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CarAdvice

Small SUVs Under $40k

Subaru XV
1
  • Cabin quality and insulation are impressive; New Sport mode performance is welcome; Ride quality and handling are both excellent

  • Some of the infotainment graphics are dated; We'd like more electric-only driving range; A move to full hybrid as we know it would make the XV more efficient

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 more attractive offering in the small-SUV segment; Safety pack comes standard in the Sport+; Locally tuned suspension offers great ride and handling

  • Dual-clutch transmission can be jerky; Back row misses out on air vents; Higher fuel consumption around town

Honda HR-V
  • Still looks sharp despite nearing the end of its cycle; Class-leading cargo area; Now with smartphone mirroring

  • Key safety tech should really be standard; Touchscreen looks like an add-on; Skinny 10,000km service intervals

Hyundai Kona
  • Comfortable cabin, easy to drive; Runs on regular unleaded; Most mod cons are included; Individual tyre pressure monitors add peace of mind; 12-month/15,000km service intervals; Choice of prepaid service plans

  • Wireless Apple CarPlay disconnected repeatedly on test; Rear cross-traffic alert and blind-zone warning not available on this model grade; Smaller boot than Hyundai i30 hatch; Nexen tyres lack grip, even by city SUV and commuter car standards

Small SUVs Over $40k

Volvo XC40
1
  • Still decent fuel economy; Comfortable and thoughtful interior; Sits nicely on the road

  • Infotainment looks good but can be fiddly to use; A big price premium over non-hybrid XC40s

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

4

BMW X1

BMW X1
  • 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
  • Strong engine performance; Spacious and sophisticated cabin; Brilliant driver and infotainment displays

  • Poor country-road ride; Missing some key features as standard; More expensive than key rivals