Best buys mid-sized SUVs: Peugeot’s 5008 remains our top pick

Our choice of the best family SUVs on the market right now

 

Best One: Peugeot 5008

The 5008 is basically a 3008 with a taller rear roofline and seven seats. But it’s not quite that simple, and in the addition of the extra space and seats, the 5008 has taken on quite a different character to the lower, leaner, sportier 3008. A character that’s frankly all the better for it, because the 5008 feels more laid back, less rushed, more languid. Its wheelbase is around 200mm longer than that of the 3008, so the ride quality feels a little gentler, and if that’s at the cost of a smidgen of agility in bends, well then this is a big family car, so why are you worrying how it goes around bends? 1.2 PureTech engine is a good choice for townies, while the 1.6 BlueHDI diesel is a good one for those covering longer distances. Those third row seats either fold flat or lift out, leaving you with a loadspace equal to an IKEA run, while the dashboard is the same high-quality affair we’ve already seen in the 3008.

Best model: Allure 1.6 BlueHDI for €34,905 Price range: €29,345 to €47,745. Finance from €354 per month. Co2 emissions: 106 to 133g/km Sum up: Best SUV for family life

Worthy Contenders

Skoda Kodiaq

The Kodiaq is Skoda at its best - big and bluff, spacious and practical, really well built, not bad to drive, and perfect for family life. Tall and imposing, it actually drives quite sweetly (aside from a ride quality that’s sometimes a little too stiff) and if the cliff-face dashboard is a bit of a style-free zone, then at least it’s all screwed together properly. Little touches, like the front-to-rear intercom system built into the radio, are delightful. Worth noting that the extra seats in the boot are, in fact, a (somewhat pricey) option and that the basic 125hp 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine is deeply underpowered.

Best model: 2.0 TDI 4x4 Ambition for €37,495 Price range: €29,750 to €48,495. Finance from €359 per month. Co2 emissions: 139 to 150g/km Sum up: Friendly like a big bear. Pricey, though.

Kia Sorento

It’ll not have escaped your attention that the Sorento is on the expensive side, especially for a car with a Korean badge. The very cheapest one is €39,495 and if you want some spangly equipment items and, say, an automatic gearbox you could be looking at more than €50,000. Worth it? Almost, yes - the Sorento is one of those cars that, once you’ve driven it, you start to question why you haven’t owned one for years. It starts with a (reasonably) high quality dashboard, extends to a hugely spacious cabin and boot, adds in decent refinement and excellent long-range comfort, and soothes you with solid build and reliability. The downsides are high-ish Co2 levels, only one engine choice, and that price tag, but we do still rather like the Sorento’s oddly American sensibilities.

Best model: 2.2 K2 4x2 for €41,395 Price range: €39,495 to €51,495. Finance from €400 per month. Co2 emissions: 149 to 170g/km Sum up: A slice of South Korea, deep-fried, American-style

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

Like its closely-mechanically related cousin, the Skoda Kodiaq, the Tiguan does suffer slightly from not having seven seats as standard. VW claims that this is to allow for those who want it for the longer wheelbase, and bigger boot compared to the standard Tiguan, but then equally informs us that more than 90 per cent of buyers spec their Allspace with seven seats anyway. Go, and indeed, figure. Still, even if it is over-priced compared to the 5008 and Kodiaq, the Tiguan Allspace is a nice thing - chunky styling, lovely cabin, exceptional quality, plenty of space, and nice to drive. It’s tempting to say go the whole €50,000+ hog and get the BiTurbo diesel…

Best model: Comfortline 2.0 TDI 150hp for €39,670 Price range: €34,050 to €50,850. Finance from €307 per month. Co2 emissions: 129 to 170g/km Sum up: Expensive, but feels suitably so

Wild Card: Renault Koleos

It would seem that the price for entry into this class is seven seats. But the Renault Koleos doesn’t have seven seats. It has just the five, the same as the smaller (and bigger-selling) Kadjar, which itself is a pleasantly impressive car. The Koleos, though? Allegedly it lacks the seven seats because Renault bosses feared it would steal sales from the Scenic MPV. Whatever the reason, it feels like an odd omission, but it doesn’t stop the Koleos being nice in a very low-key way. It’s handsome on the outside, comfy and refined on the inside, huge in the boot, and has a very good 1.6 diesel engine. The CVT automatic gearbox is a bit noisy, and the infotainment system is mostly awful, but it’s a comfy old bus as long as you don’t need the extra seats. Well-priced and generously equipped, too.

Best model: 1.6 dCi 130 Signature Nav for €36,790 Price range: €34,490 to €46,790. Finance from €307 per month. Co2 emissions: 128 to 156g/km Sum up: Où sont passés mes sièges de troisième rangée?

Incoming: Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Edge facelift, Honda CR-V, Subaru Outback facelift, Mitsubishi Outlander facelift, Jeep Wrangler, Seat Tarraco,