Compact SUVs are perfect for families and commuters because they are reasonably priced, fuel-efficient, and spacious. These compact road warriors have handling similar to a car but the comfort and cargo capacity of a utility vehicle.
Though many car buyers are currently driving home traditional gasoline-powered compact SUVs, many well-known nameplates are the top sellers of their respective brands. In the future, however, EVs may be parked in driveways.
With a variety of brand-new, completely redesigned, and considerably updated models released in the last year alone, this class is also constantly evolving.
Here is a description of top five best compact car and driver luxury SUVs for 2024.
Top luxury Best Compact SUVs for 2024
We compared the small SUVs using a methodical process that took into account features, performance, safety, affordability, and other factors. Our top five picks are listed below, along with the characteristics we think set them apart from the competition.
The trim level that we evaluated and found to offer the best value for the money is indicated by the specs listed below each review.
Of course, you might prefer a utility vehicle that is smaller or that runs partially or entirely on electricity; all of the options below have conventional gasoline engines. Check out our list of the top compact SUVs for fewer options.
1: Best Overall and Best Value: Kia Sportage
The Kia Sportage, which starts at $26,290, is nicely equipped for the money. Even the well-liked X-Line trim has a starting price of just $31,090. Remote engine start, rain-deflecting wipers, and all-wheel drive are standard on the X-Line. J.D. Power acknowledged that the Sportage held its value exceptionally well.
In addition, the most recent J.D. Power Initial Quality Study found that out of all the brands on this list, Kia had the fewest owner complaints. More interior space and upscale amenities, such as heated front seats and synthetic leather, are available in the five-passenger cabin.
At 39.6 cubic feet behind the back seats, the Sportage has one of the biggest cargo capacities on this list. Numerous safety features and a large 12.3-inch touch screen are included with the X-Line.
2: Best for Features: Hyundai Tucson
There are numerous engine and interior feature options available for the Hyundai Tucson. Go from the base model to the Tucson SEL by one level.
The SEL trim, which starts at slightly under $43,000, has heated front seats, leatherette upholstery as an option, and Hyundai Digital Key, which enables you to unlock and start your vehicle using a smartphone.
At 41.2 cubic feet, the cargo hold of the Tucson is the largest on the list behind the rear seats. Its handling, though, can come across as blah. The Tucson ride offers little in the way of excitement.
3: Best for Handling: Mazda CX-5
No other model on this list drives like a sporty sedan like the Mazda CX-5. Additionally, compared to rival compact SUVs, it accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds, allowing you to merge onto highways more quickly and pass slower-moving vehicles with ease.
The mid-tier 2.5 S Premium trim, which starts at $33,000, includes heated front seats and leather trim.
The 10.25-inch touch screen that is included with all models is larger than most in the category. Although the cabin is spacious and can accommodate five people with ease, the CX-5 has a lower cargo capacity with 29.1 cubic feet behind the second row.
4: Best for Safety: Subaru Forester
The IIHS awarded this Subaru Forester a Top Safety Pick award and gave it excellent ratings for headlight safety. The Eyesight Driver Assist Technology from Subaru is standard on the Limited model.
This dual-camera system maximizes cruise control, scans the road for unforeseen hazards, and sends notifications if you veer outside of your lane.
Blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, reverse automated braking, and high beam assist come standard on the Limited model.
The Subaru’s ride seems slow in comparison to the Mazda CX-5’s 186-horsepower engine.
Having standard all-wheel drive increases traction in inclement weather and on rougher terrain. With optional heated front seats and leather-trimmed upholstery, the Limited trim has a cozy interior.
5: Best for Technology: Ford Escape
The Ford Escape has a lot of safety and technological features installed. All versions, which start at $28,000, come equipped with an 8-inch screen, wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a host of safety features like a forward collision warning system with dynamic brake assist, pedestrian detection, and a blind-spot information system with cross-traffic alert.
For slightly more than $30,000, the ST-Line adds a 13.2-inch touch screen, intelligent adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, and evasive steering assist.
