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Used Car of the Year Awards contenders: family SUVs
You’ll have to wait until 30 September for the winners of the 2021 What Car? Used Car of the Year Awards to be announced, but you can get a preview of the top contenders here...
Less than £13,000
Family car buyers looking at an SUV want good fuel economy, plenty of luggage capacity for shopping and pushchairs, plus a safety net should things go wrong. Well, most Sportages come with a thrifty 1.7-litre diesel, the boot is plenty big enough for a family, plus even a three-year-old example will have four years of manufacturers cover left. A fine used choice.
Before the Ateca came along, driver appeal wasn't what you'd expect from a family SUV. This Seat changed all that, and it's still highly practical and well finished inside with its Leon-derived dashboard layout and easy-to-use controls.
The current Duster is a world away from the rather crude original and is a noticeable step up in quality on the inside. Plus, thanks to its low new car price, you'll find plenty of good, used mid-spec Comfort cars for this modest budget.
Less than £16,000
Some may baulk at buying an older BMW X1 compared with its other price point contenders, but there really isn't anything to fear from going for a 2016 example, according to its high score in our recent What Car? Reliability survey. Most are very well specified too, with an electric tailgate, among other premium features, coming as standard.
The sharp looks of the 3008 will cut quite a dash on the school run, plus you can fit the lankiest of teens in the back, thanks to a near-flat rear floor and plenty of leg room. Even the small 1.2 petrol is a feisty engine with enough muscle to haul this SUV up to speed outside the urban jungle.
The Karoq is a lot of car for the money new, and it makes even more sense as a used buy. Every model has dual-zone climate control, cruise control and an excellent touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity. It drives well, too.
Less than £20,000
Yes, you are seeing the BMW X1 twice. We'd have loved to have been able to recommend the Range Rover Evoque, but the reliability of that car is so poor, according to owners, that we went for the X1 instead. Besides, this BMW has an equally luxurious interior with a far superior infotainment system. Plus, it has quieter engines and drives much better on the road, which is where most family SUV buyers use their cars anyway.
The onset of the facelifted Tiguan has made the older car even better value, to the point where a well-appointed model that's just a year old is within your grasp, despite being very pricey new. It's spacious, practical and good to drive, too.
True, the Q3 is the oldest design here, but late models came loaded with kit and the 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol is a peach of an engine that's both very flexible and economical.
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