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Independent, impartial advice for car buyers and car owners

Expert Ratings

Best small SUVs

The definitive ranking of the best and worst small SUVs on sale in the UK

This is the definitive ranking of the best and worst small SUVs on sale in the UK.

How can we make such a bold claim? Because this list isn’t just based on our opinion. We’ve compiled and analysed more than 7,500 new car reviews from 25 of the top motoring websites in the UK to produce our Expert Rating scores. Why rely on one person’s opinion when you can have all of the top reviews gathered together in one place?

The small SUV sector is about the hottest place in the UK’s new car market right now, with manufacturers adding new models almost every week. Although these cars may look like sturdy go-anywhere vehicles, they’re basically just small hatchbacks in platform shoes and bulky clothing to make them look bigger and tougher than they really are. They’re generally no more capable off-road than a regular car, which is why they’re often referred to as crossovers rather than SUVs.

Kia e-Niro

The e-Niro has been praised for its comfort and practicality, but most of all for proving an electric car can meet the needs of most drivers.

Hyundai Kona Electric

The Hyundai Kona Electric been highly praised by the media for its 250+ mile driving range and its overall practicality.

Volvo XC40

The Volvo XC40 has received many good reviews and awards, with particular praise for its quality, refinement, styling and safety.

Ford Puma

The Ford Puma has received excellent media reviews and sits at the top of the small SUV class, according to our unique Expert Rating index.

Range Rover Evoque

The Range Rover Evoque has received consistently good reviews from the UK media, with particular praise for its comfort and safety assist technology. The main criticisms have mainly been directed at its evolutionary styling.

Peugeot e-2008

The Peugeot e-2008 has sharp exterior styling and an upmarket interior, although its performance and range aren't up with the best in class.

Nissan Juke

The Nissan Juke has received widespread praise for its smoother styling compared to the divisive original, as well as being much better to drive.

Volkswagen T-Cross

The Volkswagen T-Cross has received consistently good media reviews, with particular praise for its comfort and driving dynamics.

Skoda Kamiq

The Skoda Kamiq has received universally positive media reviews to date, with praise for its comfort, practicality and value for money.

Volkswagen T-Roc

The Volkswagen T-Roc has received generally positive media reviews, with an overall Expert Rating that is very competitive in its market segment.

Vauxhall Mokka-e

The Vauxhall Mokka-e has an effective drivetrain, petrol-like driving characteristics and bold styling, but is less practical than rivals.

SEAT Arona

The SEAT Arona currently has an Expert Rating of 76%, which puts it just behind its Volkswagen cousins but ahead of other class rivals we have analysed.

BMW X1

The BMW X1 has received good reviews and is a substantial improvement over the old model, but it's still a long way off the class leaders.

Peugeot 2008

The Peugeot 2008 has received positive reviews, with praise for its design and quality but criticism for its relatively high price.

BMW X2

The BMW X2's Expert Rating places it firmly in the small SUV midfield. It's good to drive but not as practical as most rivals.

Audi Q3

The Audi Q3 has received generally good reviews from UK motoring media sources, with most praising its quality and technology systems.

Vauxhall Mokka

The new Vauxhall Mokka is the first model to feature Vauxhall's latest design language, but it's not as highly rated as the Ford Puma.

Dacia Duster

The Dacia Duster has received a broad range of media reviews, ranging from outstanding to outright recommendations not to buy one.

Mini Countryman

The Mini Countryman has received good media reviews, with the plug-in hybrid scoring better and the JCW model not as well.

Mazda CX-3

The Mazda CX-3 has earned generally positive media reviews, with an overall Expert Rating that puts it in the top half of the small SUV class.

Volvo XC40 Recharge

The Volvo XC40 Recharge is an impressive, fast but expensive electric crossover. Lower-spec, more affordable models are also on the way.

Kia XCeed

The Kia XCeed has had generally positive reviews, although it's more expensive than the Ceed hatch and less practical than an SUV.

Renault Captur

Media reviews for the Renault Captur have been generally positive, and it is a significant improvement over the original model.

Audi Q2

The Audi Q2 range has received generally good media reviews, although its overall score is off the pace of the best in its class.

SsangYong Tivoli

The SsangYong Tivoli range has received mixed reviews rfrom the UK motoring media. It's considered good value but relatively unrefined.

