Land Rover Freelander 2

Best Compact SUV of the year is the Land Rover Freelander 2 for the third year in a row.

Why it won...

Can anything stop the rugged Freelander 2? For the third year on the trot, the British-built machine has steamrollered the opposition to secure the compact SUV honours. Premium looks, refined driving dynamics and unbeatable off-road credentials have all helped the Land Rover maintain its grip on the top spot.

But it’s the high-class, practical and solidly built interior that seals the SUV’s success in this category – few family cars feel as special or serve up quite as much versatility. While the engine range is limited, the smooth 2.2-litre diesel delivers punchy performance.

The option of a start-stop system helps to increase fuel economy and slash CO2 emissions, too. If you’re looking for the best compact 4x4 by far, then your search ends right here.

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Commended:

Audi Q5 It’s hard not to be impressed by the classy Audi Q5. Beautifully built and neatly styled, the German soft-roader has sharper on-tarmac dynamics than any other compact SUV.

It also features a strong engine line-up, excellent interior quality and an unimpeachable premium image. It can’t quite match the Land Rover in the rough stuff, but even this fails to undermine the Audi’s appeal.

Volkswagen Tiguan The capable Tiguan doesn’t shout about its abilities, but overlook the compact off-roader at your peril. It’s not as eye-catching as some rivals, yet the high-riding VW is well built, refined and has agile handling. An impressive line-up of TSI and TDI engines broadens its appeal, while the company’s BlueMotion technology delivers genuine eco-friendly credentials.

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