They're great for the school run, but are known as gas-guzzlers too, unless you buy on the five on our list.
Moms and kids like them due to their size and security. Dads like them due to their image and go anywhere ability. We're talking about SUVs and though many are considered a waste of resources and space, modern day examples manage to combine looks, ability and increasingly, fuel efficiency. So, if being green is important but you still want an SUV, here are five options to consider.
The all-new CX-5 is the most fuel efficient SUV in its class, and furthermore, you'll love its head turning looks. Besides its attractive exterior, it also boasts a pleasant interior with a very car like and sporty feel. Thanks to Mazda's new SKYACTIVE vehicle design philosophy, the CX-5 feels light on its feet and handles with a deftness missing from its rivals. It's noticeably quicker too and with a BOSE sound system, touch screen system and GPS available as standard, buyers will also get excellent value for money.
Not the most fuel efficient on our list but the Honda CR-V is a crowd favourite that sells in consistently high numbers. Famed for it's reliability and low running costs it remains as a very good choice for those who want a painless ownership experience that comes with all the positive brand image the Honda badge offers. The interior is spacious and well built with loads of practicality to suit all needs. It won't go very far off-road but then statistically, neither will you or 90 per cent of other SUV buyers.
The only diesel on the list, the Hyundai Santa-Fe also keeps the flag flying for Korea with an impressive combination of size, space, technology and fuel efficiency. Modern diesel tech allows it to package 200PS, 442Nm with 17.3km/l from only 2.2-litres and on the road, you can feel the muscular power delivery. Sometimes, it even overwhelms the relatively low-tech chassis but overall, if size matters and you like the feel of a modern day diesel motor then this is the cheapest route to diesel nirvana.
The best of a new batch of car-based SUVs, the 3008 matches Peugeot's 1.6-litre turbocharged THP motor with a modified 308 platform to create a pseudo SUV. Only FWD but that will only matter if you choose to climb a mountain. Most will find it perfect for urban driving, where the car-like dynamics and superb performance leave the rest trailing. A fuel consumption figure of 13.5km is merely competitive for the class, but you're well compensated by a long equipment list and airy interior.
The only one here that allows you to be green and look cool too, the Lexus RX450h is for serious SUV loving environmentalists only. It costs quite a bit more than the regular petrol variants and despite an excellent consumption figure of 15.7km/l, you'll need to drive it for over a decade to make up for the price difference. Therefore, view this hybrid luxury SUV as your style and image statement if you can afford it and be happy in the fact that you're not only saving fuel, but spewing less CO2 too for every KM you drive.