The SUV was once the vehicle of a tougher folk.

These adventurers had a need for all-wheel drive and ridiculously powerful engines to get them out of a jam.

Today, the SUV is the iconic vehicle of what our American friends would call the 'Soccer Mom'.

This is someone, typically in their 30s/40s who has absolutely no need for an SUV, other than to flex over smaller, more inferior cars. 

Sorry lads, but you’re ‘Soccer Moms’ too. Your bi-monthly 5-a side game doesn’t make you an athlete who needs a ‘Sports Utility Vehicle’.

This new species of SUV-driver has motivated everyone wanting to make some cash in the car industry to put out an SUV model. 

In all seriousness, this is great for us, as a lot of people like big cars. The higher viewing position makes driving a lot easier, and the roomier interior makes for a comfy experience.

SUV. Crossover. Is there actually a difference? 

Short answer yes. Long answer, go read our blog on the differences between SUV cars and crossovers

For the sake of this article, we'll be using the word 'SUV' on all our top ten picks, even if some are technically crossovers. If you need a 'true' SUV, you likely live rurally or have a rugged, Bear Grylls lifestyle. This is a pretty small percentage of us.

This blog is for the average Joe who wants an SUV to commute and kick around town in, not for those who need a tractor just to get into their driveway.

Do I want an SUV?

Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of owning an SUV: 

Advantages: 

Big and spacious: One of the main appeals of the family SUV is the spacious interior. Whether you need the extra room for the kids, or you're just sick of feeling cramped in your Kia Picanto hatchback, the SUV body style is a good option.

Higher driving position: Shockingly, a taller car comes with a higher driving position. This means you can better see what’s happening on the road around you, and it has the added bonus of giving you a priceless sense of superiority as you lord over the smaller peasants on the road. 

Competitive pricing: With pretty much every car manufacturer jumping on the SUV bandwagon these days, you can find one for a pretty reasonable price. Of course, if you want to splurge, there’s some expensive luxury options around too. 

Disadvantages:

Lower mpg: SUVs are big cars, and big cars have their downsides. Because they're heavier than smaller cars, the MPG isn’t as good. The fuel economy in a Land Rover Discovery is obviously going to be a lot worse than in a Toyota Aygo!

Safety issues: While you'd probably rather be in an SUV than a city car in a head on collision, there's actually quite a few safety issues that comes along with the SUV. Due to their height, there's a risk of the car tumbling over in an accident - which wouldn't be fun. This in turn leads to...

Increased insurance cost: As your big fancy SUV is more likely to roll over in a crash, your insurance is notably higher. 

In summary, the practicality of an SUV is balanced out by the increased price of insurance and fuel economy. 

That being said, it's important to actually enjoy the car you drive, and if you're a big fan of an SUV style and can afford it, go for it!

If you're working with a smaller budget and have to admit that an SUV just doesn't make sense for you right now, check out our favourite small cars list instead.

Best SUV Cars of 2019 

You're convinced, you simply must have an SUV, as simply no other car style will do. 

Where do you start? The SUV market can be overwhelming due to the sheer number of models available these days.

To help you decide, we've done all the boring research for you, and we’re happy to present to you our best SUV cars of 2019!

Fun fact, the Tiguan has actually outsold the Land Rover Defender in the UK. This is particularly impressive as the Defender has been around for 67 years and the Tiguan a mere 8! 

Us Brits really like this car, and for good reason. Volkswagen takes what makes the Golf so good and puts it into a fashionable SUV body.

The Tiguan is a grown-up car and oozes class. However, this means that on the whole, it isn't as fun as it could be.

That being said, if performance is important to you, you can upgrade to the twin-turbo diesel option, which gives you a staggering 237 BHP. The kids will never be late to school again! 

Standout Features:

  • VWs Driver Assistance Package makes parking a breeze.
  • Pre-Collision Safety System.

Pros: 

  • An elegant car to convince your mother that you've grown up (R.I.P your old Polo GTI).
  • Lots of engine options.

