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Used Car of the Year Awards contenders: large 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 £19,000
Much like the Seat Ateca previously mentioned, the CX-5 revolutionised how we thought an SUV could drive, particularly one that wouldn't break the bank to buy. Used versions of the current car are plentiful in both fizzy petrol and refined diesel forms.
Citroën C5 Aircross
The C5 Aircross is almost the antithesis of the Mazda CX-5 in that it would prefer you to recline into its soft, armchair-like seats and travel at a more relaxed pace. Entry-level Feel has plenty of features to keep the techno-savvy happy while the 128bhp 1.2-litre petrol provides decent grunt for a car of this size.
No excuses need to be given for Skoda's first large SUV: it's simply very good. Most examples come with a torquey diesel and you can even find them with the seven-seat option, unlike the others in this price bracket.
Less than £25,000
This second-generation X3 corrected many of the mistakes of the first and was a truly premium competitor. Our money gets us a later 2017 example of the X3, which has an improved 2.0-litre diesel engine that doesn't have the problems of earlier ones.
The Jaguar F-Pace is a good-looking SUV that's nice to drive, and most get plenty of toys as standard. Early examples may have had a few teething troubles, but later examples have proven to be a bit more durable, according to the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, and vastly outperform the equivalent Land Rover.
What's most impressive about the XC60 is that you can afford to get the latest version, which benefits from all the latest safety technology that some of the others in the highest price point miss out on. Plus, the current car has a plush interior that will impress even the fussiest of passengers.
Less than £30,000
You could say that the current Q5 is the epitome of classy large SUVs, because nothing else can quite match its refinement, technology and interior quality. For the money, you'll get the popular and economical 2.0-litre diesel in either Sport or S Line trim.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
You'd expect a car from a brand with a strong sporting pedigree like Alfa Romeo to drive well, and the Stelvio certainly does. So well, in fact, that we can forgive some of the cheap-feeling interior plastic.
Land Rover Discovery Sport
The onset of the facelifted Discovery Sport has had a knock-on effect on used prices, so a 2019 example from a dealer, with low mileage and a decent spec, is easily achievable for this money. Some will be in more practical seven-seat form.