What’s the best used family SUV for me?
A reader wants to replace her ageing Honda CR-V with a smaller secondhand SUV. What's her best option?...
I want to replace my 2010 Honda CR-V with a smaller SUV. I’d like a car with good fuel economy, an automatic gearbox and a high driving position.
Most of my driving is local and urban, including helping with the school run for my two young grandchildren, but I also enjoy long journeys and would like to drive to Europe as soon as that becomes feasible again.
Given that I’m retired, the price of the car is important. To keep costs down, I would consider buying used rather than new.
What Car? says…
It sounds like our 2021 Used Car of the Year, the Seat Ateca, would suit your requirements well. It’s been on sale since 2016 and you can pick up a 2017 model with a 1.4-litre petrol engine in SE trim for around £13,000.
It has a high driving position that provides good front and side visibility and has a roomy enough interior for you and your grandchildren. The 1.4 TSI 150 engine has cylinder deactivation technology that shuts down part of the engine when it’s not needed, and this boosted fuel economy in a model with a manual gearbox to an impressive 42.8mpg in our True MPG test. While you won’t get quite such good fuel economy with an automatic gearbox, it should still be pretty frugal.
The Ateca is also great to drive, with precise steering and minimal body lean in corners, and it’s a quiet high-speed cruiser with a compliant ride, so it will cope well with longer journeys. The only caveat is to avoid examples with optional 19in wheels, because these will have a harsher ride than cars with smaller wheels.
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The best new family SUVs
Deciding which car is best for transporting you and your family is one of life’s more important decisions. So, here we've gathered together our favourite family SUVs.
If you decide one of the cars featured here is just what you're looking for, you could potentially save thousands without any haggling by using our New Car Buying service. You'll find links to our latest deals with each car.
Stick to the lower trims and the Sportage is good value, giving you a lot of space and equipment for your money. It isn't as good at dealing with bumpy roads as the very best family SUVs, though, while the engines can be noisy and aren't especially frugal.
The Qashqai is the car that started the trend for mainstream family SUVs and, as hard as it is to believe now, it was seen as something of a gamble when it was first introduced in 2007. Fortunately for Nissan, the blend of an elevated driving position and stylish looks made the Qashqai a huge hit. And while it's been surpassed by several rivals in the past couple of years, it remains a sound proposition, particularly if you choose the quiet and efficient 1.3-litre petrol version.