The safest SUVs and 4x4s

SUVs can make great family cars, but which of these stylish, high-riding vehicles is safest – and which is best avoided?...

Volvo XC40 Euro NCAP crash test

With their tough looks, 4x4s and SUVs have long been seen as some of the safest cars on the road. But in reality there are sizeable differences between the best and worst performers.

This is highlighted by the crash tests conducted by the independent assessors at Euro NCAP. So, if you're looking for a new SUV to keep you and your family safe, what should you choose?

Below we count down the 10 SUVs that have received the highest scores since the latest – and toughest – version of the Euro NCAP test was introduced at the start of 2018. Plus, we reveal the model which received just one star out of five.

Mercedes GLE front - 19 plate

Adult occupant protection 91% Child occupant protection 90% Pedestrian protection 78% Safety Assist 78%

Total Euro NCAP score 337

Some rivals are more practical and better to drive, but the Mercedes GLE has a dazzling interior, and on air suspension, is a comfortable cruiser. Whiplash protection is good, too, and the GLE has one of the best child occupant protection scores of any car tested.

Skoda Kamiq front

Adult occupant protection 96% Child occupant protection 85% Pedestrian protection 80% Safety Assist 76%

Total Euro NCAP score 337

This small SUV is very comfortable and easy to drive, without feeling like a wallowy barge, plus it's well priced and very roomy for its size. All of this helped it achieve a five-star What Car? rating, and Euro NCAP rates it just as highly; standard safety equipment includes lane keeping assistanceautomatic emergency braking (with pedestrian detection) and seven airbags.

Read our full Skoda Kamiq review >>

8. Seat Tarraco

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2019 Seat Tarraco front

Adult occupant protection 97% Child occupant protection 84% Pedestrian protection 79% Safety Assist 79%

Total Euro NCAP score 339

The largest of Seat's three SUVs is enjoyable to drive and generously equipped, but it isn’t as versatile as the very best alternatives. On the other hand, it outscored both its Skoda Kodiaq sister car and the award-winning Peugeot 5008 for adult and child occupant protection.

Read our full Seat Tarraco review >>

7. Lexus UX

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Lexus UX front

Adult occupant protection 96% Child occupant protection 85% Pedestrian protection 82% Safety Assist 77%

Total Euro NCAP score 340

Lexus's smallest SUV is offered exclusively as a hybrid, giving it low CO2 emissions and company car tax bills. What's more, every model comes with a Safety System Plus package, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and road sign detection. Unfortunately, the driving experience is so-so and the infotainment system and practicality are poor.