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News & Reviews
Last 7 Days

Small SUVs Under $40k

Toyota C-HR
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  • Excellent interior presentation and class; Great material quality; Really well sorted suspension; Road manners a highlight; Smooth small-output turbo engine

  • Some more grunt wouldn't go astray; Rear-seat occupants might feel hemmed in; Lacks the latest in-car connectivity; Media system not up to scratch

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

Nissan Qashqai
  • Diesel/CVT proves a surprisingly good combination; upmarket feeling cabin; comfortable space for passengers in first and second rows

  • Diesel pricing almost pushes it into medium SUV category; ride a little firmer than it should be; running costs significantly dearer for diesel

Mazda CX-3
  • Wide range of drivetrains and spec levels; Subtle ride and NVH improvements; Added safety tech; Still a stylish little thing

  • Rear legroom and cargo space are still sub-par; Unchanged low ground clearance means it feels less SUV-like than most; Neo lacks rear-view camera

Small SUVs Over $40k

MINI Countryman
1
  • Refined and punchy diesel drivetrain; Upmarket interior fit and finish; Ultra practical for a Mini - or any small SUV; Big boot; Great second-row space

  • Lacking the latest in-car smartphone tech; Well equipped but still plenty of option boxes to tick; Steering a little fidgety at times

Audi Q2
  • All-new styling turns plenty of heads; Premium-class cabin except for a few cheap plastics; Plenty of tasty features as standard; 1.4 turbo petrol engine is peppy, refined and efficient; Light and agile; Space

  • All the really cool features like Virtual Cockpit, electric tailgate and head-up display are options; Steering is quick but lifeless; Ride comfort suffers over sharp edges; No quattro model with petrol Q2 – yet

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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

Audi Q3
  • 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