While the world seems to be going mad for compact and midsize SUVs, there are plenty of people who need to move their ever-growing family around.
Five seats, therefore, isn’t going to be enough. Which is why it’s no surprise that people are opting for a large SUV, rather than a people mover.
And let’s face it, it’s not the coolest thing to be driving a people mover around, despite the fact that they’re extremely practical.
So, with so many good SUVs to choose from, which one is the right machine for you? It can be quite confusing, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the best ones.
How did we go about selecting them?
Firstly, we didn’t just randomly select them from a list. We’ve been driving many of these machines and each of these has been considered on its space, ease of use (like hopping into the back seat), quality, reliability and price.
Of course, when considering a large SUV, you need to know that it’s never going to be a cheap proposition. There’s a lot of metal to pay for, and they do cost more to run than smaller vehicles (obviously) but for the money available, there are some very good options.
You may have already seen the lists we’ve made for the best in both the compact and medium categories, and we’ve formatted our large SUV list below in the same way – we’ve not just left you with the kind of vehicle, but we also include a short description and why we think it merits your close consideration.
So here are the best of the best in the large SUV marketplace.
Land Rover Discovery
This is sure to be a controversial choice and we debated it long and hard before including it in our list.
Its attributes make it highly qualified for inclusion: It’s massive, swallows seven adults and their luggage, is very nice inside, extremely practical, and off-road is an absolute gem.
However, Land Rover’s reliability looms like a big black shadow cast across the landscape.
Our test car threw up a glitch several times during our week with it, and previous Discovery models have been known to have plenty of issues.
During the warranty period, however, the Discovery would be a lovely machine to own and fits the bill perfectly – but we’d be moving it on just before the warranty runs out.
If there’s one thing Mazda does right, it’s imbuing its cars with an overall sense of luxury.
But thankfully Mazda does more than that right, creating a seven seat crossover that is just as good in front-wheel-drive form as it is in all-wheel-drive.
The CX-9 drives beautifully, can fit seven adults comfortably, has a ride that rivals air suspension (from coil springs) and feels like an Audi Q7 on the road.
But the best part is that it’s not priced like the Audi. It’s a great looking machine and well worth closer scrutiny.
Yes, we’ve listed the Q7 here straight after the CX-9, but despite the price disparity, the Q7 does step above the CX-9.
That’s thanks to an even more quality presentation, with more metal surfaces, a bit more width and, in air-suspended guise, probably the best ride of the segment.
Its ambient lighting is very cool, the doors shut with a solid “thunk” and the 3.0-litre diesel is an absolute cracker.
Of course, then there’s the range topper (the glorious Audi SQ7) but that’s a little out of reach of most buyers, yet it only adds to the Q7’s appeal.
Even without the SQ7, the range stands on its own as the best of the large luxury seven-seat SUVs.
While technically a large SUV (which is why it’s included here) it’s built on a medium SUV platform.
But don’t let that put you off. The Kodiaq stands proud in a sea of large SUVs, by offering amazing value-for-money and quality.
Being a seven seater, it’s flexible, and the adaptive damping provides a brilliant ride which can be firmed up by choosing the Sport option in the drive select menu.
It also offers some cool features like the “voice enhancer” and the umbrellas in doors, which no-one else in the segment has even thought of.
And then there’s the door edge protection mechanism which will save your duco in a carpark, or in narrow garages.
The recently updated Sorento is perhaps the best value large SUV available right now.
With brilliant build quality, a superb driving position, a class-leading drivetrain and great ride, it covers all bases.
It’s also very safe (five stars, naturally), adults can just fit in the third row, the seating layout is flexible, and it has all the toys and mod cons you’d expect from an SUV in 2017.
Which one is your favorite, and what do you like about it? Let us know in the comments below