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It seems like such a simple question, right? What is the best small SUV? Actually, we would like to give a simple answer. Buy _______! Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, although we will at least do our best to make it more difficult. First, like most people, we define “SUV” as synonymous with “crossover.” We could talk about the differences and definitions of these terms, but we doubt you care, so we’ll move on.
Good Small Suv For First Car
Second, it is important to ask yourself how small do you want your small SUV to be? In recent years, the number of options has increased rapidly, and many models that have been around for a long time have increased in size, and many new, smaller options have appeared. So basically we have three sizes of small SUVs: compact, subcompact, and the mid-sized subcompact. It doesn’t have a common name yet, so we recommend it
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Okay, now that we’re done cleaning up, let’s answer some questions about what the best small SUVs are, including what they do well and what they could do better. We hope this is a good place to start your research. All are listed in alphabetical order.
Honda CR-V Why it stands out: Great hybrid option; quality and stylish salon; great driving experience. It could be better: no PHEV option; no outdoor adventure equipment; The base engine is just average. Read our full review of the 2023 Honda CR-V
Think of the CR-V as the benchmark for any compact SUV. Objectively speaking, it’s hard to beat for its large cargo capacity, roomy rear seat, excellent powertrain options, balanced driving dynamics, competitive pricing and features, high safety standards and respectable reliability. . It’s easy to see why it continues to be a bestseller: for many compact SUV buyers, especially families, it ticks all the boxes. Of course, people do not make purchasing decisions based on objective criteria alone. Back then, people would find it boring to drive, and increasingly boring to look at. These issues have been carefully addressed in the new 2023 CR-V model, especially with its understated interior, which is cooler than anything associated with the CR-V before. Now, you may still prefer the look or driving experience of the other, or wish it offered a mix of plug-ins or open-event trim options offered by its main competitors. But that’s why there are other options, including the ones below.
Mazda CX-50 Why it stands out: the experience of driving a budget Porsche; luxurious cabin; improvement of the powerful turbocharged engine. It could be better: no hybrid; less space for cargo, passengers and storage; An infotainment system without a touchscreen won’t suit everyone. Our full review of the 2023 Mazda CX-50
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The CX-50 is all about style and driving pleasure. It can also be seen as an alternative to luxury compact SUVs. It all starts with the sporty yet serious styling and carries over to the interior, where its sleek design and luxurious materials are a clear step up from others at this price point. Then, when you’re behind the wheel, the CX-50 impresses with engaging driving behaviors that I describe as hallmarks of a “budget Porsche.” What’s more, its affordable turbo engine has as much or more power than many luxury models of the same size. Now, it doesn’t have as much passenger or cargo space as the CR-V or RAV4, so it’s not for everyone, but it’s worth considering. Much of the above can also be said about the CX-5 that was on this list, but the CX-50’s larger numbers, improved off-road ride height, nicer interior and more attractive exterior design give it the edge. of those two. .
Kia Sportage Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Why it stands out: Unique hybrid powertrain; modern information and entertainment technologies and security technologies; large cargo space. Could be better: The base gas-only engine is weak and unrefined; The X line is not available with hybrids. Our full review of the 2023 Kia Sportage
The Kia Sportage has risen to the top of the class after the most radical update in recent automotive history. They are larger, from one of the smallest in parts to the largest. The luggage compartment, in particular, is large, and the back seat is very comfortable for a family vacation. The bold design also makes it easy to stand out from other compact SUVs (it can be a little bold for some), while the interior impresses with its clean appearance, high quality and the availability of attractive color schemes, even on trim levels. Technology is one of its strong points, with unique infotainment features and touchscreen interfaces, as well as the best array of driver assistance technologies in the segment. After all, the Sportage’s hybrid and hybrid powertrains aren’t just about gas mileage, they’re also true performance upgrades that behave more naturally than a standard hybrid. As with the CR-V and RAV4, hybrids are the best powertrains. In contrast, the Sportage’s base engine is less impressive, and we don’t recommend it. It is not optimized and causes slow acceleration, even in the part where acceleration is not expected.
Toyota RAV4 Why it stands out: Unparalleled variety, including two hybrids; spacious back seat and luggage space; Reliability Could be better: Engine could be more perfect; A technical interface may hinder our full review of the 2023 Toyota RAV4
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The RAV4 has more passenger and cargo space than most. It’s comfortable and surprisingly responsive to drive. Its interior is well-built with quality materials and offers easy-to-use controls and ample storage space (although some may prefer the more premium feel offered by its rivals). Its resale value and reliability should be better than almost anything on the road. It’s the basics that the RAV4 has, but the latest version stands out by offering unmatched variety. From the standard RAV4 LE or XLE, you can go in different directions to the more aggressive Adventure, TRD Off-Road and Woodland models or to the sporty XSE Hybrid and Prime. The last two are very important, as the RAV4 is part of a growing number of small SUVs that are not only available with a hybrid, but also with a plug-in hybrid (Prime). We love that the RAV4 has something for everyone.
Best Compact SUVs Ford Bronco Sport Why it stands out: Off-road capability; luggage space; good storage and cargo functions; different style Could be better: fuel economy; some cheap interior items. Our full review of the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport
Although its exterior dimensions and rear-seat space fall between the compact and compact car segments, one of the great things about the new Bronco Sport is that it has as much or more cargo space than models that are larger. So it can hold a lot of stuff for the weekend, but the Baby Bronco does a lot more for those looking for a Swiss Army Knife than your average small SUV. There are plenty of clever features, such as zipped map pockets and a camping light on the back door, as well as an extensive list of accessories. Each version is better off-road than the standard version (though the Badlands is definitely the go-to for the more advanced) with standard four-wheel drive, ample ground clearance and the kind of G.O.A.T. which adapts the vehicle to various road and street conditions. It’s also impossible to ignore the Bronco Sport’s distinct styling inside and out, along with a driving experience that’s synonymous with an SUV… and in this case, we mean that in a regular body-on-frame SUV. way.
Kia Seltos Why it stands out: amazing space; acceleration from Turbo models; advanced technologies; Insightful design details Could be better: affordable interior Our full 2023 Kia Seltos review
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The surprisingly good Seltos prove that you don’t need to spend a lot of money for performance and style. Its price and exterior dimensions sit between the small SUV and compact segments, but it boasts a larger-than-expected interior and plenty of custom design details that manage to offset some of the cheap features thrown in to keep the price down. It looks very good, too, and the available turbo provides an amazing acceleration for the part. In fact, it offers more value than Kia’s standard feature list and extended warranty. Like the Bronco Sport and CX-30, we’re actually considering Seltos ahead of many compact SUVs that failed.
Kia Niro Why it stands out: Elegant design; three electric engine options; surprisingly spacious; high-tech Could be better: no four-wheel drive; questionable value for a hybrid and an electric car; no EV tax credit; Moderate maintenance Our Kia Niro review
The Kia Niro comes with three powerful powertrains in an attractively designed package. All three models – hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric – take advantage of the Niro’s surprisingly spacious, tech-rich interior and stylish exterior styling. The characteristic “aerodynamic profile” behind the rear doors gives an expressive look,