Best SUVs for families

Looking for the best SUV to take you and your family from S to V? Here are the best new and used options

James Wilson
Jun 24, 2019

An SUV can be many things to many people. But these high-riding four-wheeled wonders are best suited to serving the needs of this great nation’s families. As you may be aware, UK car buyers have gone a little SUV crazy. So much so the market is now flooded with new, nearly new, and used SUVs.

Better still for motorists with kids, there are SUVs tailored to almost every single type of family. SUVs for a family of four, five, six or even seven are all catered for by the likes of Volvo, BMW, Hyundai, Kia and Mercedes. Similarly, if you want your family SUV to be luxurious, compact or even battery-powered, the market has tonnes to offer (quite literally).

To save you hunting through all the good and bad SUVs, we’ve highlighted the best of the best.

The first size category is small, which is suited to those who want the SUV feel without having to drive something with its own postcode.

Next up are the medium-sized options. These are bigger, but by no means huge. They tend to be a little bit more upmarket in terms of interior quality but still offer value for family motorists.

Last but not least we have large family SUVs. Some of the most expensive cars on sale are large SUVs, but the ones we have here do away with obscene price tags and deliver practicality few other cars can rival, for less than you might think.

The best small SUVs for families

The best medium SUVs for families

The best large SUVs for families


The best small SUVs for families

Citroen C3 Aircross

Latest Citroen C3 Aircross deals from £9,546
Finance from £138 per month

The Citroen C3 Aircross is an excellent option for the fun-loving family. Its funky styling, bright colours and quirky yet comfy cabin really help it stand out from the crowd. A five-star Euro NCAP crash test safety rating cements it as a go-to family car.

Go for a Feel model, as they have alloy wheels, air conditioning and cruise control. One word of warning though, the entertainment system isn’t to everyone's liking.
Citroen C3 Aircross buying guide

Dacia Duster

Latest Dacia Duster deals from £11,629
Finance from £166 per month

Thanks to a price stag starting at less than £10,000, you might as well buy a brand new Duster and make full use of Dacia’s 3 year/60,000 mile warranty. The interior isn't the most luxurious, but it looks good and is simple and effective to use.

Regardless of age, entry-level Access models are best avoided, though, as the equipment they come with is almost non-existent. Middle of the range Comfort models, which start at around £13,000 come with alloys, cruise control, air-conditioning plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and are one of the sweeter points in the range. There are both petrol and diesel models available, plus the option of two or four-wheel drive.
Dacia Duster buying guide

Seat Arona

Latest Seat Arona deals from £12,500
Finance from £176 per month

Seat is part of the Volkswagen Audi Group. This means that when you buy a Seat you are buying many of the same parts used on more expensive VWs and Audis, such as the engines and entertainment systems - which is good news - as Seats are typically a good chunk cheaper than Volkswagens and Audis, despite many of those shared parts.

We’d pick the punchy yet frugal 1.0-litre TSI 115hp petrol engine. This makes the Arona feel relatively nippy, but should be capable of close to 50mpg, meaning fuel bills should be low.
Seat Arona buying guide

The best medium SUVs for families

Mazda CX-5

Latest Mazda CX-5 deals from £19,390
Finance from £252 per month

The Mazda CX-5 isn’t too flashy or in your face. Plus it’s well-equipped, well built, and offers a level of driving pleasure well above its rivals.

We’d recommend the latest version, which has been on sale since 2017. If buying new, SE-L Nav+ models are a great option (despite being the entry-level version, as they still come with tonnes of standard kit) with new prices starting around the £26,000 mark.
Mazda CX-5 buying guide


Volvo XC60

Latest Volvo XC60 deals from £27,840
Finance from £395 per month

There is a type of family out there that we are all jealous of. They tan when they go on holiday. Their dog sits when it's told. They are about to redo the kitchen, despite their house already being stunning. To top it all off they have a car which is cool, stylish, reliable, refined, comfy, safe and packed full of technology sat on the drive. While we can’t help with the tan, dog or kitchen, we can tell you that the car on the drive is most likely a Volvo XC60.

The XC60 is Volvo’s medium-sized SUV, and while it is at the pricier end of the market, the kudos is worth the cash. The used market is healthy thanks to the current XC60 going on sale in 2017, and so too is the choice of trim level. New or used, Momentum models come with great levels of kit.
Volvo XC60 buying guide

Skoda Yeti

Latest Skoda Yeti deals from £9,499
Finance from £133 per month

For many, the Skoda Yeti provided a turning point in the UK’s motoring industry. It combined all the things people liked about hatchbacks, but added a dash more practicality, lifted ride height (so it was easy to get in and out of) and the impression it was built to last. Where it differed from most other SUVs that came before, is its characterful styling that makes it more interesting to look at than most of the small crossovers that predate it.

The Yeti is no longer on sale (production stopped in 2017), but good 2015 models can be picked up for less than £10,000. Irrespective of whether you want a Yeti which is petrol, diesel, automatic, manual, two or four-wheel drive, there is a model for you. SE trim is a good one to go for, striking a good balance between price and equipment.
Skoda Yeti buying guide

The best large SUVs for families

Hyundai Santa Fe

Latest Hyundai Santa Fe deals from £30,987
Finance from £425 per month

The latest generation Santa Fe is a notable step up in quality compared with the previous versions. Yes, it isn’t as affordale as previous models but with the range starting at just over £33,000, the Santa Fe is still good value for a car of this size. All models come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, autonomous emergency braking and a digital radio, while further up the range you can opt for heated seats in the front and outer middle seats.

Practicality is key for the Santa Fe. It offers 625 litres of luggage space when the rearmost seats are folded down. A word of caution if you regularly tackle long journeys with a full car; the first two rows of seats have ample room for adults, but the third row is best reserved for children.
Hyundai Santa Fe buying guide

Lexus RXL

Latest Lexus RXL deals from £40,296
Finance from £521 per month

The RXL is well built and even though its looks may divide, they create a striking vehicle in a sector crying out for creativity. It’s only available as a hybrid, much like most of Lexus’ range, and offers seating for seven.

Buying new you can expect to pay at least £52,000 while you can knock £10,000 off that for the more affordable second-hand variants. Trim levels have been kept to a minimum, which, combined with the fact all Lexus models come very well equipped means you should have no problem finding a car with goodies such as air-conditioning, cruise control and heated seats.
Lexus RX buying guide


BMW recently joined the luxurious and large SUV battlefield - so recently in fact, you may well struggle to find a used one. Prices start around £72,000 new but for that you get one of the most upmarket and modern interiors on this list (rivalled only by the I-Pace below).

The X7 is similar in size to the Volvo XC90 and Land Rover Discovery. It offers similar levels of technology too – so you’ll be treated to front and rear heated seats, soft-close doors and BMW’s excellent sat-nav system as standard.
BMW X7 buying guide


Jaguar I-Pace

Latest Jaguar I-Pace deals from £56,789
Finance from £722 per month

The Jaguar I-Pace is a fully electric SUV. Prices start just north of £64,000 for new cars, while top of the line HSE models come in at £75,000. At least the government provides a low-emission vehicle grant to the tune of £3,500, loweing the price slightly. Even though the I-Pace was only launched in 2018, there is a surprising number on the used car market.

Electric range is claimed to be 298 miles, but in a similar fashion to petrol and diesel fuel economy claims, the distance you will get in the real world is likely to be less. For those worried about the life of the battery, Jaguar provides an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty.
Jaguar I-Pace buying guide


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