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Top 10 SUVs

When it comes to running costs, to say that classic gas guzzling SUVs don't come cheap would be an understatement: it has previously been suggested that some of them drink up to 25% more petrol than standard cars. But bulky utility vehicles do have a few perks: the ability to carry heavy cargo, fit some extra passengers and of course make the occasional off-road detour can come in handy from time to time.

Here are 10 SUVs that have earned our seal of approval:

Range Rover Sport

Stylish body, luxury interior, reinforced tyres - by marrying together urban roving and off road adventure, the upgraded Range Rover Sport has achieved what many of is predecessors have failed to. This the a perfect buy if you're looking for a versatile family sized station wagon.

Fiat 500X

In motoring circles, the funky 500X is technically referred to as a mini sports utility vehicle (try and work that one out), but it does come equipped with generous boot space and a bulky chassis capable of handling a bumpy rural drive or two.

BMW X1

This dymanic 4-wheeler puts the sport in sports utility vehicle, combining that revered BMW speed with effortless style and some considerable pulling power. With the X1, the German car giants have also succeded in keeping emissions to a minimum.

Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Some SUVs emphasize ruggedness and durability, others speed and dynamism; Mercedes, on the other hand, appear to shooting for luxury. This monster of a car has plenty of passenger space and leg room in the back - as well as some gorgeous curves and a slick paint job.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Full disclosure: this is one of the most expensive cars on our list, with a book price somewhere in the region of £30,000. But there is something irresistibly cool and futuristic about a plus-sized SUV that can be plugged in and charged up. Sure, start-up costs are high, but there are savings to be made on fuel and tax in the long-term.

Vauxhall Antara

True to Vauxhall tradition, the boxy Antara isn't going to win any beauty contests, but it is an emanantly reliable motor, with a moderately powerful engine and no shortage of boot space and handy cubby holes for you to store your cargo.

Lexus NX

This compact SUV runaround has the look of a Bond car - but appearances can be deceptive. The Lexus NX may be practised in the art of streamlined style, but it also packs a powerful punch and keeps passengers safe and comfy in its spacious posterior.

Jeep Renegade

The promotional campaign behind Jeep's latest model is a little grandiose, but be fair: this is an extremely cool car. With 17-inch mega wheels and some heavy duty front and rear bumpers, the Renegade is a car for all the seasons (and it's pretty easy on the eye too).

Land Rover Discovery Sport

With their recent designs, it has been clear Land Rover have been making a concerted effort to crack the family 4x4 market. The Discovery Sport may suggest off road adventure in name, but this car more closely resembles a classic station wagon with a modern twist.

Our recommendation

Toyota RAV4

Faced with the challenge of rising fuel costs, Toyota and and Tesla have teamed up to re-release one of the industry's classic SUVs as a streamlined hybrid model. This makes for some pretty substantial savings on petrol and road tax, without having to compromise too much on the utility space.



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