Whilst sports utility vehicles (particularly large ones) tend to work best in general with diesel engines, especially for those who drive more than 20,000 miles a year, petrol SUVs are becoming more and more popular, thanks to a lower purchase price. For those who drive less than the above mileage, you are also likely to enjoy lower running costs too.


Petrol and diesel engines both have their own selling points, as well as numerous pros and cons. To help you decide which is right for your needs, we’ve compiled the main differences below. Typically:

  • Petrol cars are cheaper to buy and service
  • Diesel engines are more efficient, using 15-20% less fuel
  • Petrol fuel is usually cheaper than diesel
  • Diesel cars tend to have a higher resale value on the used car market
  • Petrol engines tend not to be as noisy as diesel engines

Whichever type of engine you settle on, when it comes to fuel economy there are some practical tips for getting the most out of your SUVs miles per gallon (MPG). To see the best return:

  • Drive smoothly, especially when accelerating, braking, and changing gears
  • Drive at lower speeds and at the speed limit on the motorway
  • Remove your foot off the clutch to engage the SUVs stop/start technology (if it has it)
  • Turn off electrical appliances, like air con and heated seats
  • Keep your car well-maintained and serviced
  • Make sure your tyres are at the correct pressure
  • Remove unnecessary heavy items from the SUV
  • Remove the SUVs roof box and bike rack when not in use
  • Plan a direct route for your journey ahead of time


To give you extra peace of mind and security when driving about town, all of the cars on this list have scored an impressive five stars out of five in rigorous Euro NCAP safety tests. The exceptions to this are the Dacia Duster and Suzuki Jimny, which both scored a commendable three stars, largely losing points for their lack of driver assists. Please, read on to find out our top 10 best petrol SUVS.