5 compact SUVs that tick all the boxes
It’s little wonder why compact SUVs are surging in popularity. They give drivers a little bit of everything – storage, performance and off-road capabilities – but without the costs involved with larger cars.
Compact SUVs are ideal for navigating city streets, taking families on camping trips, and anything between. But in such a crowded category, which cars stand out? Let’s take a look at our top five favourite models.
Suzuki’s mini SUV, the Jimny, is a legend. When it first got onto our roads (and off them) nearly fifty years ago, it was engineered as a purely outdoorsy machine. Since then, it’s come a long way, and is now as versatile as any car from the compact SUV category. While its tough ladder-frame chassis and three-link coil suspension uphold its legendary off-road prowess, it also makes for a slick urban explorer, with its five-speed manual transmission giving it zip around cities and towns. But let’s talk about what is arguably the most appealing feature – its looks. The Jimny oozes charm. It’s as loveable as any car can get – with a unique appearance that makes it look both adorable and robust. In fact, we suspect that most people decide on buying a Jimny within ten seconds of seeing one.
Back in 2015, Mazda set the standard for small SUVs, delivering a car that took style and performance to a new level. And each iteration since has only improved on what was already a winning formula. Available with in both front-wheel or all-wheel drive – and either diesel or petrol engine options – there’s a version to suit any driver’s needs. The CX-3 gives you everything you look for in a compact SUV, plus more. Its quiet, supremely comfortable, and its excellent steering and suspension make for a very smooth ride. It also boasts top-notch safety features and impressive storage for its compact dimensions.
The Kia Seltos only hit the roads late in 2019, but through 2020 it quickly established itself as one of New Zealand’s top-three SUVs. The Seltos is one of those cars that just seemed to get everything right, offering a sleek, sporty design, top-class performance, state-of-the-art safety features and good fuel economy – all in one neat package. The most popular versions feature front-wheel-drive and a two-litre petrol engine, delivering power when you need it. As you’d expect with any self-respecting small SUV, it’s spacious and comfortable despite its small dimensions. And its tech really sets it apart – offering drivers an electronic playground of the latest gadgets.
The Nissan Qashqai, formerly known as the Dualis, is a progenitor of the compact SUV category. And thanks to its quality performance, it’s remained a top contender throughout the years. As with many of the cars in this list, the Qashqai does everything you need – plus a bit more. Its highly responsive steering and mighty suspension make it a great for weaving around the cities, yet its storage capabilities, powerful engine and all-round practicality also give it long-haul, outdoorsy appeal. The Qashqai has great safety features, sharp looks and is also pleasingly cheap to run.
Suzuki brought the Vitara back after a 17-year hiatus, reincarnating it as a quirky little SUV. Fun to drive and easy on the eyes, the Vitara is a solid compact SUV option, offering drivers a smooth ride both in and out of streets and over unpaved terrain. It comes standard with front-wheel drive and a 1.6-litre petrol engine, with a turbo option and all-wheel drive available in its premium version. The Vitara’s interior is smartly designed, providing excellent storage and a host of great tech features – keeping both the driver and passengers comfortable.
Interested in these models, or want more info on them? Get in touch with our expert team for a chat.
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