Best family SUVs 2024
SUVs come in all shapes and sizes, but for families, it’s the larger models that make the most sense. If you’re after the best family SUV, here are our top choices.
Over the past few years, SUVs have become the go-to option for family motorists looking for safe and practical transport.
SUVs are generally great all-rounders, with enough space to accommodate luggage for a week-long holiday, sports equipment or pushchairs. We’ve rounded up a range of options to suit all budgets in our breakdown of the best family SUVs you can buy in 2024.
Many of today’s best SUVs are more efficient than ever, too, with some powered by low-emission petrol and diesel engines and even a range of hybrid options, which mean they’re only a little more expensive to run than a family hatchback.
To back up their off-roader styling, many SUVs are also available with four-wheel-drive, although these versions are more expensive to buy and run, use more fuel and – in some cases – offer less boot space than two-wheel-drive equivalents. As a result, we’d recommend avoiding them, unless you have a particular need for four-wheel drive.
If you’re after the best family SUV, here are 10 great-value options, with boots large enough to cope with whatever you throw at them.
Best family SUVs 2024
- Dacia Duster
- SEAT Tarraco
- Peugeot 3008
- Mercedes GLE
- Skoda Kodiaq
- BMW X7
- Peugeot 5008
- Land Rover Discovery
- Audi Q7
- Volvo XC90
Best family SUV for value for money
Our pick: Dacia Duster TCe 130 4x2 Journey
Read our full Dacia Duster review
The Dacia Duster is by far and away the best SUV available for under £20,000. It’s not the most luxurious, but in many ways it’s just as good as several of its more expensive rivals. Size-wise, it sits somewhere between the Renault Captur and the Renault Kadjar, so if you have a family of five, the Dacia Duster is a perfect fit.small enough to be easy to drive, but with enough passenger and boot space to be seriously practical.
With the rear seats in their upright position, there’s 445 litres of space, which is significantly more than you’ll find in the Volkswagen Golf. Fold the seats down and the space extends to ,623 litres, which is greater than the more expensive Nissan Qashqai offers.
It’s worth noting that the seats don’t fold entirely flat and the entry-level version doesn’t offer a split-fold rear bench – so if you want the most practical Dacia Duster, bear this in mind. But with prices this low, there's not much you can complain about.
Best family SUV for style and substance
Our pick: SEAT Tarraco 1.5 TSI SE
Read our full SEAT Tarraco review
The seven-seat SEAT Tarraco is superb value for money and impressively spacious, as well as being a pretty enjoyable car to drive. It’s offered with a range of Volkswagen Group powertrains, but our favourite is the punchy 1.5-litre turbocharged TSI unit, which offers up to 52.3mpg with a manual gearbox or an acceptable 47.1mpg with the quick-shifting DSG automatic unit.
It’s practical and with all seven seats in place it still has over 200 litres of useful luggage space, along with an impressive 700 litres if the rearmost seats are folded away. The cabin is well equipped and the trim is plush and hard-wearing. It’s a really well-thought-out family car.
Best family SUV for cutting-edge design
Our pick: Peugeot 5008 1.2 PureTech Allure EAT6
Read our full Peugeot 3008 review
Thanks to its sharp styling and cutting-edge interior, the Peugeot 3008 is one of the best family SUVs around. Not that the funky design and dramatic dashboard design come at the expense of practicality.
In five-seat mode, the 520-litre boot offers plenty of space. Fold the seats down and you’re presented with a large 1482-litre load area.
You can even fold the front passenger seat forward for extra-long loads, so the skis need not be relegated to the roof. If you go for one of the hybrid options, you will lose a large chunk of the boot space, though, so do consider this before taking the plunge.
Best family SUV for prestige badge appeal
Our pick: Mercedes GLE 350d
Read our full Mercedes GLE review
Moving up a level, both in terms of price and size, we find the Mercedes GLE. The current model, introduced in 2019, is one of the best family SUV thanks to the availability of seven seats. Indeed, all but the entry-level model feature seven seats as standard.
It’s also slightly larger than the old model, offering at least 630 litres of space in five-seat mode, which extends to 2055 litres with the seats folded down. An electric tailgate will make things easier when your hands are filled with shopping.
Don’t discount the previous-generation Mercedes GLE, though, which offers 2010 litres of space. Yes, it may not have the option of seven seats, but it is also far cheaper to buy, so you get more boot space per pound.
