Best SUVs for 2019
You might have thought that the sports utility vehicle (SUV) market had reached its peak, but the last 12 months have seen a great many new models arrive on an already crowded scene. In fact just when it seemed like all the bases had been covered in terms of size and shape, companies have managed to squeeze-in entirely new SUVs into their existing busy ranges.
There are many flavours of SUV too, notably the less chunky ‘coupé’ crossover models which now sit alongside their taller siblings. Despite some compromises on interior space and ground clearance, these crossovers offer something a little different with a nod toward improved handling over their regular SUV counterparts.
Many SUVs are offered without all-wheel-drive too. While less sure-footed when conditions become tough, they can often deliver slightly better economy on the black top while drivers still enjoy the advantages of a practical SUV shape.
So with everyone from the volume manufacturers to supercar makers muscling-in on SUV action, what are our top picks for 2019?
The Kia Stonic’s fresh and practical shape outside is matched by good interior design within. All trim levels for the UK market are well-equipped and the sweet 1.0 T-GDi petrol is the pick of the engines.
The Volkswagen T-ROC is smart yet pleasingly understated. Build quality feels good too and there is plenty of scope for personalisation. The neat and compact shape still delivers on interior space with good leg room and a 445 litre boot.
The Škoda Kodiaq is a genuine seven-seater. Competitive pricing along with decent equipment levels look good on paper; the good news is it’s a pleasing drive too with a vRS specification topping the range. Available with either front- or all-wheel-drive.
Front-wheel-drive only and available as a petrol or hybrid, the CH-R crossover combines striking looks with sensible technology, including Toyota’s Safety Sense fitted to all models.
The X2 is more slender than the X1 with a lower roofline and evolved BMW design language. It is finished to a high standard and is available with a choice of smooth engines.
Gathering industry awards apace, the new Suzuki Jimny is arguably the most charismatic in our list and delivers genuine off-road ability with a low range gearbox and hill descent control. Not the roomiest, but with those stand-out cheeky looks, it carries enormous appeal.
The Volvo XC40 is defined by clean Scandinavian design inside and out. We like its overall refinement and high levels of equipment, especially when it comes to safety.
To date, anything wearing a green oval badge has been at the top of the game when it comes to the muddy stuff and the new Evoque is no exception. It’s refined on-road too. All but the entry model have AWD and use a mild hybrid system; a plug-in hybrid is due soon.
The Land Rover Discovery is the daddy when it comes to size and ability. Refined on-road yet with an off-road pedigree like no other marque, there’s little the Disco won’t tackle. It’s a full seven-seater and the diesels will tow up to 3.5 tonnes.
Jaguar’s ground-breaking I-PACE ticks so many boxes with its distinctive range-topping EV. Being all-electric and all-wheel-drive it has massive torque and grip, pushing 62mph from standstill in just 4.8 seconds