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Which SUV to replace our 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan?

I am looking to replace a 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0TDI 4-Motion, which has a towbar and has been a delight to drive. The whole of our grown-up family enjoys its roominess and adaptability. Its only drawback is that when we take rear seat passengers, the ride for them is somewhat firm. We have looked at the Audi Q3 but, though the ride seemed softer, this car felt cramped by comparison with the Tiguan. What alternatives can you suggest please?

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The next size up from an Audi Q3 is a Q5, but by far the best in the category is the BMW F25 X3 2.0d 4WD. Next best so far is probably the Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv. Honda has just launched a new CR-V and Ford is about to launch a new Kuga, tested here: honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/ford/ford-kuga-20-tdci-2013-road-test/ while the F25 X3, CX-5 and CR-V are all tested at honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/.

The new RAV4 will be tested in February. If you need to tow, the Hyundai Santa Fe and KIA Sorento manuals can both haul 2500kg. Remember, for ride comfort, tyre profile as well as spring rates can be crucial. The more rubber between the rims and the road, the less jarring the ride will be. On SUVs, 17-inch wheels give the softest ride, 18-inch often the best compromise and 19-inch or 20-inch can turn comfort into discomfort. The exception is the Jeep Grand Cherokee, that is far better on 20-inch wheels with air suspension than it is on 18-inch wheels with steel springs.
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