More and more people are getting compact sport utility vehicles instead of the more traditional sedan. They are spacious, safe, reliable, and tech-friendly. And if you make the right choice, the best compact SUV can be fuel efficient, too. Here are some of the world’s best compact SUVs you can ever buy this 2019.
2020 Base Price: $17,350; Brand new for 2020, the Venue is Hyundai’s smallest SUV. With its compact frame and 121-horsepower engine, the crossover provides ample power for daily driving and navigates city traffic smoothly. Inside, the Venue provides a surprising amount of passenger room for a subcompact SUV. Here are the best compact SUVs of 2020, ranked. 1) Toyota RAV4 — 4.8/5 — $25,950 The Toyota RAV4 has always been a class leader in compact SUVs, and that’s just as true in 2020 as always.
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Mazda CX-5 2019
An all-new Defender debuted in 2020 with modern technology and style to meet today's world, featuring a more comfortable cabin and available driver-assistance systems. The Land Rover Defender is a 5-seater vehicle that comes in 8 trim levels.
The 2019 CX-5 is the Japanese automaker’s second generation of its now-iconic small SUV. It still has the same sporty look as its predecessors. However, it has a sharper appearance because of the longer bonnet, squintier headlights, and a wider grille. Mazda also deemed it necessary to make the design more intelligent. You can also expect the interior and car handling to have substantial improvements over the first generation CX-5.
The Mazda CX-5 features the SkyActiv platform in all of its 5 different variants. It includes the Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature trims. In the US, the Mazda CX-5 only comes with a 2.5-liter, 16-valve 4-cylinder DOHC engine. Other markets come with a 2.0-liter and a 2.2-liter SkyActiv platform.
Taking a ride in this mini SUV is like bringing your home along. It comes complete with an array of infotainment and audio system to keep your family entertained. There is Apple and Android integration, plus access to SiriusXM. The interior is lavish enough to encourage you to spend a few hours relaxing on the comfy seats.
Chevrolet Equinox 2020
The latest addition of Chevrolet to its growing selection of high-performance SUVs promises to deliver better fuel economy. It has an agreeable look, although not as sporty as the Mazda CX-5.
The 2020 Equinox comes in two turbocharged powerplant options. One features a 1.5-liter motor while the other comes with a gutsier 2.0-liter. It should be powerful enough to take you on a pleasurable drive. Moreover, its engine design can give you a more remarkable fuel economy than other brands.
The Chevy Equinox is also very agile. It can take on any corner with relative ease. The cabin is also spacious enough for the entire family, with plenty of leg and head room for everyone. This is the kind of crossover that is perfect for weekend getaways as it can be a remarkable vehicle for everyday use.
Ford Escape 2019
The 2019 Ford Escape offers lithe handling and very lively engine options. It is one of the best small SUV models you can drive. Ford reshuffled the packages and features of the latest Escape to make your driving worthwhile.
The current model Escape comes in four different powertrains; two of them are hybrid. The traditional model features the turbo three. It provides enough acceleration to get you to 60 in 7.7 seconds. It may feel unrefined and grumbly, however. The hybrid versions offer better performance. These trims come with two electric motors complementing the power of the Escape’s 2.5-liter inline-4.
This small SUV comes with a graceful styling. It features the same grille as the Ford Fiesta WRC Rally car. Its interior is also stylish. Unfortunately, most of the materials are hard black plastic. The driver-assistance features are, nevertheless, superb.
Nissan Rogue 2020
Many people love the Nissan Rogue, which entered the market in 2007. For more than a decade, Nissan has been trying to improve on the performance and the overall package of the Rogue. Its 2020 version comes with improved safety features that can give you peace of mind on the road.
It comes with rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot warning, and automatic emergency braking systems. There is also Nissan’s signature ProPilot Assist suite that features adaptive cruise control and an innovative lane-keep assist system. There is also a rear automatic braking. These features make the all-new Nissan Rogue the best compact SUV for keeping your out of trouble.
While the 2020 Rogue is a small crossover, its interior is unusually spacious for its size. Its second row has a 60/40 split design. It allows you to fold the seat almost flat. There is also the Divide-N-Hide system at the cargo compartment. The system allows for the splitting of the cargo floor into storage boards. This is a compact crossover that has weekend adventures in mind.
