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News & Reviews
Last 7 Days

Small SUVs Under $40k

Mazda CX-3
1
  • Mazda build quality and fit and finish is impressive; infotainment system and controls are excellent; peppy engine rewards enthusiastic driving

  • Even with the price reduction, it's still too expensive; ride is harsh over poor surfaces; tight cabin given the Mazda 2 platform

Nissan Qashqai
  • CVT smooth and intuitive; cabin is well-appointed up front; impressive cargo volume

  • Very few amenities for rear passengers; road noise noticeable at times; interior door handles feel cheap

Honda HR-V
  • Flexible cabin with class-leading space and flexibility, and an upmarket feel; decent list of standard equipment; willing drivetrain

  • Notable NVH levels; middling dynamics; some rivals have sat-nav and modern software such as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto

Suzuki Vitara
  • Peppy new 1.4 engine; funky design stands out from the crowd; nimble and fun to drive; long list of features including standard sat-nav and Apple CarPlay

  • Some cheap-feeling cabin plastics, super-light doors feel a little tinny; excess road noise; $4000 jump to the 4WD is high

Subaru XV
  • New architecture improves driving dynamics; Considerably better interior design; Roomier than before; Bigger boot; More fun to drive

  • Engine verging on gutless at times; CVT is clever but a bit sluggish when you're on/off throttle; Boot still one of the smallest in class

Small SUVs Over $40k

Audi Q3
1
  • Petrol engine is punchy and rapid while remaining relatively efficient; steering and handling are both excellent; interior has more room than you expect

  • Options pricing can push the buy-in price up alarmingly; not enough standard equipment for the price; misses out on next-gen central control pad and rotary dial

2

BMW X1

BMW X1
  • Long list of standard equipment at long last; the driver’s choice as the 2.0-litre petrol is a fun little unit; smart looks and practical interior just what buyers want

  • Front-drive platform and cheaper-feeling components make the price-parity X3 seem like a better value proposition; need to roll in the M-Sport pack to score dynamic suspension – it’s a start

Mercedes-Benz GLA
  • Good list of standard equipment; easy to drive; looks like a Benz, feels like a Benz – isn’t that what buyers want?

  • 90kW engine feels underpowered; not as economical as you would expect; small inside – tall drivers look elsewhere

Infiniti QX30
  • Unique style proposition; decent equipment levels in top-spec GT Premium model; respectable cabin ambience

  • Compromised vision; some key equipment absent on base GT model; unnecessarily firm ride

Lexus NX200t
  • Comfy seats; Smooth drivetrain; Quiet cabin; Healthy equipment list; Cheaper than direct rivals (before enhancement pack); Stands out from the crowd

  • Unsettled ride; Mismatched plastics throughout the cabin take away from the 'premium feel', as does the fake leather; No digital speedo; Engine is noisy when pushed