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Top 10 best large SUVs 2024

Looking for something big, spacious and able to tackle the worst of the UK’s roads? You’ll want to read our list of the best large SUVs

Best large SUVs

With trendy looks, a high driving position and the interior space of an MPV, there’s a reason more car buyers are switching to large SUVs. The last decade saw their popularity skyrocket, and manufacturers were quick to satisfy the growing demand. Today, most major car makers offer at least one large SUV, so picking the right one can be a daunting task.

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Large SUVs have been around for many decades, dating back to the Jeep Wagoneer in the US and the Range Rover here. BMW and Porsche began offering SUVs in the early 2000s, proving the large, practical cars could also offer on-road performance and luxury with their X5 and Cayenne models. 

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Thanks to modern powertrains, large SUVs aren’t necessarily the gas-guzzling monsters they once were. The cars on this list offer a range of efficient petrol, diesel and hybrid engines, along with some fully-electric models too. The Tesla Model X was the electric SUV trailblazer, but other manufacturers have since caught up, including Kia with its EV9 model. We expect many more to appear as manufacturers perfect their EV tech in preparation for the ban on the sale of diesel and petrol-powered cars in 2035.

Our list covers the 10 best large SUVs on the market, ranging from more affordable entries, up to luxurious models from premium brands. No matter the price, they should satisfy any large-SUV buyer’s needs, with lots of seats, a big boot and the latest in-car technology and driver safety aids.

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For a more general look at the SUV market, read our top 10 list of the best SUVs, which includes cars of a range of sizes. 

Skoda Kodiaq review – the practical pick

Best Large Family Car: Skoda Kodiaq
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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Fitting into the range above the smaller Skoda Karoq SUV, the Kodiaq feels like a proper family SUV rather than a crossover, with grown-up style that adds a noticeable feeling of sophistication. This continues with the interior, where impressive materials are used alongside an ergonomic layout. Available with either five or seven seats, the Kodiaq has room for all the family, and provides a pleasant environment for all passengers.

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From the driver’s seat, you can expect an SUV that’s decent to drive, with plenty of power from an engine range shared with other cars across the VW Group brands. With five seats in place, the Kodiaq will take 620 litres of luggage, while optional four-wheel drive adds security and the capability of some light off-roading. Skoda consistently scores well in our Driver Power customer satisfaction survey too.

Kia EV9 review – a great seven-seater electric SUV

Kia EV9 front quarter dynamic
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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Bursting onto the electric-SUV scene last year, the Kia EV9 impressed us across the board, with masses of interior space, a choice of two excellent EV powertrains and eye-catching looks. It’s pricier than any previous offering from the South Korean firm, but we think the EV9 lives up to its premium price tag.

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As standard, the EV9 comes with seven seats, giving each passenger plenty of space – even in the third row. The optional six-seater layout adds an extra touch of luxury, with middle seats that swivel 180-degrees to face the rearmost passengers. Everything feels well thought out, from the storage cubbies to the three infotainment screens up front. There was a noticeable lack of any noise from the tyres or electric motor, further improving interior refinement.

There’s a choice of single or dual motor configurations, offering 201bhp and 379bhp respectively. We tested the latter, and it felt impressively nippy for a car of this size. More importantly, there’s good visibility from behind the wheel which, combined with the comfortable suspension, helps to make the EV9 a great choice for large-SUV shoppers.

Hyundai Santa Fe review – the best seven-seater?

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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If you like the Kia EV9’s striking looks, but you’re not ready to make the switch to an EV, the Hyundai Santa Fe could fit the brief. Boxy is certainly the word when it comes to the Santa Fe’s styling; love it or hate it, it certainly stands apart from today’s crop of SUVs, with some of the chunkiest styling this side of a battle tank.

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Less divisive is the Santa Fe’s interior. With premium materials used throughout, and a pair of curved digital displays, it feels like a mighty step up from the previous model. Buyers can choose between five, six or seven-seater models, all of which provide plenty of room for ccupants. The boot’s big too, at 725-litres with five seats in place.

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The driving experience reflects the high-quality nature of the interior, with comfort taking priority over sportiness. Its 1.6-litre hybrid engine is more than capable of propelling the SUV with ease, and we were impressed by how quiet it was too. There’s a plug-in hybrid model arriving too, which will bring an increased electric range.

Range Rover SUV review

RR 1
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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If you need to blend go-anywhere capability with luxury motoring, the answer is still likely to be the Range Rover. The latest model takes all the elements that have made the brand such a success, and polished each one, for a driving experience like no other. It doesn’t come cheap though; you’ll need six-figures to get behind the wheel of even the entry-level model.

Both petrol and diesel engines are offered with mild-hybrid technology, and the latest plug-in model is ideal for buyers who want to cut their carbon footprint, but also cross continents with as little fuss as possible. A seven-seat model joins the ranks for those wanting to accommodate family and friends, and there’s a performance-oriented 607bhp SV model for those wanting the pinnacle of speed and space. 

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An all-electric Range Rover is on the horizon too, so fans of zero-emission driving should keep an eye out.

BMW X5 SUV review

BMW X5 SUV
Carbuyer rating

4.3 out of 5

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Now in its fourth generation, the BMW X5 continues to deliver on its promise as a practical and premium SUV that’s fulfilling as a driver’s car, too. It’s a genuinely great all-rounder worth your attention if you’re looking for something at the higher end of the large SUV market.

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Features such as leather upholstery, an advanced digital dash and infotainment technology come as standard, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility included. The latest X5’s interior is one of its most convincing selling points, and the SUV’s range of powertrains is sure to impress, too. While many manufacturers are ditching diesel power, the X5 is still offered with a range of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines. 

