Most traditional SUVs – as opposed to any lower-slung SUV-coupé options – will offer the high-set seating position you're looking for, and the good news is that there are plenty to choose from, whether you're buying new or used. In fact, this is one of the largest car markets worldwide, and is spearheaded by big sellers such as the Nissan Qashqai.
Your budget is a tricky one, though, because four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox are two things that usually cost extra. Still, we've found three new car choices that could fit your needs.
Our recommended choice: Hyundai Kona
It's best to think of the Kona as a jacked-up version of Hyundai's i20 hatchback, but in its transition into an SUV, the Kona has gained the high-set driving position and rufty-tufty looks that buyers in this market are looking for.
The only version of the Kona on which you can get four-wheel drive is the 1.6-litre petrol, but if you plan on venturing off road regularly, or perhaps even towing, its extra low-down grunt compared with the 1.0-litre petrol will be welcome. The good news, too, is that this engine comes with four-wheel drive and a smooth-shifting automatic gearbox as standard.
Getting your driving position spot on shouldn't be difficult, because there's a good amount of adjustment in the Kona's seat and steering wheel, and height adjustment is standard, so you can raise yourself up if need be.
This Premium GT version of the Kona is loaded with kit, including automatic emergency braking, a head-up display and full LED headlights, as well as luxuries such as heated seats and keyless entry and start.
Prices for the Kona in 1.6 TGDi Blue Drive Premium 4WD DCT form start at £25,260, which would place it just outside of your £25,000 budget. As ever, though, What Car? can help lower that price, and our New Car Buying service can get you the same car for a more palatable £23,907 – a saving of more than 5% on the recommended retail price.
Also consider: Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
The Eclipse Cross is spacious inside and comes well equipped, and you can choose from a refined range of petrol engines. It doesn't feel as agile as some family SUV rivals, though.
Also consider: Ssangyong Tivoli
The Tivoli is roomy inside and interior quality is decent. It's also well priced, but compromises include average handling and a fidgety ride.
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