Although the five-passenger Escape’s interior is simple, it isn’t as well-made as rival SUVs’ offerings. The rear seats of the Escape may not fit comfortably for rear-seat passengers. At best, it has an average cargo capacity, with 37.5 cubic feet available behind the second row.
6: 2023 Mazda CX-50
In the voting for the compact car and driver luxury SUV category, Mazda is a repeat finalist; however, the CX-5 from last year has been replaced with the new CX-50 for 2023. Despite having similar names, the CX-50 is not meant to be a replacement for the CX-5; rather, it is positioned higher up in the brand’s lineup, with the CX-5 starting at $31,250 while the CX-50 starts at $38,250 in GS-L trim.
(Taxes and freight not included in any price.) It makes sense that compared to the CX-5, whose second generation is currently in its seventh year on the market, the CX-50 appears and feels more expensive.
The 2.5L engines powering all CX-50 configurations are either naturally aspirated (187 horsepower) in GS-L and GT trims or turbocharged (227 horsepower) in GT Turbo form. All of these engines are matched to a six-speed automatic transmission and come equipped with standard all-wheel drive (AWD).
The CX-50 is “an absolute pleasure to drive,” according to Auto Trader contributor Jil McIntosh, and has a turbo engine that “does everything right,” offering effortless highway passing power and calm, seamless performance in traffic.
Contributor Jeff Wilson noted that although the CX-50’s six-speed transmission is at least two gears short of what most of its rivals offer, it is nonetheless well-suited to that turbo engine.
Benefits that these top fives SUVs Offer:
Are you looking for a car that combines the best features of SUVs and cars together? The ideal solution is a crossover, which is another name for a small SUV.
A compact SUV can be the perfect option for you if you’ve ever wanted a roomy vehicle or an SUV with superior handling and fuel efficiency.
Are you still undecided between a car, SUV, or compact SUV? Allow us to walk you through the seven strong arguments for why a small SUV could be the perfect car for you.
Expansive Storage Options
Storage capacity is not sacrificed in a small SUV. Consider the Ford escape, for example. Behind the rear hatch, there is a spacious 38.4 cubic feet of storage available.
In contrast, the Honda Accord sedan’s trunk space is a mere 15.8 cubic feet.
When the Ford escape rear seats are folded down, an amazing 73.4 cubic feet of storage space becomes available. A small SUV has enough space for everything you need, whether you’re going on a shopping trip or a weekend getaway.
A compact SUV typically has a unibody construction, in contrast to a traditional SUV with a body-on-frame design. Better handling on the road is ensured by this design, which is similar to the agility of a car.
The unibody design provides better on-road performance by preventing twisting during turns. Compact SUVs with available all-wheel drive perform exceptionally well in bad weather by offering superior road grip.
The safest elements of car and driver luxury SUVs are combined in compact SUVs. Their own weight provides inherent protection in the event of a collision.
Additionally, crumple zones provided by the unibody design improve safety in frontal collisions. Because of this special mix, small SUVs are some of the safest vehicles on the road, providing security and comfort.
A compact SUV’s elevated driving position guarantees a commanding view of the road. Because of their increased height, compact SUVs have become more popular because they boost driving confidence.
It is safer and more enjoyable to drive thanks to the increased visibility.
Enough Room for Passengers
SUVs that are small in size provide more than just storage. More comfort and legroom are available to passengers in comparison to standard sedans. Four to five adults can fit in a compact SUV with ease thanks to its average 7.5 cubic feet of extra space compared to midsize sedans.
Chic and Adaptable
The days of having only minivans and wagons as versatile vehicles are long gone. The same versatility is provided in a sleek and fashionable package by compact SUVs. The market is shifting in favor of smaller SUV models over conventional sedans, which is indicative of this trend. Selecting a small SUV is committing to a blend of design and utility.
Accept the Finest Elements of Both
Discover at Young Toyota the amazing advantages of small SUVs. Our selection of small SUVs meets your varied needs with a number of models that are the epitome of agility, space, and style. Upgrade your driving experience by selecting a car that provides the ideal balance of utility and performance.