- Published 17 April 2020
- 5 minute read
- By Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
It won’t have escaped your notice that SUVs are incredibly popular right now. Buyers are shunning hatchbacks, saloons, estate cars and MPVs in favour of the all-round practicality of these high-riding family cars.
They’re often as cheap to run as their less lofty equivalents, while the high driving position provides a commanding view of the road ahead. The majority are driven through the front wheels only – which is good for keeping fuel costs down, but many SUVs are also offered with four-wheel-drive, helping them to venture further off-road than the kerb outside the school gate.
Proving that getting such an on-trend vehicle doesn’t have to be expensive, we’ve selected eight excellent family-friendly SUVs that are available to lease for less than £300 a month.
Available to lease from £163 per month Lease Now
If you like the feeling of getting more for your money, the Dacia Duster is likely to hold strong appeal. It’s a family SUV for the price of a Ford Fiesta, which makes it one of the best value cars in Britain.
It’s easy to drive, offers space for five people and their luggage, and most versions have a long list of standard equipment. Four-wheel drive costs around £100 more a month, so ask yourself if you really need the off-road ability.
Available to lease from £244 per month Lease Now
The Volvo XC40 is so affordable, we had to keep refreshing the page to make sure the prices were correct. The compact SUV offers everything we love about Volvo’s larger vehicles, just distilled into a smaller and even more appealing package. This is a really good car.
Highlights include the smart styling, a sophisticated interior dominated by a tablet-style touchscreen, an excellent level of standard kit, plus one of the best safety ratings in the world. Honestly, you’ll wonder why you even considered one of the XC40’s German rivals.
Available to lease from £249 per month Lease Now
Nobody does sensible quite like Skoda – and we mean that in the most positive way. The company has a knack of taking tried and tested Volkswagen products, adding a touch more practicality and flexibility, then reducing the price. The result: some of the best family cars you can buy.
The Karoq is a good case in point. Daft name aside, this is a properly practical SUV, with a spacious cabin and cavernous boot. The entry-level SE trim has most of the toys you need and there is an array of ‘simply clever’ features to explore.
Available to lease from £256 per month Lease Now
Jeep is a famously American brand, but the Renegade isn’t the all-American hero you might think. It shares its oily bits with the Fiat 500X and is built in the very European nation of Italy. Still, if you’ve ever eaten a pizza in New York, you’ll know that America and Italy can combine to deliver greatness.
We’re not saying the Renegade is necessarily great. But it is one of the most distinctively styled vehicles in this crowded sector, with lots of fun design details. What’s more, its 4x4 versions are positively brilliant for venturing off-road. So if you need a small SUV that really can go anywhere, this is a top choice.
Available to lease from £258 per month Lease Now
As much as you love the standard Mini Hatch, you have to admit that it’s not the best car for a growing family. There’s not a lot of room in the back, the boot is too small, and show it anything higher than a dropped kerb and its Mini adventure will be over.
That’s where the Mini Countryman comes in. It offers many of the things you like about the smaller Mini, but in a bigger package. There’s a go-faster version, a go-greener plug-in hybrid version, and the option of All4 four-wheel drive. This maxi Mini is great in the country, man.
If you like this car, you may also wish to consider the new Ford Puma baby SUV.
Available to lease from £203 per month Lease Now
Remove the Peugeot badge and the 3008 could pass as a thoroughly convincing premium SUV. The avant-garde styling is matched by a bold and interesting cabin, with the kind of tech that would cost extra in a more expensive SUV.
Highlights include a 12.3-inch head-up digital instrument panel, an 8.0-inch touchscreen display, dual-zone climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels and a two-position boot floor. And all of this comes as standard on the basic Active model – the other trim levels are even more lavish.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Available to lease from £270 per month Lease Now
If you want to stand out from the crowd, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is the SUV for you. It attempts to fuse the styling of an off-roader with the look of a sporty coupe. And although the result isn’t wholly successful, we rather like the bold approach.
We also like the generous level of standard equipment, the agile and responsive handling, and the punchy 1.5-litre turbocharged engine. Four-wheel-drive versions feature an on-demand off-road system with snow and gravel modes. A leftfield choice, but it’s sometimes good to venture off the beaten track.
Available to lease from £265 per month Lease Now
The Seat Ateca is one of the sharpest looking SUVs you can buy, with styling that makes the platform-sharing Skoda Karoq appear a tad frumpy. Which leaves the Ateca looking like an SUV in a posh frock, with a long list of standard equipment and excellent practicality.
For the best driving experience, opt for a four-wheel-drive version, as the more sophisticated suspension delivers improved ride and handling qualities. The interior is a bit sombre, but there are enough personalisation options to keep you happy. Word to the wise, though: the larger Seat Tarraco can often be had for less money per month.
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