Top 10: the best family SUVs in 2020

Looking for a combination of practicality, value and class in an SUV-shaped package? Here we reveal the best, and worst, options...

Deciding which car is best for transporting you and your family is one of life’s more important decisions.

Best family SUVs

So, here we've gathered together our favourite family SUVs.

All of them cater well for the growing number of people looking for practicality, comfort and sensible running costs, but also a raised driving position and off-roader looks. And to help prevent you from making a big mistake, we've also named the models that are best avoided.

Finally, don't forget, if you decide one of the cars featured here is just what you're looking for, you could potentially save thousands without any haggling by using our New Car Buying service. You'll find links to our latest deals with each car.

Click on to the next slide to read our top 10 list >>

10. Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage front - 20-plate car

Stick to the lower trims and the Sportage is good value, giving you a lot of space and equipment for your money. It isn't as good at dealing with bumpy roads as the very best family SUVs, though, while the engines can be noisy and aren't especially frugal.

Find out the What Car? Target Price as well as the pros and cons in the next slide >>

Kia Sportage (cont.)

Kia Sportage - interior

What Car? Target Price RRP from £23,445 to £34,335 £22,019 

Pros
Great value - in the right spec
Good resale values
Decent rear seat space and boot

Cons
Diesel engines are very noisy
Lumpy ride
No AEB on the most recommendable versions 

09. Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai

The Qashqai is the car that started the trend for mainstream family SUVs and, as hard as it is to believe now, it was seen as something of a gamble when it was first introduced in 2007. Fortunately for Nissan, the blend of an elevated driving position and stylish looks made the Qashqai a huge hit. And while it's been surpassed by several rivals in the last couple of years, it remains a sound proposition, particularly if you choose the quiet and efficient 1.3-litre petrol version.

Find out the What Car? Target Price as well as the pros and cons in the next slide >>

Nissan Qashqai (cont.)

Nissan QASHQAI 1.5 DCI 115 ACENTA PREMIUM 5DR - interior

What Car? Target Price RRP from £20,565 to £36,295 £20,565 

Pros
Quiet and smooth
Quiet and smooth 1.3 petrol and 1.5 diesel engines
Surefooted handling and easy to drive

Cons
Top-end versions are very pricey
Ride comfort isn't great on 18in and 19in wheels
Reliability is a concern 

08. Audi Q3

Audi Q3 35 TFSI Sport S tronic [Comfort and Sound Pack]

Audi's second-generation Q3 offers a high-tech interior with plenty of space for both passengers and luggage. It's a decent car to drive, too, with composed handling and accurate steering. However, the ride can be a little firm and some of the bigger-selling engines can sound rough.

Find out the What Car? Target Price as well as the pros and cons in the next slide >>

Audi Q3 (cont)

Audi Q3 - interior

What Car? Target Price RRP from £31,885 to £49,480 £29,970 

Pros
Big boot
Impressive interior space
Relatively agile for a family SUV

Cons
Interior quality not up to usual Audi standards
Firmer ride than some rivals
Fiddly infotainment system 

07. Peugeot 3008

Peugeot 3008 off-road

The 3008 taps right into the current trend for aggressive exterior styling, while its interior looks like something you'd see in a motor show concept, with its mix of unusual materials and avant-garde design. It also offers good ride comfort and handling, and a large boot, but mediocre rear leg room and a sluggish infotainment system stop it finishing any higher on this list.

Find out the What Car? Target Price as well as the pros and cons in the next slide >>

Peugeot 3008 (cont.)

Peugeot 3008 - interior

What Car? Target Price RRP from £26,905 to £46,760 £25,220 

Pros
Stylish, high-quality interior
Large and practical boot
Strong engines

Cons
Rear space isn't class-leading
Pricier than some rivals
So-so infotainment system 

06. Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen Tiguan

This one-time Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage rival has been reinvented as a more expensive SUV, so now it’s up against formidable prestige-badged competition such as the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40. Fortunately, the latest Tiguan builds on the strengths of the original, offering more space and comfort, and improved efficiency. Unfortunately (for Volkswagen), it has two sister cars that are cheaper to buy and just as capable.

Find out the What Car? Target Price as well as the pros and cons in the next slide >>

Volkswagen Tiguan (cont.)

