Best compact SUVs

Cars

Best compact SUVs

By Martin Pratt

Article 5 of 12

Fashionable they may be, but these SUV-styled crossovers also offer practicality, reliability and a raised driving position for added on-road confidence.

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The best compact SUVs give you a commanding, high-rise view of the road and a practical, spacious interior. These so-called 'crossovers' are also more fuel-efficient and easier to manage around town than a full-size large SUV.

Most car manufacturers now offer at least one compact SUV in their range, with models such as the Audi Q3, VW Tiguan, Toyota RAV4, Vauxhall Mokka and Renault Captur – but the best-known by far is the ultra-popular Nissan Qashqai.

Below are the very best compact SUVs we've tested – read on to find out if the Qashqai has what it takes to be a Which? Best Buy.

Which? members can log in to see the compact SUVs we recommend. If you're not already a member, take out a £1 trial to unlock this table and all our expert impartial reviews.

Best new compact SUVs

BMW X1
Typical price £25,910
Brand score 79%
Tested Oct 2015
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
4 out of 5
Handling & performance:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

Currently the smallest in BMW's 'X' range of SUV models, the latest X1 is more easily recognisable thanks to its more overt SUV styling. It shares its underpinnings with the brand's 2 Series Active Tourer people carrier, meaning that entry-level models are now front driven rather than rear-wheel drive. Read our full review to find out how it compares in the premium crossover market.

Mercedes-Benz GLC
Typical price £35,659
Brand score 78%
Tested Dec 2015
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
4 out of 5
Handling & performance:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

The manufacturer's first compact SUV model for the UK has done well. Beautifully appointed and worthy of its premium heritage, but in a smaller, easier-to-manage package.

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross
Typical price £14,560
Brand score 76%
Tested Oct 2013
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
4 out of 5
Handling & performance:
4 out of 5
Model reliability:
3 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

A cabin that's more spacious than it looks and an impressive mpg means this compact SUV is worth considering.

Mazda CX-5
Typical price £22,475
Brand score 76%
Tested May 2012
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
4 out of 5
Handling & performance:
4 out of 5
Model reliability:
3 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This compact SUV puts family first with plenty of space, practical features and comfort over long distances.

Best used compact SUVs

BMW X1 (2009-2015)
Typical price £9,838
Brand score 80%
Tested Oct 2009
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
4 out of 5
Handling & performance:
5 out of 5
Model reliability:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This uncompromising compact SUV drives well though we wish it were a little smoother. There's plenty of space up front, but the rear seats suffer as does the boot.

Want to see even more choice? Click to jump straight to all our compact SUV reviews

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Testing in controlled lab conditions means the results we collect are directly comparable between different cars, helping us determine exactly which models are better and why, and helping you find the perfect car for your needs

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