Small SUVs aren’t built on a passenger chassis like crossover vehicles (CUVs), so even compact SUVs are actually considered trucks. However, compact SUVs boast better fuel economy and sedan-like handling unlike their full-sized SUV brethren. What these more compact SUVs bring to the transportation table is decent towing capacity, roomy interiors (some can seat up to eight) and large cargo spaces. Plus, small SUVs get better overall fuel economy and are loaded with advanced safety technology. Check out GAYOT’s list of the Best Small SUVs that ranges from luxe selections from Mercedes-Benz and Alfa Romeo to sporty and affordable options from Hyundai and Mazda.
Base Price: $24,475
This compact SUV has a fresh design that looks much less American boxy and much more Euro sculpted — think chrome bling, a wider stance and LED tail lamps. Inside, the all-new Chevrolet Equinox design shines as a tech-laden comfort machine especially when matched with a two-toned color scheme.
Base Price: $41,850
This new Q5 has minimal design changes and that’s a very good thing — Audi’s compact SUV has classic good looks. What has changed is under the hood as the 2018 Q5 comes equipped with either a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an all-new seven-speed automatic transmission that together go 0-60 mph in just 5.9 seconds.
Base Price: $80,000
Leave it to Alfa Romeo to take the small SUV experience to another level with the Stelvio. Alfa Romeo claims it maximized the brand’s racing pedigree to craft an SUV with standard AWD and an exhilarating driving experience.
Base Price: $47,500
The Porsche Macan isn’t just for the urban lifestyle as this all-wheel-drive (AWD) sports utility vehicle has superior traction management and highly responsive steering, handling and braking. Inside, expect a high level of comfort, quality and luxury as well as loads of excellent in-car infotainment tech and advanced safety features.
Base Price: $39,150
Bigger yet lighter, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe beautifully blends design, safety and technology in a racing-styled compact SUV. Performance, ride, comfort, interior and cargo space, fuel efficiency, in-car technology and even off-road capabilities are all top-notch, making this one luxe sports utility ride.
Base Price: $24,045
Most striking is the Mazda CX-5’s boxy new front haunches along with ever more sculpted side lines and a black undertone painting method that brings yet another illusion of forward movements, especially in soul red crystal. Mazda’s interior engineers always get comfort, controls, gauges, textures and ergonomics right and this model is no exception.
Base Price: $25,400
Labeled as a crossover, Kia’s affordable Sorento is big enough to be considered a small SUV and for good reason. The Sorento adds to this winning SUV’s many honors including a top safety pick along with a slightly refreshed exterior design.
Base Price: $22,700
The Hyundai Tucson’s exterior was slightly improved although its classic SUV design appears much sportier than the low price portends. The same goes with the Tucson’s rather luxurious, comfortable, roomy and tech-laden interior (it has both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities).
Base Price: $42,390
Jaguar brings a decidedly James Bond-like modern British appeal to the small SUV segment with its F-PACE. Ever the race-meets-Sunday drive car, F-PACE comes equipped with six different thrilling-to-drive engines (including a 3.0-liter V6).
Base Price: $62,100
The BMW X5 xDrive50e is Beemer’s first plug-in hybrid SUV. The all-wheel-drive (AWD) X5 combines its award-winning 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, an electric motor and a lithium ion battery to produce 308 hp and go 0-60 mph in just 6.5 seconds. Inside, this fifth gen Q5 envelops the driver and passengers with BMW’s trademark excellent quality, luxury, ergonomics and “connected drive” infotainment technology.