4. Volvo XC60
Like the larger Volvo XC90, the XC60’s aim is to provide comfortable, practical transportation for its owners, with driving excitement a secondary concern. As a result, it isn’t very engaging, but makes up for this with fantastic cruising capability and a tastefully decked-out interior. It’s also great value as a used purchase. Make sure to keep up with timing belt and gearbox fluid changes, as infrequent maintenance can lead to costly failures.
3. BMW X5
The last-generation BMW X5 continued where its predecessor left off – combining the benefits of a large, family-friendly SUV with the sort of handling you’d more usually associate with a sports saloon. It certainly does this, but the payoff is a firm ride. However, a fantastic driving position, a genuinely cosseting interior with plenty of room for five, minimal noise from engine, road and wind, and even the option of a small extra row of seats to turn it into a seven-seater makes this an SUV that should be high up on your shortlist. Watch out for failure of the rear air suspension and electrical niggles, though.
We found: 2009 xDrive35d SE, 44,000 miles, £22,495
2. Kia Sorento
The Kia Sorento is so cheap to buy brand-new that an example at this price will have been barely used at all. As a result, you get a big chunk of Kia’s excellent seven-year, 100,000-mile manufacturer warranty still to run. That’s without mentioning the Sorento’s other benefits: a huge, practical interior with seven good-sized seats; excellent towing capabilities; and loads of equipment. It’s worth pointing out, too, that because the Sorento is a much newer design than most other cars here, its onboard technology – including safety kit – will be more up-to-date, too.
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