones, here are our top 7 SUVs.

1. Range Rover

We can’t start an SUV pop chart without beginning with Range Rover. This is a car that will get you across a ploughed field in as much comfort as it’ll get you up the M4. 

It’s not cheap, but whether you want the full-fat ‘proper’ Range Rover or the better-value Range Rover Sport with its family friendly seven-seat layout, it's about as good as an on-road oriented off-roader gets. It’s also got a lovely, refined plug-in hybrid engine as well as a variety of smooth petrol and diesel engines and has one of the most comfortable driving positions of any car in any class. It’s all the car – family, off-road, on-road, continent-crossing or city-dweller – that you’ll ever need. 

Read our Range Rover Sport review

The front exterior of a silver Range Rover

2. BMW X5

The BMW X5 is sporty and encouraging to drive, yet has a spacious cabin that – with the right options added – rivals super-luxury cars like the Bentley Bentayga for overindulgent comfort and quality craftsmanship. Not only that, but the X5 is offered with superb engines, including silky six or eight-cylinder diesel and petrol options, as well as a fantastic plug-in hybrid that’s rapid, fun and also offers one of the longest electric ranges of any PHEV. 

It's the epitome of Germanic luxury and quality. The only downside is that you have to pay extra for seven seats, unlike the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90, and if you do add those rear seats they’re a fraction tighter for space than in those rivals. It’s not as good as the Range Rover off-road, but it’s more than good enough for most, and it’s faster and more fun to drive than Land Rover’s finest.

Read our Volvo BMW X5 review

The exterior of a black BMW X5

3. Land Rover Discovery

The Land Rover Discovery changed a lot with the all-new 2017 model, which made it more luxurious than the previous design which was blockier and not as premium feeling.

It stuck to its trademark selling point of offering about the best towing and off-road abilities you’ll find in any SUV short of far more compromised cars like the Jeep Wrangler. It really will go anywhere at the flick of Land Rover’s Terrain Response system – and it’ll do it without waking up the kids or spilling your coconut latte all over the plush leather. 

Not only that, but it will take seven adults if you need it to, as it offers some of the most comfortable third-row folding seats that you’ll find in a seven-seater. 

Read our Land Rover Discovery review

The side exterior of a silver Land Rover Discovery

4. Skoda Kodiaq

We don’t all have huge budgets to spend on a fancy SUV, but you don’t need it because the Skoda Kodiaq does just about everything you could want - or probably a bit more - at a great price. 

It’s available with five or seven-seats, and there are loads of used cars with that useful third row of seats - always a win for weekends with the grandparents or car-pooling on the school run. There are also a good variety of engines and you can have two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Cheaper trims have the kit you’d expect, but it’s easy to find a decent mid-spec SE L car on used forecourts, which would be our pick of the bunch for balance of value and comfort. You can even have a sporty one with the vRS model. 

It’s a great balance of affordability, practicality, luxury, smart styling, modern tech and convenience. It’s just a fantastic all-round family SUV.

The front exterior of a blue Skoda Kodiaq

5. Toyota Landcruiser

The Toyota is the SUV of choice for those who rate reliability as a top priority. It’s famed for being virtually indestructible, which is also why it holds its value better than just about any other second-hand car, and a decent used example will be a bit pricey compared to alternatives like the Land Rover Discovery. 

If you do want the most durable big SUV around, the Landcruiser is worth every penny. The chunky, rugged Toyota has a practical feel in its permanent four-wheel drive and hardy mechanicals, but it’s comfortable as well, so you can treat the Landcruiser like a big family car just as well as you can treat it as a vital means of transport on the ranch. It feels a little dated in many areas next to more modern rivals but the Landcruiser’s appeal is all in its unstoppable nature rather than in any luxury lifestyle or image one-upmanship.

The front exterior of a Toyota Landcruiser

6. Seat Ateca

It’s not a ‘proper’ off-roader, but the Seat Ateca is hard to fault on balance of value, family-friendly roominess and range of engines with four and front-wheel drive on offer. 

For most people, the SUV isn’t about covering awkward terrain so much as it is about covering all the needs of a family car, in something that’s stoic in any weather and fun to drive without costing the earth to buy and run. The Seat does all of this, which is why it’s in our top 7 SUVs. 

In fact, if you’re here for advice on decent, affordable family SUVs rather than titanic off-roaders, it’s really this and the Skoda Kodiaq, and other great options such as the Peugeot 3008 and Kia Sportage, that should be on your shortlist.

The front exterior of a white Seat Ateca

7. Audi Q5

The Audi Q5 is the sweet spot in the executive SUV class. It’s not cheap, nor will it fare well off-road anywhere more challenging than your rutted tracks and unpaved yards. It’s certainly got strong competition from the likes of the BMW X3, Volvo XC60, Jaguar F-Pace and Mercedes GLC, but the Q5’s spacious interior, superb perceived quality, composed dynamics and comprehensive engine range still make it the best option in a talented bunch. 

The plug-in hybrid Q5 makes a lot of sense for company car tax payers, but otherwise the cheaper standard diesel and petrol engines are more widely available and are a much more affordable used buy. All Q5s feature a fantastic infotainment system, digital dials and all the comfort and tech features you could want, so don’t feel you have to go for the more expensive trims – even the entry-level Q5 models feel luxurious. If your idea of an SUV is posh, practical transport with implacable all-weather traction, the Q5 is a great bet.

Read our Audi Q5 review

The rear exterior of a green Audi Q5

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