There are such a large number of small SUVs available now that it can be very difficult to choose what’s best for one’s needs.
Yet while they all seem to blend together, there are upsides and downsides to each. Among the upsides to all SUVs listed here are that they have 5-star ANCAP crash test safety ratings, wonderful gas mileage, and enough space for a family and their gear. Whether one’s main priorities are technology, safety, efficiency, performance, or space, there is a small SUV to suit those purposes.
Harvey Milder, the founder of Find a Car For Me has experience getting clients deals on many SUV’s and as a result, is in a good position to recommend the best ones to clients. If you wish to get the best SUV to buy for yourself or any other type of car, please contact Find a Car For Me by email or phone. For more information on our car buying service in Melbourne, please click here.
The Mitsubishi ASX is one of the oldest small SUVs available right now, having been around in more or less its current state since 2010. This means that the interior is less than cutting edge as compared to the other competitors.
Despite this, the little Mitsubishi has a an interior that features up-to-date technology, good performance, and the highest possible crash test rating from ANCAP.
It also has an excellent new car warranty at 7 years demonstrating Mitsubishi’s confidence in the car. Truth be told, the design of the ASX is so old that most of its bugs should be ironed out by now.
As with many other small SUVs, the rear seat is cramped for adults, but the said rear seat does fold down to allow for extra cargo space. It also represents excellent starting at $24,990 (at time of writing) which helps to explain its popularity in Australia.
The ASX might lack rear space, but it does not lack in interior technology.
Starting at $31,990 the Mazda CX-5 is one of the more expensive options here. However, for your money the Mazda CX-5 provides you with one of the better drives in its class.
Fun to drive specifically, and fun to be in. The CX-5 has a more straightforward interior layout than other small SUVs, while not lacking any entertainment options such as Apple Car play, Android Auto, and several USB ports. There is even a fighter jet like Heads Up Display available on certain models.
While other SUVs are becoming more like living rooms on wheels, Mazda has purposefully made the CX-5 just a bit sportier than the competition, in having a cockpit setup with a similar simplicity to their legendary sports cars.
The price of the CX-5 might not suit everyone, but it is an excellent buy.
The Kia Sportage is about style, and safety. The rear seat may be cramped, but the interior is plush and is matched with elegant styling.
The crash test ratings might be the same as others on this list, but the standard list of active and passive safety features on this car are truly superior to the competitors. Features like lane keeping assist and driver attention alert are all standard even on the S base model which starts at $28,990.
Complementing its accident avoidance features are is the styling. Kia says the lines were inspired by modern fighter planes, and with small SUVs this shape is among the best to the eyes available. The styling is enhanced by the standard fitment of 17-inch alloy wheels.
Style and safety are an excellent combination.
Often overlooked in this segment is the Honda HR-V. Because of this, it means that you can get a car with top quality for a little more than the price of a Mitsubishi ASX.
The Honda HR-V is classic Honda, in the modern era. Classic Honda means lightweight, with excellent build quality and first-class engineering. All this leads to wonderful efficiency, reliability, and usability.
This user-friendliness extends into the interior, which has just about every audio input under the sun, including USB, AUX, Bluetooth, and HDMI. The HR-V also warns you when you need to add more air into your tires.
The HR-V offers the convenience of being able to enter the car and start it without taking needing to take your key out of your pocket. This is fantastic particularly when you have your hands full of shopping and potentially young kids.
More importantly, classic Honda means outstanding build quality and reliability. The engine sips fuel, and does so whether in the city or out cruising, due to the HRV’s lightness. Furthermore, the Honda 7-year warranty should provide plenty of confidence.
The rear of the little SUV is also easier to fit a pram in than several other choices on this list.
Ease of use and high quality should not be overlooked.
I am often surprised that I do not see more Suzuki Vitara’s on the road. And this is because they are the cheapest option out of all the cars that I have written about in this article. Starting at $23,990 the Japanese built Vitara offers similar pricing to a hatchback.
That said, the Suzuki Vitara is a little basic in some ways, but at almost a third the cost of some higher end competitors, the lack of frills is just fine.
There are some other caveats with that price, however. The Vitara uses more fuel than other small SUVs, and does not offer more legroom or cargo space than what is average for this type of vehicle. This is due to the fact that the Vitara is a little smaller than its competitors. This means that it makes the most sense for an inner-city buyer.
While the performance of the base model is adequate, Harvey always steers customers towards the turbo engine options as they provide an excellent compromise of performance and fuel economy. However, these are significantly more expensive than the base model. Maybe a slightly used turbo would be the pick here.
Also, the Suzuki lacks some of the active safety gear that is offered by some of the competitors. That said, it still achieves a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.
In any case, the Vitara is a wonderful budget option.
With its slim line headlights, the Hyundai Kona is the slick and cool new kid on the block when it comes to small SUVs.
Introduced only a couple years ago, the Kona comes with Hyundai’s awesome five-year warranty, a boat load of technology, and good performance. The cost of this all-round capability is literal cost. While something like the Vitara can be had for $23,990, the most stripped-down Kona starts at 26,000 new and climbs steeply from there in price.
Hyundai has also used low quality materials on the interior of the Kona meaning that the interior ambience is compromised somewhat.
And the Kona’s back seat is cramped enough to only really be comfortable for small children.
When price and space are less important than technology though, the Kona is a good choice.
Whenever I recommend the Toyota C-HR to anyone, the first thing they do is point out that it has a small capacity engine.
However, the performance from that engine is quite strong. And that’s only the beginning.
The Toyota C-HR is about the cutting edge, compared to other current small SUVs. Offering a hybrid option sets it apart from other SUVs in this list, and that is before mentioning a fully electric version that will soon be available overseas.
The styling is deliberately ultra-modern, an attempt to dramatically differentiate the C-HR from every other modern small SUV. It succeeds at this, as while most SUVs blend together, the C-HR stands out in any setting. More importantly, the interior quality and style really is second to none but it does not offer as much room as some of its competitors.
With excellent resale values, this car is a favorite of Harvey.
Technology and style combined are worth a look.
When it comes to finding the best SUV to buy, while there may be many choices, understanding one’s requirements helps narrow the field. What could help further is engaging the services of a local Melbourne car broker. Find a Car For Me offers clients an easy way to get the best deal on a car. Harvey will find the best car for your needs and will then get the best price. Please see the car buying services page for more information.