Best small SUVs 2022

 Thinking of buying a new small SUV? Then make sure you read our countdown of the top 10 cars in this booming sector – plus, find out which ones we'd avoid...

Best small SUVs 2022

Small SUVs are among the most popular cars on sale, because they usually offer the high-set driving position, practicality and muscular looks of more traditional off-roaders, but without the high purchase price or running costs. 

Here, we count down the top 10 you can currently buy – and reveal the small SUVs that are best to steer clear of. You'll see plenty of popular names here, including the car which started the small SUV craze, the Nissan Juke, as well as models from Audi, Ford and Volkswagen among others.

Finally, if you want to read more about a particular car or see what deals are currently available on it through our free New Car Buying service, just click on the relevant link.

10

Hyundai Bayon

2021 Hyundai Bayon front urban cornering shot
2021 Hyundai Bayon dashboard

Based on the i20 hatchback, the Bayon is decent to drive, with a comfortable ride and quieter cruising manners than most rivals. It's roomy in the back and well equipped, too, so it's a pity that Hyundai hasn’t made more of an effort to lift the perceived quality of the interior.

New car deals
Target Price from £19,495
Save up to £1,324
or from £209pm
Nearly new deals
From £17,599
Leasing deals
From £229pm

Pros

  • Relatively smooth ride
  • Good rear space
  • Low CO2 emissions

Cons

  • Low driving position won’t appeal to everyone
  • Interior is far from plush
  • No flexible seating options
9

Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke 2022 front cornering
Nissan Juke 2022 interior steering wheel

The original Juke sold in huge numbers, despite having a hard ride and horribly cramped rear seats, but the latest version is much improved in both areas, and has one of the smartest interiors of any small SUV. The 115bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine is gutsy enough for most situations, while N-Connecta models get climate control, extra leather trim and keyless start, on top of the plethora of kit which already comes on Acenta cars.

 

New car deals
Target Price from £20,644
Save up to £3,165
or from £232pm
Nearly new deals
From £19,020
Leasing deals
From £242pm

Pros

  • Strong safety rating and equipment
  • Smart interior
  • Lots of toys on our recommended trim

Cons

  • Choppy ride
  • So-so infotainment system
  • Nissan's reliability record
  • Hybrid isn't as fuel efficient as a Toyota Yaris Cross
8

Seat Arona

Seat Arona 2022 front cornering
Seat Arona 2022 interior dashboard

Once the class leader, the Arona remains an appealing choice, thanks to precise handling, good practicality and affordable PCP finance deals. Although the 94bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine is the baby of the range, we reckon it's also the best buy, especially if you'll mainly be driving on urban roads. Team it with SE Technology trim and you'll get an upgraded infotainment system as well as rear parking sensors.

New car deals
Target Price from £19,314
Save up to £2,706
or from £257pm
Nearly new deals
From £17,990
Leasing deals
From £250pm

Pros

  • Tidy handling
  • Roomier than many rivals
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • So-so interior quality
  • Top trims are too pricey
  • Rivals have more flexible rear seats
7

Peugeot 2008

Peugeot 2008 2022 front cornering
Peugeot 2008 2022 interior dashboard

Not only does the Peugeot 2008 look the part (both inside and out), it's well equipped and has a range of punchy, efficient petrol engines. The 129bhp 1.2 Puretech 130 is particularly good; in fact, it's strong enough to make the pricier Puretech 155 feel pointless. It's just a pity all 2008s are more expensive than most of their mainstream rivals.

New car deals
Target Price from £22,897
Save up to £2,126
or from £315pm
Nearly new deals
From £20,750
Leasing deals
From £299pm

Pros

  • Classy interior
  • Well equipped
  • Punchy, frugal petrol engines

Cons

  • More expensive than mainstream rivals
  • Relatively heavy deprecation
  • Average to drive
6

Toyota Yaris Cross

Toyota Yaris Cross 2022 front right tracking
Toyota Yaris Cross 2022 interior dashboard

The Toyota Yaris Cross makes a strong case for itself against the crowd of small SUVs, especially if your top priorities are reliability and low running costs. Indeed, the Yaris Cross is the most efficient car we've ever put through our True MPG fuel economy test. Just bear in mind that it's quite cramped in the back.

