September 28, 2023


Just Do Automotive

Greatest Small SUVs & Crossovers (2023 Shopper’s Information)

14 min read

There are extra small SUVs and crossovers than ever earlier than. What was as soon as the realm of sedans now belongs to compact SUVs that ship bang-for-the-buck options, roomy cabins, and delicate off-road talents for some. We rounded up the 5 finest small SUVs and crossovers that deserve excessive reward for being succesful all-rounders regardless of their compact platforms.

2023 Mazda CX-30

The Mazda CX-30 is a crossover model of the already wonderful Mazda3 and is right for consumers who need one thing that seems like a sporty sedan or scorching hatch.

First launched in 2020, the most recent CX-30 has a typical all-wheel drivetrain and an elective 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that pumps out as much as 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft. of torque with 93 octane gas. Different commonplace options embrace LED headlights, an eight-speaker audio system, and 16-inch alloy wheels.

Mazda CX-30 Professionals

  • Posh Cabin
  • Customary AWD
  • Highly effective Turbo Engine

Mazda CX-30 Cons

  • Common Cargo House
  • Larger MSRP for Turbo Engine

Powertrain & Gas Financial system

The Mazda CX-30 has a typical 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder with 191 horsepower and 186 lb-ft. of torque. All CX-30s include an all-wheel drivetrain and a six-speed automated. Nevertheless, the crème of the crop is the potent turbocharged engine within the CX-30 2.5 Turbo Premium and a couple of.5 Turbo Premium Plus. The blown four-banger churns out 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft. of torque.

With these numbers, the Mazda CX-30 Turbo is among the many quickest within the section. It goes from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, whereas the non-turbo engine wants 9 seconds to do the identical.

The draw back of getting that a lot energy is decrease gas financial system. EPA-estimated gas financial system for the CX-30 Turbo is 22 within the metropolis, 30 on the freeway, and 25 mixed. Alternatively, the naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter engine does higher, with an EPA-estimated 26 within the metropolis, 33 on the freeway, and 29 mixed.

Chassis & Suspension

The Mazda CX-30 has an ultra-high tensile power metal chassis that lowers the automobile’s weight with out compromising rigidity. Furthermore, it has McPherson struts within the entrance and a torsion beam suspension within the rear with spherical inside bushings. Mazda automobiles are famend for his or her responsive and agile dynamics, and the CX-30 delivers whereas including a beneficiant dose of refinement to the combo.

Inside Structure: Elegant however Smaller Cargo Space

The Mazda CX-30’s genuinely premium inside is a robust promoting level, however the cargo area might be a problem for those who continuously haul quite a lot of stuff. There’s 20.2 cubic toes of storage with the rear seats up, and you’ll increase the capability to 45.2 cubic toes by folding the second-row seats. Nonetheless, the CX-30 lags behind the Kia Seltos and Honda HR-V in cargo area.

Entrance and heart is an 8.8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. However as an alternative of getting a touchscreen, the CX-30 has a rotary controller.

Mazda CX-30 Security Scores & Options

The Mazda CX-30 acquired a five-star overall safety rating from NHTSA in 2022 (the most recent obtainable knowledge on the time of this writing). In the meantime, the IIHS consists of the 2022 CX-30 in its Prime Security Choose+ checklist with a Good score in all six crash assessments.

Each Mazda CX-30 has automated excessive beams, ahead collision mitigation, lane-keeping help, a drowsy driver monitor, and adaptive cruise management. Larger trim fashions get extra superior driving aids like blind-spot monitoring, a surround-view digital camera, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors.

Mazda CX-30 Guarantee

Each CX-30 comes with a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper guarantee, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain guarantee, and a 24/7 roadside help program for 3 years or 36,000 miles. Choices can be found to lengthen the guarantee on a CX-30. 

