Some of the most popular types of vehicles are SUVs, according to sales figures. It’s pretty easy to see why too, the higher driving position, comfy seats and more powerful engines help drivers to feel safer and more in control behind the wheel. SUVs come in lots of different shapes, sizes and power grades too.

We’ve checked out some of the more popular SUVs to bring you our best-of list. We’ve considered the practical, the joy of driving and just sheer off-road-ability to find these best SUVs for you. You’re welcome!

Tesla Model Y –  Best of electric SUVs

Tesla Model Y

Not all SUVs are meant for off-roading but the Model Y from Tesla isn’t one of these. The low centre of gravity and independent motors that digitally control front and rear wheel torque mean she’s capable of handling rain, snow and a spot of off-roading.

There’s also the higher driving position and plenty of room in the minimalist interior – both of which we love. The Tesla’s SUV range and acceleration are also impressive – a lot like the Model S, in fact.

You may choose from the Long Range or Performance models, but both will clock over 300 miles on a single charge. There is oodles of storage space in the Model Y. Under the bonnet, there’s enough space for a weekly shop, but it’s the boot we’re impressed with. This opens low to the boot floor so loading virtually anything is a breeze.

She’s fun to drive and the suspension is firm, but you’ll notice rough roads a little too much. Of course, there’s also a different style of electric driving to contend with, being that Tesla does only make, of course, electric SUVs.

Land Rover Defender – a proper off-roading SUV

Land Rover Defender one of the most popular SUVs

It would be remiss of us to compile a list of great SUVs and forget to include Land Rover. Of all their 4x4s, we think the Defender is the best SUV. This one is a proper off-roader, so you won’t be doubting her capabilities in any sort of terrain – ever.

The defender has boxier styling, which we like, and she’s got enough space to make a bus jealous. 1,075 litres of boot space that extends to a whopping 2,300 litres with the seats down. Steering is responsive and overall, the defender has great performance so it’s as sweet a ride for the school run as it is for mountaineering.

Of course, you’ll get the great Queen-of-the-road high driving position and a powerful engine that can easily tow a horse float or caravan. As for acceleration, it’s not quite as fast as the electric SUVs we’ve chosen, you’ll get from 0-60mph in just under 10 seconds.

BMW X3 – comfortable and fun


This mid-sized SUV is brilliant to drive and the interior feels stylish and contemporary. There’s lots of cool in-car tech that makes driving the BMW X3 both convenient and comfortable. Things like heated seats, sat-nav and an automatic tailgate that gets the boot open when your hands are full are just a few of the perks of the X3.

When it comes to power, the X3 doesn’t skimp, but if you’re worried about petrol prices taking another hike, consider getting your hands on the more economical plug-in hybrid (PHEV). That should have you spending less time at the pumps and more time enjoying the roads and open countryside.

This is one of BMWs SUVs that handle really well and lives up to their ‘ultimate driving machine’ tagline. The 4WD system sends more power to your back wheels for that satisfying acceleration when exiting corners and the suspension’s adaptive dampers provide a feeling of control and feedback that’s empowering.

The boot space offers up to 550 litres with seats up and a cool 1500 litres with them down. Acceleration sits between the Model Y and the Defender at 0-60 in about 8 seconds.

Audi Q7 – a quality ride

Audi Q7

Available as petrol, diesel and PHEV, the Audi Q7 offers quiet comfort and quality throughout. The styling is big and muscly, the kind of car that feels up to the task of really going off-road, not just tootling along a few dirt tracks. It’s bigger than the BMW X3 and can seat up to seven adults in relative comfort.

There’s enough power in the Q7’s engine to deliver the oomph needed for serious hills or rough terrain. But there’s also plenty of insulation so you don’t have to hear every bump, grunt and rev as it gets you there. It’s this kind of attention to detail that makes it feel a little more refined.

That’s not to say she isn’t fun to drive or able to handle getting a little dirty, she’s all that too. Expect excellent grip on twisty roads and lighter than air suspension that absorbs small and large bumps without a squeak.

The Q7 can handle transporting a large family as well as it can rough terrain. The boot has up to 770 litres of storage space with the seats up and a considerable 1,835 with them down. You’ll also go from 0-60 in 5.9 seconds, which makes the Q7 the second-fastest SUV on our list.

Ford Puma

Ford Puma is the best selling car in Wales

This is the smallest of all the SUVs on our list, but don’t they say good things come in small packages? It’s certainly true with this little SUV. You get a choice of petrol, diesel or mild-Hybrid and some seriously good body control. She follows the road well, no matter what twists and turns are ahead.

The stiffer suspension makes for a firmer ride, but you’ll still traverse bumps in the road with reasonable comfort. As for the joy of driving, the Puma has that in spades. She’s so small and nimble you’ll enjoy whizzing around town or scooting down a country lane.

Being the smallest of the SUVs on our list, you may expect it to be a bit of a squeeze to get your gear in or take passengers comfortably. You’d be wrong, this SUV has a good-sized back seat and a healthy 400 or more litres of boot space when the seats are up. Put them down and you’ll extend that to as much as 1,216 litres.

As for off-roading, it’s not advisable. Despite the SUV looks, the Puma is only a front-wheel-drive and at best will take you down a dirt track without too many complaints. When it comes to acceleration though, this little gem will go from standstill to 60mph in as little as 7 seconds.

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