Volkswagen Tiguan 2019
The 2019 Tiguan is Volkswagen’s second generation of compact crossovers that comes with plenty of space for both passengers and cargo. It also features a more intuitive tech interface that should make any journey a lot more pleasant and less stressful.
The latest Tiguan comes in 6 different trims. However, they all come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that delivers 184 horsepower at 221 lb-ft of torque. Most compact crossovers on the market come with a 6-speed automatic. The Tiguan features an 8-speed tranny for more efficient drives. It gives you a more comfortable ride, too. The seats are supportive and the overall design of the crossover keeps you insulated from both bumps and noise on the road.
Volkswagen designed the Tiguan to carry most of your belongings. It has three rows of seating in the passenger compartment. This is something that is quite rare for a compact SUV. However, keep in mind that the third row may not be suitable for adults as the leg room can be cramped.
Honda CR-V 2019
The CR-V is one of the world’s oldest compact crossovers. With almost a quarter of a century of reliable performance under its belt, one can only expect the latest Honda CR-V to be a lot better than ever before.
The Honda CR-V offers generous passenger space. It is perfect for small families and a group of friends who wish to have an enjoyable weekend. The cargo hold is also spacious. You can put a large number of items in its 39.2 cubic feet of rear storage space. And if you fold the rear seat, you can increase the volume of the cargo hold to 75.8 cubic feet.
The ride is extra-comfortable, too. Download samsung kies application. Passengers will never hurt their bottoms or backs when you drive over uneven terrain. The CR-V also comes with state-of-the-art navigation system, plus Android and Apple integration. The infotainment system in the CR-V will make your drive more pleasant than other small SUVs.
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Subaru Forester 2019
The 2019 Subaru Forester is another good mini SUV. It comes with the standard two rows of seats like any other crossover. However, unlike most of its rivals, the Forester handles more like a car. It offers one of the most comfortable rides for its class.
Not only does the latest Forester offer you a more luxurious ride; it also gives you the chance to enjoy the many premium features in its passenger cabin. The infotainment system will make travel time less boring. The tech interface is very easy to use. Your kids will have no issues operating them. The materials are also of premium quality. They are unlike other brands that put cheap plastics in their interior.
Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay already come as standard. And while you may find its engine uninspiring, the Forester does provide drivers with a more engaging experience. It comes with retuned steering and more safety features. Subaru also upgraded the sound insulation in the new Forester. This is one of the quietest small SUV cars you can ever get.
Toyota RAV4 2019
Toyota introduced the first ever Rav4 in 1994. The Japanese brand wanted people to enjoy the many benefits of the best small SUV. It offered a spacious cargo room and a comfortable ride. It also provided exceptional fuel economy and maneuverability that most can only get from a sedan.
Fast forward 25 years later and Toyota continues to wow the crowd. It has redesigned its engine to make it even more fuel-efficient. What is most striking in the new RAV4 is its exterior – more aggressive shoulders and a seriously beefed-up face. Gone are the sexy curves that defined this compact SUV for many years. In fact, it looks more like the little brother of Toyota’s beefier and more powerful 4Runner.
Toyota also upgraded the multimedia system in the RAV4. The materials also received a much-needed enhancement. The 2019 RAV4 also comes with additional technology and safety features. It comes in both gas and hybrid versions. If you want to get the best RAV4, you’d better get the RAV4 Hybrid. It combines the awesome power of its 2.5-liter I4 engine with an efficient electric motor for a combined output of 219 horsepower.
Jeep Wrangler 2019
The 2019 Jeep Wrangler may not be your idea of the best mini SUV. However, it is capable of taking you places other compact SUVs do not dare go. It is as nimble on the road as it is off it. Jeep designed the 2019 Wrangler to give you the best of both worlds. Whether your idea of a weekend adventure is cruising along the coastline or conquering a small hill, this Wrangler can be a great part of your journey.
The new Wrangler comes in two trims. The 2-door variant is spacious enough for a family of four. Both trims come with a powerful 3.6-liter V6, mated to a 6-speed manual tranny. There is also the optional 8-speed automatic for those who want a more seamless driving experience.
This terrain-conquering SUV comes with adaptive cruise control. It can make driving a lot more pleasant. Also included in the new Wrangler is the forward collision warning technology. You can also remove the doors and tops as well as fold down the windshield for a true open-air freedom.
GMC Terrain 2020
Many people consider the 2020 GMC Terrain as the Chevy Equinox’s upscale sibling. While it cannot beat the Mazda CX-5’s driving dynamics, the Honda CR-V’s spaciousness, and the Volkswagen Tiguan’s refinement, the Terrain does offer incredible fuel economy.