2023 Mazda CX-30 Beginning MSRP

The Mazda CX-30 is accessible in seven trim variants: Base ($24,225), Choose ($26,675), Most popular ($29,825), Carbon Version ($30,565), Premium ($32,775), Turbo Premium ($35,075), and Turbo Premium Plus ($36,675).

2023 Hyundai Kona

If the Mazda CX-30 is the sport-luxury contender on our greatest small SUVs checklist, consider the Kona as the flavour enhancer (or spices) in your favourite soup. The styling is an acquired style, but it surely’s arduous to fault the Kona for having a particular façade in a sea of homologated lookalikes – aside from the truth that Automoblog managing editor Carl Anthony has one.

“In Could 2020, regardless of the pandemic, the Midwest Automotive Media Affiliation and Hyundai have been in a position to organize particular person take a look at drive periods for journalists and content material creators, and the Kona was one of many automobiles on the checklist,” Anthony recalled. “I used to be additionally in a position to drive a Venue as a part of that program, however the turbocharged Kona was way more enjoyable and interesting.”

The 2022 Kona is contemporary from a big facelift and stays obtainable in a high-performance N variant with a 276-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. Entrance-wheel drive is commonplace throughout the board, whereas AWD is elective (apart from the FWD-only Kona N).


  • Gas Financial system
  • Out there AWD
  • Inexpensive MSRP


  • Street Noise
  • Cargo House
  • Meh Base Engine

Powertrain & Gas Financial system

Decrease trim ranges obtain a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 147 horsepower, 132 lb-ft. of torque, and a repeatedly variable automated (CVT). EPA-estimated gas financial system is 30 within the metropolis, 35 on the freeway, and 32 mixed for front-wheel drive fashions. Regardless of being a gas sipper, the Kona’s commonplace engine might really feel torpid underneath acceleration.

In the meantime, the Kona N Line and Restricted have a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 195 horsepower and 195 lb-ft. of torque. The turbo engine has a slick seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission (DCT), a gearbox that drew praises from our animal-loving managing editor.

“My native Ford seller in downtown Detroit was nice, they usually did every little thing they may to resolve the transmission issues of my 2013 Focus,” Anthony mentioned. “When it was clear the Focus was going to develop into a cash pit, I seemed significantly at a Kona in the summertime of 2022. The seven-speed DCT automated of my new Kona has been a welcome deal with because it’s responsive and fast.”

EPA-estimated gas financial system for the 1.6-liter turbo engine with all-wheel drive is 27 within the metropolis, 32 on the freeway, and 29 mixed. Entrance-wheel drive fashions are available slightly increased at 29 within the metropolis, 35 on the freeway, and 32 mixed.

Kona N: Powertrain & Gas Financial system

If you would like a Kona that received’t again down from a day on the monitor, the Kona N  is tough to beat. It has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft. of torque. The engine sends energy to the entrance wheels by way of an eight-speed dual-clutch automated transmission.

Though enjoyable to drive, the Kona N will hit you on the pump. EPA rankings are 20 within the metropolis, 27 on the freeway, and 23 mixed.

Chassis & Suspension

The Hyundai Kona has a MacPherson entrance and torsion beam rear suspension, however AWD variants have an up to date multi-link rear suspension. General, it delivers a clean and well-composed journey. “Hitting a bump at freeway speeds will generally jostle the Kona slightly bit,” Anthony mentioned. “I’ve pushed different small crossovers and SUVs the place this occurs too, so it’s not unusual, but it surely’s one thing to concentrate on.”

Inside Structure: Tech-Targeted, Tight Cargo Space

Hyundai greater than makes up for the Kona’s plasticky cabin with nice tech and comfort options. The entry-level Kona SE will get an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, a six-speaker audio system, and wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Kona Restricted has a ten.3-inch infotainment touchscreen and Harman Kardon audio system.