Best family SUV for sensible pricing
Our pick: Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 150 SE L
Read our full Skoda Kodiaq review
If you enjoy the feeling of getting more for your money, the Skoda Kodiaq will be right up your street. This is Skoda’s largest SUV with five and seven-seat versions available. Either way, you’re getting one of the best family SUVs on the market.
In five-seat guise, the Skoda Kodiaq offers 835 litres of boot space with the rear seats in their upright position, which is huge. You won’t be wanting for space with this one.
Fold the seats down and you’re treated to a cavernous 2065 litres, which is outstanding for a car of this size. Even the seven-seat Skoda Kodiaq offers 270 litres of space with all the seats in place, which is more than some of the best small cars offer.
Best family SUV for outright luxury
Our pick: BMW X7 xDrive30d
Read our full BMW X7 review
If you’re flush with cash, few SUVs are more opulent or spacious than the BMW X7. It’s not a cheap option, but if you do find yourself with money to spend, you might want to consider this huge chunk of luxury SUV.
It’s massive, so good luck tackling the congested retail car park, but these dimensions do allow for a truly cavernous cabin. It was designed to offer maximum comfort to all seven occupants and is packed with tech.
Even with all seven seats in place, the boot is almost as large as a family hatchback’s, but with rows two and three folded down, the BMW X7 offers a gargantuan 2120 litres of space. Your luggage will never have travelled in such luxury.
Best family SUV for functionality
Our pick: Peugeot 5008 1.2 PureTech GT Line
Read our full Peugeot 5008 review
Essentially, this is the larger, seven-seat version of the Peugeot 3008, and although it’s smaller than the Skoda Kodiaq outside, it offers more space inside. It also undercuts many more upmarket rivals, despite featuring bold exterior styling, a dramatic cabin design and a generous level of standard equipment.
With both rear seats lowered, the boot offers a minimum of 952 litres of space, loading up to the parcel shelf. This increases to a humongous 2150 litres of space with the middle seats lowered, loading to the roof and making use of the underfloor storage.
Consequently, the Peugeot 5008 is a great option if you want the biggest boot you can get in a family SUV. It's also good value as a used buy.
Best family SUV for 4x4 capability
Our pick: Land Rover Discovery SD4 SE
Read our full Land Rover Discovery review
If you’re planning a family getaway – and your route takes in a few mountain tracks, disused quarries and rocky ravines – the Land Rover Discovery is the best family SUV for the job.
Few SUVs are more adept at handling the rough stuff, but it’s the size of the interior that’s of interest here. With both rows of seats folded away, the Land Rover Discovery offers 2406 litres of space floor to ceiling.
This is an enormous amount of room, making it a great option for those who want tonnes of load space but who don’t need to transport many people at the same time. Be warned, though: with all seven seats in use, the boot is best described as ‘snug’, so you might want to invest in a roof box if you need space for more than five and luggage at the same time.
Best family SUV for image
Our pick: Audi Q7 3.0 TDI S Line
Read our full Audi Q7 review
Over three generations, the Audi Q7 has become one of the most desirable family SUVs on the market, and now it has been around for a short while there are some cracking used deals on the most recent model.
With permanent four-wheel-drive, the Audi Q7 can almost match the Land Rover Discovery for its off-road ability, while luxury and specification are on a par with models such as the Mercedes GLE and BMW X5.
S Line models have firmer suspension, sharper steering, larger wheels and sports seats, which makes them more engaging to drive than more restrained models – in our view, it’s well worth seeking one out. Occasional rear seats also make the Audi Q7 a useful seven-seater if needed, while maximum boot capacity is 1955 litres with the rear five seats folded down.
Best family SUV for suave sophistication
Our pick: Volvo XC90 T8 Recharge R-Design
Read our full Volvo XC90 review
For much of its life, the Volvo XC90 has enjoyed the highest resale values in its class – its combination of great looks, unrivalled comfort and stylish cabin design really hitting home with the public.
But now it has been around for a few years there are finally some decent used deals available. It’s a terrific family SUV, too – handsome, stylish and beautifully engineered, there are few models that come anywhere close for the feelgood factor.
If you can afford one, the Volvo XC90 T8 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid models are well worth a look. Unlike many hybrid SUVs, they still retain seven seats and the luggage capacity is huge, with up to 1816 litres. Throw in great safety equipment and superb levels of tech and it’s no surprise that the Volvo XC90 is a multiple award-winner.