Best SUV

What is the best SUV?

Here we look at the best SUVs available today. We have divided them into five different categories: Compact SUVs; Midsize SUVs; Large SUVs; Hybrid SUVs and Crossover SUVs. We have chosen an affordable as well as a more expensive option for all the categories except the hybrids, as by their nature hybrids are always going to be pricier than their gasoline-powered rivals. All the SUVs listed are excellent vehicles, and which you decide to go for is all a matter of choice depending on your needs and lifestyle requirements. Each SUV described is the latest model on the market.

Compact SUVs

Subaru Forester

Starting price: $21,995
The Subaru Forester, one of the best SUVs available today
The Subaru Forester, one of the best SUVs available today
The latest Subaru Forester has been redesigned to give it a sportier look. The Forester is one of the safest, most versatile cars on the road. It offers an extremely stable drive and is easy to handle in all road conditions. A special feature on the Forester is the EyeSight — which features two cameras mounted on the rear-view mirror which give you both a visual and audio warning if you are in danger of having a collision. The 2.5-liter Subaru Boxer engine adds power and performance, pumping out  170hp. A 2.0-liter XT version is also available. The Forester comes with 18 inch alloy wheels and the 2.5-liter model is capable of doing up up to 32 mpg on the highway and 24mpg in the city, while the 2.0liter model does 23mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway. The 2014 model was named Motor Trend’s Sport/Utility car of the year.

Audi Q5

Starting price: $37,300
Audi Q5, best luxury compact SUV
The Audi Q5, which handles well and has plenty of room
The 2014 Audi Q5 is the best luxury compact SUV available. Like the Forester it is also easy to handle and has plenty of room with the back seats capable of sliding backwards and forwards, reclining and folding down. All the upholstery is leather. It has LED lighting, halogen headlights and daytime running lights. The entertainment system in the car is pretty awesome with a concert radio with 10 speakers and a single CD player with MP3 playback facility and a WiFi hotspot. The standard turbo-charged 4-cylinder 2.0-liter engine and 8-speed automatic transmission makes it reasonably economical to run and it will do approximately 20mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway. It can do 0-60mph in 7.0 seconds with a top speed of 130mph. A 3.0-liter engine is also available, returning 18mpg in the city and 26mpg on the highway, and capable of doing 0-60mph in 6.0 seconds with the same top speed. A TDI version of the 3.0-liter does 24mpg in the city and 31mpg on the highway, 0-60mph figure of 6.5 seconds. The top speed is again 130mph.

Midsize SUVs

Buick Enclave

Starting price: 38,890
Buick Enclave, one of the best midsize SUVs
The Buick Enclave, which has a starting price of £38,021
Buick added new features to its award-winning Enclave for 2014. It introduced a new design, added more safety kit and upgraded its entertainment technology. The additions include a camera-based warning alerting the driver to a possible forward collision plus a warning if they stray out of their lane on a highway. Two USB points were also added to the dashboard so you can charge your phone or laptop whilst you are driving. The Enclave is a fairly large car, and can seat up to eight people, so the fuel economy is not as good as that offered by the compact SUVs. It features a 288hp 3.6liter V6 engine. The FWD version does around 17mpg in the city and 24mpg on the highway, while the AWD version does 16mpg in the city and 22mpg on the highway. There is plenty of room for luggage in the Enclave, and the car has rear parking sensors.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Starting price: $59,995
The Range Rover Sport luxury midsize SUV
The Range Rover Sport, which can do 0-60mph in 6.8 seconds
When Land Rover wanted to test its newest Range Rover Sport, they took it to one of the remotest parts of the world — the desert in the Arab Peninsula, which has one of the most inhospitable terrains on earth. It passed with flying colors. This four-wheel drive SUV can achieve 19mpg combined with its 3.0 litre LR-V6 engine, which accelerates from 0-60 in 6.8 seconds. A 5.0-liter supercharged V8 version is also available which reduces the 0-60mph time to 5.0 seconds. The 2014 model of the Range Rover Sport was redesigned to give it a smart new look. It is very spacious inside, with an all-new sound system from Meridian 3D audio technology. It has five digital cameras on board which provide a 360 degree view inside and outside the car.