“There’s some street noise to deal with on the interstate, however the heated seats, navigation, customizable driver profiles, and Harmon Kardon stereo are good options for a small crossover on this value vary,” Anthony mentioned. “Regardless of the digital touchscreen, there are nonetheless bodily buttons for the warmth and AC, which I like.”

The Kona seats 5 adults in a pinch, however 4 will really feel extra at dwelling contained in the automobile’s ergonomic cabin. Furthermore, it solely gives 19.2 cubic toes of storage with the rear seats within the upright place, and this might be a problem for those who carry quite a lot of stuff.

Hyundai Kona Security Scores & Options

The 2023 Hyundai Kona acquired a five-star overall safety rating from NHTSA and a Good score from the IIHS in crash security assessments.

All Konas have ahead collision warning, lane departure mitigation, and lane-keeping help. Larger trim fashions have blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise management, and extra.

Hyundai Kona Guarantee

The Kona has a five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper guarantee, a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain guarantee, and an anti-perforation guarantee for seven years. Complimentary upkeep, which incorporates oil adjustments and tire rotations, goes for 3 years or 36,000 miles. Choices can be found for added protection for Hyundai automobiles. 

2023 Hyundai Kona Beginning MSRP

The Hyundai Kona is accessible in 4 trim variants: SE ($23,285), SEL ($25,095), N Line ($28,995), and Restricted ($30,095). The high-performance Kona N begins at $35,995.

2023 Subaru Crosstrek

The Subaru Crosstrek has a rugged demeanor and commonplace AWD, which is nice for consumers with energetic existence. There’s additionally the Crosstrek Hybrid that gives as much as 17 miles of all-electric vary. It’s not arduous to discern why the Subaru Crosstrek deserves a spot on our greatest small SUVs checklist. It’s one of many few that gives an elective six-speed guide. It drives like a automobile regardless of its SUV pretensions, due to its Impreza Hatchback structure. Better of all, the bottom Crosstrek begins underneath $25,000.


  • Customary AWD
  • Snug Trip
  • Floor Clearance


  • Tight Cargo House
  • Torpid Base Engine

Powertrain & Gas Financial system

The Subaru Crosstrek has a typical 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated Boxer four-cylinder that generates 152 horsepower. In the meantime, the Crosstrek Sport and Restricted obtain a 2.5-liter Boxer four-cylinder with 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft. of torque. All Crosstreks have a typical all-wheel drivetrain with a repeatedly variable automated (CVT), however there’s an obtainable six-speed guide for the Base and Premium fashions.

The usual 2.0-liter returns an EPA-estimated 28 within the metropolis, 33 on the freeway, and 30 mixed. In contrast, the marginally bigger 2.5-liter (the engine we advocate) has an EPA-estimated score of 27/34 metropolis/freeway and 29 mixed. The additional energy of the two.5-liter Boxer engine is sufficient to offset the minor gas financial system distinction.

All guide transmission fashions have the two.0-liter engine. EPA-estimated gas financial system for the guide Crosstrek is 22 within the metropolis, 29 on the freeway, and 25 mixed.

Chassis & Suspension

The Subaru Crosstrek has a four-wheel unbiased suspension with a double wishbone setup for the rear. The Crosstrek is clean and silent like every trendy Subaru, however the taller journey top means extra physique roll when driving round bends and corners. Regardless of its outdoorsy countenance and all-wheel grip, the Crosstrek shouldn’t be a critical off-roader, however you received’t have an issue with issues like sand, snow, unfastened gravel, or grass.

Inside Structure: Good Visibility & Tech Options

The Subaru Crosstrek gives wonderful outdoors visibility with its taller seating place. Though the roomy cabin supplies seating for as much as 5 adults, obtainable cargo area within the rear might be a problem. The Crosstrek has 20.8 cubic toes of area behind the rear seats, which expands to 55.3 cubic toes with them folded. These figures are higher than the Kona and CX-30 however behind the Seltos.

