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Small SUVs Under $40k

Subaru XV
1
  • Hybrid power offers improved performance; Nice ride and handling; Well-resolved interior

  • Hybrid gains are negligible; Small boot for the segment; Lacking standard kit for the high-end price

Toyota C-HR
  • Low fuel consumption; A smooth, quiet ride; Comprehensive safety features; Quick and responsive at lower speeds

  • A few tech oversights (no HUD, DAB, electric seats or wireless charger); A claustrophobic back seat; Smaller, sloped boot; Limited rear visibility; Feels underpowered at higher speeds

Kia Seltos
  • The CVT is very well sorted and enjoyable to drive, too; Cabin space and ergonomics are excellent; Ride is brilliant and engine is efficient, too

  • Hubcaps detract from an otherwise stylish exterior; You need to get the optional Safety Pack to get the right safety inclusions; Rubber steering wheel is the only cabin negative

Honda HR-V
  • Magic Seats make the small HR-V feel bigger; Base model gets AEB; Won't offend anyone

  • Interior feels old; There are better engines available elsewhere; Won't offend anyone

Hyundai Kona
  • SmartSense safety pack standard; Great seat height; Perfect singles' or couples' car; Doesn't look like an entry-level variant

  • A lot of scratchy cabin plastics; No inbuilt satellite navigation; Squishy for rear-seat passengers

Small SUVs Over $40k

Volvo XC40
1
  • Excellent ride quality; Practical and beautifully designed cabin; Willing performance; Silky eight-speed auto

  • Sub-par warranty; Thirsty on fuel

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
  • Improved interior space; Capable rough-road; Improved driving dynamics

  • Unrefined edge to the engine; Intrusive driver assist systems; Occasional transmission quirks