Spoiled for choice in our love for the SUV

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - CLUB NEWS -

IT’S no se­cret that Ir­ish car buy­ers have a soft spot for SUVs.

An SUV has to com­bine the fam­ily-car virtues of safety and com­fort while of­fer­ing greater space and prac­ti­cal­ity. They also of­fer a com­mand­ing view of the road ahead and look good parked out­side your house.

The best SUVs are sur­pris­ingly fuel-ef­fi­cient, too, while some can seat seven and all have big boots.

While some SUVs are as tal­ented off the beaten track as they are on the road, a large pro­por­tion are ex­pected to stay on tar­mac, hav­ing been cho­sen for their de­sir­abil­ity rather than func­tion­al­ity. To ac­count for this, many are of­fered with a road-bi­ased two-wheel-drive setup, which keeps fuel con­sump­tion and emis­sions low, mak­ing these cars markedly less ex­pen­sive to run than 4x4s of old.

While Ir­ish driv­ers are spoiled for choice when it comes to SUVs, here’s a quick look at some of the best avail­able so you can com­pare som eof the specs if you are con­sid­er­ing buy­ing an SUV for 2019. PEU­GEOT 3008 SUV

Its de­sir­able looks and high-qual­ity build are enough to im­press, while its ef­fi­cient petrol and diesel en­gines bring low run­ning costs that take the Peu­geot 3008 straight to the top ofthe­class.

It has a big­ger boot than a Nis­san Qashqai, a fu­tur­is­tic in- terior and loads of stan­dard kit, with more avail­able op­tion­ally. Although there’s no four-wheeldrive op­tion, all-weather tyres and clever trac­tion con­trol pro­vide grip when the go­ing gets tough, so the 3008 is an easy car to drive, while safe and spa­cious enough for the whole fam­ily.

The 3008 is bound to win mo­torists over with its all-round ap­peal. It’s a gen­uinely classy con­tender and safe, too, with a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rat­ing.

SKODA KO­DIAQ SUV Slot­ting into the range above the smaller Skoda Karoq, the Ko­diaq is a real grown-up SUV, with ma­ture, no-non­sense styling that adds a real feel­ing of class. This con­tin­ues in­side, where high-qual­ity ma­te­ri­als abound and ev­ery­thing is well laid-out.

With a seven-seat op­tion on SE spec and above, theKo di aq is a great car in which to be a pas­sen­ger. The driver doesn’t lose out, ei­ther – it’s en­joy­able to drive, with plenty of power from petrol and diesel en­gines shared with other Skoda, SEAT and VW cars.

In five-seat mode, the Ko­diaq will take 620 litres of lug­gage, while four-wheel-drive ver­sions mean it can ac­com­mo­date even the most ac­tive of fam­ily life­styles. And all this with Skoda’s en­vi­able rep­u­ta­tion for qual­ity and re­li­a­bil­ity.

JAGUAR F-PACE SUV Tra­di­tion­al­ists were ap­pre­hen­sive at the thought of Jaguar launch­ing its first SUV, but the F-Pace turned out to have such a depth of abil­ity, you’d think the com­pany had been build­ing cars like this for years. Key to its suc­cess was that its sis­ter com­pany Land Rover pro­vided the SUV know-how, while the valu­able essence of Jaguar was left undi­luted. The re­sult is that the F-Pace of­fers a driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence closer to a sports car than a tra­di­tional off-roader.

It’s also an in­cred­i­bly hand­some car in­side and out that’s in­stantly recog­nis­able as a ‘Jag’. There are 2.0 and 3.0-litre en­gines that’ll suit most buy­ers, while a 3.0-litre petrol pro­vides Porsche-bait­ing per­for­mance. Its SUV cre­den­tials are bol­stered by loads of space for five adults and a huge boot. How­ever, this doesn’t come cheap, of course. VOLVO XC90 SUV

The Volvo brand was once syn­ony­mous with safety and to rekin­dle this rep­u­ta­tion Volvo has stated it aims to en­sure noone is killed or se­ri­ously in­jured in one of its new cars by 2020.

With the lat­est XC90, it’s cer­tainly on the right path – the car fea­tures suf­fi­cient au­ton­o­mous tech­nol­ogy to make it the first Volvo that can ef­fec­tively drive it­self. The tech­nol­ogy works well, and takes steer­ing, brak­ing and ac­cel­er­a­tion re­spon­si­bil­i­ties away from the driver in slow-mov­ing traf­fic, if de­sired. There’s also a huge por­trait touch­screen mounted – tablet-style – in the cen­tre of the dash­board, where it looks fan­tas­tic while work­ing re­ally well. With seats for seven and a boot with lots of use­able space, it’s all wrapped up in an un­der­stated work of styling that ex­udes Scan­di­na­vian cool. SEAT ATECA SUV

It’s SEAT’s first-ever SUV, but the SEAT Ateca has al­ready made a huge im­pact. It owes its ex­is­tence to the Volk­swa­gen Tiguan and uses many of the same parts.

Buy­ers can choose be­tween two petrol and two diesel en­gines, with two or four-wheel drive and man­ual or au­to­matic gear­boxes. The SEAT is also cheaper than the VW Tiguan, although you’re bet­ter off skip­ping straight to the Ateca SE, as the en­try-level model lacks a few fea­tures you might want.

As you go up the range, the Ateca’s stan­dard equip­ment is about on par with the Tiguan, but the SEAT has the shout as the bet­ter value choice.

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