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Top Gear’s favourite sensible SUVs
We recommend: 2.2 SE-L AWD
Specs: 148bhp, 280lb ft, 0-62mph 9.4secs, 122mph top speed, 54.3mpg, CO2 136g/km
The surprise of the SUV world. Not because it drives as well as it does - Mazda is normally good at dynamics - but because it’s as refined as any German rival.
We recommend: SE 1.2 TSI
Specs: 104bhp, 129lb ft, 0-62mph 11.4secs, 110mph top speed, 46.3mpg, CO2 142g/km
Skoda’s most interesting car. Loses out to the Mazda simply because it’s getting a bit old now, but quality, comfort and dynamics are still up there with the best.
Hyundai Santa Fe
We recommend: 2.2 CRDI Style Auto
Specs: 194bhp, 311lb ft, 0-62mph 10.1secs, 118mph top speed, 41.5mpg, CO2 178g/km
Sharp looks, family-friendly interior and value-for-money, the new Santa Fe carries on where the old one left off. Not the most exciting, but good all the same.
Land Rover Freelander
We recommend: 2.2 TD4 SE Tech Auto
Specs: 148bhp, 309lb ft, 0-62mph 8.6secs, 118mph top speed, 40.4mpg, CO2 185g/km
If your SUV deals more with rough terrain than tarmac, then the Freelander is the best one for you. Epic off-road, and superbly comfy on-road, too. Small, though, and it’s getting on a bit nowadays.
We recommend: Titanium 2.0 TDCI FWD
Specs: 138bhp, 236lb ft, 0-62mph 10.6secs, 118mph top speed, 53.3mpg, CO2 139g/km
The new Kuga has lost some of the dynamic edge of the first generation model, but build quality and engines are improved. A solid second coming, but not spectacular.
We recommend: Ambiance 1.5 dCi 4x4
Specs: 109bhp, 177lb ft, 0-62mph 12.5secs, 104mph top speed, 53.3mpg, CO2 135g/km
If you value substance way above style, this is the place to go. It won’t impress like a Freelander on the school run, but there’s an appealing honesty and toughness to the Duster. And it’s cheap.