Goodies like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated entrance seats, adaptive headlights, and an eight-inch touchscreen are commonplace throughout the mannequin vary. Decrease trim variants obtain a four-speaker audio system and a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Subaru Crosstrek Security Scores & Options

Each Crosstrek leaves the manufacturing unit with the Subaru EyeSight package deal. It consists of adaptive cruise management, lane-keeping help, ahead collision mitigation, and hill descent management, whereas different trims obtain blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek acquired a five-star overall safety rating from NHTSA. Just like the Mazda CX-30, the 2022 Crosstrek is an IIHS Prime Security Choose.

Subaru Crosstrek Guarantee

The Crosstrek leaves the manufacturing unit with a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper guarantee and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain guarantee. Choices can be found to lengthen the protection on any Subaru automobile, together with the Crosstrek. 

2023 Subaru Crosstrek Beginning MSRP

The Subaru Crosstrek is accessible in six trim variants: Base ($24,870), Premium ($26,220), Particular Version ($27,970), Sport ($29,220), Restricted ($30,720), and Hybrid ($38,070).

2023 Kia Seltos

Credit score goes to the Hyundai Kona for being the quirkiest-looking of the bunch. Then once more, the Kia Seltos is preferable if you would like your crossover to have the styling cues of a correct SUV.

Relying on the customer, this issue might be good or dangerous, however its mini-SUV countenance additionally comes with an SUV-like driving really feel. On the plus facet, the Seltos is greater than the Hyundai Kona and gives a spacious inside with loads of cargo room. The bottom Seltos S has front-wheel drive and an elective all-wheel drivetrain, whereas the remaining have commonplace AWD.


  • Exterior Styling
  • Premium Inside
  • Good Cargo House


  • Agency Trip
  • Street Noise
  • Lackluster Base Engine

Powertrain & Gas Financial system

The Kia Seltos is accessible in two gasoline engine flavors. The primary is a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 146 horsepower and a repeatedly variable automated (CVT). EPA rankings, with front-wheel drive, are 29/35 metropolis/freeway and 31 mixed. In contrast, all-wheel drive fashions return an EPA score of 27/31 metropolis/freeway and 29 mixed.

Though we want the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, it’s restricted to the Dusk Version and SX, which command a better beginning MSRP than the opposite trim ranges. The turbo engine delivers 175 horsepower, 195 lb-ft. of torque, and the good thing about an all-wheel drivetrain. EPA rankings are 25/30 metropolis/freeway and 27 mixed.

Chassis & Suspension

Using on a modified structure shared with its Hyundai Kona and Kia Soul cousins, the Seltos has a MacPherson entrance and multi-link rear unbiased suspension. Whereas the underpinnings might sound sporty, the upper floor clearance provides the Seltos a relaxed demeanor on the street.

Inside Structure: Cargo House is King

The Kia Seltos has lodging for 5 adults and cargo with its lengthier wheelbase, translating to extra room for each. It gives one of many roomiest trunks within the compact SUV section, with 26.6 cubic toes with the rear seats within the upright place. In the meantime, folding the rear seats reveals 62.8 cubic toes of room.

The bottom Kia Seltos features a complete checklist of options like an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a six-speaker audio system, automated headlights, and extra.

Kia Seltos Security Scores & Options

The 2023 Kia Seltos earned 4 out of 5 stars in NHTSA’s total security score. As well as, it joins the Mazda CX-30 and Subaru Crosstrek as an IIHS Prime Security Choose.

Each Kia Seltos is commonplace with lane-keeping help, lane departure warning, ahead collision warning, and a driver consideration warning system. Different driving aids like blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise management are commonplace on increased trim ranges.

Kia Seltos Guarantee

The Seltos comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain guarantee, a five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper guarantee, a five-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation guarantee, and a five-year/60,000-mile roadside help plan. Regardless of prolonged protection from the manufacturing unit, choices can be found to increase the guarantee of any Kia automobile.  

