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
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.
Want to win £2,500?
The 2019 Which? Car Survey is now open and we need your help. Tell us about the car and not only will you be helping us shape our reviews and knowledge about the nation's cars, but you will also be in with a chance of winning enough money to fuel your car for an entire year.
To take part in the survey, click here.
Best new small SUVs and crossovers
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.
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.
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.
Best used small SUVs and crossovers
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.
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
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.
We test cars more thoroughly than anyone else
Our tests go further than those carried out by other organisations and, because Which? is independent and doesn’t accept advertising or freebies, you can trust our reviews to give you the full, honest and impartial truth about every car we test.
Every car we review is subjected to more than 100 individual tests in a lab, on a test track and on real roads – and we really clock up the distance, driving around 500 miles in every car we test.
Testing in controlled lab conditions means the results we collect are directly comparable between different cars, helping us to determine exactly which models are better and why, and helping you find the perfect car for your needs.
And so you know which cars are likely to prove reliable for years to come, we also gather feedback from thousands of UK car owners through the Which? Car Survey, using it to generate detailed reliability ratings for the cars we test.
To take the guesswork out of choosing your next car, join Which? and you’ll receive access to all our expert reviews and advice.