If you plan to purchase a new vehicle in 2023, an SUV is probably on your shopping list. And if that’s the case, you have an abundance of options.
SUVs are growing in popularity every year, and manufacturers are continuing to expand their SUV lineups to cater to every nook and cranny of consumer desire, from small baskets to enormous boxes.
Numerous SUV black cars are available on the market today, catering to all types of buyers, from the most performance-focused to the most economical.
Because of this, various kinds of vehicles are undergoing adjustments as a result of competitiveness. There are still some of the drab SUVs from the past, but there are also a lot of deliciously interesting alternatives.
In such a vast subject, it can be difficult to choose the finest solution. To uncover the models that dare to be good, we divided the more than 200 new crossovers and SUVs now on the market into 13 segments.
To weed out the imposters, our editors put every SUV currently on the market through our rigorous testing process.
We drove each one to determine which ones should be included in our 2023 Editor’s Choice list, and we also selected a handful of the very best models to be included in our list of the Top 10 Trucks and SUVs for 2023.
Subcompact: Hyundai Kona
The small 2023 Hyundai Kona, sometimes known as a low-riding SUV or a tall hatchback car, is one of our favorites because it is a practical and entertaining car to drive.
The 2.0-liter four-cylinder base engine only produces 147 horsepower, but the optional turbocharged mill adds some spice to match the Kona’s agile handling.
The Kona, like other Hyundai vehicles, is loaded with a long list of standard amenities, including infotainment and driver aid technology, at a fair price.
Actually more than reasonable. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you might find it simple to rationalize splurging on a higher-trimmed Kona model given that competitors like the Kia Seltos and the Volkswagen Taos cost thousands more to begin with.
Regardless of whether you consider the Kona to be a sedan or an SUV, it is a bundle of feisty, funky joy to drive and may not have as much passenger or cargo room as some of its larger competitors.
Subcompact: Kia Niro
The 2023 Kia Niro is slated to inject some cool into its reputation as an eco-friendly vehicle with a daring new appearance.
The plug-in hybrid model is more lively and includes a more potent electric motor, increasing output to 180 horsepower over the original hybrid model’s 139 horsepower four-cylinder.
It sits next to the boxy Soul at the tiny end of the spectrum and has an interior made of sustainable materials that fits the aggressive outward appearance and appears surprisingly sophisticated for one of Kia’s entry-level cars.
The Niro will come standard with a revolutionary “Green Zone” drive mode that uses navigation data to automatically transition into EV mode when passing commonly used locations like a driver’s license office, schools, and hospitals.
Subcompact: Kia Soul
The unique, stylized-toaster look of the 2023 Kia Soul and its iconic advertising campaign, which features hamsters bopping to dance music, speak something about the individual who chooses to drive one.
Although the Soul is unlike anything else on the road in terms of appearance, its boxy shape conceals a cabin that is incredibly efficient and has enough of space for both passengers and goods despite its small size.
Its starting price is thousands less than that of competitors like the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Jeep Renegade, and Kia Seltos, making it an excellent value as well.
Although the Soul only has a 147-hp four-cylinder engine, a continuously variable automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive, it offers a comfortable ride and many positive qualities.
Subcompact: Mazda CX-30
Our priority list includes having fun while driving, and the 2024 Mazda CX-30 is a tiny SUV that easily fits this need. The CX-30’s agility and its cabin’s superior amenities, which set it apart from competitors like the Subaru Cross-trek and the Volkswagen Taos, are explained by the fact that it is based on the Mazda 3 compact vehicle.
This SUV black car can feel a little underpowered with the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, but Mazda also offers a more potent—and more expensive—250-hp turbocharged model.
Either engine comes with a six-speed automated transmission and all-wheel drive as standard. The interior comforts of the higher-end models are nearly sumptuous, making the CX-30 a more opulent choice in the subcompact SUV market.
Subcompact: Volkswagen Taos
Since practically everyone drives an SUV these days, subcompact SUVs satiate a craving for room, affordability, and a certain sense of belonging. The Volkswagen Taos, among 20 other rivals, satisfies a more modern and additional market desire for frugal fuel use.
Every Taos gets excellent real-world fuel economy thanks to a thrifty, 158-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is available in front- or all-wheel drive.