If you’re after a diesel SUV, our pick in the X5 lineup is the 3.0-litre mild-hybrid xDrive30d model with 293bhp. The X5 also caters for those after a plug-in hybrid SUV, with the xDrive50e model capable of a whopping 482bhp from its 3.0-litre straight six and electric motors, plus an impressive range of up to 67 miles on electricity alone. The petrol-powered M60i engine in the hardcore X5 M boasts 523bhp from a thirsty V8 engine, but undoubtedly offers impressive performance if you can stomach the bills.

Kia Sorento review – a great SUV now made even better

Kia Sorento 2024 front quarter driving
Carbuyer rating

4.3 out of 5

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The Kia Sorento has become a popular large SUV, with masses of capability and space for all the family. It first gained popularity due to its size and reasonable price, mixed with a long seven-year warranty and solid reputation for reliability. Now that it’s only available in ‘Edition’ specification, it is no longer the bargain price that it once was, but its specification has been improved to match.

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The plug-in hybrid model offers silent driving in the city and the range of the 1.6-litre petrol engine’s fuel tank for longer journeys. The ‘self-charging’ hybrid shouldn’t be overlooked either; it may not have the longer electric range of the plug-in hybrid, but at low speeds it will still save fuel, and for the majority of stop-start traffic it should be able to drive on battery power alone.

Kia recently revealed the facelifted Sorento, due to arrive in the UK midway through 2024. The engines remain unchanged, but there’s new exterior styling to fit with the brand’s latest models, and the interior gets some handy tech upgrades too.

Peugeot 5008 SUV review

Peugeot 5008 SUV front 3/4 static
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

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The Peugeot 5008 is one of the more eye-catching seven-seat SUVs and boasts plenty of space for family life. Its rugged looks combine with a high driving position to appeal to a wide audience. Inside, there's a futuristic dashboard with ergonomic controls, Peugeot’s impressive i-Cockpit instrument display and a well built cabin. The five main seats are spacious, but the third row is more limited and naturally boot space suffers while they're in use.

Every version is well equipped, with autonomous emergency braking and the latest smartphone connectivity tech, but the 5008 does get significantly more expensive as you move up the range. Four-wheel drive isn't available, so bear this in mind if you plan on taking your SUV off the beaten track.

Volkswagen Touareg review – sublime interior but sedate to drive

Volkswagen Touareg facelift
Carbuyer rating

4 out of 5

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The Volkswagen Touareg has been around for over two decades, establishing itself as one the best all-round large SUVs. The latest model, released in 2018 and facelifted last year, combines a relaxed driving experience with a practical, premium interior. Its South Korean rivals may have caught up in recent years, but there is still a case to be made for the sturdy SUV from Germany.

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Since the launch of the cheaper, seven-seat Tiguan Allspace, Volkswagen has moved the Touareg further upmarket, and this shows on the inside. There’s loads of standard kit, and premium materials are used throughout. All Touaregs come with a pair of excellent digital displays that we found far more usable than the system fitted to some of Volkswagen’s other models, such as the ID.3. It's only available as a five-seater, but interior space is impressive, and the massive 810-litre boot beats many of its rivals.

There’s no electric model to speak of, but a solid range of petrol, diesel and hybrid models should cater to most buyers’ needs.

Volvo XC90 SUV review

Volvo XC90 Best Buy cutout
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

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Volvo always had a reputation for making sensible, practical cars and it wasn’t a surprise when it entered the SUV market with the first Volvo XC90. This quickly became one of the most popular SUVs in the UK and remained on sale for a remarkable 12 years. That meant this second-generation XC90 had big boots to fill.

Fortunately, it’s little short of brilliant. It delivers the comfort and tranquillity inside that the Swedish carmaker is becoming known for, while its interior is one of the most luxurious and its exterior one of the most stylish on the market. 

Nissan X-Trail SUV review

Nissan X-Trail front nearside
Carbuyer rating

3.9 out of 5

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The Nissan X-Trail’s starting price of just under £33,000 makes it the cheapest SUV on this list, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on comfort and innovative tech. The interior feels leagues ahead of the old model, with most of the materials feeling high-quality and the infotainment and driver’s displays appearing crisp and responsive. Be warned though, entry-level models miss out on key equipment – even the infotainment system! 

As standard, the X-Trail comes with five seats, but you can pay to have an extra pair fitted in the rear – they’re small, but useful in a pinch. The suspension deals well with bumps and potholes, helping to make the interior a comfortable and pleasant place to spend time.

Nissan offers the X-Trail with a fairly traditional 1.5-litre engine with mild-hybrid assistance, good for 161bhp. It’s fine around town but feels somewhat underpowered on the motorway. 

Pay £3,000 more, and you can have Nissan’s unique e-Power hybrid system. This uses the same 1.5-litre engine, but not to power the wheels – instead, it’s used as a generator to top up a battery that powers an electric motor to drive them. It’s unusual, but while it doesn’t deliver the efficiency gains we’d have hoped for – with fuel economy of just up to 48.6mpg – at least it’s more powerful than the mild hybrid.

Ready to make the switch to electric-power? Make sure to read our list of the 10 best electric SUVs…

Top 10 best large SUVs 2024

  1. Skoda Kodiaq
  2. Kia EV9
  3. Hyundai Santa Fe
  4. Range Rover
  5. BMW X5
  6. Kia Sorento
  7. Peugeot 5008
  8. Volkswagen Touareg
  9. Volvo XC90
  10. Nissan X-Trail
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