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Best SUVs to buy 2024

There are plenty of great SUVs to choose from, so we’ve picked out the very best

SUVs are becoming the go-to option for a huge number of drivers, whether they want space for the family, a high driving position or, at least in some cases, a capable off-road car. The best SUVs offer lots of capability for your cash and there are loads of options, too.

Top 10 best SUVs to buy 2024

  1. Hyundai Tucson
  2. Dacia Duster
  3. Skoda Kodiaq
  4. Hyundai Kona 
  5. MINI Countryman
  6. Volvo EX30
  7. Porsche Cayenne
  8. Kia EV9
  9. Kia Sportage
  10. Lexus NX

1. Hyundai Tucson 

Pros

Cons

  • Hybrid power
  • Great on-board tech
  • Premium feel
  • Expensive plug-in hybrid model
  • Engine trashy at higher revs
  • Not especially fun to drive
  • Prices from £32,000
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The Hyundai Tucson has been our Mid-size SUV of the Year in 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024, so it’s pretty safe to say that we like it. This market domination comes from the car’s brilliant all-round ability on top of its sheer desirability, and a midlife facelift has only boosted its credentials. The Tucson is packed with kit, and higher-spec versions get a panoramic roof, wireless phone charging, a rear-view camera and as many safety systems as you could hope for. 

The updated Tucson’s interior feels classier than many rivals’ and all versions get twin 12.3-inch displays. The 620-litre boot should be enough for most families, too. The 158bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol with a manual gearbox is a good option, or you could opt for the slightly more expensive hybrid with a seven-speed auto. This powertrain offers the best fuel economy of the Tucson line-up at 48.7mpg on the WLTP combined cycle.

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Visually, the latest Tucson is a huge departure from the tame looks of previous generations, and the bold design really stands out on the road. Whether you like the looks or not, Hyundai should at least be commended for not playing it safe and by trying to make its family SUV stand out. 

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To really succeed in the family car market, a focus on practicality is a must and the Tucson’s 620-litre boot dwarfs the Nissan Qashqai’s load area and comfortably beats the SEAT Ateca’s 510 litres. The amount of legroom on offer will be a blessing for those sitting in the back and there’s plenty of headroom. 

2. Dacia Duster

Pros

Cons

  • Spacious cabin
  • Extra interior room
  • Off-road ability of four-wheel drive model
  • Some cheap-feeling interior plastics
  • Automatic is slow
  • Vague steering
  • Prices from £18,000
  • Best value for money

The second-generation Dacia Duster was one of the cheapest brand-new cars in the UK, yet its owners named it as the best car to own in our 2024 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. It’s this blend of affordability and capability that ensured the Duster’s success, and now the third-generation car has arrived to continue this legacy.

With bolder styling and a larger stature, the latest Duster does stand out a bit more than its predecessor, but Dacia has still ensured that budget-friendliness is at the forefront of its design. Standard equipment consists of features that will actually be used, rather than fancy gimmicks, while most of the materials are sturdy instead of plush. There’s still the option of four-wheel drive, too.

3. Skoda Kodiaq

Pros

Cons

  • Well-equipped
  • Good ergonomics
  • Massive boot
  • Not fun to drive
  • Sluggish engines
  • Floaty ride
  • Prices from £37,000
  • Best for families
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The original Skoda Kodiaq was one of our favourite SUVs throughout its lifetime, and it managed to bag our Large SUV of the Year award in 2023. Today, the new model has arrived, and it follows the same successful formula as its predecessor. It’s a winning formula, as the new model claimed the Best Large SUV crown at our 2024 New Car Awards

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The seven-seat Kodiaq has plenty of practicality on board with lots of storage bins and a huge 910-litre boot with the rear row folded away. The materials don’t feel particularly luxurious but they do feel well put together and sturdy – something a family-friendly SUV like the Kodiaq really requires. The only downside is that it’s rather dull to drive.

4. Hyundai Kona

Pros

Cons

  • Comfortable and refined
  • Spacious cabin
  • Choice of petrol, hybrid and EV power
  • Not especially fun to drive
  • Hybrid and 1.0-litre versions are slow
  • Too futuristic-looking for some
  • Prices from £26,000

While the original Hyundai Kona proved popular with owners, there were just a few too many flaws for it to be a class leader. A dull interior, meagre space and a lack of driver engagement were three of the biggest weaknesses that held this compact SUV back. Now, though, the second-generation Kona is in town, and Hyundai has listened very carefully to its customers’ feedback.

The latest Kona has grown in size and is based on the same K3 platform as the Kia Niro EV. This means that this small SUV offers a much better level of space and practicality than its predecessor. It’s chock-full of standard tech, too, with a pair of 12.3-inch screens acting as the interior centrepiece. These run the brand’s latest infotainment software, and it’s a very easy system to use.

5. MINI Countryman

Pros

Cons

  • Great cabin design
  • Optional sliding rear seats
  • Lots of interior space
  • Slow-witted gearbox
  • So-so performance
  • Firm ride on 20-inch wheels
  • Prices from £30,000
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Your eyes don’t deceive you, there is indeed a MINI on our best SUVs list. While the legitimacy of its badge has been the subject of many online debates, there’s little doubting the latest MINI Countryman’s sheer appeal, and it’s easily one of the brand’s best offerings yet.

The latest Countryman is even bigger than its predecessor, but this means it now offers even more space and better practicality to accompany its distinctive retro appeal. The choice of petrol or fully-electric power is a welcome addition, too. 

