18 of the best family SUVs

by Adejumoke Ilori |
Published on

As your little ones grow - or your family expands - you might decide the time is right to buy a safe, practical and spacious SUV to cope with the rigours of daily life.

There are so many SUVs - sometimes called crossovers and 4x4s - on sale these days that the choice can be perplexing. So, we've turned to our car expert friends at Parkers to lend a helping hand and pinpoint the best of them.

Find the best family SUV for you

Browse through our A to Z - well, Audi to Volkswagen - and the gallery below - to find the family SUV that best suits your lifestyle. We’ve also included links to leasing deals for each, so you can can find a family SUV within your budget.

We’ve listed the below best family SUVs by price, starting with the lowest brand-new price.

Audi Q7

Audi's Q7 is one of the largest SUVs on sale, but don't let that put you off as it's very easy to drive, made even more of a doddle with parking sensors and cameras among its safety systems.

Its size makes it very spacious, too; seven seats are available, with all barring the driver's one having Isofix child seat-mounting points. Making life even easier, you can fold all the seats down electrically with buttons in the boot.

Petrol-engined ones are expensive to run, but diesels are more economical. If you drive mainly in cities, look at one of the plug-in hybrids - badged TFSI e - as these will typically allow you to drive around 30 miles very cheaply using electricity from the on-board batteries.

New price: from £56,940
Fuel economy: 25-88mpg
Boot space: 770 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,955 litres (with rear seats all folded) 
Browse Audi Q7 leasing deals on Parkers


Given its size, the X5 is surprisingly nimble and and easy to control, but there's no escaping the fact that it is expensive. On the inside there's a positive feelgood factor: it’s luxurious, with the option of seven seats with a third row that is easy to access.

As with the Audi, BMW makes life with such a large car all the eaiser with a number of driving aids to improve safety and manoeuvrability - so much so that you soon forget how big the X5 is.

There's a broad range of engines, including some very efficient plug-in hybrids that allow you to drive for around 30 miles using electric-only power for low running costs - pick those out with their xDrive45e badges.

New price: from £59,135
Fuel economy: 21-235mpg
Boot space: 650 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,870 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse BMW X5 leasing deals on Parkers

Dacia Duster

Proving that cheap can mean cheerful, the Duster is the least expensive SUV in this line-up, but nevertheless its bristling with appeal. It's a roomy five-seater, with lots of practical touches and - providing you don't go for the basic model - well-equipped, too, with air conditioning to keep you and your passengers cool on hot days.

There's a decent range of economical petrol and diesel engines, so none will seriously dent your monthly budget, plus four-wheel drive is available for extra traction and safety should you need it.

Driving a Duster isn’t the most exciting experience, but it is comfy, which is far more important. Yes, the interior's on the plasticky side, but that also makes them cheap to replace if they get damaged.

New price: from £11,245
Fuel economy: 33-60mpg
Boot space: 445 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,614 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse Dacia Duster leasing deals on Parkers

Honda CR-V

It's hard to ignore the appeal of the Honda CR-V - after all, it is one of the best-selling SUVs in the world - over five million people can't be wrong!

So what attracts them to the Honda? Well, it’s practical, reliable, and efficient, especially if you go for the of the hybrid versions. Given that there's no longer a diesel engine, this is now the efficiency champion in the range.

Also, there's a seven-seater option, although the rearmost chairs are better-suited to children rather than adults, but they're ideal if you only occasionally need to carry more than five people.

New price: from £27,270
Fuel economy: 31-40mpg
Boot space: 561 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,756 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse Honda CR-V leasing deals on Parkers

Jaguar F-Pace

If you're looking for an SUV that drives as well as it looks, then make sure you take a close look at Jaguar's F-Pace. It was the company's first SUV - now it has three - but the sportiness associated with the brand has not been diluted.

There’s lots of technology on offer, including Wi-Fi and a waterproof, wearable car key for when you've got time for an active lifestyle in between parenting. Plus, the boot is roomy and practical, and the floor is reversible and rubberised on one side for easy cleaning.

Diesel engines make more sense from not being ruinous to run, although that will probably change when hybrid versions become available in 2021.

New price: from £41,870
Fuel economy: 27-46mpg
Boot space: 650 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,740 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse Jaguar F-Pace leasing deals on Parkers

Kia Sportage

Kia’s best-selling model is good value, inexpensive to run, bristles with technology, and comfortable for five passengers. And of course, it benefits from the company’s seven-year warranty for additional peace of mind.

