The small SUV market has grown rapidly over the last couple of years. Compared with its sedan counterpart, the compact crossover provides an elevated view of the road, a bit more off-road ability thanks to the availability of all-wheel-drive combined with a raised ride height, and a generally larger cargo area. Plus, there’s lots of curbside appeal to be had in this segment. As you likely already know, there’s an abundance of choice when shopping around for new small SUVs.
Our reviews of the best compact SUVs cover everything from styling to technology, comfort, performance, and interior ergonomics. Our thorough assessments allow us to confidently recommend the top-rated small SUV models of 2020 that stand out from the rest. Before that smooth-talking salesman beguiles you into getting something that may not be the best fit for you, peruse our list of the best mini SUVs on sale to ensure that your final decision is an informed one.
Few markets are as saturated as this one. To help you figure out which are really worth your consideration, we’ve tallied the points and come up with a ranking of small SUVs.
The Tesla Model Y steals the top spot in this segment. This high-tech electric vehicle has access to more than 449 horsepower (depending on variant) and achieves remarkable mileage figures of 129/112/121 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles. It also gets a vast array of standard features to justify the hefty $52,990 starting figure.
Another electric automobile, the Ford Mustang Mach-E slides into the second position. Bearing a similarly high price tag of around $48,000, the Mustang has a 332-hp powertrain with a maximum range of 300 miles. Occupant space is well-appointed and roomy, with a 23-cubic-foot trunk behind the rear seats.
With more traditional crossover styling, the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 hybrids share the last spot on the podium. With similar outputs of 212 and 219 hp respectively, it’s the RAV4 that gets the better fuel economy of 41/38/40 mpg. While neither vehicle is a true 4x4, they are each moderately capable off-roaders when equipped with all-wheel-drive.
In terms of pure reliability and consumer confidence, the Honda CR-V is one of our top picks. With a pretty cheap starting MSRP of $25,050, or $27,750 for a hybrid, the crossover receives excellent safety ratings and a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS. It gets a more than capable turbocharged engine and plenty of tech right off the factory line. Add to this a comfortable and cavernous cabin, as well as an enormous 39.2-cubic-foot trunk, and it quickly becomes clear why so many people love this machine.