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Best Small SUV 2024

The Hyundai Kona Electric is an appealing family-sized package with a strong battery range and plenty of user-friendly tech

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Offering around the same interior space as a hatchback but with a higher driving position, small SUVs are proving to be seriously popular in the UK, and the wide range of compact crossover choices got even more competitive in the last 12 months.

As small cars have begun to gradually disappear from manufacturer model rosters, new small SUVs have been filling these empty spots on the showroom floor, and more often than not they are all-electric.

This year’s new crossover arrivals include the battery-powered Honda e:Ny1, Fiat 600e and Jeep Avenger, as well as the new second-generation Hyundai Kona range, which includes the warmly-received Hyundai Kona Electric.

Next year is likely to bring an even larger class of new small SUVs battling for your attention. On the budget end, Dacia has announced that the next iteration of its Duster SUV is on the way, and has confirmed that its electric Spring SUV will arrive next year too.

Continuing the all-electric trend, the Volvo EX30 and new battery-powered Mini Countryman will launch next year, as will the Toyota bZ3X. There are a few new hybrid models coming soon too, including the second-generation Toyota C-HR and the Lexus LBX.

Our awards recognise both the best new models to have been launched over the last 12 months, but also the best overall cars in each category – because newest doesn’t always mean best, as you can see below.

Best new small SUV: Hyundai Kona Electric (77%)

The second-generation Hyundai Kona range is a stand-out contender in the small SUV segment, and the Kona Electric has once again led the way. The previous model was already considered a leading light in this category, but the all-new Kona Electric has leapt ahead in both its design and its substance. It’s the latest addition to Hyundai’s stellar line-up of EVs, and makes a compelling case for families considering the switch from fossil-fuel power to electricity

Like the similar Kia Niro EV, which was awarded The Car Expert’s ‘Best Small SUV’ title last year, the Kona Electric’s electric powertrain is a key highlight, with a battery range that will exceed 300 miles. This means that it can travel further on a single charge than many of its compact crossover rivals.

Class champion, electric: Kia Niro EV (79%)

Kia Niro EV | Expert Rating

Launched in 2022, the Kia Niro EV still sits in pole position in the small SUV section of our Expert Rating Index, and apart from the recently-arrived Hyundai Kona Electric, no other electric model comes close.

For buyers looking for an easy-to-drive and user-friendly electric family car, the Kia Niro EV is certainly worthy of a test drive, and offers a practical and comfortable cabin, a competitive battery range, generous levels of equipment and a large boot capacity.

Class champion, petrol/diesel: Ford Puma (76%)

Ford Puma (2020 onwards) – Expert Rating

The Ford Puma has proved to be a popular choice for British buyers throughout 2023, and has received plenty of praise from UK reviewers since it first arrived on UK roads in 2020. This petrol mild-hybrid SUV has been commended for its outstanding driving experience and surprising practicality, especially in its boot capacity and layout. While its looks won’t appeal to everyone, it is a fuel efficient choice for the daily commute too.

The Puma has also played a part in killing off the smaller Ford Fiesta hatchback, with Ford, like many other manufacturers, very much prioritising small SUV models over superminis.

The Car Expert Awards 2024

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