Cons: 

  • Higher trims are expensive.
  • Cheaper models aren’t much fun to drive.
101 viewed this car Tiguan Estate View Gallery
7.3

Volkswagen Tiguan Estate

34 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Estate
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 122 - 234g/km

From £224.26 Per Month

Initial Rental: £2,018.30 inc VAT
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This French manufacturer deserves some serious praise. Once upon a time, Peugeot's were merely practical cars with rather drab looks and a boring interior.

This isn’t the case anymore, and Peugeot has really upped their designs in recent years. With sleek angles and a super-modern design, the exterior of the Peugeot 3008 looks fantastic.

It looks sharp on the inside too. The upmarket cabin is packed with handy tech, and looks way more expensive than it actually is. 

We think the 3008's most impressive engine is the 1.6 diesel transmission. With low CO2 emissions and a great fuel economy, you can’t go wrong with a Peugeot 3008.

Standout Features: 

  • Panoramic opening glass roof.
  • 100% digital Peugeot I-Cockpit.

Pros: 

  • A lot of great tech inside.
  • Handles well for an SUV.

Cons: 

  • No all-wheel drive option.
  • Manual gearbox isn't as good as competitors. 
99 viewed this car 3008 Estate View Gallery
7.8

Peugeot 3008 Estate

23 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D, Y, X
  • Body: Estate
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 36 - 182g/km

From £226.79 Per Month

Initial Rental: £2,721.48 inc VAT
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The Tucson is Hyundai’s attempt to firmly cement itself as a staple in the oversaturated SUV market. Thankfully, they’ve been successful.

A familiar sight on British roads, the Tucson is an excellent family car that doesn't compromise on styling. 

The 2019 model of the Tucson focuses more on evolution than revolution, and that's fair enough. The Tucson sells well in the UK and is consistently well reviewed, so Hyundai is smart to stick with what’s working!

We love the Tucson because it's a high quality sports-utility vehicle that provides great value for money without compromising on design.

Standout Features:

  • 5 year manufacturers warranty.
  • Great four-wheel drive options.

Pros: 

  • Comfortable and super spacious.
  • Smart and well-designed interior.

Cons: 

  • Can be boring to drive.
  • Competitors have larger boots.
56 viewed this car Tucson Estate View Gallery
7.0

Hyundai Tucson Estate

28 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.7
  • Fuel: P, D, Y
  • Body: 4x4
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 113 - 237g/km

From £192.61 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,155.66 inc VAT
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The Kodiaq, which also makes an appearance on our round-up of the best 7-seaters of 2019, is a fantastic SUV. Even if you don't need all 7 seats, this is still an SUV worth putting on the short list.

And it’s not just us who think so, with the Kodiaq Winning the Auto-Trader award for Best 7-seater SUV in 2019.

If you took off the Skoda badge, you'd be convinced this is a Volkswagen. Packing class leading tech on higher trims, Skoda doesn't compromise on premium car technology. 

The value for money on this car is unreal. It looks great inside and out, and is a steal for £24k.

Standout Features:

  • Seven seats (you can fold away the rear row if you don't need them).
  • Wireless charging for your phone.

Pros: 

  • The 1.4-litre engine is fantastic.
  • Classy looking car, and for those who need a 7-seater, a welcome change from the MPV body style!

Cons: 

  • The ultra-cheap trims are also ultra-basic.
  • If you ever have to use them, you’ll find that the third row of rear seats aren't all that comfortable.
59 viewed this car Kodiaq Estate View Gallery
7.7

Skoda Kodiaq Estate

38 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Estate
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 131 - 170g/km

From £235.64 Per Month

Initial Rental: £2,120.80 inc VAT
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The RAV4 is a beast. It's common to see 20 year old RAV4s still kicking about. 

Admittedly, there was definitely a few dodgy years in the car’s 4th generation of existence. This car was was awful looking and not up to Toyota’s high standards.

Despite this, Toyota's offering is the best-selling SUV of all time, and 4th best-selling car - so it can’t have been that bad! So, what's the 2019 model like? 