The base Terrain comes with a 1.5-liter powertrain. Its optional 1.6-liter, 137-horsepower turbocharged engine is more popular, however. If you want a more powerful Terrain, then you should go for the SLT and SLE trims. These feature a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that delivers 252 horsepower.
General Motors refined the Terrain’s safety features. What used to be optional are now standard. These include automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, forward collision alert, and lane-keep assist. The interior is also refined and made more accommodating. It should give you a hassle-free ride.
Kia Sportage 2020
Kia unveiled the Sportage in 1993, a year before Toyota introduced the RAV4. Since then, the Sportage has undergone several changes in both its styling and performance package. The latest incarnation of the Korean brand’s fourth generation of Sportage offers a more comfortable ride and more composed ride.
The 2020 Kia Sportage vies for the best small SUV plum because of its very sporty look. The now-iconic grille gives the Sportage a more aggressive face. Its interior looks posh and elegant. There are leather and chrome accents that complement the premium-quality cabin materials. And while it does not have a cargo hold that is as spacious as the Honda CR-V, 60.1 cubic feet is not that bad.
The infotainment system in the new Sportage is also worth highlighting. You can enjoy many of the latest in wireless communication and entertainment technologies. From touchscreen controls to more traditional buttons, managing your entertainment during the ride is easy.
Hyundai Tucson 2020
The Tucson is one of two SUVs that Hyundai produces for the small SUV segment. The Tucson also happens to be the smaller of the two. This doesn’t mean that it fares poorer than the Santa Fe. The 2020 Hyundai Tucson comes with a competitive interior appointments, complete with ample leg room and head room. Hyundai also included storage cubbies for everyone’s trinkets and other small items.
There are six trims for the 2020 Tucson. These are the SE, SEL, Value, Limited, Sport, and Ultimate. The Limited and Ultimate trims come with more luxurious features as well as a more potent powertrain. The SE and Value base trims come with a 161-horsepower 2.0-liter engine. The other trims come with a 2.4-liter engine. All trims feature a 6-speed automatic tranny on a standard front-wheel drive.
While the Tucson has a modest powertrain, the comfort that it provides during a drive is exceptional. It also handles well on the road. The tech features and infotainment system can also make each ride very pleasant and convenient.
Jeep Compass 2019
The 2019 Jeep Compass doesn’t look like any of the off-road SUVs that carry the Jeep badge. As a matter of fact, the styling is so refined that you will think the Compass is not a Jeep at all. The only sign that it is a Jeep is the iconic grille up front. Without it, most people will mistake the 2019 Jeep compass for something else.
There is no doubt that the handsome exterior makes the Jeep Compass one of the best compact SUV models you can have. It has a strong stance; not aggressive. You also have the option to get the Trailhawk to make the Compass a lot more rugged. Jeep also offers a number of customizations for the Compass.
The Compass handles like any other off-roading Jeep. However, the automaker designed this SUV for better comfort and not for performance off-roads. The fuel economy is good and the interior looks posh enough.
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2019
The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe offers more room than its smaller sibling, the Tucson. It also provides better handling. The Santa Fe Sport also comes with a more aggressive, albeit squarer stance. It has bolder features at both its nose and tail.
Under the hood of the Santa Fe is a 2.4-liter I4, although you can choose to get the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4. An 8-speed automatic transmission and a front-wheel drive layout come as standard. However, you can always opt for an all-wheel drive if you choose.
The safety features are also commendable and the infotainment system great for a Korean brand. The interior is practical and is capable of seating 5 grownups. Folding the second row of seats will give you a spacious 71-cubic foot cargo space. The seats are comfortable and supportive. There are also smart storage features for every passenger. It is a great compact SUV for long rides.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 2019
Mitsubishi is looking for interesting ideas to lead it into the third decade of the new millennium with a fresh start. And that start is the 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. The Eclipse Cross is the Japanese automaker’s answer to the CR-V and the RAV4 from rival national brands.
The Eclipse Cross has a very daring look. It tries to convey an aggressive stance, complete with flared out shoulders and chinky headlights. The grille is reminiscent of Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evos, while the back has a more streamlined, sweptback styling.
This small SUV comes with an inline-4 engine, delivering 152 horsepower from its 1.5-liter unit. It comes with a continuously variable transmission. It also features a number of infotainment technologies that can make any journey less boring.