2023 Kia Seltos Beginning MSRP

The Kia Seltos is accessible in 5 trim variants: LX ($24,135), S ($24,185), EX ($27,435), Dusk Version ($28,335), and SX ($29,635).

2023 Honda HR-V

The HR-V is a far cry from its Match-based predecessor. It’s about 9 inches longer and has a two-inch longer wheelbase than the outdated HR-V, all due to its new Civic underpinnings. The lengthier physique means beneficiant room for occupants and over 50 cubic toes of cargo area with the second-row seats folded down. Moreover, we like the brand new HR-V’s premium-feeling inside with softer contact factors and better high quality supplies than earlier than.


  • Cargo House
  • Roomy Cabin
  • Reserved Styling


  • Uncomfortable Seats
  • Lackluster Powertrain

Powertrain & Gas Financial system

The HR-V has a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder with 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft. of torque. The numbers could seem sufficient on paper (with solely two passengers on board), however the engine struggles with a load of individuals and cargo. The repeatedly variable automated (CVT) is extra responsible for this predicament, however the engine’s energy is sufficient inside metropolis limits. The HR-V is commonplace with front-wheel drive, whereas all-wheel drive is elective.

Entrance-wheel drive fashions have an EPA score of 26/32 metropolis/freeway and 28 mixed. All-wheel drive fashions are barely decrease at 25/30 metropolis/freeway and 27 mixed.

Chassis & Suspension

Based on Honda, the entrance MacPherson struts and multilink rear suspension ship a sporty driving really feel. Whereas which may be true, the most important promoting level for us is the HR-V’s Superior Compatibility Engineering (ACE) structure. ACE is Honda’s proprietary high-strength metal physique design. It features a network of front frame structures to soak up and deflect the vitality created throughout a frontal collision.

2023 Honda HR-V ACE Body Structure (Best Small SUVs & Crossovers (2023 Shopper’s Guide).
2023 Honda HR-V ACE Physique Construction.

Inside Structure: Tech-Targeted & Spacious

Due to its new Civic structure, the HR-V is among the many most spacious on our checklist of one of the best small SUVs. It gives 24.4 cubic toes of cargo room with the rear seats up and 55.1 cubic toes when folded down. Furthermore, the wide-opening doorways make it simpler to leap out and in or set up a baby seat.

Customary options embrace automated local weather management, push-button begin, LED headlights, a seven-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and a four-speaker audio system.

Honda HR-V Security Scores & Options

The Honda HR-V is an all-new automobile and has yet to be evaluated by NHTSA on the time of this writing. Nevertheless, it not too long ago joined the Mazda CX-30, Subaru Crosstrek, and Kia Seltos as an IIHS Prime Security Choose+ for 2023.

The 2023 Honda HR-V is commonplace with adaptive cruise management, lane departure mitigation, and ahead collision mitigation. Extra superior security options like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors are commonplace on increased trim ranges.

Honda HR-V Guarantee

The HR-V leaves the manufacturing unit with a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper guarantee, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain guarantee, and a five-year/limitless mileage rust perforation guarantee. Choices can be found for added protection for all Honda automobiles.  

2023 Honda HR-V Beginning MSRP

The Honda HR-V is accessible in three trim fashions: LX ($25,045), Sport ($27,145), and EX-L ($29,145).

Greatest Small SUVs & Crossovers: Conclusion

It’s not arduous to see why SUVs and crossovers have develop into the norm for a majority of consumers. More often than not, crossovers are extra sensible than a traditional sedan whereas providing comparable ranges of consolation and tech options – some may even take you past clean tarmac. And whereas the market has no scarcity of choices, this checklist of the 5 finest small SUVs and crossovers is an efficient place to start out when purchasing for a brand new automobile.

Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog function columnist and an knowledgeable in sports activities and efficiency vehicles. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his youthful years and continues to be very a lot smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He additionally likes fried rooster, music, and natural medication.

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