Best family SUVs

21 April 2021

What you need to look for in an SUV

If there’s one car class that has gone from strength to strength in the market over the last couple of decades, it’d have to be the incredibly versatile SUV. In recent years, the SUV has gone from an alternative option to one of the stalwarts of the mainstream automotive industry. It is now the class of choice in the family car sphere, while also carrying huge appeal to all sorts of other drivers.

With some of the best SUV options right here in the PSA family – the Peugeot 3008, Vauxhall Mokka, Citroen C5 Aircross and DS 7 Crossback to name but a few – we like to think we know a bit about what makes a good SUV. However, if you’re new to the world of crossovers, mid-sized 4x4s and so on, knowing what makes a good SUV or which SUV to buy might not be immediately apparent.

If you’re one of the uninitiated, don’t worry – we’ve put together a quick-fire guide on all things SUV to help you know what to look for. Read on to find out everything you need to know.


What does SUV stand for?

SUV stands for “sport utility vehicle” – a term that became widely popular in the 1980s to broadly describe vehicles previously known as 4x4s, station wagons and other names.

What is an SUV vehicle used for?

Despite their name, the main “sport utility” of SUVs these days lies largely in taking the kids to football practice or similar. SUVs aim to combine elements of off-road vehicles with road going passenger cars, but the direction of SUV design more recently has seen them become largely a family-oriented car class.

What is the difference between a hatchback and an SUV?

SUVs differ considerably from hatchbacks in terms of ride height, design, styling and driving style, largely due to their 4x4/off-road influence. There is an element of blurred lines with hatchbacks and other passenger cars these days as the most popular form of SUV is the “crossover”, which uses an SUV-style build on a more traditional passenger car platform.

Are all SUVS 4x4s?

Despite their off-road roots, not all modern SUVs are four-wheel drive (4x4s). The category is so broad now it’s grown to incorporate many two-wheel-drive passenger options. However, all 4x4s are considered SUVs.

How much do SUVs cost?

SUVs are highly affordable in today’s market, with prices typically sitting a little higher than those of popular hatchbacks, but by and large lower than saloons and other premium car types. The affordability factor of SUVs is one reason they’ve become such a hit with family drivers.

What is the best SUV to buy?

The best SUV for you to buy will be based on your particular needs and there are a few key categories that separate the best options:

·         Compact crossover SUVs, like the Citroen C3 Aircross, DS3 Crossback and Vauxhall Crossland X

·         Crossover SUVs, like the Citroen C5 Aircross, Peugeot 3008 and Vauxhall Mokka

·         Larger family SUVs, like the Vauxhall Grandland X and Peugeot 5008

·         Electric and hybrid SUVs, like the Vauxhall Mokka-e, Citroen C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid SUV, Peugeot 3008 Hybrid and DS 7 Crossback E-tense

The key things to look for in an SUV


Despite the compact crossovers and crossovers at the smaller end of the SUV spectrum being the most popular options out there, space should be a major consideration when choosing your SUV. Many crossover SUVs still offer a lot of space through intelligent modular design, which means they’re still able to offer the space families need while maintaining a more compact build.

If you’re buying an SUV, the likelihood is you have practical requirements that your chosen vehicle needs to meet. Depending on your needs, an option like the Peugeot 5008 with its 780 litres of rear boot space should appeal. Or, if you’re wondering which small SUV has the biggest boot space, the smartly put together Citroen C5 Aircross offers a remarkable 720 litres.


A family car like the SUV needs to be able to keep everyone happy. When it comes to lengthy holiday road trips with three in the back, the comfort factor of your vehicle becomes more important. Space and comfort tend to go hand in hand with one another, but some manufacturers are better known than others for making the most of their vehicle interiors and the upholstery within them.

Citroen have a real reputation for creating some of the best family SUVs for comfort through their attention to detail on the interior. However, the rest of the PSA family aren’t too far behind.


The most economical SUVs will see you get upwards of 50mpg from your day-to-day driving. Value for money when it comes to running costs is a vital part of the makeup of the best family SUVs. These days of course, your first question with economy should be to decide whether to stick with a traditional fuel option or go electric, and there are some tremendous electric options out there in the SUV market.

The Vauxhall Mokka-e is one of the best electric SUVs available at the moment, offering 201 miles of range. Its traditional fuel counterpart has some pretty impressive numbers too, offering close to 70mpg.


The most reliable SUVs will offer nearly faultless performance for their owners, such is the standard in the market today. A top end SUV in reliability terms should offer you only the slightest of niggles from time to time, if any problems at all. Of course, with ever-trustworthy names like Peugeot, Vauxhall and Citroen offering numerous quality options in the SUV sector, you can go into most new SUV purchases with confidence that you’re getting a trouble-free vehicle.

Find your next SUV with Robins & Day

Now you know what you’re looking for, why not come find it? At Robins & Day, we’ve got an excellent range of SUVs available from both our new and second-hand SUV ranges. Featuring the best that Peugeot, Citroen, Vauxhall and DS – all of whom have made huge strides in the SUV market – have to offer, there’s no better time to find an affordable SUV.

Contact us today to find out more, take a look at our latest offers or why not pay your local dealer a visit?


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