1 Kia Sorento
It seats seven, has four-wheel drive and a powerful diesel unit and the prices start on the right side of £30,000. If you’re looking for a family workhorse, the new Sorento has the basics covered, whether it’s providing plenty of space for the children or towing a caravan.
It may be a little dull to drive but it doesn’t lean badly in corners, grips well and has powerful brakes. Stretch to the KX-2 trim level for leather heated seats and a sat nav.
- Price: £28,795-£41,000
- Our pick: 2.2 CRDi AWD KX-2, £31,995
- Engine: 2199cc, 4 cylinders
- Acceleration: 0-62mph: 9.0sec
- Top speed: 124mph
- Fuel | CO2: 46.3mpg | 159g/km
2 Land Rover Discovery Sport
You’re paying a premium for the badge, but it’s not unreasonable considering a heated windscreen comes as standard along with seven seats (apart from one model with the least powerful engine). The interior’s well made, the car holds its value well and it now boasts new economical and quiet diesel engines, which make it as effective on tarmac as it is off-road. Or the school field on sports day.
- Price: £30,695-£46,000
- Our pick: 2.0 TD4 (180hp) SE auto, £34,200
- Engine: 1999cc, 4 cylinders
- Acceleration: 0-62mph: 8.4sec
- Top speed: 117mph
- Fuel | CO2: 53.3mpg | 139g/km
3 Porsche Macan
The most car-like SUV in its category, Porsche’s four-wheel-drive Macan is great fun on the road: grippy and with minimal body lean in corners. This has been achieved partly by fitting the car with firm suspension, but the optional air-suspension pack will allow you to adjust the ride quality to suit. The whopping £43,553 entry price at least gets you a beautifully finished cabin with a high level of standard equipment
- Price: £43,553-£62,540
- Our pick: S Diesel, £45,942
- Engine: 2967cc, 6 cylinders
- Acceleration: 0-62mph: 6.3sec
- Top speed: 142mph
- Fuel | CO2: 46.3mpg | 159g/km
4 Mazda CX-5
If cars were bought on cost and merit alone, the roads would be flooded with families driving Mazda’s CX-5. Agile and economical, with plenty of space for five, it’s the best car in its price bracket.
An update last year has improved noise insulation and smartened up the interior, which has an uprated 7in touchscreen, DAB radio and an electronic handbrake (which is likely to divide opinions). There are two and four-wheel-drive versions but unless you need the extra grip, the former serves well enough.
- Price: £23,195-£30,995
- Our pick: 2.2D 150 SE-L Nav, £24,995
- Engine: 2191cc, 4 cylinders
- Acceleration: 0-62mph: 9.2sec
- Top speed: 126mph
- Fuel | CO2: 61.4mpg | 119g/km
5 Renault Kadjar
Jeremy Clarkson judged the Kadjar functional, sensible and not very exciting, but for a lot of families, that’s ideal. Based on the excellent Nissan Qashqai, it’s a car focused on comfort and practicality.
The cabin feels well made and models fitted with the 108bhp diesel unit are exempt from road tax. Four-wheel drive is an option.
It’s in the top five at the expense of its sister car, thanks to its larger boot and lower cost, although the Qashqai wins points for its 360-degree parking cameras.
- Price: £17,995-£26,295
- Our pick: Dynamique Nav dCi 110, £21,595
- Engine: 1461cc, 4 cylinders
- Acceleration: 0-62mph: 11.9sec
- Top speed: 113mph
- Fuel | CO2: 74.3mpg | 99g/km
Top 100 Cars 2016 contents
- Top 5 Sports Cars
- Top 5 Large 4x4s & SUVs
- Top 5 Luxury & Prestige Cars
- Top 5 Electric & Hybrid Cars
- Top 5 City Cars
- Top 5 Superminis
- Top 5 Hot Hatches
- Top 5 Two-seat Roadsters
- Top 5 Warm Hatches
- Top 5 Supercars
- Top 5 Family Convertibles
- Top 5 Coupés
- Top 5 Compact Crossovers
- Top 5 Large Crossovers
- Top 5 Five-seat MPVs
- Top 5 Seven-seat MPVs
- Top 5 Mid-size Estate Cars
- Top 5 Large Estate Cars
- Top 5 Mid-size Family Cars
- Top 5 Large Family Cars