Best large SUVs 2022

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 ones that we'd avoid...


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Best large SUVs 2021

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 SUVs to avoid.

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

10

Citroën C5 Aircross

In many ways, the C5 Aircross is the archetypical Citroën, with distinctive looks and a super-soft ride. What's more, it keeps you very well isolated from wind and road noise and is temptingly priced. Just don't buy it if you value agile handling.

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Pros

  • Mostly a super-smooth ride
  • Quiet inside at speed
  • Frugal engines

Cons

  • Wallowy handling
  • No seven-seat option
  • Rear leg room tight for the class
9

Mazda CX-5

Fitted with Mazda's 2.0-litre petrol engine, the 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
8

Jaguar F-Pace

There are other large SUVs that are more spacious and ride more comfortably, but the F-Pace stands out for its fantastic driving dynamics, smart interior, generous standard equipment and strong resale values.

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Pros

  • Great handling
  • Smart, high-grade interior
  • Great resale values

Cons

  • Noisier than some rivals on the motorway
  • Firm ride
  • So-so reliability
7

Land Rover Discovery Sport

A former Large SUV of the Year, the 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 a bit 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 with standard suspension
  • So-so performance
  • Poor fuel economy and CO2 emissions
6

Ford Kuga

In our tests, the plug-in hybrid version of the Kuga went almost 50% farther on electric power than rivals. Plus, it trounced them when petrol power took over, returning 52mpg. The Kuga also gives you a lofty view of the road ahead, while the supple suspension makes it very comfortable, both at speed and when trundling around town.

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Pros

  • Competitively priced against rivals
  • Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) offers a long electric range and low company car tax
  • FHEV hybrid is cheaper than equivalent diesel, yet has similar economy

Cons

  • Interior quality doesn't impress
  • Relatively small boot
  • Infotainment system isn't the slickest
5

BMW X3

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.

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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
4

Audi Q5

The Q5 is more comfortable and refined than direct rivals, but its biggest strength of all is its interior quality. For starters, the materials all look and feel great. But it’s the details that really set the Q5 apart, such as switches that click so satisfyingly you could be forgiven for thinking they’ve been made by Rolex.

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Pros

  • Smooth and punchy engines
  • Good to drive
  • High-quality interior

Cons

  • Fiddly touchscreen infotainment system
  • No seven-seat option
  • Firm ride on S line and Edition 1 versions
3

Peugeot 5008

The Peugeot 5008 combines MPV-esque versatility with SUV looks, plus it handles tidily, the ride is comfortable and the interior is seriously plush. Our recommended 1.2-litre petrol engine might only have 129bhp, but it still pulls strongly even with all seven seats filled.

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Pros

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

Cons

  • Poor rear head room with the optional sunroof fitted
  • Rivals have more diverse engine lineups
  • Slow-witted infotainment system
2

Kia Sorento

The Sorento's hybrid tech combines good real-world fuel economy with comparatively low CO2 emission, while the ride is forgiving and the steering accurate. Throw in a nicely made and well equipped interior, a driving position that’s lofty enough to make HGV drivers jealous and Kia’s superb seven-year warranty, and the Sorento is an excellent choice.

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Pros

  • Seven seats fit for adults
  • A massive boot
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • High trim levels are pricey
  • Hybrid engine isn't as fuel efficient as a Honda CR-V's
  • No lumbar adjustment with '2' trim
1

Hyundai Santa Fe

Just not quite as good as the closely related Santa Fe. This five-star car combines everything a large SUV buyer is looking for – namely, lots of space, comfort and kit, along with the potential for low running costs. There are both regular and plug-in hybrid options on offer, with the latter making especially good sense for company car drivers, and our recommended Premium trim comes with everything you could want.

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Pros

  • Seven seats fit for adults
  • Loads of standard kit
  • Long warranty

Cons

  • So-so performance
  • Some wind noise
  • Ultimate trim is pricey

And the large SUV to avoid...

Nissan X-Trail

The X-Trail is okay in isolation, but there are rivals with better handling, comfort, interior space and infotainment systems for similar or less money. In fact, newer rivals make it feel like a bit of a dinosaur. Read our review

Ssangyong Rexton

If what you’re looking for is a beefy off-roader with seven seats, the Rexton is worth considering. However, it's far too flawed to recommend if you intend to use it predominantly on the road. Read our review