2011 Chevrolet Equinox
2011 Chevrolet Equinox

Best compact SUV overall

Reviewers are unanimously impressed by many aspects of the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. Its good fuel economy, fresh looks and top-notch passenger comfort make it the best-reviewed model among small SUVs. Many reviewers say that the Chevy Equinox feels like a much more expensive car, especially in terms of its composed, solid-feeling ride quality which, according to Edmunds.com, conveys "character and refinement." Top safety ratings and a good mix of practical features and amenities, such as sliding rear seats, complete the package. The longtime favorite Honda CR-V (Base MSRP: $21,895 to $28,095) is a close runner-up, offering excellent ride quality, reliability and resale value. The 2011 Hyundai Tucson (Base MSRP: $18,895 to $26,345) is also very well-reviewed and costs thousands of dollars less than the Equinox.
See our full review

Base MSRP: $22,995 to $30,320 Estimated Price
2011 Volkswagen Tiguan
2011 Volkswagen Tiguan

Sportiest compact SUV

If you want a small SUV that's genuinely fun to drive, experts say that the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan sets the standard. Reviews say it's a poised, agile handler, even over less-than-perfect roads. Add sharp looks and an excellent interior, and you've got a small SUV that doesn't just drive sporty but looks the part, too. The Tiguan's turbocharged four-cylinder engine offers plenty of useful torque and fleet-footed acceleration. VW's little SUV is more expensive than many competitors, though, and doesn't have as much cargo or passenger space. Reviewers say the 2011 Kia Sportage (Base MSRP: $18,295 to $27,295) also handles well, and its base price undercuts that of the VW by a good margin.
See our full review

Base MSRP: $23,720 to $35,090 Estimated Price
2012 Audi Q5
2012 Audi Q5

Best small luxury SUV

When discussing small SUVs from luxury automakers, the 2012 Audi Q5 is a clear winner, according to reviewers. It earns praise for its ability to satisfy every requirement for the luxury car shopper: it looks good, handles more like a sports sedan than an SUV, has a premium-grade interior, and its ride quality is excellent. Add in a 4,400-pound tow rating and impressive crash-test results, and you've got the best compact luxury SUV going. The primary drawback cited by reviewers is the Q5's higher price relative to non-luxury models, like the similar 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan (Base MSRP: $23,720 to $35,090). Also, rear-seat legroom and cargo capacity trails some competitors. Experts find the 2011 Infiniti EX35 to be a very competent runner-up, with attractive looks and impressive performance.
See our full review

Base MSRP: $35,200 to $42,500 Estimated Price
COMPARE PRODUCTS
See a side-by-side comparison of key features, product specs, and prices.
Ads related to Small SUVs

Back to top