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We normally associate SUVs with big families living in the American suburbs, but these days there are a range of models of all different sizes, making it perfectly possible to own one in the UK without having to break your wallet shelling out on gas and maintenance costs.

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Which type of SUV is right for me?

SUVs can broadly be broken down into two categories: the car-based ones and the truck-based ones - or, put more simply, the smaller ones and the big ones.

The extended models are essentially miniature pick-up trucks with a massive chassy and engine, making them ideal for those with large families or else just a lot of surplus cargo to tow around on a day to day basis.

By contrast, car-oriented models are designed for urban city roving. They're much easier to operate in confined spaces - particularly if you've never driven a full-sized SUV before - and besides which are simply a lot cheaper to run.

In essence, you need to think about what you actually require your SUV for. If you're just making trips to and from school and work then you can probably get by with a smaller one - anything more off-road-based and you'll be better served with something bigger.

Which features should I look out for?

This, once again, depends on what purpose you have in mind for your new vehicle, but in general here are a few of the features to look out for.

When it comes to performance, you need to look for the happy medium between efficiency and power. We recommend going for V6 engine - even if you are looking at a smaller model, as this will guarantee solid performance whilst not punching too much of a hole in your budget.

In terms of space, don't be afraid to get something bulkier if you feel you need the extra cargo room - but also keep in mind there are other options. You can always go for a detachable storage unit to tow at the back of the vehicle in times of need; just make sure you are aware from the outset of the weight your SUV can safely pull.

For wheels, try if you can to go for an all-wheel drive rather than a four-wheel drive. The difference in most situations is only subtle, but you will certainly feel the difference if you drive off road or during adverse weather conditions. All-wheel generally offers a more stable ride and is perhaps easier to get used to driving with.

How much should I budget for?

Size and model are a big factor here, but somewhere in the region of £16,000 to £22,000 will generally get you a decent SUV that should last a normal family a solid few years.

Cars like Nissan, Volvo and Renault are towards the cheaper end of the spectrum, but if you're up for a big splurge you can also check out the offerings of Land Rover, Jaguar and BMW. These luxury models tend to cost upwards of £25,000 or even £30,000.

More than the initial price, however, you need to work out what sort of mileage you will be doing and how much fuel you will need to budget for. There are calculators you can use for this exercise online - so don't leave it to chance after you've splashed out on a big gas-guzzler.

Which are the top SUVs for 2020?

This is a list of the newest and best SUVs coming out in 2020 and expected starting prices:

- Alfa Romeo Tonale - £20,000

- Aston Martin DBX - £158,000

- Audi Q5 - £42,000

- Ford Kuga/Puma - £20,000 - £25,000

- Nissan Qashqai - £22,000

- Peugeot 2008 - £26,000

There is a huge choice between prices and extras so make sure to choose the right SUV for you!

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