Top 10 best 4x4s and SUVs 2022

We pick out the top 10 best 4x4s and SUVs, including our favourite choices for a range of budgets

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The SUV has quickly become the UK buyer’s favourite kind of car, and we’ve picked out the top 10 best 4x4s and SUVs to help you decide which is best for you. There are all sorts of factors to consider, but our handy top 10 list will be useful in working out what you need.

SUVs have increased in popularity because of their imposing looks and high driving position. As a general rule, they’re more expensive to buy and run than an equivalent hatchback, so they’re not always the best value for money, but there are some reasons to buy them.

Top 10 best large SUVs 2022

SUVs tend to be very practical thanks to their hatchback boots and large interior space, plus the high driving position is more comfortable for some people. Getting in and out of a car that’s higher up off the ground can be useful for those with more limited mobility too. The best SUVs are also comfortable and well-equipped.

Although many of us commonly refer to this type of car a ‘4x4’, many SUVs don’t have four-wheel drive. This is because they started out as rugged off-road vehicles, but in the 2000s and 2010s they started to appeal more and more to drivers who never venture off the tarmac. This means a lot of them now have front-wheel drive only, as it’s more efficient and cheaper.

Some modern SUVs may be referred to as ‘crossovers’ because they mix the styling of a rugged off-roader with the everyday practicality of a family hatch. Usually this term is applied to smaller SUVs rather than large, seven-seat models.

There’s a huge amount of choice now, as nearly all manufacturers have at least one SUV in their ranges. You can also check out our articles covering the best small SUVs and medium SUVs once you’ve decided on the size of car you want.

These are the top 10 best SUVs you can buy today.

Hyundai Tucson SUV review

Carbuyer Car of the Year: Hyundai Tucson
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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The Hyundai Tucson bagged our prestigious ‘Car of the Year’ award in 2021 thanks to its revolutionary design; it’s much more head-turning compared to the seemingly copy-paste designs that litter the SUV market, and it boasts an interior that is comparable in terms of comfort and finish to many premium rivals. All versions of the Tucson come with plenty of standard equipment, such as 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control and a reversing camera. Crucially, all cars get a top-of-the-range 10.25-inch infotainment screen and digital instrument cluster as standard - something that cannot be said for most rivals.

As with several other recent Hyundai models, such as the i20 hatchback, the Tucson is good to drive. Its steering is direct and engaging for agile handling, the suspension remains t supple on longer journeys - unlike the Kia Sportage, with which it shares many of its parts. Hyundai offers the Tucson with petrol, self-charging hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains; the self-charging hybrid is our pick, as it returns around 50mpg and costs significantly less than the PHEV.

Kia Sorento SUV review

Best Large Family Car: Kia Sorento
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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There’s a lot to like about the Kia Sorento. Its gargantuan size means you can seat seven and still have a boot that’s bigger than a MINI hatchback’s, while folding the rearmost seats away libertes a whopping 616 litres of space. The Kia Sorento also feels surprisingly premium inside, thanks to its use of soft-touch materials and plenty of flashy aluminium trim pieces.

While entry-level versions represent great value for money, top-spec cars can cost as much as premium-badged rivals. Mid-level ‘3’ trim has all the equipment you need such as leather upholstery, a powered tailgate, a reversing camera, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch central touchscreen. Kia offers a range of different engines for the Sorento, however the new plug-in hybrid powertrain is the highlight of the range. This provides a zero-emissions driving range of 31 miles and claims an impressive 176.6mpg - although you’ll have to charge the battery frequently to get near this figure in the real world.

Skoda Kodiaq SUV review

2021 Skoda Kodiaq SUV
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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The Skoda Kodiaq’s arrival saw Skoda climb into the SUV ring for the first time in 2016. These days it sits in the range above the smaller Skoda Karoq and is a real grown-up SUV with a mature, no-nonsense exterior design. This impression continues inside, where there’s a smartly designed interior trimmed in high-quality materials. With a seven-seat option on SE spec and above, the Kodiaq is a great car in which to be a passenger.

The driver doesn’t lose out, either – it’s enjoyable to drive, with plenty of power from petrol and diesel engines shared with other Skoda, SEAT and VW cars that should prove reliable. There’s an impressive resistance to body lean so twisting roads won’t make your passengers feel queasy. In five-seat mode, the Kodiaq will take 620 litres of luggage, while four-wheel-drive versions mean it can accommodate even the most active of family lifestyles.

Land Rover Discovery SUV review

Land Rover Discovery SUV
Carbuyer rating

4.2 out of 5

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The original Land Rover Discovery is credited with founding the entire SUV genre, so it’s fitting that the latest iteration is one of the most talented cars of its kind you can buy today. The Discovery is spacious, practical and more luxurious than ever, but it doesn’t skimp on true off-road functionality.

Thanks to its sophisticated Terrain Response system, the car can be set up to deal with dirt, sand and snow with just the turn of a dial. Even if you never venture off-road, the Discovery remains hugely practical, comfortable, seven-seat family car that’s very good to drive on the road and around town. It’s a true do-everything vehicle that is perfectly suited to country and city living alike.