There is enough baggage capacity inside the Taos, even with the rear seats occupied, to easily handle shopping duties, but since the Taos lacks a hitch for towing, we recommend upgrading to the larger Tiguan SUV.
Given the tight competition among the finest in this class, the Tegan’s affordable starting price and roomy cockpit make it a strong contender.
An all-wheel-drive Taos SEL we tested achieved a fantastic 40 mpg over our 200-mile, 75 mph highway fuel-economy test loop, exceeding its EPA estimate by 4 mpg.
The Mazda CX-30’s cabin, which is more luxuriously equipped than the VW, feels like a little luxury condo in compared to the Taos’s cabin due to the abundance of inside plastic that helps keep the price of the Taos low.
Subcompact Luxury: BMW X1
The 2024 X1 is not a budget SUV, despite being at the bottom of BMW’s SUV series. The X1 almost serves as a good alternative for the 3-series station wagon, which is regretfully missing from BMW’s U.S. product lineup due to its nimble handling and spacious interior.
Both the 241-hp turbo four and the 312-hp version found in the sportier M35i level come standard with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Both the interior design and technology are cutting edge, including wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto, a curved glass display, and BMW’s newest iDrive 9 infotainment system.
For the small SUV class, there are two rows of seats that are both roomy, but the Mercedes-Benz GLB-class is even roomier and offers an optional third row of seats.
Subcompact Luxury: Volvo XC40
For many years, Volvo made boxy, plain automobiles that were equally safe with a capital “S.” With vehicles that are even safer but feature a look that is considerably more exquisite and expressive, modern Volvo continues to delight us.
This includes the vivacious base-model XC40 SUV, which combines top-notch security with a posh atmosphere and a youthful personality. Drivers may expect a higher seating position in the cabin than they would find in competitors like the Mercedes-Benz GLA-class and the BMW X1.
Even the most affordable model has a warm and well decorated cabin, while the higher trims appear to be genuinely luxurious. Volvo hasn’t skimped on the standard safety and assistance features in the XC40, which all have four-cylinder turbocharged engines and all-wheel drive.
If you prefer something more environmentally friendly, there is also an electric version available; however, we have a separate evaluation of the XC40 Recharge.
Compact: Honda CR-V
The new CR-V was an instant hit upon release last year and was awarded a 10Best Trucks and SUVs title. With plenty of usable room, pleasant driving dynamics, front- or all-wheel drive, a 190-hp turbocharged engine, and an available 204-hp hybrid version, the CR-V consistently delivers good performance.
That hybrid engine achieves an amazing 40 mpg combined. Even in its most basic configuration, the CR-V shines thanks to a thick layer of cutting-edge technology and security features that don’t steal the focus from its excellent chassis.
Despite fierce competition from the Mazda CX-50, Volkswagen Tiguan, and Kia Sportage, the CR-V is our favorite in the hugely popular compact-SUV class.
Compact: Hyundai Tucson
The 2023 Hyundai Tucson sticks out among its more sober-looking compact SUV black car rivals with its cutting-edge design. That doesn’t imply that the Tucson forgoes affordability or usefulness. Both are boasted.
With the Tucson, Hyundai has adopted a general strategy by providing a wide range of trims and powertrains, including a hybrid and plug-in hybrid, giving it broad appeal.
The hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants feature a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that is supported by an electric motor, which gives them more oomph than the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder power plant.
The Tucson has a competitive advantage over rivals like the Volkswagen Tiguan, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and higher-end trims that cross the boundary from mainstream to premium. Entry-level models of the Tucson are well-equipped.
Compact: Kia Sportage
With its outgoing style, the 2023 Kia Sportage stands out from the crowd of compact SUVs. The Kia has an unusual grille design and a set of headlights that appear to be from another planet. Its bolder exterior is also larger than before in terms of dimensions, which results in additional cargo space and internal space.
The 2017 Sportage’s interior is stylish and loaded with technology, including a sizable dash-mounted screen. A 4 cylinder engine with 187 horsepower, a hybrid powertrain with 226 horsepower, or a more potent plug-in hybrid vehicle with an estimated 34 miles of electric range provide the propulsion.
The Mazda CX-5 and the Honda CR-V are fierce competitors in the market, but the 2023 Kia Sportage shows it has more to offer than simply a unique design.