The SUV segment has absolutely boomed in popularity in recent years, but it’s models at the smaller end of the spectrum that are proving the biggest hits.
Appealing to those who might have previously looked at a regular hatchback or small MPV, these small SUVs (also known as crossovers) are ideal for those wanting something stylish, practical and easy to access.
Because of their more compact dimensions, they’re also still fuel-efficient, while there are plenty of hybrid and electric models coming to market too. Let’s take a look at the best models on sale today.
Since its introduction in 2017, the T-Roc has become one of Volkswagen’s most popular models. It’s easy to see why, with this crossover bringing plenty of style to this segment, with its tough-looking yet stylish design.
The T-Roc also offers lots of interior space for a small family, while the 445-litre boot is larger than that of most conventional hatchbacks. A recent update has only improved this VW further, with more standard equipment now included, while the interior gets a more premium finish as well. A broad range of petrol and diesel engines is available, with a flagship 296bhp four-wheel-drive ‘R’ model leading the line-up.
The Yaris has been a hugely important car for Toyota over the years, and the Japanese firm looked to build on its success with a new ‘Cross’ SUV version. Bringing chunkier styling and a higher-set driving position, it’s proven an instant hit.
Offered exclusively with a hybrid powertrain, it’s seriously impressive on fuel, particularly if used around town, with Toyota claiming up to 64.1mpg and CO2 emissions of just 100g/km. Good to drive and with a big 397-litre boot, you can also get an all-wheel-drive version if you want that greater capability.
The Puma has overtaken the Fiesta and Focus to be Ford’s most popular car in the UK, with this small SUV really striking a chord with buyers. Ideal for those who enjoy driving, the Puma’s Fiesta-based underpinnings make it hugely entertaining behind the wheel – even more so in sporty ST form.
Regular versions still come with fantastic mild-hybrid petrol engines that are very efficient, while the Puma’s clever interior layout makes it a particularly practical choice. The boot gets a wipe-clean underfloor area for storing muddy boots and clothes outside of the main interior.
If you’re looking for an electrified small SUV, the Kia Niro is a great place to start, as this crossover is offered with a choice of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains, depending on your needs and preference.
Kia has recently introduced a second-generation too, successfully addressing its predecessor’s weaknesses – namely its bland design and uninspiring interior. The Niro EV is particularly appealing; offering a range of up to 285 miles.
Skoda’s line-up of SUVs is one of the best around, and even its smallest, the Kamiq, is a hugely accomplished choice. Ideal for those wanting plenty of space, it offers impressive levels of room in the back for passengers, while the 400-litre boot is a useful size.
All Kamiq models come with plenty of equipment as standard too, while it’s among one of the better models to drive in this class in terms of comfort and refinement. It’s not the most exciting of choices, but if sensible is what you’re after, the Kamiq is a great all-rounder.
If you want an SUV that feels a bit more special, but still fancy something relatively compact, the Countryman is definitely worth a look. Offering a higher-quality interior than others on this list, it also has all the style of Mini’s smaller and more iconic models, albeit in a larger package.
In true Mini fashion, plenty of personalisation is on offer, while it offers a particularly sporty feel behind the wheel – more so if you choose the hot Cooper S and John Cooper Works versions. A plug-in hybrid is also on offer for those wanting something electrified.
Peugeot has really upped its game in recent years, and the latest-generation 2008 is a great example of this. Ideal for those looking for something a little different, the 2008 offers a bold design that really makes it stand out from the crowd, both inside and out.
This Peugeot’s petrol engines are strong too, while the electric e-2008 is accounting for an increasingly large number of sales. A range of up to 214 miles and 100kW rapid charging capability help make it an appealing option.
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