The Tiguan was Volkswagen’s first SUV and, by and large, VW got it right first time. True, it doesn’t look that exciting, but it was practical, efficient and refined, and came with VW’s usual high standards of build quality. It wasn’t that exciting to drive, but it was safe and efficient, and also spacious, solid and dependable. It offered people what they wanted and went on to sell incredibly well. Now, you’re looking at a clean 2012 example for our £10,000 budget, which should give you several years of durable and family-friendly motoring.
Like so many Land Rover products, it could be that there is no effective substitute for the seven-seat Discovery. True, it has many rivals, but not many can match its blend of supreme on-road practicality with its class-leading go-anywhere off-road capabilities. It’s relaxing on long motorway journeys, even when fully loaded with families and luggage, and yet can just as easily hare across a rutted field, with its permanent four-wheel drive ensuring good traction whatever the conditions. Shop carefully, though, as they don’t have the best of reliability records, but find a good one and you’ll be happy.
5. Volvo XC90
The doyen of the school run, the first-generation XC90 has established itself as a bit of an SUV legend and now makes a great used buy. For starters, the opulence of its spacious seven-seat interior, the comfort of its supple suspension and the ease with which it tackles any task from shopping trip to trans-continental cruising are now all available for less than the price of a new Fiat Panda. There’s even a decent petrol model, too, although most would understandably go for the much more economical diesel.
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