Every sports SUV rated

Thinking of buying a new SUV? Here we give our verdict on all of them, from small through to luxury, plus the hybrid and electric options...

Porsche Macan S front

Every sports SUV rated

Porsche Macan

Our pick S
For The most rewarding SUV to drive, with a great chassis balance and precise steering.
Against Some rivals are more spacious and automatic emergency braking costs extra.
What Car? rating 5/5

Let's not forget, the ‘S’ in SUV stands for Sports, and they don’t come any sportier than the Porsche Macan; by any standard, this is a fabulous car to drive.

Porsche Macan S dashboard

For the best effect, you’ll need to add the optional air suspension, but if you make do with the lower-grade adaptive dampers, the Macan is still brilliant fun. And the 354bhp provided by the mid-range S version gives you more than enough pace.

Crucially, though, the Macan satisfies the head as well as the heart. It’s comfortable, well made, practical enough for a small family and holds its value superbly.

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Cupra Ateca

Cupra Ateca front

Our pick 300
For Huge performance and impressive practicality for a very reasonable price.
Against Doesn’t sound very exciting and isn’t as sharp to drive as the T-Roc R.
What Car? rating 4/5

Porsche Cayenne Coupé front

Our pick Turbo
For Comfortable standard air suspension, lots of grip and sharp handling.
Against Expensive to buy and run, and there’s less standard kit than you’d expect.
What Car? rating 4/5

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BMW X3 M

BMW X3 M40i

Our pick M40i
For Astonishingly quick; smooth, characterful engine; precise and rewarding handling.
Against Not quite as classy or practical inside as the Audi Q5, and the ride is firm.
What Car? rating 4/5

While most sports SUVs wear super-aggressive bodykits, the X3 M40i is more of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

BMW X3 M40i - interior

At a glance, it’s easy to mistake it for one of the big-selling diesel variants. But under the bonnet, it actually has a peach of a turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine that howls its way to the redline and gets you from 0-62mph in less than five seconds.

The engine also settles right down when you’re not trying to compress your groceries into an amorphous blob, and body control is more saloon car than sailing boat. Just bear in mind that the M40i’s ride is rather unsettled, due to firm suspension.


Audi SQ2

Audi SQ2 front - red

Our pick TFSI quattro S tronic
For Exceedingly rapid in a straight line, with grippy handling and a classy interior.
Against The T-Roc costs only a bit more to buy and is much more fun.
What Car? rating 3/5

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Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio front - blue

Our pick 2.9 V6 Bi-Turbo 510 Q4
For Scorching performance; sharper and more entertaining to drive than most rivals.
Against Infotainment system is slow and the interior doesn’t feel worthy of a £70k car.
What Car? rating 4/5

Audi SQ8 front

Our pick 4.0 TFSI V8
For Effortless performance, composed ride and handling and a high-quality interior.
Against The Cayenne Coupé is more involving and the infotainment is distracting.
What Car? rating 4/5

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Volkswagen T-Roc R

Volkswagen T-Roc R nose - blue with German plates

Our pick 2.0 TSI 300 4Motion DSG
For Bombastic performance; stunning agility; decent practicality; well equipped.
Against Hard dash plastics; Cupra Ateca has more rear leg room and a bigger boot.
What Car? rating 5/5

They say you can’t argue with the laws of physics, but Volkswagen has done exactly that with the T-Roc R, because it’s closely related to the Golf R hot hatch, has a higher centre of gravity and yet is somehow more fun.

Volkswagen T-Roc R dashboard - blue LHD

The T-Roc R is also more agile than similar-priced rivals such as the Audi SQ2 and Cupra Ateca, with quicker-reacting steering that offers greater precision. And you can really feel the four-wheel drive system sending more power to the rear when exiting corners to help prevent the nose from running wide.

True, you get more space with the Ateca, but the T-Roc is still spacious enough to serve as a family car, and it actually works out cheaper if you look at all the costs of ownership

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Mercedes-AMG GLC

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

Our pick GLC 43
For Quicker than the Macan and comes with impressively comfortable air suspension.
Against Fuel economy is poor, running costs are high and the boot isn’t the biggest.
What Car? rating 3/5

Lamborghini Urus

Our pick 4.0T FSI V8
For Mind-bogglingly fast; sharp handling; comfortable, even on 22in wheels.
Against Hefty purchase price; very thirsty; rear head room is tight for taller adults.
What Car? rating 4/5

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And the rest...

Audi RS Q3 - 3 stars
Audi SQ5 - 4 stars
Audi SQ7 - 4 stars
Audi RS Q8 - 4 stars
BMW X2 M35i - 3 stars
BMW X3/X4 M40d - 3 stars
BMW X3/X4 M Competition - 3 stars
BMW X4 M40i - 4 stars
BMW X5 M50d - 3 stars
Jaguar E-Pace 300 - 2 stars
Jaguar F-Pace 300 - 3 stars
Jaguar F-Pace SVR - 4 stars
Maserati Levante S - 2 stars
Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 - 3 stars
Mercedes-AMG GLC 43/63 Coupé - 3 stars
Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 - 3 stars
Mercedes-AMG G63 - 2 stars
Mini Countryman JCW - 3 stars
Porsche Cayenne - 4 stars
Range Rover Sport SVR - 4 stars
Skoda Kodiaq vRS - 3 stars


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