In short, it's great! The original RAV4 was an SUV through and through, and this model is no different. Sticking with the boxiness of a true SUV over the sleekness of crossover, the RAV4 is a huge and rugged-looking car. 

In the UK, every model is a hybrid, which means you benefit from great fuel economy and cheaper running costs.

Standout Features: 

  • Self-charging hybrid as opposed to a plug-in hybrid, so you don’t need to worry about finding somewhere to charge up. 
  • Smart Entry and Push Button Start

Pros: 

  • Great fun to use off road.
  • Dirt cheap to run (for an SUV).

Cons: 

  • Infotainment screen is still behind the times.
  • Lacking modern tech, like screen mirroring.
53 viewed this car Rav4 Estate View Gallery
7.7

Toyota Rav4 Estate

20 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.5
  • Fuel: P, H, D
  • Body: 4x4
  • Drive: A, M
  • CO2: 101 - 154g/km

From £248.28 Per Month

Initial Rental: £2,979.36 inc VAT
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Another classic SUV, the XC90 is great upmarket option. Volvo has always prided itself on a luxurious image, and they haven’t strayed far from their roots with the 2019 XC90

With hybrid and 7-seater options available, there's bound to be an XC90 that can do whatever you need it to. With a great driving-experience and class-leading tech, the XC90 is a great buy. 

Of course, all of that good stuff comes with a price-tag, so this Volvo is one of the more pricey options on this list. 

If you've got the budget and want an SUV that doesn't skimp on luxury, the Volvo XC90 is a great choice.

Standout Features: 

  • Volvo HomeLink is great.
  • Handy lane keeping aid.

Pros: 

  • Great looking and luxurious car.
  • Very easy to drive.

Cons: 

  • Petrol engines aren't that great.

Touch screen isn't as intuitive as cheaper rivals.

102 viewed this car Xc90 Estate View Gallery
8.1

Volvo Xc90 Estate

28 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 4.4
  • Fuel: P, D, X
  • Body: 4x4
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 49 - 322g/km

From £374.99 Per Month

Initial Rental: £4,499.88 inc VAT
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The Discovery might be the ultimate 'Soccer Mom/Dad' car. C’mon, admit it, the V6 diesel engine is overkill for the school run and weekly shop. 

To be fair, sometimes it's good to have the option of a rugged adventure, even if you never test out the limits of the car. If you do decide to head off an adventure, the Discovery is a brilliant option. 

More practical than the Range Rover, the Discovery is a car that actually drives great off-road and in urban situations. 

It's a given that this car is expensive, and you're definitely paying a bit for that Land Rover prestige. 

But if you're after a luxurious and legendary SUV, the Land Rover Discovery might just be the right car for you.

Standout Features: 

  • Seven-seater options available if you need the space.
  • 8-speed automatic transmission is brilliant.

Pros: 

  • The cabin feels like you’re sitting in a 5-star hotel.
  • All the tech you could ever want.

Cons: 

  • Stupidly expensive, particularly nowadays when cheaper rivals do the same thing.
  • One of the larger SUV cars on our list, making it difficult to navigate through narrow city streets.
71 viewed this car Discovery SW View Gallery
7.2

Land Rover Discovery SW

19 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 4.0
  • Fuel: D, P
  • Body: 4x4
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 189 - 397g/km

From £497.81 Per Month

Initial Rental: £4,480.29 inc VAT
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The F-Pace is Jaguar’s attempt get a piece of the lucrative SUV market. Thankfully Jaguar has made sure that the F-Pace isn't just a Range Rover clone. 

This SUV focuses on refined luxury and urban driving, and strays away from that rough and tumble image that the Land Discovery has. 

Jaguar is an upmarket brand, and they make sure this translates into SUV form. A unique use of angles on the body makes for some sleek styling, and the interior is what you'd expect from Jaguar.

Standout Features:

  • Broad engine options, including a ridiculously powerful 5.0-litre V8 Supercharged Petrol engine. 
  • Useful heads-up display.

