Compare the best small SUVs

High quality compact SUVs from rated and reviewed dealers

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Last updated March 27, 2024 by Darren Cassey

Best compact SUVs of 2024

Just because you want an SUV doesn’t mean you need something the size of a tank. In fact, you can get the high driving position and commanding presence of an SUV in a smaller, city-friendly package.

Small SUVs are all the rage, because although they’re not necessarily much more practical than a normal small hatchback, they can be much easier to drive and don’t necessarily come with high running costs.

The boom in popularity means that there are countless compact SUVs to choose from, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

Our expert reviews team have put together a list of the best small SUVs on sale, covering a wide range of budgets. So whether you want something fun to drive, boring but practical, petrol or electric – there’s something here for everyone.

Volvo EX30
Car Of The Year Award

1. Volvo EX30

Volvo EX30 review
Battery range up to 295 miles
Toyota C-HR

2. Toyota C-HR

Toyota C-HR review

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Ford Puma

3. Ford Puma

Ford Puma review
Toyota Yaris Cross
Urban Living Award
Highly Commended

4. Toyota Yaris Cross

Toyota Yaris Cross review
Volkswagen T-Cross
Urban Living Award
Highly Commended

5. Volkswagen T-Cross

Volkswagen T-Cross review
Peugeot 2008

6. Peugeot 2008

Peugeot 2008 review

7. BMW X1

BMW X1 review
Jeep Avenger

8. Jeep Avenger

Jeep Avenger review
Skoda Kamiq

9. Skoda Kamiq

Skoda Kamiq review
SEAT Arona

10. SEAT Arona

SEAT Arona review

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Advice about small SUV cars

Compact SUVs FAQs

The Skoda Karoq is the winner here. If you go for the optional ‘Varioflex' back seats, which both fold flat and lift out, you get a 588-litre boot with the seats up, or a whopping 1,810 litres with them removed.

Bit of a strange one this; while the Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen Tiguan are very closely related under the skin, the Tiguan has a much higher towing weight — 2,500kg instead of 2,100kg. If you want something smaller (and cheaper) that can still tow a lot, a Dacia Duster 1.5 diesel will haul 1,500kg, which is about as good as it gets for smaller SUVs.

Check out our guides on the best cars for towing and UK towing laws for trailers and caravans for more advice.

The Citroen C3 Aircross starts at less than £15,000, making it the least expensive SUV on sale right now. It’s not cheap and nasty though, it’s actually a great little car. The Dacia Sandero Stepway costs a little bit less, but that’s more of a hatchback with a ride height increase than an actual SUV. It is surprisingly spacious, though.

The most economical small SUV is the Toyota Yaris Cross, which has an official fuel economy figure of up to 64.1mpg – and that’s perfectly achievable in the real world, too.

If you want low running costs, consider the Volvo EX30 and electric Jeep Avenger. If you can charge at home, both will cost much less to run than any petrol-powered car.

The Skoda Karoq takes the prize here, because it has really good seats, and it's quite a bit bigger than most of the other models on this list, meaning you’ve got a lot more space for legs and heads.

Check out our pick of the most comfortable cars to buy.

The Toyota Yaris Cross is another winner here. Toyota has a fantastic reputation for building reliable cars, and you get the best warranty in the business to back it up – if you service the car annually, the warranty lasts up to 10 years/100,000 miles.

Because they do pretty much everything a hatchback does, but with a higher view out of the road and easier access for people who find climbing down into lower cars tricky. Strapping young kids into the back of an SUV also tends to be easier than in a hatchback.

Some SUVs offer better value than others, while others may not have styling that suit your tastes, but small SUVs are car makers' bread and butter, and with most based on proven hatchback mechanical platforms, they tend to be very well developed cars. Unless you're after a proper off-roader we would perhaps steer you away from the Suzuki Jimny, though: it's a lovely, characterful car with huge appeal, but it's pretty unrefined on the motorway, being better suited to town and off-road use.