Volkswagen Tiguan - interior

What Car? Target Price RRP from £25,420 to £43,815 £23,914 

Pros
Handles well despite its size
Plenty of seating flexibility
Lots of standard equipment

Cons
Higher trims get pricey
CO2 emissions could be lower
Automatic gearbox is laggy 

05. BMW X1

BMW X1 front three quarters

Based on the same underpinnings as BMW's first MPV, the 2 Series Active Tourer, the X1 is a very practical choice that's available in both front- and four-wheel-drive forms. It's not very good at keeping out road noise, so you'll need to be sure you can live with that.

Find out the What Car? Target Price as well as the pros and cons in the next slide >>

BMW X1 (cont)

BMW X1 2019 LHD dashboard

What Car? Target Price RRP from £29,455 to £42,860 £27,542 

Pros
Fantastic infotainment system
High quality interior
Spacious and practical

Cons
Lots of road noise
Firm ride
So-so reliability 

04. Seat Ateca

Seat Ateca 1.5 TSI EVO FR [EZ]

The Ateca broke new ground for Seat, because the Spanish brand had previously built as many SUVs as it had spaceships. However, it proved well worth the wait, combining a spacious interior with best-in-class handling and much more attractive pricing than the closely related Volkswagen Tiguan.

Find out the What Car? Target Price as well as the pros and cons in the next slide >>

Seat Ateca (cont.)

Seat Ateca - interior

What Car? Target Price RRP from £23,040 to £37,435 £19,265 

Pros
Spacious interior
Surprisingly fun to drive
Keen pricing

Cons
Firm ride – especially with big alloys
Some rivals offer lower emissions
No clever seating tricks 

03. Skoda Karoq

Skoda Karoq driving

Like the Ateca, the Karoq offers many of the best bits of the Tiguan for thousands less. And while it's the least sporty of the three to drive, overall it's the best all-rounder, offering a polished ride and clever rear seats that can slide, recline or be removed entirely. It also comes with more standard equipment than the Ateca.

Find out the What Car? Target Price as well as the pros and cons in the next slide >>

Skoda Karoq (cont.)

Skoda Karoq interior

What Car? Target Price RRP from £22,765 to £35,255 £21,233 

Pros
Cosseting ride
Excellent space and seating flexibility
Smart-looking and sturdy interior

Cons
Less fun to drive than a Seat Ateca
Mazda CX-30 offers improved crash protection
Top models are rather expensive 

02. Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40 2020 front

The XC40 may have similar front and rear lights to the company’s other models to ensure a family resemblance, but the rest of the detailing and the overall proportions of the car are quite different; it certainly doesn't look as if Volvo has put the blueprints for the larger XC60 in a photocopier and set it to 75%. More importantly, though, the XC40 mixes its distinctive style with space, comfort, cutting-edge safety and relative affordability so ably that it's a former What Car? Car of the Year.

Find out the What Car? Target Price as well as the pros and cons in the next slide >>

Volvo XC40 (cont.)

Volvo XC40 2020 RHD dashboard

What Car? Target Price RRP from £25,295 to £59,920 £25,295 

Pros
Stylish and high-quality interior
A comfortable ride on most versions
Comprehensive list of safety features 

Cons
Lacks the rear seat flexibility of some rivals
Fiddly infotainment system
Road noise on the motorway

01. Range Rover Evoque

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque front left tracking wide RHD

It might well be the Evoque’s looks that first pique your interest, but it’s a sensational car on more objective levels, too. Good to drive, really posh inside and surprisingly practical, it even makes financial sense thanks to incredibly strong resale values and attractive monthly PCP finance costs. In short, it's the best family SUV you can buy today.

Find out the What Car? Target Price as well as the pros and cons in the next slide >>

Range Rover Evoque (cont.)

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque dashboard RHD

What Car? Target Price RRP from £31,725 to £51,860 £30,090 

Pros
Great driving position
Well equipped
Slow depreciation 

Cons
There are cheaper alternatives
So-so fuel economy and emissions
Land Rover's reliability record

Find out what the family SUVs to avoid are in the following slides >>

Mitsubishi ASX

Mitsubishi ASX

Although it's well equipped and has a decent infotainment system, there are too many areas in which the ASX is poor. Despite soft springing, it isn’t very comfortable, while the engine needs working very hard. Factor in tight rear head room and it’s a long way off the class best.

MG GS

MG GS

Unlike the ASX, the GS has a peppy engine and a very spacious interior. Unfortunately, the ride is poor and it feels very cheap inside. If you're on a tight budget, the Dacia Duster is a much better choice.

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