Do I really need an SUV?

Hi John

I can't afford a Hyundai Santa Fe or a Mazda CX-5 so what do you recommend between the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson for something smaller? I'm not sure weather these cars have enough power – 2.0-litre engines in a car that size seem pretty small. Can you tell me what you think?


Hello Bruno,

Obviously, the more money you spend, the faster you go. The 2.0-litre engine offerings in five-seater SUVs are entry-level engines with adequate performance. As you step up in price, better performance and equipment is on offer - this underpins the model ranges of all cars.

My advice is to test drive the 2.0-litre Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson Active X. See what you think.

My reviews are here:

I guess the fundamental question is: Do you really need an SUV? Because the same cash could probably purchase a Mazda3 SP25 >>, which goes like a cut cat. (Bear in mind the 2.0-litre versions of most SUVs is also packaged with 2WD only - so the vehicles are really only glorified wagons - not off-roaders. In terms of the practicalities of accommodation and storage, a Mazda3 hatch is almost as practical as an entry-level SUV, and much better value. Ditto a Hyundai i30 SR or a Kia Cerato hatch. See my report on this: How small cars got big >>

John Cadogan