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Family-friendly SUV cars and alternatives tested: which are worth buying?

We test the Peugeot 3008, 5008 and Kia Sorento SUVs, Volkswagen Golf GTD, plus luxury and sports car alternatives – find out which are the best

Family-friendly SUV cars and alternatives tested: which are worth buying?

Whatever car you’re looking for, this month we’ve got you covered. We’ve tested the latest trendy SUVs, including the family-friendly 7-seater Kia Sorento and the facelifted Peugeot 3008 and 5008, plus the Volkswagen Golf GTD hot hatch.

If you’re looking for something with a little more va-va-voom, we’ve also put a selection of luxury and sports cars through their paces. Find out if the muscular Ford Mustang or BMW’s  all-new flagship M3 Competition live up to their reputations. If opulent comfort is more your thing, we’ve taken the brand new DS 9 luxury saloon for a spin.

Check out the toplines on each car below, or click through to our full reviews for our definitive verdicts.


Best cars for 2021 – whether you’re after a spacious SUV or a compact hatchback, our expert tests will help you find a model that delivers on performance, comfort, safety and reliability.


Family-friendly cars on test

Peugeot 3008 (2016-), £25,994

This is the second-generation 3008. It’s a mid-size SUV targeting mainstream family buyers. First launched in 2016, it’s recently undergone a facelift, with minor exterior styling updates including ‘sabre-tooth’ daytime running lights and an uprated interior.

There are now three trim options: Active, Allure and GT.

Equipment is generous regardless of which you go for, with entry-level models getting DAB digital radio, smartphone connectivity (including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), automatic headlamps and windscreen wipers, dual-zone climate control, automatic emergency braking and rear-view camera.

Discover if this is the ideal car for you in our Peugeot 3008 review.

Peugeot 5008 (2017-), £28,167

If you need even more space for your family, the 5008 has also been facelifted this year. It offers seven seats, promising bags of space and a massive boot, while still claiming to be more compact on the outside than many SUV rivals.

You can choose between petrol or diesel power (it’s also available as a plug-in hybrid), and the 2021 facelift includes updates to exterior styling and Peugeot’s digital i-Cockpit controls. The range-topping GT and GT Premium models have unique grille designs and full LED headlights as well.

Sound like the perfect motor for you? See the expert verdict in our Peugeot 5008 review.

Kia Sorento (2020-), £37,890

The Peugeot 5008’s got a 7-seater rival in the all-new Kia Sorento. The fourth-generation Sorento launched last year, promising huge amounts of space for people and luggage.

It’s a proper 4×4, and you have a choice of three power options: a 202hp diesel, a ‘self-charging’ 230hp hybrid, and a plug-in hybrid version with 261hp.

Kia offers a long seven-year warranty on its cars for added confidence over time.

Find out if this is the right choice for you in our Kia Sorento review.

Volkswagen Golf GTD (2020-), £32,790

If you’re looking for something that balances practicality with a zesty driving experience, perhaps the Volkswagen Golf GTD hot hatch could fit the bill.

Launched last year, this performance diesel version of the Golf sits alongside the petrol-powered Golf GTI and hybrid Golf GTE (each reviewed separately).

Its engine promises 200hp of power for plenty of pep, but also claims impressively frugal fuel consumption. Could this be the wise choice for your driving thrills?

Our experts couldn’t wait to find out in our Volkswagen Golf GTD review.

Performance and luxury alternatives on test

If you’re looking for something a bit special, we’ve also driven cars that’ll make your heart race, and one that promises opulence and sophistication to rival big German luxury saloons from BMW and Mercedes.

BMW M3 Competition (2021-), £74,755

The sixth-generation model of the M3, BMW’s most iconic car, is brand new for 2021. The ‘Competition’ version promises more power than predecessors, with a 510hp turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol engine.

The Competition spec, which is the only M3 of this generation available in the UK, is only available as an eight-speed automatic (there’s no manual version available here).

Safety features that come as standard include autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning and rear-collision prevention. You’ll also get an automatic-parking assistant, reversing assistant (which will automatically reverse you back over the exact path you’ve just driven) and a rear-view camera.

Optional extras include  ‘Laserlight’ headlights, carbon fibre sports seats and carbon ceramic brake discs.

Our experts drive it for the first time to find out if it’s still the default four-seat choice for keen drivers in our first look BMW M3 Competition review.

Ford Mustang (2015-), £43,670

We reviewed the 421hp V8 version of the iconic Ford Mustang muscle car a few years back, and have just tested its post-facelift more powerful 450hp V8 engine.

However, while it may be a teenage boy’s dream, the Ford Mustang is a Don’t Buy. The Ford Mustang received just a three star rating out of five from safety body Euro NCAP in its crash tests. This three-star rating is for the facelifted fastback version (not the convertible), released for the 2018 model year.

Safety should always be a priority, so we expect modern cars to earn four stars or more in Euro NCAP’s tests. Therefore we make all cars with three stars or less automatic Which? Don’t Buys regardless of how they perform in our other tests.

Despite being facelifted in 2017, the Mustang’s underpinnings haven’t changed since it originally launched in 2015. In Euro NCAP’s crash tests, the Mustang underperformed in particular when crashed into a front rigid barrier. The rear passenger dummy, in particular, received ‘poor’ protection for their chest and upper legs, and ‘weak’ protection for their head.

The car was also marked down in the whiplash test from a rear impact, with Euro NCAP saying it offered ‘inadequate’ protection.

Nevertheless, the muscular Mustang remains an aspirational car for many, and some may be willing to overlook its disappointing safety rating.

Find out whether this car’s muscle lives up to its reputation in our Ford Mustang review.

DS 9 (2021-), £40,615

Citroën’s upmarket spin-off, DS, has now established itself as a luxury brand in its own right. Following on from a suite of plush crossover and SUV cars, this all-new DS 9 aims to challenge dominant German players such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW in the luxury saloon market.

There’s a choice of one 225hp petrol engine or two petrol plug-in hybrid models (225hp or 360hp). The 360hp plug-in hybrid option is soon to be available and is the only model to offer four-wheel-drive.

As standard in its entry-level trim, you get active LED headlights, active scan suspension (which uses a camera to detect bumps in the road and adjusts the suspension accordingly), a sat nav, and keyless entry and start.

Could this be the perfect blend of style and comfort for you? We see if it has what it takes in our first look DS 9 review.

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