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The Best Compact SUVs On The Market

Compact SUVs are an attractive option for many, from growing families to those that like to get away on road trips on the weekend.

There are many great compact SUVs on the market today, and it can be overwhelming to try to figure out which will be the best suited to you, your family, and your lifestyle. You may have different priorities regarding inclusions, safety features and luxury, so it isn’t as easy as naming a one-size-fits-all best SUV out there. Here’s a quick list for easy reference, with some of the best compact SUVs available today, and what makes them such great cars:

Mazda CX-5

Base engine: 2.0 litre in-line 4 cylinder petrol (front wheel drive manual transmission) or 2.5 litre in-line 4 cylinder petrol (all wheel drive auto transmission)

Safety: 5 star ANCAP rating. Nearly all the superior Mazda safety features come standard, except for traffic sign recognition and front parking sensors which are available in higher grades.

You’ll love: A spacious 39.6 inches of legroom in the rear seats make the Mazda CX-5 a great vehicle for those with growing teenagers, or those that want comfort for adults seated in the rear seats. You’ll enjoy the sporty drive with light, communicative steering. There’s an extensive range of interior finishes to provide luxury and comfort, depending on the model grade you choose.

Toyota RAV4

Base engine: 2.0 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine

Safety: 5 star ANCAP rating. Many included safety features come standard, but blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are only available in certain packages.

You’ll love: The hybrid option in most grades, including two-wheel drive and all wheel drive. Toyota’s signature electric/petrol hybrid technology offers outstanding fuel efficiency and powerful performance. The RAV4 has impressive cargo storage space with easy customisation and expansion in some grades.

Mazda CX-9

Base engine: 2.5 litre in-line 4 cylinder turbo petrol engine

Safety: 5 star ANCAP rating. Mazda always delivers on the safety front. Nearly all safety features come standard in any model of the Mazda CX-9, with front parking sensors available in most grades beyond the base.

You’ll love: Family and luxury vehicle in one. Larger than other SUVs in this category, with the option for six or seven seats. Pleasingly good drive despite its larger size, with excellent handling, accurate steering and an attractive price point. Mazda offers a 5 year unlimited kilometre warranty on all their new CX models.

Hyundai Kona

Base engine: 2.0 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine (two-wheel drive)

Safety: 5 star ANCAP rating. Boasts an upgraded version of Hyundai’s SmartSense driver safety technologies.

You’ll love: Hyundai’s 5 year unlimited kilometre warranty for peace of mind, as well as Hyundai insurance and roadside support. Four distinct driving modes (including Comfort, Eco, Sport and Smart modes) will add to the intuitiveness of the drive, and allow you to control your fuel economy and power output. Connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto through the touchscreen display.

Volkswagen Tiguan

Base engine: 1.4 litre 4 cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine (front wheel drive)

Safety: 5 star ANCAP rating. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking as standard. Many other safety features are added as you step up each grade.

You’ll love: Two rows of spacious seating, with the option for a third row in the Allspace model. For the higher grade models, you’ll love the addition of an electric glass panoramic sunroof with an automatic wind deflector and UV resistance. Talk about luxury!

Nissan Qashqai

Base engine: 2.0 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine

Safety: 5 star ANCAP rating. Some safety features come as standard on all grades (including emergency braking and rearview camera) but many are for higher grades (e.g. rear cross traffic alert and intelligent cruise control).

You’ll love: In higher grades, adaptive technologies respond to changes around you for a safe and intuitive drive. Intelligent Park Assist in the Ti model makes parking a breeze, especially for city driving or getting into tight parking spaces.

Kia Seltos

Base engine: 2.0 litre in-line 4 cylinder petrol engine or 1.6 litre turbo (all wheel drive)

Safety: 5 star ANCAP rating. Many safety features come standard in the base grade, such as lane keeping assist and reverse parking sensors. Others (including front parking sensors) are only added on higher grades.

You’ll love: Roof rails as standard in the base model. Plenty of internal storage from the base grade, including luggage nets in the cargo area, map pockets in front doors and front cupholders. Compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Some additional levels of climate control and ventilation available in higher grades.

These are just a few of the compact SUVs available on the market today, and as you can see, they vary in standard inclusions and performance. The best advice we can offer is to get out there and test drive a few of the small to midsize SUVs available to find what feels right for you, your family and your lifestyle.

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