What's the best smaller SUV for driver's seat height?
A reader wants to buy a small or medium SUV and asks which models have the loftiest driving position...
I am looking to replace my Audi A4 Avant with a small or medium-sized SUV, partly because my wife and I are in our 70s and are finding it harder to get into cars with low seating positions, and partly because we are fed up with having our view blocked by taller SUVs while we're driving.
Some so-called SUVs seem to have ride heights that are little higher than equivalent hatchback models. As seat height is our priority, can you tell me which small and medium SUVs would be best for us?
What Car? says…
Our Best Buy small SUV and overall Car of the Year 2020, the Ford Puma, doesn’t have a particularly high driving position, but some other small SUVs do, including the five-star Volkswagen T-Roc, which would be our top choice for you in this category.
Of these, the Karoq is the best all-rounder, with a comfortable ride and a smart-looking and roomy interior; that's why it’s our Best Buy family SUV for £25,000-£30,000.
If your budget is more than £30,000, we’d recommend the Range Rover Evoque or Volvo XC40. Both models have high seating positions and have received five-star verdicts in our reviews, but the Evoque is our favourite family SUV overall.
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Every family SUV rated
Our pick D180 S
For High-quality interior; comfortable ride; quiet cruising manners; superb resale values.
Against So-so fuel economy and emissions; Land Rover’s reliability record.
What Car? rating 5/5
If we had reservations about the original Range Rover Evoque, we have no such qualms about the latest one. Pretty much all of the gaps in that previous car’s armoury have now been plugged, to the extent that it’s now the best family SUV on sale.
With a design that stays faithful to the original, but with flourishes taken from other glamorous Range Rovers such as the Velar, the Evoque looks better than ever.
What's more, so does the interior, with this now a match for anything else in the class, thanks to gorgeous materials and an impressive standard of fit and finish. The dashboard design is clean and elegant, while the driving position is one of the best in the business.
The Evoque is roomier than most of its rivals, too, and the rear seats fold in a 40/20/40 arrangement for a little bit of extra versatility.
On the road, the Evoque provides a good mix of abilities, delivering a quiet, comfortable ride along with assured handling and accurate steering. And when you venture off road, it’ll leave all its rivals for dust.
Perhaps best of all, though, the Evoque makes plenty of financial sense, thanks to the class-leading resale values that more than offset the relatively high purchase prices.
Our pick 1.5 TSI Evo 150 FR
For Plenty of kit as standard; great to drive; good performance; roomy inside.
Against Some rivals have more flexible seating and the interior isn’t that plush.
What Car? rating 4/5
Our pick Puretech 130 Allure
For Striking-looking interior; good to drive; decent amount of standard safety kit.
Against The touchscreen is a little sluggish and resale values aren’t as strong as rivals’.
What Car? rating 4/5