SUVs are easily the fastest-growing segment of the Australian new car market. Last year, almost 15% more SUVs were sold than the year before – and more and more Aussie families are turning to these high-riding vehicles due to their practicality, raised driving positions, and safe, secure feel on (and off) the road.
Because of the massive demand for SUVs, it seems like every manufacturer is getting in on the game – at every price point, from the early $20,000s right through to $200,000 plus. So, with so many choices, what is the best SUV for you? Here are our picks.
Mini SUVs are an interesting concept: they offer the high driving position that SUV buyers love, with the benefits of a small size so they’re not cumbersome in town. However, they’re usually not much fun to drive – and we’d usually prefer a hatchback. But this isn’t the case in the Peugeot 2008, which has a brilliant three-cylinder turbo petrol engine, and solid handling characteristics. It doesn’t look bad, either – the only downside is you’ll need to change gears yourself.
Honda have proven their ability to build inexpensive, dependable SUVs with the CR-V for almost two decades. The latest iteration is better than ever, and it is supremely comfortable even in the base VTi trim. Its five-speed automatic is a little out of date, but the smooth VTEC petrol engine will make for refined cruising and decent fuel economy.
Jeep’s new Cherokee polarises with its radical front-end styling, but we commend the American manufacturer for going out on a limb and differentiating this SUV from the sameness of its competitors. We were also very pleased with the enormous improvements made in terms of quality – Jeep has completely shed its reputation of cheap and nasty interiors. The Cherokee builds on the successes of its larger Grand Cherokee brother (also a winner in this list). The only problem: there’s no diesel available, and the V6 petrol is naturally a thirsty one.
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