With some of the best car manufacturers introducing great SUV models, choosing a good car is now becoming easier.
That said, finding an SUV that is suitable for a variety of uses is paramount.
In this article, we list some of the best compact SUVs for all-around use.
Let’s jump straight in.
Table of Contents
Subcompact SUVs for All-Round Use
Here are some sub-compact SUVs that are excellent for all-round use:
1. 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross
The latest iteration of the all-famous Toyota Corolla Cross still delivers the best in features. This makes it a great choice for an all-rounder both as a family car or for everyday travel.
A subcompact SUV such as this Cross will set a standard in the segment as one of the contenders to look out for. Dependability, fuel efficiency, and price are what makes this model so attractive for both new buyers and Toyota fans.
Pricing for the Toyota Corolla Cross is also quite competitive at a reasonable $23,060. The premium model with all the bells and whistles will set you back around $27,165.
Even with the base trim, the Cross comes packed with plenty of seating and cargo space. It has space for five people and the legroom is excellent in the front seats but a bit limited at the rear.
For drivers traveling with little ones, you can find Isofix connectors for the rear outboard seats as well as the rear middle seat. This system has been praised for being one of the easiest to use in a subcompact SUV.
Toyota is known for producing some of the best-performing and most efficient engines around. As such, the 169-horsepower four-cylinder engine is not super powerful but definitely gets the job done.
On the highway, the engine feels a bit sluggish especially when you need the power to accelerate. Owners noticed that the engine got a bit louder when it is supposed to produce more acceleration.
What it doesn’t have, it makes up for in other areas such as plenty of space and safety features. It gets a sleuth of safety tech such as rearview camera, forward automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection, among others.
The interior isn’t the most upscale, but still feels a bit more premium than competitor models. Techs such as the 8-inch touch-screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support make it the go-to subcompact SUV.
2. 2023 Hyundai Venue
The Venue is one of Hyundai’s smallest SUVs in the market but has a lot to offer. When looking at the price tag and the features, it is easy to tell how much value you get.
Its small stature allows it to move around smaller spaces such as parking with ease. Even though the acceleration is sluggish, it makes up for it with standard safety and tech features.
With the 2023 model of the Hyundai Venue, you get five seats with soft cloth upholstery. Legroom is good up front but tall adults will feel cramped in the rear seats.
In the subcompact category, the Venue is ranked a stellar 14th place. Good gas mileage and the small design are some of the things that the Venue has going for it.
Another great selling point for the Venue is its price of $19,500 for the base trim. The Hyundai Venue Limited is also pretty good at $22,750 and gets a lot more features.
Isofix connectors are not the easiest to use because they are set too deep in the rear seats. The Venue gets a set of two Isofix connectors for child seats.
With the CVT transmission and the 121-horsepower four-cylinder engine, it’s not the quickest subcompact SUV around. This will be apparent on highways where extra acceleration is needed for overtaking other cars.
For this purpose, the Venue is quite nifty around town and city streets due to its size and steady handling. You get a stable ride because of the redesigned suspension system.
Unfortunately, the Hyundai Venue does not have all-wheel drive available on all its trims. However, the front-wheel drive does a good job when it comes to bumps and potholes on the road.
For its affordable price tag and the safety features you get, the Venue is a great competitor in the subcompact SUV space. It got a rating of “good” from The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in crash test scores.
Compact SUVs for All-Round Use
Here are examples of compact SUVs for all-round use:
3. 2023 Mazda CX-5
The CX-5 is just one of those compact SUVs that keep getting improvements throughout the years. The latest 2023 has no significant changes but still brings all the loved features from previous years.
For the past two years, the CX-5 has gotten significant additions such as an improved infotainment system. The 2022 model also welcomed the addition of all-wheel drive and slight performance and styling upgrades.
Drivers of the CX-5 noted that the interior styling of the car is just as impressive as the exterior design. There’s also ample space for the passengers in addition to the upscale interior design.
For a reasonable price of $27,000, you get all the latest safety features with stellar performance and handling. Mazda made sure to price the CX-5 just right to attract more of the market.
The pricier Mazda CX-5 2.5 Turbo Signature gets you all the bells and whistles to compete with some of the best compact SUVs in the segment.
With that said, even with the base trim, you’ll still get some of the latest in safety and tech features. It’s worth noting that the CX-5 is similar to the CX-50 both in styling and features.
The infotainment system is a 10.2-inch infotainment display that responds well to touches and also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The infotainment system is not the most innovative, but it works well to control most of the car’s functions. The inbuilt navigational system has limited capabilities, but 3rd-party apps are a good alternative.
Space is surprisingly sufficient for such a small compact SUV that seats five people comfortably. There is an option between leather and cloth upholstery, depending on the trim you choose.
