Top 10: the best luxury SUVs in 2020 (and the ones to avoid)

The best luxury SUVs are as practical as they are classy and as desirable as they are relaxing to drive. Here we count down the top 10 – and reveal the ones to avoid...

An increasing number of car buyers are shunning prestige saloons in favour of luxury SUVs, drawn in by the appeal of their elevated driving positions, rugged looks and upmarket interiors.

Best luxury SUVs

The best also offer a cosseting ride, punchy performance and the sort of refinement that makes long journeys effortless. So, here we count down our top 10 – and name the luxury SUVs that are best avoided. 

And remember, if you like the look of any of these models, then we can help you buy one for a great price through our free New Car Buying service.

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

10. Range Rover

Range Rover cornering front three quarters

The Range Rover is one of the great motoring icons and every bit as compelling a proposition today as it was when it was first introduced more than 40 years ago. Our recommended SDV6 diesel engine has more than enough shove for everyday driving, while even entry level Vogue models come well equipped.

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

Range Rover (cont.)

2020 Range Rover P400 dashboard

What Car? Target Price RRP from £83,790 to £179,715 £83,790

Pros
Superbly comfortable and refined
V6 diesel has plenty of low-down flexibility
Prodigious off-road ability

Cons
Expensive to buy
Thirsty petrol engines
Reliability is poor 

09. Range Rover Sport

Range Rover Sport front three quarters

The second Range Rover to make the list is the Sport, which is based on the full-sized Range Rover. It’s no surprise, then, that it’s a fantastic car for covering long distances, with a smooth engine and a relaxed ride. What's more, the interior is luxurious and generously equipped, and there's the option of seven seats.

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

Range Rover Sport (cont)

Range Rover Sport interior

What Car? Target Price RRP from £65,295 to £114,915 £62,125

Pros
Impressive refinement
Comfortable ride
Sumptuous interior

Cons
Expensive to buy
Poor reliability record
The infotainment system is slow and fiddly

08. Audi Q8

Audi Q8 front

Despite sitting at the top of Audi's now extensive SUV range, the Q8 is a fraction smaller than the Q7, its raison d'etre being its outlandish style and presence, a corollary of its sloping roofline, wider stance and massive and purposeful front grille. Yes, the Q8 is expensive, but it's also beautifully made, wonderfully refined and boasts an opulent and spacious interior.

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

 

Audi Q8 (cont.)

Audi Q8 - interior

What Car? Target Price RRP from £66,745 to £105,180 £61,289

Pros
Spacious interior
Fantastic build quality
Very quiet

Cons
High list price
Fiddly infotainment system
Average warranty

07. Mercedes GLE

Mercedes GLE front - 19 plate

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. Go for the 400d and you also get one of the best diesel engines around: it blends effortless performance with good fuel economy, and is both smooth and quiet, even under hard acceleration.

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

Mercedes GLE (cont.)

Mercedes-Benz GLE interior

What Car? Target Price RRP from £57,790 to £110,533 £50,587

Pros
Swanky looking interior
Quiet cruising manners
Loads of second-row leg room

Cons
Rivals have a bigger boot
Cramped third row seats
Not exactly sharp to drive

06. Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90 T8 front cornering - 69-plate car

The latest version of Volvo's XC90 is enjoyable to drive and much smarter than its predecessor inside, yet it remains every bit as practical, with flexible seating and a huge boot. Only average refinement and a slightly unsettled ride stop it making the top four here.

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

Volvo XC90 (cont.)

Volvo XC90

What Car? Target Price RRP from £54,285 to £73,855 £49,706

Pros
Classy interior
Practical seven-seat interior
A brilliant plug-in hybrid version

Cons
Unsettled ride
Road and suspension noise
Fiddly infotainment system

05. Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery off-road

The latest Discovery is more practical than any of its rivals, but it’s also great to drive and even pretty good value for money and slow to depreciate. Much like its predecessor, the all-new Discovery is a whopping great seven-seater. It also has lots of ingenious storage spaces, including two gloveboxes and a hidden compartment behind the dashboard air-con control panel.

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

Land Rover Discovery (cont.)

Land Rover Discovery - interior

What Car? Target Price RRP from £48,015 to £71,120 £45,017

Pros
Brilliant off-road
Roomy third row space
Attractive PCP offers

Cons
Audi Q7 is classier inside
Average to drive on road
Fuel economy and CO2 emissions

04. BMW X5

BMW X5 45e front cornering - 69-plate car

BMW's original X5 was one of the first road-focused 4x4s, and this latest model sticks closely to that car's winning formula, with decent practicality and sharper handling than most rivals. On the inside, there’s plenty of space five, a large boot and a commanding driving position. The optional third-row seats are cramped, though.

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

BMW X5 (cont.)

BMW X5 45e dashboard - 69-plate car

What Car? Target Price RRP from £60,125 to £78,125 £54,822

Pros
A fantastic plug-in hybrid version
Great to drive
Classy, well-designed interior

Cons
Expensive to buy
Third row of seats costs extra
Relatively small boot

03. BMW X7

BMW X7 front

Big, bold, comfortable, and with a luxurious interior – the X7 is a very worthy recent addition to BMW’s lineup and the luxury SUV class. It's also one of the most practical cars in the class; even six-footers will have plenty of space in the third row, while the boot is enormous when those seats are folded away.

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

BMW X7 (cont.)

BMW X7 interior

What Car? Target Price RRP from £74,265 to £113,570 £69,975

Pros
Super quiet and comfortable
Incredibly spacious and practical
Outstanding infotainment system

Cons
There are cheaper alternatives
Feels its size and weight on the road
Looks won't be to all tastes

02. Range Rover Velar

2020 Range Rover Velar P250 R-Dynamic SE driving

With prices starting at around £45,000, the Velar bridges the gap between the cheapest Range Rover, the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. It’s the most road-biased Range Rover ever, even though it’s still incredibly capable in the rough stuff. Just bear in mind that you have to step up from the base model to S trim to get sat-nav, a properly punchy stereo, a rear-view camera and leather rather than cloth seats.

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

Range Rover Velar (cont.)

2020 Range Rover Velar P250 R-Dynamic SE interior

What Car? Target Price RRP from £45,710 to £86,725 £43,159

Pros
Decent economy with the D180 diesel
Massive boot
Good off road

Cons
Average rear leg room
Slow-witted infotainment
Some cheap plastics inside

01. Audi Q7

Audi Q7 front three quarters

Audi's flagship 4x4 is the best luxury SUV you can buy. It's relaxing to drive, comfortable to sit in and pleasantly efficient to run, while its interior is plush enough to compete with models that cost twice as much. As if all that weren't enough, the Q7 is very practical, offering more than enough space for families and their luggage and seven seats as standard.

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

Audi Q7 (cont.)

Audi Q7 - interior

What Car? Target Price RRP from £56,940 to £96,380 £52,046

Pros
Smooth and powerful engines
Pillowy ride in Sport and S line trims
Stunning interior quality

Cons
Rivals have better infotainment systems
Third-row space is better in the BMW X7
Plug-in hybrid is average to drive

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

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Grand Cherokee

If you'll be regularly going off road, then the Grand Cherokee is certainly a capable mud-plugger. Trouble is, it's not especially impressive on the road, and there's no seven-seat option, either.

Maserati Levante

Maserati Levante V6 S

The Maserati Levante is spacious and well equipped, but the driving experience doesn’t live up to the badge’s promise. The diesel engine is noisy, the handling stodgy and the ride bumpy.

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