8. Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage

Who'd have thought a Kia would be the best-looking car in the class? That's exactly what the Kia Sportage crossover is, and the stunning styling has combined with strong practicality, decent kit, a wide choice of engines and a great value price to make the car a popular choice. Plus, Kia's market-leading warranty will take care of any problems.

Buyers happy with front-wheel drive can choose from 1.6-litre petrol or 1.7-litre diesel engines, while those who want to use their Sportage off-road – or need good towing capacity – can choose 2.0-litre petrol or diesel engines with four-wheel drive and a differential lock.

Petrol models score on refinement, but the diesels are naturally more efficient – the 1.7 CRDi 2WD model returns reasonable 54.3mpg fuel consumption. And while 135g/km emissions mean higher road tax bills than for rivals, this version sits in insurance group 10.

All models have strong safety credentials, as well as impressive interior quality. Boot size is another strong point – with the rear seats in place, the Sportage's 564-litre capacity betters many rivals.

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