Rear seating passengers will be comfortable for short distances but uncomfortable on longer trips. There is plenty of cupholders and USB charging points to allow a better long-distance trip experience.
Child seating is easy with the two complete sets of Isofix connectors on the rear outboard seats. Because the latches are set too deep in the seats, this system is not the most convenient to use.
Style, performance, and safety all make the CX-5 a great choice as a family compact SUV or for a first-time car buyer. It also gets great reviews against some of its competitors in the same segment.
If you have a bigger family, please check out our article about the best mid-size SUVs for all-round use.
4. 2023 Honda CR-V
Honda needs no introduction in the car manufacturing industry and it still produces great cars such as the 2023 Honda CR-V. This compact SUV gets a redesign with more interior space and other upscale features.
This is the start of the sixth generation of the Honda CR-V and it is apparent in its performance and design. There’s a spacious cabin and plenty of cargo space for groceries or equipment for camping trips.
Among many of the features that make it stand out is the great fuel economy for a compact SUV. The all-wheel drive version of the CR-V gets an impressive 27 mpg for city driving and 32 mpg on the highway.
Ride quality is just as impressive with this sixth-generation CR-V, which is not only fun to drive but is also steady. It can easily get you through bumpy and uneven roads with the upgraded suspension system.
There’s no need to worry about safety because the CR-V is equipped with all the safety tech you’d expect in a compact SUV. Keeping in your lane and parking is a breeze with the rearview camera and parking sensors.
Driver-assist tech such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, traffic-sign recognition, and forward automatic emergency braking are all available as standard.
You can get all these great features in the base EX model for just $31,110 with front-wheel drive. Fortunately, you have the option to upgrade some of the add-ons for a certain price, depending on the feature.
Up to five adults can occupy the CR-V and there’s plenty of space to move around in the car. Fortunately, tall adults sitting in the rear will also be comfortable due to ample headroom and legroom.
Child seats will no longer be a chore to install due to the two sets of Isofix connectors in the rear. You may have to use some force to find the latches, but there are certainly plenty of them to go around.
The efficient 190-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine takes the Honda CR-V to a new level. Acceleration could be better with its CVT transmission, but the handling is excellent.
It is no secret that the CR-V will be a great contender in this competitive compact SUV segment. It gets good reviews across the board.
If you’re interested in larger SUVs, make sure to read about the best full-size SUVs for all-round use.
5. 2023 Kia Sportage
Available in both forward-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, the Kia Sportage excels in cabin space and handling. This is also a full redesign from Kia and competes with some of the most impressive compact SUVs in its class.
While it has some surprising features from Kia, this 2023 Sportage only includes them in upper trims. Even in the base trim, it is still a great choice as a compact family SUV.
Most notable about the Sportage is the spacious cabin and a host of modern tech features. The features closely resemble those found in the Hyundai Tucson, which is also in this segment.
For the base LX Sportage trim, you’ll have to cough up $25,990, while the premium X-Pro Prestige is $36,790. Unfortunately, most of the basic features in other brands you have to upgrade when it comes to the base trim of the Sportage.
When it comes to interior design, Kia decided to go with a classy look without the fuss. The dash area is not cluttered and all the controls are easy to reach.
The infotainment system has a large 12.3-inch touchscreen that is adequately responsive. The system also supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
It is one of the most convenient compact SUVs to use for long-distance trips and as a reliable daily driver. Comfortable leather or cloth upholstery and heated seats are responsible for this.
Up to five people can comfortably fit in the Sportage and the synthetic leather upholstery is available as an upgrade. Tall adults will find there is plenty of legroom and headroom in the rear seats.
Isofix connectors for child seats are a breeze to use and easily accessible in the rear outboard seats. This is not always the case when it comes to vehicles in the compact SUV segment.
The 187-horsepower four-cylinder engine is more than enough for most driving situations.
The Sportage is suitable for city and town driving but may leave you wanting on the highways. However, the mileage is average at about 25 mpg for city driving and 32 mpg on the highway.
The mileage ratings are quite normal for the compact SUV class.
Off-roading with the Sportage will not be a satisfying experience, as all-wheel drive is only available in the premium and more expensive trims of the 2023 Kia Sportage.
The Sportage is one of the compact SUVs with blind-spot monitoring, rearview camera, driver-attention monitor, and forward collision warning with pedestrian and cyclist detection, among others.
Kia has built some reliable models in the past, so the Sportage will not disappoint when it comes to dependability. It is also priced just right for the bottom of the compact SUV class.
For a little more power when accelerating, one will have to opt for more expensive trims. However, you still get a bang for your buck with this value-packed model from Kia.