6. Volvo EX30

Pros

Cons

  • Performance
  • Price
  • Interior quality
  • Interior useability
  • Higher insurance groupings than rivals
  • Average warranty
  • Prices from £33,500

Volvos have always been a bit of a premium left-field choice, but they’ve never really been associated with low prices. The Volvo EX30 caused a real stir when it arrived on the market as it’s a fully-electric SUV with over 200 miles of battery range and an upmarket-feeling interior, but it costs less than £34,000.

This price puts the EX30 at the lower end of the current EV pricing spectrum, and it outshines and outsizes many of its similarly-priced city car, supermini and hatchback rivals. However, those who are opposed to the use of touchscreens in modern cars will probably be better off looking elsewhere.

7. Porsche Cayenne

Pros

Cons

  • Performance and handling
  • Porsche badge prestige
  • Four-wheel drive capability
  • No seven-seat option
  • High running costs
  • Expensive options
  • Prices from £76,000
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In the not too distant past, SUVs were lumbering, off-road focused machines that were often seriously lacking in road manners. The original Porsche Cayenne tore up the rule book when it arrived in 2002, and today the latest model continues to bring sports car levels of excitement to the SUV world.

There are a number of performance SUVs on today’s market, but the Porsche Cayenne remains one of the best cars to drive in its class. It’s still comfortable and practical, too, so you may be able to justify purchasing one as a family car. Just be prepared for the inevitable costs that come with a premium badge.

8. Kia EV9

Pros

Cons

  • Lots of space for seven people
  • Rapid charging speed
  • Excellent ride
  • Efficiency could be better
  • Captain’s chairs are a bit of a gimmick
  • High insurance prices on 4x4 models
  • Prices from £65,000
  • Best for space

With seven seats and zero emissions, the Kia EV9 is a great choice for large, eco-conscious families. This giant SUV is only available as a fully-electric car, and it claims up to 349 miles of range from its 99.8kWh battery. This should prove plenty for most daily needs, and there’s plenty of space inside for all of your loved ones, too, including the very tallest.

With all three rows of seats in place, the EV9 still offers 333 litres of boot space, so it’ll take on the weekly shop with ease. Fold the rear seats, though, and you’ll have a whopping 828 litres at your disposal. Drop the middle row and this increases the Kia’s cargo space even further to a van-like 2,318 litres, so you can shop for furniture to your heart’s content.

9. Kia Sportage

Pros

Cons

  • Spacious cabin
  • Impressive infotainment setup
  • Refined
  • Polarising looks
  • Not that fun to drive
  • Top-spec models are expensive
  • Prices from £30,000
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The latest Kia Sportage is officially one of the UK’s best-selling cars, and given that it provides space, efficiency and top-quality tech for a starting price of less than £30,000, it’s not too difficult to see why Kia’s mid-size SUV is proving so popular.

Admittedly, the Sportage’s bold styling (particularly at the front end) may be enough to deter some potential buyers, but for those who like to stand out, Kia’s mid-size SUV was ranked as the eleventh best car to own in our 2024 Driver Power survey. The brand’s seven-year/100,000-mile warranty is always a plus point, too.

10. Lexus NX

Pros

Cons

  • Efficient hybrid technology
  • Modern infotainment system
  • Ride comfort
  • Expensive plug-in hybrid model
  • CVT auto transmission
  • Some pricey optional kit
  • Prices from £44,500

With a well built, premium interior that’s full of tech, a selection of cutting-edge powertrains and plenty of on-road performance, the Lexus NX showcases what a modern SUV is all about. It’s such an appealing package that we’ve named it our Mid-size Premium SUV of the Year for three years running.

The 350h self-charging hybrid is clever and returns decent fuel efficiency, but the 450h+ plug-in hybrid was Lexus’ first PHEV model and is a great one at that. Most PHEVs require a charged battery at all times to make sense financially, but the PHEV can cover 40 miles on purely-electric power, and when the battery runs out it can still return more than 40mpg. 

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We like the mix of touchscreen and physical buttons on the dashboard, the fit and finish is second to none, and the infotainment system is responsive and is a huge upgrade over the previous model’s set-up. 

Which SUV should I buy?

If you’re among the many UK car buyers considering an SUV then you're spoilt for choice. Almost every manufacturer makes at least one SUV these days with most making numerous different SUV models from supermini-size small SUVs to family-friendly mid-size SUVs and larger seven-seater or luxury SUVs at the top end of the market. While having lots of options is a benefit in some ways, it does make finding the best SUV to meet your specific needs a bit more difficult.

SUVs all follow a similar basic formula when it comes to design, with a higher ride height than a normal car and chunky design typified by big wheel arches and bumpers. That tall shape provides a higher seating position for easier access and a better view out.   

It’s the practicality and rugged looks of SUVs that have seduced so many UK buyers in recent years. The off-road ability will be useful for some but most will be more interested in the way the ground clearance and absorbent suspension helps them over speed humps and potholes on the road.

It’s not just a case of picking which manufacturer you like, however. Even if you opt for one of the UK’s best SUVs, it might not meet your needs as well as another model, because different SUVs are designed for different purposes.

Even if we limit the search to SUVs big enough to serve as family cars, with space for at least four adults and large boots for luggage or dogs, you’ve still got to consider whether to choose a mainstream or premium brand SUV, decide if you need five or seven seats and select petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric power. That's before all the different SUV models and trim levels even come into it.

We’ve focused on the best — and best value — family-sized models in this list but if you’re after something smaller, our best small SUVs list has the more compact models covered. We also have specific guides to the best mid-size SUVs, best large SUVs, best luxury SUVs and the most economical SUVs.

Hitting the rough stuff? These are the best 4x4s and off-road cars to buy

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Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

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