Mercedes-Benz GLA

The new Mercedes-Benz GLA crosover range is considered a big improvement over the original model, but it's let down by a high price tag.

Citroën C3 Aircross

The Citroën C3 Aircross has received average reviews, with praise for its versatility but criticism for a lack of refinement.

Kia Niro

The Kia Niro has received mixed media reviews, with priase for its value and low running costs but criticism for its driving experience.

DS 3 Crossback E-Tense

The DS 3 Crossback E-Tense electric SUV has been praised for its distinctive styling, but it's expensive and the battery range is sub-par.

Honda HR-V

The Honda HR-V has received fairly average from the UK media, with our overall Expert Rating currently ranking it in the middle of the small SUV field.

Suzuki Vitara

The Suzuki Vitara has received generally good reviews from the UK media, with our Expert Rating currently placing it in the top half of the small SUV field.

Jaguar E-Pace

Buy a Jaguar E-Pace from your sofa with Cazoo Buy online. We'll deliver it. Find out more The Jaguar E-Pace is a compact SUV/crossover, and the...

Mazda MX-30

The Mazda MX-30 is an unconventional electric SUV, with a smaller battery pack that makes it better to drive but seriously limits its range.

Lexus UX Hybrid

The Lexus UX has received average to good scores from the UK media, with praise for its urban fuel economy and urban driving dynamics.

Hyundai Kona

The Hyundai Kona has received mostly average to good reviews from the UK motoring media, with very consistent scores from different sources.

Kia Stonic

Other than stiffing buyers of the base models when it comes to safety, the Kia Stonic is praised for its driving dynamics and Kia's seven-year warranty.

Fiat 500X

The Fiat 500X has received mostly average to good reviews from the UK media, with praise for its stylish design and driving dynamics.

Lexus UX Electric

The Lexus UX Electric has received mostly average scores to date, with praise for its urban driving dynamics but criticism for its poor range.

DS 3 Crossback

The DS 3 Crossback has received average to good scores from the UK media, with an Expert Rating that places it in the midfield of the small crossover sector.

Vauxhall Crossland

The Vauxhall Crossland has received average media reviews, and our unique Expert Rating places it in the bottom half of its market segment.

Suzuki Jimny (2018 – 2020)

The Jimny received a wide range of scores from the UK media, with praise for its off-roading ability but criticism for its on-road handling.

Jeep Renegade

The Jeep Renegade has received average media reviews. Its Expert Rating of 60% is poor and ranks it only 18th out of 20 cars in its class.

Nissan Juke (2010 – 2019)

The first-generation Nissan Juke was built between 2010 and 2019. It was initially competitive, but struggled to keep up with newer rivals as it aged.

Ford EcoSport

The Ford EcoSport received mostly poor to average media reviews, although the updated version launched in 2017 is considered an improvement.

MG ZS

The MG ZS has received generally poor reviews from the UK media, and currently has the lowest Expert Rating of any car we have collected data on so far.

Mitsubishi ASX

The Mitsubishi ASX scores poorly according to our Expert Rating aggregator. In fact, it's the lowest-rated car we have analysed to date.

The small SUV sector is where the hottest action in the new car market is – a market that just a few years ago didn’t exist now sees a new model added to its ranks almost weekly.

Once upon a time, you bought an SUV if you wanted a rugged vehicle with four-wheel-drive to go off-road motoring, but most SUVs on the market today are nothing more than normal cars with jacked-up ride heights and plastic styling panels. They are no more likely to leave the tarmac than the average family car.

Such cars are also known as crossovers, basically because they sit in the gap between a typical car and an off-roading 4×4, and this is especially true of small SUVs. Most of them are front-wheel-drive only, which once off the tarmac would quickly become pretty useless.       

As time goes on, the visual differences between SUVs and typical hatchbacks are becoming ever more blurred. In short, you will likely choose a small SUV over a small hatchback if you like a higher driving position and the more muscular styling.

If these things tick your boxes then there’s a whole lot of choice out there, with almost every manufacturer now aferring at least one small SUV. You can choose from budget models like the Dacia Duster, through mainstream entrants such as the sporty Ford Puma, to luxury heavyweights typified by the Range Rover Evoque. And there are plenty of full-electric small SUVs available too, a choice that is growing all the time.

Best car rankings

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites.