The large SUV segment is moving more slowly than the rest of the new car market in the shift to electrifiation. Plug-in hybrids are growing in number, but fully electric models remain a rarity – for now.
This year, we’ve seen a combination of new and updated models arriving in new car showrooms, but with one stand-out performer dominating headlines – the all-new Range Rover. Every generation has delighted motoring journalists and breakdown providers in equal measure, although Land Rover will be hoping that the new Range Rover will finally be the one that improves its abysmal reliability record.
Our awards recognise both the best new models to have been launched over the last 12 months, but also the best overall cars in each category – because newest doesn’t always mean best.
Best new Large SUV + Class champion, petrol/diesel: Range Rover (86%)
The Range Rover has been the flagship model in the Land Rover line-up for over 50 years now, and British reviewers agree that this latest fifth-generation model continues this decorated nameplate with aplomb.
Regarded as one of the most luxurious SUVs on the market, the new Range Rover has been praised for its alluring exterior styling and its go-anywhere ability. It is more spacious than its predecessor, but it is also much more expensive too. If the previous Range Rover was aimed at taking on luxury saloons as well as other SUVs, the new model pushes even further in that direction, going head-to-head with the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce as muh as Mercedes and BMW.
Launched in the Summer, this upmarket SUV is currently the undisputed class-leader of the large SUV class. Its Expert Rating of 86% is considerably higher than the 80% score currently held by last year’s class champion, the Land Rover Defender.
Class champion, electric: BMW iX (76%)
Last year’s winner of the Best New Large SUV title, the BMW iX continues to score strongly and retains its title as the electric class champion in this category. Right now, it does’t have a lot of opposition, but more is on the way in 2023.
While it certainly hasn’t received many plaudits for its styling, reviewers agree that the iX is a lot better when you don’t actually have to stand looking at it. Critics have praised the quality of engineering beneath that curiously shaped bodywork, awarding it high marks for the way it drives and the quality of its interior.
As well as being good to drive, the BMW iX has plenty of battery range to quell any range anxiety. As of December 2022, it holds an Expert Rating of 76%.
The best new cars of 2022
Notes on eligibility
To be eligible for our Best New Model or Class Champion titles, there are a couple of requirements in addition to having a top Expert Rating score.
Firstly, the Best New Model must have been launched in the UK between 1 December 2021 and 1 December 2022. That means cars registered and on the road, not just available to order for deliveries starting sometime in 2023.
Secondly, a car must have a current Euro NCAP safety rating of either four or five stars. If a car scores three stars or less, we can’t in good conscience give it an award for being best in class. If a new model has not been tested by Euro NCAP by 1 December 2022, it will not be eligible but we will consider it next year if it has been tested.