Many SUVs, a shopping centre, a dog and some muddy TG staffers. Oh dear, oh dear
Where does a crossover end and an SUV or an ofroader begin? Damned if we know. What we do know is that “SUV” has become the adopted label for a rash of high-riding, ruggedised cars that span mildly jacked-up superminis to seven-seaters capable of fording the Amazon. This presents a problem. So, to fnd the very best of this diverse bunch, we need stern rules and a multifaceted test that levels the playing feld.
There could be only one car from any one maker, and each of our eight contenders had to be our current favourite from a distinct category. That gives us, in no particular order: Land Rover Discovery (muddy), Alfa Romeo Stelvio (dynamic), Audi SQ7 (fast), Bentley Bentayga (luxury), Skoda Kodiaq (family), Jaguar F-Pace (stylish), Dacia Duster (bargain) and Peugeot 3008 (sensible).
The test itself has been carefully crafted to make it possible for a Dacia to compete with a Bentley, and a Peugeot to look an Audi square in the eye. For example, what excels in our ofroad test will surely stumble in the drag race, and whatever is the most practical can’t also be the most desirable, can it? Points will be awarded for each test, and the winner has the highest score when we’re done and dusted. Simple.