The interior is well built and hard wearing, but is a bit of a flair-free zone. However, all trim levels are packed with kit meaning there aren't many extra-cost options to overcomplicate your buying decision with. Boot space is okay rather than generous, but it's big enough to fit most buggies into easily.

Go for one of the diesels with mild hybrid tech - Kia calls these 48V. While they don't allow for electric-only driving, the batteries allow the engine to work more efficiently, saving you money in the process.

New price: from £23,445
Fuel economy: 31-53mpg
Boot space: 491 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,480 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse Kia Sportage leasing deals on Parkers

Land Rover Discovery

Few cars are as capable of dealing with the demands of family life as Land Rover's Discovery. Its big, tall bodywork liberates masses of room inside, so much so that all seven seats can comfortable accommodate adults, and you can even raise and lower them electrically with a smartphone app.

Plus, if you enjoy driving off-road - or you simply have to - none of the other cars here can touch the Discovery for abilily in this regard. Add in the massive van-like boot space and it's a winner.

Unfortunately, it is quite expensive to run, but a more budget-friendly plug-in hybrid version is due around the end of 2020.

New price: from £48,340
Fuel economy: 23-33mpg
Boot space: 1,137 litres (in five-seater mode) to 2,406 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse Land Rover Discovery leasing deals on Parkers

Lexus RX

If carrying your family around in very plush surroundings is one of your key SUV buying decisions, you'd struggle to choose better than the Lexus RX. It's only available as a hybrid, so it's quiet and peaceful to drive, while the luxury interior feels incredibly well-assembled.

Equipment levels are also generous, yet the hybrid system means it won't eat deeply into your monthly budget.

There's not much to dent the RX's appeal, save for the fact it's not the most spacious of SUVs for passengers or in terms of luggage carrying, but if you need more room, Lexus also sells a longer, seven-seater RX L.

New price: from £51,565
Fuel economy: 35-36mpg
Boot space: 453 litres (in five-seater mode) to 924 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse Lexus RX leasing deals on Parkers

Mazda CX-5

There's much to like about Mazda's CX-5, from its rakish good looks, well-built and generously equipped equipment roster and the fact that yes, while it's a family-focused car, it's good fun to drive.

Mazda doesn't offer it in a hybrid form, but the petrol and diesel engines both prove to be pleasingly efficient, making budgeting straightforward.

Plus, it's practical too, with plenty of room for people and all of their clutter. Definitely an SUV that should be on your shopping list.

New price: from £27,030
Fuel economy: 36-49mpg
Boot space: 506 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,620 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse Mazda CX-5 leasing deals on Parkers

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Mercedes' GLC is aimed squarely at families who want a premium car that’s also flexible for family life, and this SUV delivers.

Its interior offers touches of luxury, and there are lots of practical elements that make life ferrying the kids around easier. It is comfortable and relaxed, both as driver and passenger, with lots of tech to make you feel safe and secure.

It won't cost a packet to run, either with efficient diesels and plug-in hybrids, as well as some high-performance models if driving thrills are more your thing.

New price: from £40,630
Fuel economy: 21-108mpg
Boot space: 550 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,600 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse Mercedes-Benz GLC leasing deals on Parkers

Nissan Qashqai

We all know someone who drives a Qashqai - in fact, we all know someone who's on their second or even third example! It wasn't the first SUV, but Nissan was expert in convincing families that owning such a car could be done on a modest budget - and that it suggested a more active and interesting lifestyle than an everyday hatchback.

Its raised driving position won it fans, as did that it was a doddle to drive, powered by an economical range of petrol and diesel engines, with plenty of space for folk and their clutter in a well-equipped cabin.

Exciting it isn't, but the value on offer is extraordinary, which goes a long way to explain the Nissan's popularity.

New price: from £20,565
Fuel economy: 38-53mpg
Boot space: 401 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,598 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse Nissan Qashqai leasing deals on Parkers

Peugeot 3008

A successful mash-up between a people carrier (MPV) and an SUV, the 3008 is undoubtedly striking in the looks department, with an equally distinctive and high quality interior.

Its interior is minimalist and uses unusual fabrics, with a variety of finishes for the well-equipped suite of trim levels. Plus there's plenty of space inside for a family and its luggage, with an optional fold-flat front passenger seat to carry longer loads.