Determining the best compact SUV is a matter of personal preference. Some offer better fuel economy, while others rely on their spacious interior. Others provide a sporty exterior or a more comfortable ride. Of course, it would be best if you can get all of these from the best small SUV on the market.
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MORE TO READ
Segments of compact and subcompact SUVs are real money makers for most companies. Therefore, it’s no wonder that production cycles are getting shorter and shorter. The upcoming year will bring numerous novelties in the segment, including several redesigns, as well as an introduction of several completely new models. Among the most interesting redesign, the new Nissan Just definitely deserves one of the leading positions. Also, we are about to see a couple of big comebacks, such as arrivals of models like Ford Bronco and Land Rover Defender. Also, the VW Group will bring to us a couple of all-new models. Other manufacturers won’t offer redesigns, but many of them will still have plenty of new things to offer. The popular Honda CR-V is about to receive a facelift, while the recently-redesigned Porsche Cayenne is about to get a new Coupe version.
Check out some of the most interesting novelties for the next year:
2020 Nissan Juke
The 2020 Nissan Juke is one of the models that are coming completely new for the next year. The new model has been spotted on the road and it looks like it is in the final stage of development. Although a completely camouflaged, it definitely shows that there is no place for conventional styling solutions. Besides recognizably funky styling, it will also come with completely new mechanics, based on the new version of the well-known CMF-B platform. Practically, most parts will be shared with the recently redesigned Renault Clio, including powertrain. Therefore, count on two gasoline engines, 1.0- and 1.3-liter units, with 99 and 125 horsepower, respectively. Renault’s famous 1.5-liter dCi diesel should be in the offer as well. Finally, the new 2020 Nissan Juke should be available with a hybrid powertrain as well. That should be a system based on a 1.6-liter gasoline engine.
2020 Volvo XC40
After the last-year introduction, we expect that the 2020 Volvo XC40 won’t feature any important changes. The second production year will bring to us a familiar design, which includes an XC90-inspired styling, but lots of new design solutions as well. This crossover is definitely one of the best choices among subcompact luxury crossover. It offers powerful engines, amazing driving characteristics and even better comfort.
On the inside, this crossover features probably the nicest cabin in the class, full of hi-quality materials and latest tech features. All this clearly indicates that the 2020 Volvo XC40 is about to carry on in the same way. When it comes to the powertrain, base models are equipped with a three-cylinder unit, but bigger turbo-fours are definitely a better choice. In Europe, you can count on two diesel options as well.
2020 Honda CR-V
The current, fifth generation of this amazing compact crossover is getting close to the middle of its production cycle, so it won’t be a surprise if 2020 Honda CR-V comes with a palette of changes. Of course, that would be a typical facelift, with aesthetical changes in the focus. In practice, these facelifts are mostly about changes on the front fascia, grille, and bumper, but headlights could get some revisions as well. On the other side, the overall layout will definitely remain the same, though new color options are possible as well.
On the inside, the 2020 Honda CR-V is expected to carry on with its well-built cabin, which offers amazing overall quality. The aspect that is expected to receive a lot of updates is the list of standard safety features, which is currently very modest and includes a rearview camera only. Rivals are way ahead in this aspect, so Honda will have to do something for the next year.
2020 Land Rover Defender
Best 2020 Compact Suv Hybrid
After a short break, we are about to see a completely new 2020 Land Rover Defender. The iconic model was in production for decades. Despite several updates, it remained largely unchanged for all those years. Things are finally about to change, as the upcoming model is something completely new. It is in the final stage of development and the company promises it will be as rugged as the original.
On the other side, it will come with a completely new design, which will provide significantly better efficiency and completely new styling. While the famous boxy shape remains, the 2020 Land Rover Defender features the brands latest design language and takes a lot of inspiration from models like Discovery and Range Rover. It will come in two body styles in the offer, with either two or five doors. We are still waiting for some details about powertrain.
2020 Porsche Cayenne
After the recent complete overhaul, the second production year of the famous SUV is about to bring us a completely new version, which will come as the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe. As you may presume, the new version will come with a modern coupe body layout, which in practice mean sloping roof design. While the overall look will be more attractive compared to the regular model, it won’t be too practical and functional. Typically for coupe layouts, it will come with less headroom in the second row and with the significantly smaller cargo area. When it comes to the powertrain, things will be pretty much the same.
