The midsize SUV – ever-popular and gradually taking over as the new traditional family car.
With key elements such as elevation (more commanding visibility), space, functionality and affordability, together with a cool exterior aesthetic, growth in popularity is hardly surprising.
They’ve come a long way, and some manufacturers have been more successful than others. It’s also a segment where value can vary enormously, especially in the face of increasing competition, as car makers from all over fight for a place in this growing market.
Let’s take a look at some of the best models on the market today.
Consistently amongst the top sellers in this market, the RAV4 continues to impress and has managed to hold its ground.
The RAV4 is extremely practical with loads of passenger and boot space.
It’s not the best equipped crossover on the market, but Toyota has done a good job of keeping it updated. Each model comes with a complete Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite, but it does lack some other standard features, especially at the base level.
You get a ton of choice with so many variants on offer, including 2WD and AWD, as well as a range of hybrid options. These electrified hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants improve performance and efficiency from the standard four-cylinder engines.
While comfortable and refined, the acceleration is a little lacking, and the handling is nice but nothing to write home about. It makes up for this by being a pretty capable off-roader.
With the new lineup now given the option of Toyota’s signature and proven petrol-electric hybrid technology, demand is sure to remain high.
The Hyundai Tucson is one of those solid but not overly impressive family SUV types.
Where it excels is in the quality of its interior. Its cabin is spacious, practical and refined, offering the driver and passengers plenty of comfort and convenience. The base model is to be avoided if you’re after better features such as a larger touchscreen (8-inch instead of 7-inch) as well as many more safety features (but this is also reflected in the higher price).
Unfortunately the Tucson seems to have been let down by its engine choices, with its 122kW four-cylinder petrol unit in particular not quite feeling up to the task, and ride comfort and handling could be improved.
Fuel consumption is also on the higher side compared to others in the class. Even the diesel option is not that much more efficient.
While the Tucson will never be as athletic or as enjoyable to drive as its competitors, it’s still fine as a casual daily driver.
This second-generation Mazda CX-5 proudly shows off the Kodo – Soul of Motion design philosophy in this bold, sporty crossover. It punches well above its weight on every front, with the potential to give even some luxury models a run for their money.
Engine choices are great with the CX-5. The SkyActiv engines paired to an intuitive automatic transmission and combined with G Vectoring Control produce excellent driving dynamics and crisp handling. The top level turbo petrol engine wows in the performance stakes. If you travel above average distances on the road, it’s worth considering its diesel offerings.
It’s one of the rare cars that offers such good value for money – the CX-5 is priced at the same level or lower than many rivals, like the Toyota RAV4, yet is loaded with more safety features, more conveniences, and offers a plush cabin that could easily be mistaken for that of a luxury SUV.
With an upscale cabin feel and a serene, comfortable ride to boot, there’s not much to dislike about the Mazda CX-5 at all.
The Subaru Forester is a reliable and capable off-roader, but there are SUV rivals that are bigger, cheaper and more fuel efficient.
It’s not as practical as its competitors, with somewhat decent boot space, but it is comfortable and does come loaded with safety features. You might want to skip the entry level variant for a better Forester.
It may not be the most engaging vehicle to drive, excel in driving dynamics, or have the longest list of standard convenience features, but apart from that, it’s a nice car.
Sitting alongside most of its competitors you may even wonder if the Karoq is big enough to be considered a mid-size SUV.
But as we have found time and again, there is more than meets the eye with Skoda. What it lacks in physical size it more than makes up for in practicality, with features like the Varioflex rear seating system and the efficient use of space worthy of praise.
Thorough clever design, the Skoda Karoq has plenty of space inside for passengers and a boot space that rivals much larger competitors.
And inside this small shell, the Karoq is packed with all the latest technology and safety features.
The Karoq’s engines provide the perfect balance between power and fuel efficiency. Smooth and responsive handling paired with great visibility and a comfortable well made interior makes the Karoq a pleasure to drive.
Skoda Karoq Perth provides European style and handling, and offers incredible value for money. Often overlooked in favour of a more established model, the Karoq is the best all-round family SUV in its price bracket and a gem waiting to be discovered in Australia.