Published: 22nd December 2015
There's no surprise that, at the first sign of bad weather, car buyers start to think about big, tough SUVs, 4x4s and crossovers; or that the car makers offer plenty of choice.
Mind you, that choice can be bewildering - and all the more confusing when you start to consider crossovers, 4x4, off-roaders and all the other terms used to describe this sort of car. To eliminate that confusion, our experts have put together a list (in no particular order) of their Top 10 SUVs. So whatever you want from an SUV – big or small, sporty or comfortable, with or without four-wheel drive – you’ll find what you want below.
Audi Q3 - The most desirable small one
The Q3 is a cracking all-rounder, combing the style and luxury feel of a premium 4x4 with the economy and versatility of a hatchback. There's enough room inside for four adults, but its dinky dimensions mean it’s still small enough to be a doddle to drive around town and park. And, when you escape the city limits, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable drive.
Click here to find a Q3 in our classifieds
Range Rover - The ultimate one
There aren’t many cars that deserve the term ‘icon’, but there’s no doubt that the Range Rover is one that does. It single-handedly invented the luxury 4x4 sector, and this latest version is the best ever: more luxurious and better to drive both on- and off-road than any previous version. Which is some praise!
Click here to find a Range Rover in our classifieds
Porsche Macan - The sporty one
The Macan may be a little pricey compared to its direct competition, but it’s worth every penny. Somehow, it performs the amazing double act of being able to fir into the lifestyle of anyone with 2.4 children and a Labrador, as well as also delivering sportscar thrills. It’s no coincidence that the Macan bears more than a passing resemblance to the famous 911 supercar.
Click here to find a Macan in our classifieds
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - The part-electric one
How times change. Just a few years ago, 4x4s were public enemy number one, but now cars like the Outlander PHEV are some of the most economical and least-polluting cars you can buy; and, as well as helping to save the planet, it also saves you money. There are several tax advantages, especially for company car drivers, but thanks to its 30-mile range on electric power, if you can keep it charged up, your regular motoring could cost just pennies.
Click here to find an Outlander PHEV in our classifieds
Volvo XC90 - The seven-seat Swedish one
Stylish and understated, the XC90 is beautifully built, has space for seven, and is packed with clever new technology. It majors on ride comfort, refinement and safety, and can take you and the whole family a long way in total comfort. It comes highly equipped, too, with a sumptuous cabin that sets new class standards for quality and design.
Click here to find an XC90 in our classifieds
Citroen C4 Cactus - The quirky one
Given how distinctive the C4 Cactus looks to start with, it’s perhaps amazing how much scope Citroen gives you to personalise it. Despite all the unconventional features, there’s no sacrifice in practicality, and there’s plenty room for a couple of adults in the back seats, while the car’s light weight translates into good economy and low running costs.
Click here to find a C4 Cactus in our classifieds
Land Rover Discovery - The proper off-road one
It’s true that precious few SUV buyers are really interested in taking their pride and joy off-road; but, if you are looking for something to get properly muddy, there’s nothing better than a Discovery. Beyond that, it’s also a superb towcar, as well as a properly practical family car, with up to seven seats.
Click here to find a Discovery in our classifieds
Nissan Qashqai - The ground-breaking one
It was the original Qashqai that really popularised the trend for putting family cars on stilts and making them into an SUV-lite. This latest model is hugely impressive: well equipped and handsome, as well as being massively practical and flexible. It’s also pretty economical and really clean, so it’s inexpensive to run. Overall, an outstanding choice.
Click here to find a Qashqai in our classifieds
BMW X3 - The all-round one
If you’re after a small(ish) family crossover with a premium badge, then you can’t beat the BMW X3. It feels like a truly high-quality product, with a beautiful interior, while the four- and six-cylinder diesel engines are smooth, powerful and economical. The X3 is also a nice thing to drive – always feeling planted and secure – and if you can afford it, it’s well worth a look.
Click here to find an X3 in our classifieds
Renault Captur - The best small one
The Captur may not appear to be a very big car, but behind those stylish lines is a car with a family-friendly cabin and boot. Better still, not only is it one of the most spacious small SUVs, it’s also one of the best to drive – comfortable and enjoyable in equal measure. The low running costs will also put a smile on your face, as will the huge scope for personalisation, which will let each buyer create a unique car.
Click here to find a Captur in our classifieds