Buying advice
The best family SUVs - and every one is a bargain
The best family SUVS on CarZing

Super SUVs: affordable family cars to take you anywhere

  • 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.

Dacia Duster

If you're looking for cheap, this is itBest family SUVS - Dacia DusterAvailable to leaseLease 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.

Or try: Best cars to lease from £100 a month

Volvo XC40

Stylish, well-equipped - and affordableBest family SUVS - Volvo XC40Available to lease 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.

Read our Volvo XC40 review

Skoda Karoq

Clever thinking makes this a smart choiceBest family SUVS - Skoda KaroqAvailable to lease 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.

Or try: Best cars for small families

Jeep Renegade

If you actually need to go off road...Best family SUVS - Jeep RenegadeAvailable to lease 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.

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Mini Countryman

The bigger Mini for bigger livesBest family SUVS - Mini CountrymanAvailable to lease 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.

Read our Mini Countryman review

Peugeot 3008

No, it really is a PeugeotBest family SUVS - Peugeot 3008Available to leaseLease 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.

Or try: Luxury cars that don’t cost the earth

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Bold, if not exactly beautifulBest family SUVS - Mitsubishi Eclipse CrossAvailable to leaseLease 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.

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Seat Ateca

So sharp you might cut yourselfBest family SUVS - Seat AtecaAvailable to lease 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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