Base models will come with a familiar 3.0-liter V6 that delivers around 340 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. The Porsche’s famous 2.9-liter V6 will be in the offer as well, with a max output of around 440 horsepower. Finally, count on a 4.0-liter V8, which delivers around 550 horses.
2020 Ford Bronco
One of the biggest comebacks for the next year will be the new 2020 Ford Bronco. After decades of absence from the market, the famous SUV is coming back. This time, things will be a little bit different. The new model will compete in the segment of mid-size SUVs. It will come with a conventional body-on-frame platform, based on the Ranger pickup truck. Still, it will come with completely different aesthetics. The styling should be pretty distinctive and latest reports suggest that we are about to see both 3- and 5-door versions in the offer. The new model should be very off-road capable, while the range of engines will be wide as well. Count on a range of familiar EcoBoost units in the offer, but don’t be surprised if you see a diesel version in the offer as well.
2020 Jaguar I-Pace
Although it looks more like a hatchback than a crossover, the I-Pace competes among small SUVs and it is currently one of the kind, with its all-electric powertrain. It came recently as an all-new model and it has plenty of things to offer. Of course, the powertrain takes the main spot. There is a couple of electric motors, which ensures a combined output of almost 400 horsepower. Such numbers are enough to ensure amazing performances, which includes 0-60 time in just 4.5 seconds. The battery is pretty big, so it’s no wonder this crossover can make up to 240 miles on a single range, which sounds pretty impressive. Some reports suggest a new, extended-range version for the next year but we are still waiting to hear something from the officials. A couple of additions in terms of standard equipment is possible as well.
2020 Mazda CX-3
If we can rely on the latest reports, it looks like the Japanese carmaker is preparing bigger changes than we initially expected. Despite the fact that the current model is on the market for only four years, it looks like the 2020 Mazda CX-3 will come completely redesigned. The current model has often been criticized for its tight cabin, so the new model is about to become bigger. Count on more inches both in wheelbase and overall length. Of course, the new model will come with a new styling as well, based on the new Mazda 3. All in all, the new crossover will be prettier and more functional but should be more efficient as well.
Latest reports suggest that the 2020 Mazda CX-3 will come with the company’s new SkyActive X engine, which is expected to provide significantly better efficiency, which would in practice mean much more power and much higher mpg ratings.
2020 Jeep Renegade
The Renegade may be small, but it is a very capable SUV, which can handle even some pretty hard terrains. However, it is getting older every year, so constant updates are needed. After the last-year facelift, the company prepares another big novelty. Allegedly, the 2020 Jeep Renegade will come with a completely new, plug-in hybrid powertrain. This will be the first time to see one Jeep model with such powertrain, so expectations are pretty big. The current engine lineup will remain unchanged, so count on a plethora of gasoline versions, as well as on two diesel units, which are available in Europe. The current generation of this subcompact SUV is expected to carry on for several more years. Given all these updates, it looks like we won’t see a redesign soon.
2020 VW T-Cross
As one of the biggest carmakers in the world, VW definitely needs an entry-level crossover and it looks like the new 2020 VW T-Cross’ timing is perfect. We are getting ready for the new subcompact SUV, which is about to hit the market in about two months. As you may presume, it will be heavily based on the famous Polo hatchback, with familiar design language and the cabin that looks pretty much identical.
At this point, we are still waiting for a complete of engines in the offer. We know for sure that base models will come with a small 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine with around 110 horsepower. A new 1.5-liter TSI will be in the offer as well. This one delivers around 150 horsepower. Of course, we count on a diesel version as well, probably with a 95-hp 1.6-liter TDI engine. A hi-performance version is expected in the future, probably in about a year.
2020 Skoda SUV
The Czech carmaker is also expanding its lineup and the next year is about to bring us another crossover. It will be the biggest we’ve seen from this company, a new flagship crossover. It will be based on the company’s familiar MQB platform and compete in the segment of mid-size SUVs. Skoda already promises several advantages compared to the competition. Among them, we count on a huge cargo area, as Skoda models traditionally have the biggest trunks their classes.
Best Subcompact Suv
In terms of styling, the new model will be heavily based on the recent Vision X concept. On the other side, the powertrain lineup should consist of common VW engines, including 1.5- and 2.0-liter gasoline units, as well as 1.6-liter TDI oil-burner as well. The new 2020 Skoda SUV will have a premiere on the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.