Not expensive to run thanks to an efficient range of engines, plug-in hybrids came along in 2020 to lower the cost of Peugeot motoring even further, by allowing around 30 miles of electric-only driving capability.

New price: from £26,405
Fuel economy: 35-235mpg
Boot space: 520 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,670 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse Peugeot 3008 leasing deals on Parkers

Renault Kadjar

Underneath its stylish exterior, the Kadjar is very similar to the Qashqai, sharing its engines and basic structure . It’s comfortable, drives well, and if you want the best family SUV then this is a practical choice, with 30 litres of storage space dotted around its interior.

Most of the materials in the cabin are of a high quality given the car’s price, and the infotainment system works really well. In most regards, it feels more substantial than its Nissan equivalent.

Its easy to budget for running the Kadjar as whichever version you pick will have a fuel-miserly engine. Petrols work best for mainly town driving, diesels if you freqently have longer drives.

New price: from £21,995
Fuel economy: 41-57mpg
Boot space: 472 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,478 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse Renault Kadjar leasing deals on Parkers

SEAT Ateca

If you're looking for a family friendly SUV that has an air of sportiness about it, but which won't make a serious dent in your budget, then the Ateca makes a fine choice.

While all models a roomy and comfy, the more expensive versions have an even better ride quality thanks to a more sophisticated suspension design - it's worth test driving both so you can feel the difference.

Petrol engines offer zippy performance, but tend to be a bith thirsty as a result. Diesels make the most sense here, being quiet and refined.

New price: from £23,040
Fuel economy: 32-56mpg
Boot space: 510 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,604 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse SEAT Ateca leasing deals on Parkers

Skoda Karoq

Sister car to the SEAT Ateca, sharing much of its structure and engines, the very appealing Skoda Karoq replaced the distinctive Yeti. This time the styling is less divisive, but it remains an attractive, well-built and practical package.

Sitting in Skoda's range between the smaller Kamiq and seven-seater Kodiaq, the Karoq has a range of well-equipped trim levels, topped by the racier SportLine and more rugged Scout models.

Whichever version you go for, running costs won't break the bank, but as with the Ateca, those diesels make great all-rounders.

New price: from £22,765
Fuel economy: 32-52mpg
Boot space: 479 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,605 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse Skoda Karoq leasing deals on Parkers

Toyota C-HR

SUVs rarely come as bold or as sleek as Toyota's C-HR, but rest assured that while its tapered silhouette looks like it might be tight for space in the back and boot, it's actually very roomy given its compact dimensions.

Nevertheless, the rear windows are small and high up, so ensure you take your little ones on a test drive for them to check it out.

Inside, the C-HR is as bold as it is outside, while under the bonnet its (now) powered exclusively by hybrid engines, giving you great economy around town as well as on longer runs.

New price: from £26,245
Fuel economy: 49-58mpg
Boot space: 377 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,160 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse Toyota C-HR leasing deals on Parkers

Volkswagen T-Cross

Volkswagen's smallest SUV is also one of its best. Based on the Polo, the T-Cross offers a generous amount of space for smaller families making the leap into SUV ownership, making carrying little ones and their paraphernalia easy.

Because it's so diddy on the outside, it's simple to get used to driving it, plus it fits easily into tight city streets and supermarket car parks.

Plus, it also means it has a range of small-and-effcient engines. Our advice here is to go for one of the punchy 1.0-litre motors for performance and economy.

New price: from £18,360
Fuel economy: 42-54mpg
Boot space: 455 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,281 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse Volkswagen T-Cross leasing deals on Parkers

Volvo XC90

Volvo's XC90 is one of the safest and most desirable SUVs on sale. The second row of seats slides back and forth, with Isofix points, and you can get a middle seat which transforms into a booster seat.

Long journeys are a breeze as it’s so comfy, with plenty of room for passengers. It’s easy to drive, despite its size, made all the easier by an array of parking sensors and cameras to help you out.

Petrol versions can be thirsty and expensive to run, but mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids really bring the cost of running this luxury SUV down to earth.

New price: from £54,275
Fuel economy: 26-113mpg
Boot space: 775 litres (in five-seater mode) to 1,951 litres (with rear seats all folded)
Browse Volvo XC90 leasing deals on Parkers

Read more family car reviews at Parkers


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