Best large SUVs 2020

  • A large SUV can be practical, fashionable and capable
  • No need to suffer an old-fashioned off-roader
  • Everything from family-friendly to ultra-luxurious

There was a time when a large SUV was one of two things – a huge, uncomfortable brute of a thing prone to rolling over in hard cornering that's designed for the outback than the beaten track… or a Range Rover.

Times change, though, and the modern large SUV is far more likely to be targeted towards families than farmyards. The best of these cars can do it all – accommodate tons of passengers and luggage, be comfortable for a long-distance cruise, yet remain comfortable to manoeuvre round town. They’re equally at home on the school run or the golf course, and some even retain a modicum of off-road ability. And of course, they all have those rugged looks and a raised driving position that endear buyers to these cars in the first place.

Downsides? Well, even a seven-seat SUV is less practical than a people-carrier would be – put simply, a box on wheels has more room than a stylish crossover. The downsides of an SUV’s bulky body and big wheels mean higher running costs across the board than you’d get from a hatchback or estate car. These cars (generally) have lower fuel economy, higher CO2 emissions, higher insurance, and more expensive consumables such as tyres and brakes.

They’re also more expensive to buy in the first place, although their desirability does mean finance packages can be very attractive.

Still sound good? Read on for our pick of the 10 best large SUVs on sale in the UK today, or click the links below to jump straight to the cars you’re interested in.

Hyundai Santa Fe
Peugeot 5008
Volvo XC90
BMW X7
Mercedes-Benz GLS
Skoda Kodiaq
SEAT Tarraco
Land Rover Discovery
Kia Sorento
Volkswagen Touareg

Hyundai Santa Fe

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

A former Parkers award-winner, the Hyundai Santa Fe is a thoroughly modern and generally very impressive seven-seat SUV. It’s Hyundai’s flagship car in the UK, and features all of its best tech – top-end Santa Fes come with serious luxury kit like heated and cooled seats, a panoramic roof and semi-autonomous driving functions.

It’s also immensely practical, with seven seats, a huge load area and towing capacity of up to 2,500kg – making it brilliant for carrying a whole family’s kit and clobber. A surprisingly premium-feeling interior and efficient (if slightly grumbly) diesel engine are both further feathers in the Santa Fe’s cap.

Price new: From £38,165
Lease this car:
From £438 per month

Peugeot 5008

2020 Peugeot 5008 review

The Peugeot 5008 splits the difference between an SUV and a compact MPV more effectively than almost any car on the market. This is best seen in its interior, which features three totally separate seats across the middle row. Sounds like a small thing, but this opens up the possibility of having three separate child seats at the same time – and busy parents with three young children will definitely appreciate this.

The 5008 is also good-looking and pretty good to drive, with a wide range of super-refined petrol and diesel engines. We like the 1.2-litre petrol, which punches well above its weight, but those intending to load the 5008 up to its full capacity would do better with one of the more powerful diesels.

Price new: From £27,775
Lease this car:
From £328 per month

Volvo XC90

2020 Volvo XC90

Volvo enjoyed something of a renaissance when it launched the second-generation XC90 – transforming it from a dowdy brand best associated with safe, boxy estate cars to the epitome of Scandinavian cool.

You can specify the XC90 as a sensible diesel or a super-quick plug-in hybrid, but all get the same wonderful interior, with a comfortable ride and superb seats. Few cars are as suited to munching up the miles as the XC90 – and even fewer are anywhere near as safe, with Volvo’s advanced tech making the XC90 about as safe in a crash as a bunker in an explosion.

Price new: From £53,180
Lease this car:
From £560 per month

BMW X7

2020 BMW X7

Get past the BMW X7’s horrific grille (it really as startling in real life as it is in photos) and you’ll find a brilliant SUV. The X7’s huge dimensions don’t translate to the road, where it feels like a much smaller car.

Its engine range is particularly mighty – even the base diesel model has more power than most will ever need – and its high-quality interior hides seven adult-sized seats, too.

Price new: From £72,650
Lease this car:
From £870 per month

Mercedes-Benz GLS

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS

The S-Class of SUVs? The GLS is about as close as it comes, successfully translating much of Mercedes’ flagship luxury model into a vast SUV body. The GLS is ideal for people who think bigger is better – it’s the largest SUV on sale in the UK today.

That makes it a little cumbersome in town centres but makes up for it in passenger space and comfort. The GLS is packed full of features you never knew you needed, such as a gorgeous ultra-widescreen information display, augmented reality navigation, or a pair of touchscreens for rear-seat passenger entertainment.

Price new: From £74,085 

Skoda Kodiaq

2020 Skoda Kodiaq

Skoda’s first seven-seater is a brilliant, brilliant family car, effortlessly blending all the things the Czech brand does best. It’s good value, costing less than the equivalent Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace. It’s spacious, with seven seats as standard. And it’s packed with ‘Simply Clever’ touches, making life easier for its occupants.

The Kodiaq’s engine range goes from basic petrol units right up to the particularly quick and beefy Kodiaq vRS, and the chassis is set up to be comfortable as well as light and easy to drive.

Price new: From £26,075
Lease this car:
From £269 per month

SEAT Tarraco

2020 SEAT Tarraco

SEAT’s Tarraco is very similar to the Skoda Kodiaq, but it has a slightly sportier look, is a little sharper to drive, a different interior design and altered specifications. It's also very closely related to the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, but is cheaper than its German-badged sister car.

We think the Skoda’s interior is the nicer place to be but there’s very little in it – and the SEAT can be optioned with some gorgeous brown Alcantara seats. It really comes down to which of these two cars offers the best ownership package at the time of buying – or whether you have a preference of brand or dealer.

Price new: From £28,575
Lease this car:
From £322 per month

Land Rover Discovery

2020 Land Rover Discovery

If you want to carry seven full-sized adults, few cars can match the Land Rover Discovery. This supremely comfortable luxury SUV majors on practicality and capability – it just munches up the miles, and is ideal for big families or those who need to tow (up to 3,500kg!)

One of the Discovery’s best party tricks is how well it handles off-roading, though. There are many rough-and-tumble trucks that would struggle to go where the Discovery effortlessly treads, and it’s something that a few very demanding buyers will definitely appreciate.

Price new: From £46,465
Lease this car:
From £654 per month

Kia Sorento

2020 Kia Sorento

Kia may have just recently revealed its latest Sorento, but that doesn’t mean you should discount the current car. In fact, you may be able to score a stonking deal on it as Kia runs down production.

The Sorento, like the Hyundai Santa Fe, is tuned for comfort rather than handling, but is also tough enough to load up with seven passengers and still tow over 2 tons. Kia’s seven-year warranty should also provide some very welcome peace of mind for those intending to keep it for a long time.

Price new: From £29,595
Lease this car:
From £336 per month

VW Touareg

2020 Kia Sorento

Parkers Tow Car of the Year for 2020 is an incredibly accomplished SUV all-round. The Touareg is Volkswagen’s flagship and as such holds all of its best technology – such as the widescreen ‘Innovision’ infotainment setup, which makes this SUV feel like something from the future.

With only five seats, it’s not the best for big families, but this does endow the Touareg with a huge boot and ample space for its occupants. Throw in a beefy V6 diesel and there’s plenty to recommend this SUV.

Price new: From £44,000
Lease this car:
From £457 per month

Further reading

>> The Parkers guide to SUVs
>> Best tow cars