To capitalise on this popularity, manufacturers have increased the number of SUVs in their line-ups, with an ever-growing number of compact, medium-sized and large SUVs on offer here in Australia.
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The only problem is, with so much choice on offer, it can be difficult to know which are the 10 best SUVs worth a test drive, which is what we’ll be unpacking here.
The Kia Sportage has gained a brand new platform, funky new styling and a heap of new features in its latest model year, making for a great all-rounder midsize SUV.
The Kia Sportage features three engine options paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, with the suspension package tailored to Australian roads that makes it feel at home on a variety of surfaces.
Kia’s generous approach to entertainment and safety features has been carried over in the latest Sportage, as well as the company’s seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty that makes it difficult to walk past.
If you’re looking for a midsize SUV that will seriously impress on a test drive, look no further than the latest generation Ford Escape.
Under the bonnet, the Escape comes packing a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that pushes out 183kW of power and 387Nm of torque which, paired with its eight-speed automatic offers some seriously entertaining pace.
Better still, buyers looking for an affordable plug-in hybrid SUV have the option of the Escape PHEV which can travel up to 50km on battery power alone and offers fuel economy figures of just 1.5L/100km when the pack is charged.
The Isuzu MU-X has been a go-to option for those looking for a family-friendly SUV with an adventurous spirit.
The MU-X produces a meaty 140kW/450Nm from the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel it shares with the D-Max ute, and comes available in both 4x2 and 4x4 platforms with a low-range transfer case and a locking rear differential for some off-road antics.
Inside, the MU-X has seating for up to seven people and receives an impressive amount of features as standard, asserting itself as one of the value picks of the large SUV segment.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Suzuki Vitara is a rock-solid option for buyers in the market for a compact SUV that isn’t afraid to get its toes dirty.
With the Vitara, Suzuki has designed a clever and practical little package that lends itself perfectly to the urban commute that can even handle some light off-roading.
Power comes supplied by a pair of four-cylinder engines, with the range-topper gaining a turbocharger that produces 103kW of power and 220Nm of torque, with the option of front and all-wheel drive platforms.
If you’re in the market for a sleek and sophisticated SUV, the Volkswagen Tiguan remains one of the best-value European midsize SUVs here in Australia.
The Tiguan range offers a heap of variety when it comes to engines, with rock-solid and fuel-efficient options in the base model that gain a heap of power and torque as you step closer to the Tiguan R.
Inside, the interior design is premium and practical for growing families, while there’s also a long-wheelbase version of the Tiguan called the Tiguan Allspace that offers seating for seven people.
Mitsubishi’s updated Outlander is a great five and seven-seat SUV that offers buyers a heap of features and Australia’s longest warranty coverage that make it well worth your attention.
Power comes supplied by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder producing 135kW of power and 245Nm of torque, which is paired with a CVT automatic and all-wheel drive system in certain variants that give it some light off-road abilities.
Where the Outlander really shines is the generous amount of space for your family, and the sheer amount of entertainment and safety features fitted as standard that make it a great family SUV option.
You might be surprised to find out that the Mazda CX-5 is not only one of the most stylish and practical midsize SUVs of its segment, it’s also one of the most fun to drive.
Thanks to some clever suspension and a fast steering rack, the CX-5 is able to squeeze every kilowatt from its range of four engines that make for one of the most entertaining midsize SUVs on the market.
Of course, it excels when it comes to comfortable driving around town and long distance trips, and also offers one of the most stylish interior designs you’ll find for the money.
For a number of years, Toyota’s LandCruiser Prado has led the pack when it comes to offering buyers the versatility of a comfortable and family-friendly SUV with some serious off-road abilities.
In its latest generation, the Prado has received more entertainment features and active safety gear than ever before, while power is still supplied by the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel you’ll find powering the HiLux and Fortuner large SUV.
Inside the Prado you’ll find a spacious cabin with a five-seat layout as standard that gains a massive 742L of boot space, while Toyota also offers a seven-seat layout for larger families.
If you’re in the market for a large and supremely comfortable eight-seat SUV, the latest Hyundai Palisade is very much worth a test drive.
It comes powered by your choice of a V6 petrol and four-cylinder turbo-diesel engines, with power put to the road via a slick eight-speed transmission and support lent by a beefy suspension system that makes the Palisade a pleasure to drive.
Inside, there’s acres of space for up to eight people, with a heap of entertainment and safety features fitted as standard, making for a well-equipped value proposition within the eight-seat SUV segment.
Finally, if you’re looking for a comfortable and family-friendly seven-seat SUV that benefits from handfuls of French flair, the Peugeot 5008 could be worth a closer look.
The 5008 stands out from the crowd thanks to its bold styling package, but get behind the wheel and you’ll find out quickly that it offers some serious substance underneath its stylish exterior.
Under the bonnet, you’ll find a choice of turbo petrol and diesel engines that return some seriously impressive fuel economy figures of just 5.0L/100km in the diesel and 5.6L/100km in the petrol that help to cut down fuel bills.
Inside, there’s a spacious and radically-designed cabin that gives the 5008 a heap of personality, with seating for up to seven people and a massive boot measuring 952L with the third row folded.