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Best Cars

Best Large SUVs and 4x4s for 2018

By Martin Pratt

Article 8 of 15

Our best 4x4 SUVs are refined and efficient, offering practicality and four-wheel drive security – and a used best 4x4 needn’t cost you a fortune.   

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Large SUVs and 4x4s are now one of the most popular types of car in the UK. Favoured for their rugged good looks and the confidence they inspire, thanks to their raised driving position and perceived safety.

4x4s are also pretty practical, with large, comfortable interiors. And – on most models at least – four-wheel-drive and the ability to venture off road. Few do, but those large tyres also do a good job of smoothing out rough roads and squashing speed bumps. 

The 4x4 class includes everything from luxury models, such as the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Range Rover. To more affordable mainstream offerings, including the Honda CR-V, Mitsubishi Outlander and Nissan X-Trail. 

But popularity is no guarantee that a large SUV will be good to drive or own. Our testing has found SUVs that are a nightmare to drive anywhere other than a muddy field. Long braking distances, wide turning circles and harsh suspension may be fine on a dirt track, but they become significant problems on a motorway or in town.

Below, you’ll find Best Buy 4x4s and large SUVs that have aced our rigorous tests, and some models that aren’t worth your money. 

Which? members can log in now to see the large SUVs we recommend. If you’re not already a member, take out a £1 Which? trial to unlock this table and read our expert impartial reviews.

Best new large SUVs

Price from £46,132
Which? score 79%
Reviewed Apr 2016
Driving stability:
4 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

The unusual design won't be to all tastes, but this SUV is a very impressive luxury 4x4. There’s plenty of space for passengers front and rear, plus a decent-sized boot. It's well made and comfortable, and has lots of advanced technology.

Price from £47,294
Which? score 79%
Reviewed Mar 2016
Driving stability:
4 out of 5
Ride quality:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

A new standard for luxury SUVs. This model impresses across the board, managing not only to be refined and well-constructed, but more engaging to drive than a car this large has any right to be. It pushes the boat out with high levels of safety and entertainment kit, too.

Price from £56,959
Which? score 77%
Reviewed Mar 2018
Driving stability:
4 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This luxury model may raise eyebrows with its unusual styling, but under the skin it really delivers. It's got a plush, practical interior and strong range of engines.

Price from £34,937
Which? score 77%
Reviewed May 2010
Driving stability:
3 out of 5
Ride quality:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This large SUV was built to last and it's full to the brim with the latest technology that enhances the comfortable drive.

Price from £63,677
Which? score 75%
Reviewed Apr 2018
Driving stability:
4 out of 5
Ride quality:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

A masterclass in luxury and technology. This upmarket SUV has the potential for very low running costs, provided you can live without seven seats.

Price from £20,924
Which? score 74%
Reviewed Aug 2017
Driving stability:
4 out of 5
Ride quality:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This enormous SUV is a masterclass in practicality. It boasts a huge cabin and boot, and is available with four-wheel drive. We'd avoid the smaller engine options, though.

Price from £46,598
Which? score 74%
Reviewed Dec 2015
Driving stability:
3 out of 5
Ride quality:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

Comfortable and loaded with safety technology, this is a standout car in the large 4x4 class. With seven seats and a large towing capacity, it's as practical as they come. The only real niggle is that it feels very wide on the road.

Best used large SUVs

Price from £12,802
Which? score 75%
Reviewed Jul 2009
Driving stability:
4 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 5
Model reliability 3-8 years:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This hybrid wants to combine economy with space and comfort, and it succeeds. Its design is pleasingly different from the SUV norm, too.

Price from £15,284
Which? score 73%
Reviewed May 2008
Driving stability:
5 out of 5
Ride quality:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

Combining plenty of power and a comfortable ride, this car has respectable levels of comfort and practicality. There's also a wealth of clever technology.

Price from £4,266
Which? score 72%
Reviewed May 2003
Driving stability:
4 out of 5
Ride quality:
3 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This hybrid SUV might be ageing, but its still a very attractive model on the used car market.

Price from £5,789
Which? score 72%
Reviewed Sep 2005
Driving stability:
4 out of 5
Ride quality:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

A massive SUV and designed to be a true off-roader, it also has the comfort to appeal to luxury car buyers.

Price from £19,826
Which? score 72%
Reviewed Mar 2012
Driving stability:
4 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This SUV is in its element as a cruiser, thanks to its soft suspension and refined cabin. It's also an excellent choice if you ever need to tow anything or venture off-road.

Not found the car for you? Browse all our large SUV and 4x4 reviews

Three large SUVs to avoid

4x4s and beefy SUVs have a certain image to uphold. They look strong and durable - surely a car that can barrel across frozen tundra and rutted fields won’t break down, right? 

Sadly not, our survey has found high-profile 4x4s that regularly suffer from brake and electrical faults leading to multiple breakdowns and garage visits – hardly expected of a rugged off-roader.

There’s also the matter of fuel consumption. No one is expecting a hulking SUV to be as efficient as a Toyota Prius, but people’s expectations aren’t an excuse to produce cars that do less than 20 miles to the gallon. We’ve tested non-hybrid SUVs that achieve over 40mpg, so it’s not as if it can’t be done.

We’ve rounded up three unreliable, gas guzzling 4x4s that you should avoid.

Which? members can log in now to see the cars you should avoid. If you’re not already a member, take out a £1 Which? trial to unlock this table and all our expert, independent reviews.

Large SUVs to avoid

Price from £5,426
Which? score 51%
Reviewed Nov 2004
Driving stability:
4 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 5
Boot space:
5 out of 5
Brand reliability 0-3 years:
3 out of 5
Brand reliability 3-8 years:
2 out of 5
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive
CO2 emissions (best measured):
Member exclusive

This is one full-size off-roader that you should avoid, despite its desirable image and useful practicality. There's a question mark over its reliability and we can't recommend it.

Price from £33,326
Which? score 48%
Reviewed Apr 2007
Driving stability:
3 out of 5
Ride quality:
3 out of 5
Boot space:
3 out of 5
Brand reliability 0-3 years:
3 out of 5
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive
CO2 emissions (best measured):
Member exclusive

Off-road prowess at the expense of nearly all road manners. Unwieldy, crude and thirsty, this model is one for the farm track only.

Price from £13,531
Which? score 45%
Reviewed Sep 2009
Driving stability:
3 out of 5
Ride quality:
4 out of 5
Boot space:
5 out of 5
Brand reliability 0-3 years:
3 out of 5
Brand reliability 3-8 years:
2 out of 5
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive
CO2 emissions (best measured):
Member exclusive

This full-size off-roader has always had a lot of appeal - stacks of off-road ability, comfort and a refined image. However, high ownership costs and a woeful reliability record mean that we simply can’t recommend it.

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Every car we review is subjected to more than 100 individual tests in a lab, on a test track and on real roads – and we really clock up the miles, driving around 500 miles in every car that we test.

Testing in controlled lab conditions means that the results we collect are directly comparable between different cars, helping us determine exactly which models are better and why, and helping you find the perfect car for your needs

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