Best Small SUVs: Top-Rated Compact SUVs for 2021 | Edmunds

Best Small SUVs

Small SUVs have exploded in popularity over the past few years, even though they are usually more expensive than comparable hatchbacks or sedans. It’s easy to see why, considering that small SUVs provide a commanding view of the road ahead and a more spacious cargo area than traditional cars, as well as available all-wheel drive. This irresistible blend of visibility and utility, with a little rugged styling thrown in, makes compact and subcompact SUVs appealing to a wide range of new-car shoppers.

Determining which small SUV is right for you can be tough since there are dozens of models to consider. That’s why the Edmunds experts rate and review every SUV on the market — so you don’t have to. Based on our own vehicle testing, we’ve put together this guide to help you narrow down your search for the best small SUV.

What is a subcompact SUV?

A larger compact SUV may make sense for families or people who frequently travel with friends, but you’ll pay more for the added utility, and you’ll also have a harder time parking the thing. If you don’t need all that space or you just want to save a few bucks (who doesn’t?), consider a smaller subcompact SUV instead. You still get the elevated ride height and useful cargo bay of a crossover, but you’ll enjoy easier parking and likely better fuel efficiency too.

What is a compact SUV?

If a subcompact SUV just doesn’t work for you — whether you require extra room, a nicer interior, better ride quality or more power — it’s time to try the next size up. Compact crossovers have been around for decades and are certainly more practical as long as you don’t mind driving a larger vehicle. They’re typically more expensive than subcompacts, but many shoppers will find the upgrades to be worth the premium.