Pros: 

  • Infotainment system is excellent.
  • Handles really well.

Cons: 

  • Has all-wheel drive, but not got a whole load of off-road capability.
  • Expensive when you consider that some cheaper rivals drive better!
69 viewed this car F-pace Estate View Gallery
7.6

Jaguar F-pace Estate

21 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 2.0 - 5.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Estate
  • Drive: A, M
  • CO2: 129 - 272g/km

From £367.86 Per Month

Initial Rental: £3,310.74 inc VAT
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Now you may have heard that BMW drivers have a bit of a stigma attached to them. Reckless, aggressive drivers... so why are we putting them in an SUV?! Run for the hills.

Jokes aside, the BMW x3 is a fantastic and super sporty SUV that will appeal to a lot of drivers who love the 3 Series but want more space and a better driving position.

Equipped with BMW's renowned high-performance engines, the fastest BMW x3 will net you 360bhp, which is incredible for such a big car.

Standout Features: 

  • 'Driver Experience Control' lets you switch to sports mode if you're feeling fun.
  • BMW xDrive monitors road conditions and adjusts the car’s settings as needed.

Pros: 

  • Engines are as brilliant you’d expect from a BMW.
  • Interior is well-designed.

Cons: 

  • Steering is a bit unresponsive and 'meh’-inducing. 
  • Even the entry level is expensive.
47 viewed this car X3 Estate View Gallery
8.0

BMW X3 Estate

27 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 3.0
  • Fuel: P, D, X
  • Body: 4x4
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 49 - 293g/km

From £356.78 Per Month

Initial Rental: £3,211.06 inc VAT
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The XCeed is just excellent Kia Ceed on steroids, which isn’t a bad thing! This car is arguably more of a crossover/compact SUV than a big, boxy SUV. 

Compared to the Ceed, the XCeed has a higher driving position while still rocking the super economical engines that Kia's renowned for.

Kia has also continued their trend of class-leading tech that easily rivals more expensive competitors, even on the standard trims. 

With Kia's manufacturer-leading 7 year warranty, the XCeed is a reliable SUV that’s great if you’re in need of a practical family car, or if you just want to sit up a little bit higher!

Standout Features 

Pros: 

  • Refreshingly, even the basic trims come well-equipped. 
  • The infotainment system is fantastic.

Cons: 

  • Not as smooth a ride as competitors.

Rear space is poor for an SUV.

27 viewed this car Xceed Hatchback View Gallery
6.8

Kia Xceed Hatchback

8 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 109 - 142g/km

From £161.51 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,453.57 inc VAT
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Why these 10? 

There's a huge amount of SUVs/Crossovers on the market these days. So, what's so special about our top 10 list? 

To make it onto our list, and to be considered one of the best SUV cars of 2019, you need to do the following: 

Drive well: If you're driving everyday, it ought to be a fun experience! Some SUV cars handle terribly, and make you nervous around tight corners. We've opted to only include SUVs that bring joy to drive them.

Be practical:  All of the cars on our list have great boot space, making them ideal for a family car. Also, they’re all capable of towing to a decent level. 

Upmarket and high quality: An SUV should have an air of luxury about it, and even the cheapest options on our list achieve this. 

Fuel economy: There's no point splurging on a super luxurious SUV if the cost of fuel will leave you exclusively eating baked beans on toast for the last week of the month. We've opted only for SUV cars that net a decent fuel economy and have not included those that we think are too thirsty. 

Summary: 

An SUV. Yes, you know you don't need one. Yes, you understand they're expensive compared to a hatchback. Do you even really need a new car yet alone a new SUV?!

Shh. You only live once, so why not drive a car you love? As long as you can afford it, there's nothing wrong with being good to yourself.

To offset the typically expensive up-front price of an SUV, why not consider leasing one instead?

Leasing allows you to have one affordable monthly payment that lets you afford the luxurious car you absolutely do not need but absolutely do want! 

To make sure you're getting the best lease price for your money, check out LeaseFetcher.