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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
  • Petrol-CVT combination is amenable; Decent to drive; Adequate second-row space; Big boot for the class; Some nice items in this high-spec model

  • Even better kit to come in 2018 model; Ride a little sharp on those stylish 19s; Price on the high side; Media system and controls not excellent

Mazda CX-3
  • Sexy design inside and out; Lots of kit; Comfortable front seats; Engaging dynamics; Zippy 2.0L petrol

  • Too expensive; Doesn't feel 'premium' enough inside; Tight rear seat; Small boot; Firm ride can get jittery around town; No adaptive cruise control or Apple CarPlay/Android Auto; Tyre roar can get intrusive over rough roads; All-wheel drive seems redundant in this type of car

Small SUVs Over $40k

MINI Countryman
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  • Highly efficient diesel engine; Plenty of punch with a smooth shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox; Generous interior room in the second row and accessible cargo space

  • Wind noise at highway speeds can be intrusive; The standard 6.5-inch infotainment system can look a little low-rent in comparison to the optional 8.8-inch unit

Audi Q2
  • Quick without being manically so; Adroit handling; Edgy styling; Seamless seven-speed S tronic transmission; Excellent off-road dynamics

  • Plenty of road and wind noise; Some cheap elements in the cabin; Pretty cramped second row; Boot space well short of class leaders

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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
  • Sprightly turbocharged engine; Plenty of traction on offer; Has the latest Smartphone connectivity; Good standard safety equipment; New LED headlights are really good

  • Still a bit expensive compared with rivals; Not as practical as most competitors; Cramped back seat; Suspension can be upset by sharp edges; Some low-speed quibbles

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