New car deals
Target Price from £23,354
Save up to £1,294
or from £270pm
Nearly new deals
From £26,990
Leasing deals
From £276pm

Pros

  • Very efficient
  • Lofty driving position
  • Uncluttered dashboard is easy to use

Cons

  • Could be more spacious in the back seats
  • Vocal engine when accelerating
  • Not as fun to drive as the Puma
5

Audi Q2

Audi Q2 2022 front left tracking
Audi Q2 2022 interior front seats

Audi's Q2 was one of the first small SUVs to combine its compact dimensions with a premium badge. The handling is tidy and it holds its value well, but it’s the quality of the interior that will really blow you away. It also has one of the best infotainment systems around – better than those in bigger, more expensive Audi SUVs, in fact.

New car deals
Target Price from £24,595
Save up to £1,496
or from £294pm
Nearly new deals
From £21,445
Leasing deals
From £324pm

Pros

  • Classy and user-friendly interior
  • Tidy handling
  • Slow depreciation

Cons

  • More expensive than some rivals
  • Mini Countryman is more practical
  • Firm ride with 19in alloys
4

Volkswagen T-Cross

Volkswagen T-Cross 2022 front cornering
Volkswagen T-Cross 2022 interior dashboard

Volkswagen's T-Cross is exactly what many small SUV buyers are looking for. It’s comfortable and easy to drive, without feeling like a wallowy barge. It’s surprisingly roomy, yet small enough that it’s easy to handle in town. And it's competitive on running costs, whether you’re a company car driver or a private buyer.

New car deals
Target Price from £21,672
Save up to £960
or from £269pm
Nearly new deals
From £19,788
Leasing deals
From £269pm

Pros

  • Spacious, flexible interior
  • Impressive for safety
  • Good to drive

Cons

  • Only slightly cheaper than the superior T-Roc
  • Interior is hardly plush
  • SEL and R-Line trims too pricey
3

Skoda Kamiq

Skoda Kamiq front cornering
Skoda Kamiq interior dashboard

In contrast to the T-Cross, the Kamiq puts you quite low to the ground; in fact, its driving position is barely any more elevated than that of Skoda's Scala hatchback. However, in every other respect it's a brilliant choice, with its supple, controlled ride and remarkably spacious interior particular highlights. That interior feels classier than the T-Cross's, too.

New car deals
Target Price from £20,928
Save up to £1,472
or from £228pm
Nearly new deals
From £17,990
Leasing deals
From £205pm

Pros

  • Remarkably roomy rear seats
  • Huge boot by class standards
  • Comfortable ride

Cons

  • No sliding or reclining rear seats
  • Not especially well equipped
  • Other small SUVs have a higher driving position
2

Ford Puma

Ford Puma 2022 front cornering
Ford Puma 2022 interior infotainment

Thanks to agile handling and surprisingly nippy performance, the Ford Puma will put a bigger smile on your face than most rivals. But it’s also a car you can buy with your sensible hat on, thanks to its low CO2 emissions, excellent real-world fuel economy, clever boot and attractive monthly PCP costs. No wonder it was our 2020 Car of the Year, even if it no longer leads this class.

New car deals
Target Price from £23,440
Save up to £1,874
or from £280pm
Nearly new deals
From £21,400
Leasing deals
From £329pm

Pros

  • Great fun to drive
  • Remarkable blend of performance and fuel economy
  • Big and cleverly designed boot

Cons

  • Rear space is adequate rather than outstanding
  • Visibility could be better
  • Volkswagen T-Roc is more comfortable and quieter
1

Volkswagen T-Roc

Volkswagen T-Roc 2022 front cornering
Volkswagen T-Roc 2022 interior dashboard

As good as the other cars in this top 10 are, it's the Volkswagen T-Roc that's the best small SUV you can buy today. Stick to the cheaper engines and trims, and the T-Roc is an even better buy than its T-Cross sister. Its cosseting ride, superb refinement and practical boot will appeal to families, plus it has one of the best driving positions of any car in the class.

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New car deals
Target Price from £25,137
Save up to £1,502
or from £268pm
Nearly new deals
From £23,485
Leasing deals
From £270pm

Pros

  • Comfortable ride and quiet on the motorway
  • High-set driving position for a small SUV
  • Good boot by class standards

Cons

  • Touch-sensitive controls can be fiddly
  • Upper trims and engine options are too pricey
  • Unexciting handling (the Ford Puma is a sharper drive)

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