Review & compare medium SUVs in one place
Medium SUVs are quickly becoming one of the most popular car types in Australia. This might be mostly because they can suit an exceptionally wide range of needs, performing well both on and off paved roads, with many models offering up to seven seats, a lot of storage space, good towing capacity, exceptional safety characteristics and a wide range of options.
They tend to carry higher price tags than smaller passenger cars, but it’s clear that a lot of buyers are finding the extra cost to be well worth it.
Pros and cons of medium SUVs
What sets medium SUVs apart from passenger cars?
Compared to regular sedans and smaller passenger cars, SUVs:
- Tend to be a lot better on rough or uneven terrain, can handle poor quality roads better and have higher clearance for navigating bumps and rises on-road and off-road
- Can be significantly safer for its occupants in the event of a multi-vehicle collision
- Have more storage and seating space, and are generally more spacious
- Make excellent tow vehicles for caravans and trailers
- Can sometimes hold their resale value better than other cars
- Are typically more expensive to buy
- Will often have higher operating costs, poorer fuel efficiency and worse emission ratings than passenger cars
- Can be harder to maneuver and find parking spaces for, due to the larger size
- Might not handle as well at high speeds
- May not offer as much visibility as smaller cars, and can make it harder to see low objects (and pets or small children) directly around the car
- Are simply bigger and heavier. It might not fit in your garage where a smaller car would, and they just aren’t as nimble in some situations
Definition: What is a medium SUV?
In Australia, a passenger SUV is defined as a passenger vehicle that’s available with 4WD or AWD models, with a clearance over 200mm and suspension clearance of 175mm.
“Medium” specifically refers to ones that have a 4 or 6 cylinder engine, typically with an engine capacity of 3000cc and above, and are neither the biggest nor the smallest SUVs around.
Large and small SUVs are differentiated by their more and less powerful engines, and larger and smaller sizes, respectively.
Medium SUV reviews and comparisons[/fin_hide][/fin_hide][/fin_hide][/fin_hide][/fin_hide][/fin_hide][/fin_hide]
|Seats||Boot Space||ANCAP Rating||Price (from)||Finder Score|
How to compare medium SUVs
Buying an SUV is much like buying any other car, but if you’re trying to decide between different medium SUV models in particular you might want to ask yourself these questions:
How many seats do I want?
You’ll generally find 5 and 7 seat options. If you know you want a 7 seater you can instantly narrow down the options.
Will I be using it for towing?
If you have something specific in mind, like a caravan or a loaded plant trailer, look for something with the power to suit.
What kind of off-road characteristics do I need?
Off-road performance can vary widely. Ask yourself whether you’ll ever drive on sand or dirt, in snowy conditions or in more rugged conditions. You can probably rule out all 2WD versions if you plan on taking it off paved roads, and will want to take a very close look at the features and options if you plan on doing serious off-roading in a medium SUV.
Do I like the look of the car?
There are enough options that you probably don’t have to drive away in something you don’t like the look of.
What are my must-have electronics and safety features?
Look for the ones to match your needs and wants. For example, if you have small children then you might specifically look for a version that offers surrounding sensors or cameras to “look around” the car for things you might not be able to see while backing out of your driveway.
Or if you’re just really not a fan of blind spots you might go out of your way to look for a model that offers blind spot detection systems.
The physically large size of SUVs means those blind spot sensors and cameras can make a significant difference to the driving experience and safety of others, while the premium-end price tag means there’s usually no shortage of features available.
What kind of on-road costs can I expect?
The following table shows the typical petrol prices and servicing expenses for some of Australia’s most popular medium SUVs and medium-sized sedans, so you can get a sense of how it varies between equivalent models and different ones.
Some of the takeaways of note are:
Why are medium SUVs becoming more and more popular?
SUVs are objectively extremely popular in Australia. They broadly account for about a third of Australia’s total new vehicle market, including passenger cars, commercial vehicle, trucks and everything else. This is a huge amount and it shows no signs of slowing.
Small and medium SUVs in particular are proving to be popular. This is probably mostly because they’re exceptionally versatile and able to attract all kinds of buyers. Some of the main buyers include:
Essentially, a lot of people just think they’re really good cars. This naturally makes them popular.
This has been further driven by a range of market factors in recent years.
More options: A larger SUV market on the whole means there’s more room for different brands, makes and models of SUV to compete, which means more options for buyers. Having a healthy range of options makes SUVs even more popular, which feeds back into the manufacturer interest in Australia, and the cycle continues.
Car Loan OffersImportant Information*
Borrow up to $75,000 for a new car up to two years old. Competitive 5.99% p.a. rate available to all approved applicants.
This car loan is for new cars and offers a low fixed rate and no ongoing fees.
Apply online to finance a new or used motor vehicle and receive a response in 90 seconds. You will receive a competitive tailored rate of between 6.99% p.a. to 14.99% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Ask an Expert
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of major banks, insurers and product issuers.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product. You should consider whether the products featured on our site are appropriate for your needs and seek independent advice if you have any questions.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or "Advertisement" are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options and find the best option for you.
The identification of a group of products, as 'Top' or 'Best' is a reflection of user preferences based on current website data. On a regular basis, analytics drive the creation of a list of popular products. Where these products are grouped, they appear in no particular order.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.