News & ReviewsLast 7 days

Small SUVs Under $40k

Subaru XV
  • Good ride, with great bump absorption; No-cost paint options; Good ground clearance for basic off-roading; Quality, comfortable and spacious interior

  • Engine lacks power; Power problem compounded by that CVT; Smallish boot

Toyota C-HR
  • Styling still stands out in a crowd; Huge potential to grow the awareness of the GR sub-brand; Sharper handling, but still very easy to live with

  • Priced like a Koba, but missing some equipment; Down on power compared to the segment's top sellers; Styling forces a compromise to driver and rear passenger visibility

Kia Seltos
  • A ton of standard equipment wrapped into a surprisingly premium package; Cabin space falls on the larger side of the small-SUV segment; It feels sure-footed and substantial with ample power

  • The price is high enough to warrant a browse through other spec grades; The dual-clutch transmission can be jerky around town; The ride is not as comfortable on rough roads as it could be

Honda HR-V
  • Class-leading boot space and excellent leg room in the back seat; It has the ride height, sturdy feel and visibility of a bigger car; Magic Seats make storage easy

  • Infotainment system looks and feels dated, and a digital instrument cluster or head-up display is a notable omission; Key safety features that really should be standard are missing

Hyundai Kona
  • 2.0-litre engine is the smart choice; Prowess in the ride and handling department; Gadgets and gizmos likely to impress in the showroom

  • Despite said gadgets, it does lack basic equipment; Second row is small; Expensive compared to the latest and greatest in the segment

Small SUVs Over $40k

Volvo XC40
  • Effortless performance; Outstanding refinement; As useful and spacious as a regular XC40

  • Expensive; Chassis too laid-back to do justice to the powertrain; Google infotainment not perfect

MINI Countryman
  • Quiet, rapid performance; Typically cool Mini design; Toe-in-water future tech

  • Reduced boot space; Price impost over Cooper S; Is 40km EV range enough?

Audi Q2
  • Performance aplenty; Nice road manners...; ... and adroit handling; Silky smooth dual-clutch auto

  • Asks for Q3 money; Misses key safety tech; Second row not the last word in comfort



  • Muscular and frugal diesel engine; Super-smooth auto; Cabin space and quality; Big boot for a compact SUV; Agreeable servicing costs for a luxury SUV

  • Doesn’t steer as well as the original X1; Big price premium for the diesel engine; Far from generously equipped; Missing some key driver aids, and no highway/freeway-speed AEB

Mercedes-Benz GLA
  • Larger body makes for more comfort and flexibility; Engine and gearbox are beautifully matched and perfect for the segment; Standard tech is impressive and works well

  • The driver assistance systems work extremely well, but can be intrusive; DCT can display a slight hesitation on deceleration; Will buyers use the off-road driving additions?