Best high up cars

Want to sit high up while you're driving? High-riding SUVs have become some of the most popular cars on the market. Here are 10 of the best

James Mills
Aug 10, 2021

Tall and high-riding SUVs have become the car of choice for millions of families in the UK. As well as offering drivers that extra confidence of sitting much higher up above the road, they are generally comfortable, spacious and practical.

Increasing numbers of drivers are looking for a high driving position, which generally improves your view of the road ahead and can make a car feel safer. It also allows you to see over other traffic, although that's a diminishing benefit as more people choose tall cars.

Tall doesn't need to mean big; options include the compact but high Suzuki Ignis, as well as models that that are based on small hatchbacks, such as the Renault Captur. These tend to be known as crossovers, as they combine the mechanical parts from small cars - making them efficient, fairly comfortable and affordable - with the height of an off-road car.

Another option is to choose a minibus-like people carrier, such as the Seat Alhambra, which provides the space and height of an SUV at a lower price. As these don't generally offer the high ground clearance of off-roaders, they can be particularly practical, with low floors for the boot plus a high roof meaning you get a tall luggage area that is very easy to load.

Best cars with a high driving position

1. Dacia Duster

Dacia Duster front three quarters view

Used deals from £6,500
Monthly finance from £138*
 There are plenty of drivers who like the look of a tall SUV but have been taken aback by the price after looking at a couple of popular makes and models. If you're one of them then you'll be pleased to find out that the new Dacia Duster has cost from as little as £9,995 new. Used models and second-hand versions of the previous-generation car are much cheaper than this.

That means you get a lot of car for the money with the Duster. More significantly, that’s quite a high-riding car for the money, one that affords you a good view of the road ahead and is still relatively easy to climb in and out of.

The entry-level Access trim doesn’t include a height-adjustable steering wheel or seat and is very basic all around, so you may want to spend a little more if you want such features to tailor the high seating position to your liking.

DACIA DUSTER BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Renault Captur

Renault Captur front three quarters view

Used deals from £7,995
Monthly finance from £165*
 The Captur has proved a hit in Britain. It brings a cheery look to this type of small family car and unlike some big, tall cars it’s extremely efficient to run. The most frugal diesel can manage up to 78mpg, meaning that fuel costs should be minimal.

A cross between an SUV and a hatchback, it’s not only the driver who gets to enjoys the commanding view of the road offered in the Captur. Passengers sit nice and high too, which can help when putting young children into car seats and it gives them a high-rise window on the world too.

The entry-level Expression+ model comes with height adjustment for the driver’s seat and multi-adjustment for the steering wheel, helping make it comfortable for those of all shapes and sizes. There is now a newer version of the Captur, so depending on your budget, you may want to look at this too.

RENAULT CAPTUR BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Mazda CX-3

Mazda CX-3 front three quarters view

Used deals from £10,695
Monthly finance from £213*
 Finding a small car that stands out from the crowd is increasingly difficult. There’s a bewildering choice of crossovers and SUVs. However, one that looks particularly striking to our eyes, is the Mazda CX-3.

It takes up no more space on the road than a small hatchback like a Ford Fiesta, yet you enjoy a raised seating position and the sporty styling hints at what the CX-3 is like to drive; surprisingly good fun.

Unlike some cars here, namely the Renault Captur above, the Mazda might appear a big expensive on paper. But it comes well equipped, has a quality interior feel and has plenty of seat adjustment to get comfortable.

MAZDA CX-3 BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Volkswagen Golf SV

Volkswagen Golf SV side view

Used deals from £11,965
Monthly finance from £237*
 The Volkswagen Golf is one of the most sensible cars money can buy. The only snag is that you’ll be sitting at the same height as millions of other cars around you. Not so in the Golf SV.

The letters stand for Sport Van, but this version is like a Golf that’s been planted in a bag of Miracle Gro; the driver sits nearly 60mm higher than in the regular hatchback and estate, which can be reassuring when the streets are chockablock with other cars on the school run, daily commute or simply in the Tesco car park.

Even the entry-level S trim includes height adjustment for both front seats and reach and rake adjustment for the steering, which should enable you to get comfortable behind the wheel. The only question for those mulling over getting one is whether to go for petrol or diesel power. If you drive mostly around town, petrol is a good option. If, however, you do many thousands of motorway miles every year, you're likely to benefit from substantial fuel savings by going with diesel.

