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Best Cars

Best small SUVs and crossovers for 2019

By Martin Pratt

Article 7 of 16

The best small SUVs and crossover cars combine practicality, fuel efficiency and reliability with a great driving position

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

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

Below are the very best small SUVs and crossovers that excelled in our tests. These cars offer a great driving position, won't cost you a fortune in fuel and will look fantastic outside your home. 

So you'll know which cars to avoid, we've also rounded-up three Don't Buy models. The three Don’t Buy compact SUVs lack safety equipment, have thirsty engines or poor build quality.

Read on to see the best and worst small SUVs available new and used.

Which? members can log in to see the small SUVs and crossovers we recommend. If you’re not already a member, join Which? to unlock our recommendations below and all of our expert impartial reviews.

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Best new small SUVs and crossovers

75%
£27,444
Reviewed

This electric car is a credible choice for anyone wanting the high driving position of an off-roader, but with zero tailpipe emissions. It offers similar levels of passenger and luggage space to the petrol model and the styling is sure to get you noticed. We struggled to match its claimed driving range, however.

71%
£20,924
Reviewed

Few medium-size SUVs do such an impressive all-round job. It's great for families, with good space for passengers and luggage, and it's very safe. Add a healthy dose of standard equipment and a level of fit and finish that embarrasses some premium rivals.

70%
£23,444
Reviewed

This car is worlds apart from the previous model. It's a compact SUV that's nicely built, comfortable to drive and spacious inside. The interior mixes style and substance to great effect, too. It's pricey, though.

70%
£21,885
Reviewed

Aggressive coupe styling hides a genuinely functional and easy to drive crossover. It's also backed by a five-year manufacturer warranty.

70%
£21,957
Reviewed

This compact SUV is the brand's most practical model yet. It's also plenty of fun to drive and is available with a lot of scope for customisation.

69%
£18,984
Reviewed

This small SUV is impressive; it's appealing to look at, sharp to drive and practical for families thanks to its big boot. It's not quite perfect however. It's on the pricey side (especially top-end models), while the cabin quality feels disappointingly penny-pinching.

69%
£22,577
Reviewed

Decent passenger space, a comfy ride and the potential for decent fuel economy (at least around town) make this compact SUV one to consider.

Best used small SUVs and crossovers

73%
£8,162
Reviewed

The entertaining driving experience you'd expect from the brand, but with vastly improved passenger and boot space. One for those who like driving for fun.

73%
£7,827
Reviewed

This uncompromising compact SUV certainly drives well, with assured handling and a range of eager engines to choose from. It doesn’t shine in the practicality stakes – the rear seats are a little too firm, and the boot isn’t as big as rival small SUVs. We also wish it were a little smoother. But there's plenty of space up front.. This is a driver’s car, in more ways than one.

68%
£9,894
Reviewed

This two-door coupe-SUV is fun to drive and makes an impression with its funky styling. It's worth noting there's just two seats in the back, though.

Not found the car for you? Go straight to all our small SUV and crossover car reviews

And here are three small SUVs and crossovers to avoid

The small SUV and crossover class is a relatively new one in motoring, but it has quickly become one of the most popular and is now responsible for some of the bestselling models in the UK. 

The boom in popularity meant every manufacturer wanted a slice of the action, releasing their own small SUVs with mixed results.  

Electronic stability control is vital on a tall car. Too many small SUVs and crossovers don't have it.

The high driving position is one of the major benefits of owning a crossover. It gives a commanding view of the road and helps make people feel safer while driving. Electronic stability control (ESC) is vital on a tall car to avoid body roll and to help the car feel stable round corners. Too many small SUVs either don’t have ESC or offer it as an optional extra, which means it could be missing from used models.

ESC factors into our safety checks. If it’s absent, we won’t recommend the car. 

Despite the SUV moniker, there are high expectations of how cheap a small SUV should be to run. Our testing found that crossover cars have one of the biggest disparities between the most and least-efficient models. 

Choose the right car, and you can expect up to 67.2mpg. But choose the wrong model and you’ll get just 21.9mpg – a difference of 45.3mpg.

Take a look at the models you should avoid.

Only logged-in Which? members can view the small SUVs and crossovers you should avoid, below. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access to this and all of our online reviews if you join Which?

Small SUVs and crossovers to avoid

45%
£6,103
Reviewed

This model has won plenty of fans with its no-frills approach to motoring. However, we don't think safety is one area that you should have to compromise on. With a three-star Euro NCAP safety rating, it's a definite Don't Buy.

45%
£15,606
Reviewed

This compact Crossover has a lot going for it: it's nice to drive, comes with lots of kit and is backed by a lengthy warranty. Unfortunately, entry-level models don't get all the safety kit as standard. The result is a three-star Euro NCAP score and a Which? Don't Buy recommendation.

36%
£3,206
Reviewed

Chunky styling, decent build quality and practicality, means this dinky SUV has plenty of appeal. Unfortunately it's slow, with sloppy handling and a thirst for fuel. There are much better compact SUVs available.

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