What Car? Personal Shopper: best sporty SUV for £25k
Want a new car but don't know where to start? Just send us your criteria and we'll give you our recommended choice, the best new and used alternatives, and tell you how much we can save you...
- Our recommended choice: Seat Ateca 1.4 EcoTSI 150 FR
- List price: £25,690
- Best What Car? deal: £23,299
Seat likes to market itself as a sporty brand, and the Ateca shows this is more than just hype, mixing precise steering with class-leading agility to deliver a genuinely fun drive.
Specify it with our favoured 1.4-litre turbo engine, and it has strong performance to match its sweet handling. Plus, this is balanced with clever cylinder shut-off technology that helps ensure great fuel economy and low emissions.
Inside, a family will have room to stretch out, with rear leg room particularly generous. And FR models are very well equipped, getting LED headlights, an upgraded sat-nav and a rear-view camera, in addition to twin exhausts and sports seats.
- Also consider: Mazda CX-5 2.0 Sport Nav
- List price: £27,095
- Best What Car? deal: £24,412
The latest CX-5 is even roomier than the Ateca, and soaks up poorly surfaced roads much better than rivals such as the Skoda Kodiaq. Yet this big Mazda is still fun to drive because its well-weighted steering gives you the confidence to place the car exactly where you want it.
- Also consider: Toyota CH-R 1.2T Design
- List price: £24,165
- Best What Car? deal: £23,960
The hybrid version of Toyota's funky SUV makes a lot of sense as a company car, but private buyers like Sam are better off with the regular 1.2-litre petrol model because it's much better at soaking up bumps and feels remarkably agile for a car of this sort.