Medium-sized SUVs are Australia’s favourite type of family car and it’s easy to see why. SUV stands for sports utility vehicle, which is a rugged vehicle (similar to a station wagon) that’s built on a light truck chassis, also known as the base frame of the car.
More than anything else, medium-sized SUVs are versatile. And the adoption of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) and Electric Vehicles (EV) has proven that these types of vehicles are slowly gaining traction in the Australian market.
Best Medium Size SUVs Australia
Cupra Formentor VZe Hybrid
The Cupra Formentor VZe hybrid 2023 is the latest hybrid SUV that’s proving to be a hit amongst launched models locally.
Over the last four years we’ve seen that Australians love hybrid SUVs and a number of manufacturers are trying to emulate a successful self-charging hybrid or plug-in hybrid SUVs in Australia.
Powered by a 1.4 litre turbo engine and an electric motor powered by a 10.4 kWh lithium-ion battery.
Recharges from a wall plug for a 49 km electric driving range.
Uses only 6-7 litres of petrol per 100 km.
The car’s electric battery pack is relatively small.
The car ‘shifts’ even when running in electric-only mode.
There’s a slow-ish charging speed in this model.
Read the full review of the Cupra Formentor VZe Hybrid from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Cupra Formentor VZ
The mid-range Cupra Formentor VZ 2022 sets itself apart from other models with its focus on front-wheel driving.
This model is the lightest in its range and only weighs 1578 kg . With less weight also usually comes less energy consumption, which is the ideal choice for many medium SUV owners.
This model was given a five-star ANCAP rating in 2021.
This car is the lightest of the four variants in its range.
This model has a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine.
This model scrambles for traction on its tyres.
Using driving mode in this model can be rough.
This model has less power.
Read the full review of the Cupra Formentor VZ from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Skoda Karoq Style
This mid-size SUV is a great family car in Australia’s most popular car market segment.
While the Karoq should be Skoda’s best seller, chip shortages, COVID-19 shutdowns and European demand has meant this model has never been featured in an ad campaign or launched in Australia.
This model is a front-drive-only vehicle.
This model is known to be very comfortable.
This model is fitted with a drive mode selection.
There’s only 110kW of power behind this model.
This model lacks safety equipment.
This model lacks sufficient stock.
Read the full review of the Skoda Karoq Style from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Volkswagen Tiguan R
The Volkswagen Tiguan R 2022 is the latest model ready to fill a gap in the mid-size SUV market.
This model is an excellent family car and is easily driven on family road trips. It’s great value for money and the overall car running costs are also inexpensive.
This model uses an all-wheel drive system.
Significant hardware updates to this model.
This model has a uniquely sporty appeal.
There’s no wireless phone charging in this model.
Rides can be occasionally rough in this model.
This model has a limited colour palette.
Read the full review of the Volkswagen Tiguan R from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Adventure
The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Adventure 2023 is the ideal model for all adventures, terrains and rough road drives.
Australians love a midsize SUV. And for a family, the additional space is a great way to store luggage, cargo, bikes or more family members on a road trip or long holiday.
This model has a strong 162kW engine.
This model has a 4Motion all-wheel drive.
This model has 17-inch ‘Dublin’ style wheels that are snow-chain ready.
This model has only five seats.
This model has limited soft-road capabilities.
This model uses more costly 95RON premium petrol in its 60 litres tank.
Read the full review of the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Adventure from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 110TSI Life
The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 110TSI Life 2023 is the ultimate family road trip vehicle.
This model delivers a comfortable ride for passengers and allows you to drive easily too. Using cruise control you can drive smoothly across any road surface without any vibration or harsh jolts.
This model has a 58 litre fuel capacity.
This is an affordable seven-seater vehicle.
This model includes inductive phone charging and three-zone climate control.
This model drives slower than other variants in its range.
This model is not suited for city and urban driving.
This model is only covered by a five-year warranty.
Read the full review of the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 110TSI Life from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome
While the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome 2023 was supposed to be Australia’s answer to ongoing supply issues, the disruptions to automotive supply chains are still ongoing, leading to production delays and Volkswagen still affected by these challenges.
This model has a strong 162kW engine.
This affordable model sits above the entry-level Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 110TSI Life.
This model has a 4Motion all-wheel drive system.
This model includes haptic climate control.
The colour options for this model are limited.
Only half of this vehicle’s supply features a sunroof.
Read the full review of the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV
The Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV serves as the middle ground for families not looking to completely commit to EV power.
Since 2021 Volvo has continued to add electric vehicles and hybrids to its local Australian lineup and the XC60 Recharge PHEV is a key part of this push.
This plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is a transitional model.
This model has a 233kW petrol engine and a 340kW electric motor.
This model has a good electric-only range.
This model has a costly servicing fee.
The combined distance travelled/fuel consumed in this vehicle don’t reflect a real-world scenario.
There’s not as much space in the vehicle as you’d like.
Read the full review of the Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Toyota RAV4 Cruiser FWD Hybrid
The Toyota RAV4 Cruiser FWD Hybrid 2023 was Australia’s third best-selling car of 2022.
This popular model offers a comfortable drive while car ownership and running costs appear cheaper than any other midsize petrol SUV.
This is a more affordable hybrid option.
The RAV4 was awarded a 5-star ANCAP rating in 2019.
The distance travelled/fuel consumed performs well across all driving conditions.
There’s a long waitlist for this model.
This model can only tow 480kg.
There is no seven-seat option for this car.
Read the full review of the Toyota RAV4 Cruiser FWD Hybrid from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Nissan X-Trail E-Power
The Nissan X-Trail E-Power 2023 is a relaxed and comfortable family SUV with a refined hybrid system.
This fuel-efficient model offers a relaxing drive for you and your family. However, as the first step towards electric family motoring Nissan’s supply will be limited and are already reporting six-month wait times.
This model uses a quiet 1.5 litre turbo engine.
This vehicle offers good value for money.
This model drives more comfortably rather than the sport model.
This vehicle does not have the most fuel-efficient hybrid system.
There isn’t a sufficient supply for this model.
It doesn’t come with a spare wheel.
Read the full review of the Nissan X-Trail E-Power from our friends at Chasing Cars.
Mid-size SUVs are made for families
Whether it’s heading on a road trip or going rough-roading, mid-size SUVs are still Australians' favourite type of family car.
This is supported by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ latest Car Sales Data which reports that 194,143 SUVs have been sold this year as of April 2023. 
Automotive supply chain issues
While electric vehicles and plug-in electric vehicles are increasing in popularity, it seems that there will still be significant supply chain issues in 2023. Not only will the chip shortage continue but there’s also high demand and low inventory for a lot of models.