Large SUVs

Chevrolet Tahoe

Starting price: $44,600
The Chevrolet Tahoe, one of the best full-size SUVs
The Chevrolet Tahoe, which has a sculpted contemporary design
The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe was released in early Spring 2014. The new generation has a more sculptured, contemporary design than its predecessor. The driver’s information screen on the dashboard is all in color and looks like the menu on your laptop. Everything is organized for you so you can manage phone calls, texts, playlists and more at the touch of a button. There are six USB points to charge up your devices and an 8in screen for MyLink, which gives you directions and maps of where you are going. The EcoTec3 5.3-liter V8 engine has active fuel management and direct injection plus six speed auto transmission. It can do around 16mpg in the city and 23mpg on the highway. The uniquely shaped headlamps on the new model have projector beams and the car comes with 18in aluminum wheels and fold-flat second and third row seats. There is a rear-view camera and a rear parking assist system.

Lexus LX

Starting price: $82,630
2014 Lexus LX
The Lexus LX, which can tow up to 7,000lb but still looks graceful
The Lexus LX is a car that does practically everything for you — and combines brute strength with grace. You can tow up to 7,000lbs and the trailer sway control will eliminate the trailer moving in windy conditions or on bumpy roads. The crawl control keeps a low and steady speed on rough terrain and there is a multi-terrain option when you are driving on rocky paths, moguls or sand. There is also a 4WD TORSEN torque-sensing limited slip differential which will equally distribute engine power between the front and rear axles to stop you sliding on snow and ice. There also is an advanced braking and pre-collision system plus dual swivel front headlamps. The 5.7-liter V8 aluminum engine pushes out 383hp and can propel the car from 0-60mph in 7.5 seconds with a top speed of 137mph. It has low emissions, however you will only get around 12mpg in the city or 17mpg on the highway.

Hybrid SUVs

Lexus RX Hybrid

Starting price: $46,410
The Lexus RX Hybrid
The Lexus RX Hybrid, which is an extremely comfortable ride
The 2014 Lexus RX Hybrid comes in a choice of front wheel drive or or all-wheel drive. All the models have automatic transmission and a 3.5-liter V6 with a high-output electric motor/211 engine, delivering a total of 295hp. The front-wheel drive version has two electric motors while the all-drive model has an additional motor to drive the rear wheels. The estimated miles per gallon is 28 on the highway and 32 in the city and the brakes are very strong and smooth.There is ample room for family luggage and the seats have plenty of leg room and are very comfortable. The front-wheel drive version manages about 32mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway, while the AWD version does around 30mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Starting price: $39,640
Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid, which can do 27mpg in the city
The 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid has been redesigned to give it a sleek sporty look with a larger front grille and aerodynamic roof rails. It can seat seven passengers and the leather power driver’s seat gives extra comfort on a long journey. A navigation system with maps, Bluetooth with streaming music plus Entune in-car entertainment with touch-screen display comes as standard. The Toyota Hylander Hybrid can tow up to 5,000lb and the ventilated disc brakes and eight advanced air bags plus pre-collision warning system makes it one of the safest cars on the road. The engine has been upgraded to a 3.5 liter V6 which along with the electric motor produces a total of 280hp. It can achieve around 27mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway. The luxury Limited model has a starting price of $47,300.

Crossover SUVs

Honda CR-V

Starting price: $22,945
Honda CRV, one of the best crossover SUVs
Honda CRV, one of the best SUVs for the money
The 2014 Honda CR-V is one of the most affordable Crossover SUVs on the market. Front wheel-drive comes as standard as do a back-up camera, four-speaker sound system and Bluetooth phone with audio streaming. The interior has plenty of room with a good luggage capacity and it gives a good solid performance powered by a four-cylinder regular 2liter inline-4 engine which produces 185hp. It is capable of doing around 23mpg in the city and 31mpg on the highway. The Honda CR-V comes with five-speed automatic transmission which handles well and you can upgrade to an all-wheel drive if you wish. It is a family friendly car that looks good and offers space and comfort on along journey with plenty of in-car entertainment to keep the kids amused.

Acura MDX

Starting price: $42,290
Acura MDX, best SUV in the crossover category
The Acura MDX offers one of the smoothest rides on the road
This SUV gives one of the quietest, smoothest rides on the road with an enhanced braking system that adds extra safety. The 3.5 liter i-VTEC V6 engine produces 290hp and it has excellent responsiveness. The Acura MDX has 6-speed Sport Shift transmission and you can choose between economical and sporty modes when the car is running on automatic. There are both FWD and AWD versions available, with the all-wheel drive making it very easy to handle. The included Agile Handling System also enhances performance. The MDX has a good braking system in all conditions. The FWD version does an estimated 20mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway, while the AWD returns around 18mpg in the city and 27mpg on the highway.
Was our list helpful? Do you own any of the cars on our list, or have you driven any? Let us know in the comments section below.