Figures show that medium SUVs are currently Australia's biggest-selling class of vehicle!

It's also one of the most competitive, with manufacturers eager to exploit the market with fresh variations. Although medium-sized SUVs share commonalities, it's the little differences that enable potential owners to work out which vehicle is going to be exactly right for their needs.

Here we take a look at seven of the best medium SUVs on the market, taking into consideration the features that make each appeal to a particular audience.

Whether you're a tech enthusiast, an owner who loves to drive, or a family that needs enough storage space to pack for camping trips and beach holidays, our SUV list will contain a car that's exactly right for you.

1. Honda CR-V

A popular all-rounder, there's a reason why the 2021 version of the CR-V is a little different to the 2020 model: it's good! This SUV is pleasant to look at and benefits from a high-spec interior that's one of the hallmarks of the Honda brand.

A pleasure to drive, the CR-V has an impressive amount of torque and excellent handling capabilities. The awesome amount of room for second and even third-row passengers is a major plus. The back doors also open wide and are large enough to allow easy car seat use.


  • Spacious
  • High-quality interior
  • Design features that appeal to both the driver and the passengers


  • The infotainment screen is adequate but not exceptional
  • Some drivers find the rear-view camera disappointing

Who Should Buy This SUV?

The CR-V is unusual in that it has features that are attractive to both the driver and the passengers. The Honda is ideal for families due to the spacious rear seating and luggage space. It also provides an impressive driving experience which is great for solo commuters who want to occasionally use the CR-V for the family.

Learn More About The 2021 Honda CR-V

2. Kia Sportage

A dependable all-rounder, the Sportage has been updated for 2021: some exterior improvements, including new LED headlights, result in a sportier look. AEB has been extended to all specifications, rather than remaining the preserve of the top-of-the-range.

The Sportage has an average amount of space for rear passengers. Whilst some may appreciate the addition of the sunroof, it does mean that headspace in the second row is compromised. The boot is bigger than most and the rear seats fold down to give an extended, flat boot space.


  • Good tech, including Android Auto and Apple Carplay facilities
  • Plenty of storage
  • Excellent reliability and a hefty seven-year warranty


  • Relatively poor fuel economy figures (around 7.9l/100km for the petrol variant)
  • Drivers report that the engine is noisy and lacks power at times

Who Should Buy This SUV?

If dependability is crucial, the Sportage is a good option. It scores highly on reliability, and the impressive Kia warranty is a major plus. If you want a versatile SUV that's ideal for shorter journeys, the Sportage is a good option.

See our Kia Sportage vs Hyundai Tucson Comparison

3. Toyota Rav4

The Rav4 has received excellent reviews for its handling and performance. In addition, 2021 updates to the infotainment system result in a responsive screen with excellent graphics. The current version of the Rav4 benefits from a sophisticated package of safety measures, including a wealth of autonomous features.


  • Heavy handling and plenty of power mean it's a joy to drive
  • Responsive tech, with some advanced features such as a remote start.


  • Can be noisy at high speeds
  • Slightly less room in the back than other models

Who Should Buy This SUV?

This is very much a driver's car, so ideal for owners who engage in longer and/or solo trips as well as family-orientated driving.

See Our Rav4 vs CR-V Comparison

4. Mitsubishi Outlander

The Outlander is available in petrol, diesel and electric hybrid specifications. Well-equipped and benefiting from a formidable warranty (five years or 100,000km), it's a popular choice with a wide range of owners.


  • Plenty of added extras and some nifty tech
  • Spacious
  • Comes with the option of five or seven seats


  • Some reviewers feel it doesn't handle particularly well
  • It can be noisy

Who Should Buy This SUV?

The Forester is a versatile all-rounder that provides reasonable value. Mitsubishi doesn't hold its value as well as some other brands, which could influence the purchasing decision.

Learn More About The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander

5. Nissan X-Trail

Nissan has invested a considerable amount of time and money in sorting out the problems which plagued earlier versions of the X-Trail. The current reincarnation is an adaptable, sturdy vehicle that is a favourite with Nissan enthusiasts.


  • Good suite of tech, including push-button starting and a motion-activated tailgate
  • Improved interior options, such as leather accents
  • Spacious


  • At 7.9l/100km, it's not desperately petrol efficient
  • Drivers have reported problems with the softer suspension
  • The diesel version has been critiqued for uneven acceleration and engine noise

Who Should Buy This SUV?

A good choice for drivers who like their tech, the Nissan is a good all-rounder. The chassis is set higher than many comparable vehicles, meaning the AWD option can work well if rougher road surfaces form a regular part of your driving.

Get A Free Finance Quote For Any New Or Used SUV

6. Mazda CX-5

With a new, sportier exterior available from 2021, the highly successful CX-5 continues to dominate the mid-sized SUV market.


  • High-quality materials used throughout the interior, including real wood trim and nappa leather (in the higher-spec models)
  • Highly rated engine that combines awesome torque with excellent handling. The CX-5 is one of the fastest vehicles in its class
  • A good selection of tech, including a package of autonomous safety features


  • Not quite as roomy in the back as other mid-sizes
  • Limited boot space

Who Should Buy This SUV?

If you love the finer things in life and don't tend to carry four passengers on a regular basis, the CX-5 could be ideal for your needs.

Read Our Mazda CX-5 vs Toyota Rav4 Comparison

7. Subaru Forester

Revamped for 2021, the Forester boasts an impressive track record for reliability and good, steady performance. Praised for its excellent handling and a good array of features, the Forester is an excellent choice in many respects.


  • An improved interior, with more features and better aesthetics
  • Hybrid version available
  • Comfortable


  • A less powerful engine in comparison with others in its class
  • Limited range of engine variations

Who Should Buy This SUV?

Drivers who value comfort, safety and a good range of tech will like what the Forester has to offer. Fuel economy and reliability are also well-rated.

See Our Subaru Forester vs Ford Escape Comparison

The mid-size SUV class is a competitive one. This means manufacturers have invested heavily in ensuring that their offering has features that puts it ahead. The result is a tempting array of vehicles that offer some great driving opportunities.

Related: Australia's Best SUV's By Category

Find a mid-size SUV on or finance any new or used SUV through Credit One.

For a great deal on financing your new purchase, contact Australia's best reviewed finance broker on 1300 Credit (1300 273 348) today or visit

Jordan Ballard

Jordan Ballard

Automotive Content Editor

Jordan is a car finance and automotive industry specialist at Only Cars. With over 20 years of experience with frontline and management roles in sales, finance and other areas, Jordan has an incredible understanding of the automotive industry. As Automotive Content Editor, Jordan loves sharing his passion for cars with the Only Cars audience.