Skoda Enyaq iV SUV review

Skoda Enyaq iV SUV - front 3/4 dynamic
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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When Skoda announced the Enyaq iV in 2020, many expected it to be nothing more than a cut-price alternative to its more premium sibling, the Volkswagen ID.4. However, in reality the less expensive Enyaq actually surpasses the VW in many areas, thanks in no small part to to a roomier interior, a solid electric range and a cost-effective entry-level model which comes in under the £32,000 threshold for the Government Plug-in Car Grant. Other highlights include the snappy 13-inch infotainment system, standard 120kW fast charging capability and the inclusion of Skoda’s Smart Features, such as an umbrella integrated into the driver’s door.

As is characteristic of electric cars, the Enyaq iV feels brisk on the move thanks to the instant torque provided by the electric motor. Entry-level models get a 62kWh battery which is good for around 253 miles of range; this is ideal for most buyers who mainly do shorter, local journeys. If you plan to frequently go further afield, a larger 82kWh battery model is also available with up-to 331 miles of range. Buyers looking for something a tad more stylish can also opt for the Skoda Enyaq iV Coupe, which has a sleeker profile.

Jaguar I-Pace SUV review

Best Large Electric Car: Jaguar I-Pace
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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The Jaguar I-Pace has been on sale for around four years now, yet it still feels as cutting edge and modern as the day it was launched. A recent update saw the adoption of the brand’s Pivi Pro infotainment and a slick screen solely for climate functions, while a new onboard charger allows for greater fast charging options. The I-Pace can seat five comfortably thanks to a flat floor and no transmission tunnel, plus the presence of a front boot or ‘frunk’ is a welcome addition to the traditional 557 litres hatchback at the rear.

As expected from a Jaguar, the I-Pace is great to drive, despite its two-tonne weight. Through a series of corners, the I-Pace feels almost as poised as the Jaguar F-Type sports car, while the I-Pace’s electric motors provide plenty of punch. And while the claimed range of 290-miles falls short of the Tesla Model X, the blow is softened by standard 100kW rapid charging that allows you to add around 78 miles in just 15 minutes using a public rapid charger.

Kia e-Niro review

Kia e-Niro
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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The Kia e-Niro has proven to be one of the most significant additions to the SUV market, as one of the first affordable mass-produced pure-electric models to hit the streets. Its range of 282 miles on a single charge is more than a match for its petrol and diesel powered rivals and puts premium electric offerings like the Audi e-tron firmly in the shade.

There is little about the e-Niro’s design to mark it out as an EV, with a drag-reducing blanked off radiator grille, unique alloys and blue bodywork accents being the only hints of its electric powertrain. Inside, the interior is simply laid out, with the only differences from the conventional Niro model being the addition of new dials and a rotary gear selector. It's also spacious inside with a 451-litre boot making it one of the most complete electric family cars you can buy.

Land Rover Defender SUV review

Land Rover Defender V8 SUV front 3/4 tracking
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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Reserve your own judgement when you hear some people complain that this isn’t a proper Defender. After years of development in everywhere from the Arctic Circle to the Namibian desert (not to mention a brief stint at the Nurburgring race track), the new Defender is one of the most capable cars ever built. It may be based on the Discovery but the Defender has its own distinct character, and it doesn’t suffer the ergonomic flaws of its iconic predecessor.

You get plenty of equipment, too; the base model comes with LED headlights, heated seats, a 10-inch infotainment system, air suspension and cruise control - and a retro-inspired set of 18-inch steel wheels. Fuel economy is barely any better than the classic Defender but that should change when the plug-in hybrid model is introduced.

Volvo XC90 SUV review

Volvo XC90 Best Buy cutout
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

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The latest Volvo XC90 is part of the brand’s attempt to rekindle its reputation for making the safest cars you can buy as part of its stated target to ensure no-one is killed or seriously injured in one of its new cars by 2020. It’s certainly on the right path – the car features abundant autonomous technology to set new standards for active safety and driver assistance in a Volvo.

The technology works well, taking responsibility for steering, braking and acceleration in slow-moving traffic, if desired. Although this is quite a technical showcase, it’s not as immediately obvious as the huge portrait touchscreen mounted – tablet-style – in the centre of the dashboard. This centrepiece looks fantastic as part of the premium interior. The same is true of the rest of the car, with seating for seven and a large boot with lots of useable space, all wrapped up in understated styling that exudes Scandinavian cool.

Renault Captur SUV review

Best Small Family Car: Renault Captur
Carbuyer rating

4.3 out of 5

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If you like the increased ride height and stylish looks of an SUV but don’t want the associated size and cost, then the Renault Captur is the perfect compromise. Based on the Renault Clio supermini, the Captur boasts that car’s chic design, superb build quality and Tesla-style portrait infotainment screen, but combines them in a more stylish small SUV package. The Captur’s boot measures an already impressive 404 litres, but this can be boosted to 536 litres when you move the standard sliding rear bench forward.

Renault offers the Captur with a variety of frugal powertrains. The entry-level 99bhp 1.0 litre petrol engine manages 0-62mph in around 11 seconds and returns around 47mpg. However, we’d recommend the 135bhp 1.3-litre petrol, as this is quicker yet manages similar fuel economy figures. An even more economical E-Tech plug-in hybrid model is offered, although its over £30,000 price tag makes it difficult to recommend to anyone other than company car drivers.

Top 10 best 4x4s and SUVs 2022

  1. Hyundai Tucson
  2. Kia Sorento
  3. Skoda Kodiaq
  4. Land Rover Discovery
  5. Skoda Enyaq iV
  6. Jaguar I-Pace
  7. Kia e-Niro
  8. Land Rover Defender
  9. Volvo XC90
  10. Renault Captur

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