Best large SUVs 2020

The best large SUVs are practical, luxurious and good to drive, with sensible running costs. Here we count down the top 10 – and reveal the one we'd avoid...


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What Car? team

For many people, large SUVs have replaced big saloons as the ultimate expression of modern motoring, and they make great family cars, thanks to their spacious and practical interiors.

The best are also easy to drive, combining a calm ride with tidy handling and a lofty driving position with user-friendly controls. But with so many models to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start, so here we count down our top 10 – and name the large SUV to avoid.

If any take your fancy, just click on the relevant link to find out more or see how much of a discount you could get by using What Car?'s New Car Buying service.

10

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

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£29,640

RRP from £32,195 to £46,360

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Take the regular Volkswagen Tiguan, add some more space and two extra seats, and hey presto, you've got the Tiguan Allspace. The best-selling 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel-engined model offers plenty of pace, while even entry-level versions get tri-zone climate control, 17in alloy wheels and a front and rear parking sensors.

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Pros

  • Good to drive
  • High-quality interior
  • Flexible seating layout

Cons

  • Expensive next to seven-seat rivals
  • Third-row seats are only a last resort
  • CO2 emissions could be lower
9

Volvo XC60

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£37,083

RRP from £40,175 to £63,155

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Volvo's used to be very much a step down from the models of Audi, BMW and Mercedes, both in terms of price and ability, but no longer. The latest XC60 is comfortable, well equipped and has a high-quality interior, plus it won the 2018 What Car? Safety Award, having performed brilliantly when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP.

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Pros

  • Elegant and high-quality interior
  • Superb driving position
  • Lots of standard kit

Cons

  • Not as quiet as its best rivals
  • No sliding or reclining rear seats
  • Uninspiring handling
8

Hyundai Santa Fe

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£36,609

RRP from £39,420 to £44,465

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The Santa Fe is a spacious and practical choice in the large SUV market, with the option of seven seats for larger families. You also get plenty of equipment, even if you stick with relatively lowly SE trim, which is just as well, because the Santa Fe is quite pricey.

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Pros

  • Huge boot
  • Easy-to-configure seating
  • Long warranty

Cons

  • Uncompetitive PCP deals
  • Interior materials aren’t plush
7

Skoda Kodiaq

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£24,825

RRP from £26,810 to £45,740

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The Kodiaq is the largest SUV Skoda makes, and a comfortable choice with a smart and practical interior. Just bear in mind that you have to be careful when speccing it because it's easy to push the price north of £30k if you start adding options, at which point it makes less sense.

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Pros

  • Classy interior
  • Relatively spacious with a decent boot
  • Good value if you stick to the cheaper trims

Cons

  • Top-of-the-range versions are pricey
  • Peugeot 5008 is even more practical
  • Unsettled low-speed ride
6

Mazda CX-5

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£26,170

RRP from £27,030 to £39,085

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The 2.0-litre petrol engine in the Mazda CX-5 is strong, quiet and impressively efficient without sacrificing pace. Plus, the car is well equipped, fun to drive and extremely practical – as long as you need only five seats. Even some road noise can’t detract from its overall desirability.

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Pros

  • Classy interior
  • Tidy handling
  • Very well equipped

Cons

  • Overly firm ride
  • No seven-seat option
  • Rivals have more space for passengers and luggage
5

Honda CR-V

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£25,099

RRP from £27,270 to £39,060

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The latest version of Honda's large SUV doesn't come with any diesel engines – instead, you can choose from a 1.5-litre petrol model or a 2.0-litre hybrid. It's the latter that we recommend, for its low real-world running costs and impressive refinement. The CR-V also offers a comfortable driving position and vast rear space.

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Pros

  • Vast rear-seat space (on five-seat models)
  • Good-sized boot (on five-seat models)
  • Comfortable driving position

Cons

  • Rough-sounding engine under load
  • Poor infotainment system
  • Seven-seat versions hard to justify over rivals
4

Land Rover Discovery Sport

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£30,104

RRP from £31,905 to £51,080

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A former Large SUV of the Year, the Land Rover Discovery Sport sits below the full-size Discovery in the Land Rover range. However, it's still available with seven seats, has a smart and user-friendly interior and holds its value well. It's even well priced by class standards and was recently updated to make it more efficient.

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Pros

  • Lots of passenger space
  • Flexible seven-seat capability
  • Lengthy equipment list

Cons

  • Terrible reliability
  • Compromised ride comfort on larger wheels
  • So-so performance
  • Poor fuel economy and CO2 emissions
3

BMW X3

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£37,903

RRP from £41,485 to £87,530

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The X3 is a great choice if you're looking for a prestige SUV with five seats. Keen drivers will like its strong engine range and top-notch handling, while passengers can enjoy the luxurious and spacious interior. You also get BMW's iDrive infotainment system as standard, which is a real bonus because it's the best around.

Read our review

Pros

  • Sharp handling
  • Class-leading infotainment
  • Strong engines

Cons

  • Slightly firm ride in M Sport trim
  • Popular 20d engine sounds relatively gruff
  • Comparatively pricey PCP finance
2

Audi Q5

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£38,093

RRP from £41,445 to £68,070

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Beautifully made and quiet as a mouse, the latest Q5 is a very luxurious choice, particularly if you go for the optional air suspension, which turns it into one of the smoothest-riding cars available – in any class.

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Pros

  • Smooth and punchy engines
  • High-quality interior
  • Excellent infotainment system

Cons

  • Steering could be more involving
  • No seven-seat option
  • You need pricey air suspension for the best ride
1

Peugeot 5008

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£27,510

RRP from £28,980 to £41,335

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The Peugeot 5008 combines MPV-esque versatility with SUV looks, plus it handles tidily, the ride is comfortable, and it's very well priced. Add in a seriously plush interior and you've got the best car of its kind. In fact, the 5008 has been our Large SUV of the Year for the last three years running.

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Read our review

Pros

  • Loads of interior space for the money
  • Stylish and plush-feeling interior
  • Competitive fuel economy and CO2 emissions

Cons

  • Terrible rear head room with panoramic roof fitted
  • Not as well equipped as some rivals
  • Slow-witted infotainment system

And the large to avoid...

Jeep Cherokee
Jeep Cherokee

Decent equipment and competitive pricing aren't enough to save Jeep's large SUV. It has disappointing interior quality, the diesel engines are noisy and high-end versions are pricey. If you're shopping in this market, it doesn't deserve to be on your shortlist unl... Read our review

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