For the automotive industry, 2016 is the year of the SUV (or 4×4). Where there was once bumpy rides, noisy engines and high fuel costs to boot, we now have safe, spacious, comfortable and reasonably fuel efficient vehicles, becoming more stylish with every new model. There are all kinds of SUVs around, from cheap and cheerful to luxurious, and from the small to the really quite substantial. Here’s a quick look at our pick of the best SUVs for 2016.
A compact, rugged 4×4 that costs the same as a small hatchback, the Dacia Duster is a popular SUV choice among critics. It handles some off-roading, though it’s more suited to a rough track than any major challenges. The basic model is just that – basic, but it’s hardy, no-nonsense, cheap and cheerful, without any costly frills.
Tough, roomy and seven seats as standard, the Kia Sorento is an SUV that can handle most tasks. All models come with four-wheel drive, so it’s good for towing and capable off-road, and with an interior that provides plenty of space, it’s great for cargo – human or otherwise. Its quite a firm drive, perhaps not as soft as more pricey SUVs, but it remains a comfortable ride at decent value.
Hyundai Santa Fe
The Hyundai Santa Fe is an upmarket family 4×4 with a spacious interior. It’s available with five or seven seats, and four-wheel drive on every model. The inside is incredibly roomy and they all come with an amazing 5-year warranty. At £31,000 for the basic model, it sits besides the premium SUVs in terms of cost, but unfortunately can’t quite keep up in terms of cabin quality or badge appeal. Definitely still worth considering though.
The SEAT Ateca is the Spanish manufacturer’s first step into the realms of SUVs, and it’s going down a storm. It’s a stylish entry, with sharp, sporty aesthetics that SEAT often brings. Its handling and comfortable drive have been praised, and it comes with a total of five engine options – two petrol and three diesel. With the top-end XCELLENCE model reaching only £29,990, it’s not too costly either. Read our full SEAT Ateca review here.
With a broad range of engines and prices, Jaguar’s first SUV, the Jaguar F-Pace, is rivalling its mid-range competitors. The 2.0 litre diesel model is gutsy enough for most, offering rear-wheel or a slightly more expensive four-wheel drive. Although pricey, the pick of the engines is the V6. It provides a more relaxing drive, but will throw you in the back of your seat when you want.
Sitting among the larger SUVs, the Volvo XC90 offers a practical seven-seat layout, huge boot and highly finished interior. If you’re buying a 4×4 for space, practicality and aesthetic, then this could be your best choice. Petrol, diesel and hybrid engines are all available.
The second generation Audi Q7 is delivering a healthy dose of luxury into SUV driving. Its comfortable ride, with optional air suspension, separates it from its sportier rivals, while a generous interior and seven seats make it practical too. With four-wheel drive, it has some off-road ability, but is really made for surefooted and comfortable on-road driving.
Range Rover Sport
An exceptional drive, luxurious interior and diverse capabilities are just some of the big selling points for the Range Rover Sport. With handling beyond what can be expected for its size, and an abundance of space for practicality, its no wonder this SUV has made it into our shortlist. The only thing to watch out for – this quality doesn’t come cheap.
Has this helped you make your mind up about purchasing an SUV? Are there any top SUVs we’ve missed from our selection? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter (@WeWantAnyCar).
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