Best Compact SUV
Land Rover Freelander
BEST COMPACT SUV: Land Rover Freelander
FEW firms have the off-road heritage of Land Rover – and that shows in the marque’s line-up. When it comes to building compact SUVs, the Freelander is proof that the Solihull brand simply can’t be beaten.
A raft of new arrivals have aimed to knock it off its perch in the past 12 months, but the smallest Land Rover reigns supreme. So what makes it so good? The answer lies in its terrific all-round abilities. It is hugely capable in the rough, but also manages to deliver a rewarding and refined on-road experience.
It feels more like a conventional hatch from behind the wheel, so choosing it as your only vehicle won’t leave you thinking you’ve made sacrifices for the freedom to head off-road. The stylish exterior is mirrored inside with high-quality trim and plenty of space. The huge 755-litre boot makes it as practical as an estate, and the big cabin means it is a versatile family car. Then there’s the lure of the badge, which easily matches premium brands for driveway appeal.
Engine choices are limited, with only one diesel – but the 2.2-litre TD4 is so good you don’t need anything else. It provides a well judged mix of economy and pace, while a host of electronic gadgetry ensures you won’t get stuck when the going gets really tough.
Shortlist: Land Rover Freelander (new winner)Honda CR-VHyundai Santa Fe Toyota RAV-4Vauxhall AntaraCitroen C-Crosser Nissan X-TrailChevrolet CaptivaJeep Wrangler Peugeot 4007 VW Tiguan Ford KugaMitsubishi Outlander
In this review
- 1IntroductionThe best new cars on sale in the UK over the last 12 months are revealed.
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- 5Best CoupeAudi TT
- 6Best Sporting CarNissan GT-R
- 7Best Hot HatchMINI John Cooper Works
- 8Best MPVFord S-Max
- 9Best Estate CarFord Mondeo
- 10Best Premium SUVLand Rover Discovery
- 11Best Compact SUV - currently readingLand Rover Freelander
- 12Best Luxury CarMercedes S-Class
- 13Best Executive CarJaguar XF
- 14Best Compact Executive CarAudi A4
- 15Best Family CarFord Mondeo