The Best Subcompact SUVs for 2023
A decade ago, most of these subcompact SUVs would have been marketed as hatchbacks. Now, though, the crossover is king and height is a strength in every segment. These are the small SUVs that get it right.
2023 Mazda CX-30
It is a strange place for a brand that established its name in the U.S. with affordable performance to be so successful, but Mazda does not miss in the world of crossovers. The CX-30 may be more humble than the delightful CX-50, but it brings the engaging charm of a Mazda crossover to a smaller footprint and remains one of the best offerings in its class.
2023 Hyundai Kona
Hyundai makes two small SUVs, but only one is offered in the all-important N spec. The Kona is a strong offering in any form, but it is at its best with the powerful engine and driver-focused performance that Hyundai buyers have come to expect from an "N" car.
2024 Subaru Crosstrek
The Crosstrek is a megahit, going just one step further from a wagon footprint to provide just enough capability to get Subaru's owners to the start of their outdoor adventures. It may lack some of the charm of the outgoing model, but Subaru's latest should be a winner with buyers.
Quit, comfortable, and ready to explore
2023 Kia Niro
Price: $26,590 (hybrid), $39,550 (EV)
Kia's second-generation Niro brings a big, aggressive new design detail: a contrasting side blade reminiscent of the first-generation Smart ForTwo. It also brings a fully-electric variant, which is available at a significant premium.
2023 Hyundai Venue
The Hyundai Venue may not be as complete an offering as its Kona running mate, but it provides exceptional value. At under $20,000, it is one of the best deals in any market and provides a low entry point into Hyundai's lineup.
2023 Kia Soul
Decades ago, "box" cars like the Scion xB seemed like an emerging trend. Now, only the Kia Soul survives. Beyond the straightforward proportions and ads with hamsters, the Soul stands out with a small on-road footprint and low entry price.
2023 Toyota Corolla Cros
The Corolla Cross is one of seven distinct SUVs made by Toyota, but it is the only one that sits at an entry level price point. Even an optional hybrid starts at just $27,970, keeping Toyota's trademark build quality available to customers seeking a crossover under the $30,000 mark.
2023 Kia Seltos
Yes, Kia makes yet another car in this segment. The Seltos strikes a middle ground between the Soul and the Niro, providing a little bit more space at a higher price point while still prioritizing efficiency and budget.
2023 Volkswagen Taos
Unlike most of the cars on this list, the Taos prioritizes SUV-like proportions. It is a more aggressive-looking car than any other in the segment, which makes it an odd successor to the non-GTI Golf it effectively replaces on Volkswagen dealer lots.
2023 Honda HR-V
The newly-refreshed Honda HR-V may be the most awkward fit for Honda's otherwise-strong new design language, but the actual offering brings many strengths of an exceptional new Civic to a crossover market in desperate need of a good Honda offering. The powertrain may be nothing special, but it is a strong, comfortable crossover.
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