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF SV BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40 front three quarters view

Used deals from £23,390
Monthly finance from £335*
 The XC40 manages to balance being small enough to be easy to drive and park with being large enough to offer plenty of interior space. It combines stylish design with a first rate driving experience, and is practical to boot.

Climb aboard and you’ll find it gives an excellent view of the road ahead - you sit nearly as high as in the much larger Volvo XC90 SUV - and entry-level Momentum models come with both height adjustment for the seat and a tilting base. Combine those with a multi-adjustable steering wheel and getting comfy is easy, while the seats are extremely comfortable on a long journey.

VOLVO XC40 BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Skoda Kodiaq

Skoda Kodiaq front three quarters view

Used deals from £20,490
Monthly finance from £344*
 The most affordable Skoda Kodiaq is just that - affordable. It's a large car, but used prices are impressively small. As a five-seat family car it excels, but we’d consider the seven-seat versions, as the extra seats come in handy from time to time, with the Kodiaq offering the ability to transport seven adults in comfort - not something that many so-called seven-seat SUVs can offer.

All models come with height adjustment for both front seats in addition to a full range of movement for the steering wheel. And the driving position is spot-on. The view out of the Kodiaq is just right; high enough to see over smaller vehicles and peer over the tops of some hedgerows, but not so lofty that the car ends up feels like you're driving a lorry on a winding road.

SKODA KODIAQ BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Seat Alhambra

Seat Alhambra front three quarter view

Used deals from £21,000
Monthly finance from £359*
 Britain’s drivers have fallen head over heels in love with SUVs, but people carriers like the Seat Alhambra make better family cars in many ways. First and foremost, compare the amount of cabin space and boot space you get in an Alhambra with a large SUV; the Seat is the more spacious option, yet it’s half the price of something like a Land Rover Discovery - so you can spend the savings on family holidays or simply save them away.

Then there are the sliding back doors. These are such a work of genius that some drivers choose cars like this on the strength of only the back doors. But the raised seating position also deserves mention, as it gives driver and passengers a feeling of calm you wouldn’t get in, say, a large estate car.

SEAT ALHAMBRA BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain

Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain side view

Used deals Limited stock
 Estate cars are popular as they offer large boots with a comfortable drive, but you can also get high-riding estates that blend that practicality with a high driving position. One of the most luxurious high-riding off-road estates is the Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain, and it is as plush as estate cars of any kind.

That much is evident in its price. At nearly £65,000, new versions are some of the most costly estates money can buy. Thankfully, used models are much less pricey. Warranting the cost, the E-Class All-Terrain is as versatile as a nanny, able to seat children in comfort, climb hilly tracks with ease and look suitably Bear Grylls outside the school gates.

It comes fully loaded with standard equipment. So you get a large and powerful diesel engine, four-wheel drive, smooth air suspension, an electric tow bar and panoramic roof. And with an extra 42mm of ground clearance compared with the standard Mercedes E-Class Estate, the All-Terrain gives a better view of the surrounding environment, even if that is just the Waitrose car park.

MERCEDES E-CLASS ALL TERRAIN BUYERS' GUIDE

9. Porsche Macan

Porsche Macan front

Used deals from £29,965
Monthly finance from £527*
 Yes, you sit nice and high in a Porsche Macan. And yes, it will carry a couple of child seats (and children) and the family Labrador in comfort. But the most significant thing about this high-riding SUV is that it’s by far and away the sportiest of all to drive.

Somehow, Porsche’s engineers have managed to make the Macan feel almost as agile as one of its renowned sports cars. The way the car responds to the driver’s commands is impressive enough to put a smile on anyone’s face.

The fact that there’s an eight-way electrically adjustable seat for the driver and a high enough stance to let you see over normal cars is the icing on the cake.

PORSCHE MACAN BUYERS' GUIDE

10. Range Rover Velar

Range Rover Velar front

Used deals from £37,980
Monthly finance from £563*
 Land Rover has not only developed some of the most competent cars for wading through muddy rivers or crossing over sand dunes or traversing snowy roads, but it's also created some of the most appealing luxury cars on the road.

The latest Range Rover Velar illustrates the point. If you avoid the most basic models, it looks a million dollars. But it’s not all about turning heads. There’s also a practical element to the car, with a lofty driving position that affords you a clear view of your surroundings, which is handy whether you ever head off-road or not.

This helps promote a feeling of calm, as does the cabin overall, as it is cleared of the usual clutter of switches and buttons, and uses a pair of touchscreen displays instead. As luxury travel goes, the Velar is hard to beat.

RANGE ROVER VELAR BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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