We need compact SUVs with enough horsepower today so people can get satisfactory functionality even without large SUVs.
While most small SUVs still can’t compete with bigger ones in horsepower, we’ve explored the ones at the top of their class.
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SUVs under this category come with a minimum of 177 horsepower.
1. Jeep Renegade
The 2023 Renegade comes with a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine and comes standard with a nine-speed automatic transmission on all trims.
Its transmission is also quite strong, and it has 210 pound-feet of torque. The 2023 Renegade offers 177 horsepower, which is acceptable for its class.
So, while it doesn’t top this list, it’s better than its peers.
Further, the Renegade reaches 60 mph in about 9 seconds, which isn’t mind-blowing for a sub-compact SUV. It offers a top speed of 123 mph.
You may also explore Jeep Renegade problems.
2. Mazda Cx-30
The CX-30 comes standard with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and 186 horsepower, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
However, for the most horsepower, buyers can opt for the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine. This engine provides 250 horsepower, which is one of the highest in this category.
Also, the CX-30 is an athletic and fun-to-drive SUV. It reported 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds with the standard engine.
While this is not so bad compared to some SUVs in this category, the optional turbocharged engine, however, reaches 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds.
Now, this is faster than the standard engine performance and as well one of the fastest in this category and its top speed is around 126 mph.
However, drivers should consider their safety and avoid driving too fast as that could be dangerous.
3. FIAT 500X
The 177 horsepower in the 2022 Fiat 500X comes from the turbocharged 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine that’s in the car. This horsepower in the Fiat 500x equals that of the Jeep Renegade.
It then comes with a nine-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive that can optimize traction in unique conditions.
This is owing to the driver-selectable setting that comes with the all-wheel-drive system.
According to test drivers, the 2022 Fiat 500X reaches 60 mph from a standstill in 8.75 seconds. While not as fast as other SUVs, it is not bad for this category.
The top speed is over 100 mph, but car testers have reported it is not as fun to drive or as quick as some competitors with even lower horsepower.
This may mean it is heavier than some of its rivals because a higher horsepower has limited advantages if there’s more weight to pull. You should learn about cars and whether they all have horsepower.
Here are compact SUVs with the most horsepower:
4. Ford Bronco
The 2022 Ford Bronco offers a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. This engine then delivers 300 horsepower with 325 pound-feet of torque.
Also, Ford makes available options for a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 engine with 330 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque.
There’s also the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine with over 400 horsepower in the Raptor model.
The Bronco’s drivetrain offers all-wheel drive with seven-speed manual transmission. However, buyers can opt for the 10-speed automatic transmission depending on their preference.
Speaking of transmissions, explore SUVs without CVT transmissions and why exactly the Bronco made it to the list.
For the 0-60 mph duration, it depends on the trim level and the engine in your 2022 Bronco. Some are more capable than others.
However, the base trim gets from 0 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds. This is relatively impressive considering it’s only the base trim.
The top speed for the Bronco stands at around 130 mph. However, note that the top speed can be more or less depending on the trim.
5. Toyota RAV4
Owners of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 get to choose from three Powertrain options. The first is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that offers 203 horsepower and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The second is a hybrid with 219 horsepower, while the third is the plug-in hybrid with 302 combined net horsepower, which is the highest among the options.
This compact SUV comes standard with a front-wheel drive but higher trims may provide all-wheel drive too.
Also, it takes the RAV4 Prime 5.7 seconds to reach 0 to 60 mph, which is the top performance of all the models. The regular hybrid and the gas-powered one need 7.5 seconds and 7.8 seconds respectively to get from 0 to 60 mph.
For the top speed, the RAV4 Prime offers 143 mph, the hybrid has 135 mph and the gas-powered model has 114 mph.
Depending on your preference, the RAV4 Prime offers the most horsepower, is the fastest, and has the most top speed. Followed by it is the Hybrid and then the gas-powered model.
With such impressive horsepower, analyze how the Toyota Rav4 performs in snow and winter driving.
6. Jeep Cherokee
The 2022 Jeep Cherokee offers two engines, the 3.2-liter V6 engine with 271 horsepower as standard and the optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine at 270 horsepower.
However, while the V6 engine offers a little more horsepower, it’s a little sluggish. So far, test drivers have reported the turbocharged four-cylinder engine offers more acceleration and outperforms it.
Both engines come with a nine-speed automatic transmission with the option to choose between front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
Though the Cherokee’s 0 to 60 mph duration differs depending on the trim level, it takes the base model 7.9 seconds to reach 60 mph. It further has a top speed of 180 mph.
7. Jeep Wrangler
The 2023 Jeep Wrangler comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine delivering 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.
However, buyers can opt for the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 295 pound-feet of torque and 270 horsepower.
The 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with an electric motor with a combined output of 470 pound-feet of torque and 375 horsepower is also an option.
There’s also the 3.0-liter diesel V6 engine, which offers 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, while the 6.4-liter V8 engine delivers 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque.
Hence, all engine options offer enough horsepower with the V8 engine, topping the list with its 470 horsepower.
The drivetrain for all engines includes four-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission as standard. There’s also an option for an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The base trim two-door Wrangler Sport reached 60 mph in 6.1 seconds while the Sahara with an automatic transmission attained the same feat in 6.8 seconds.
More impressive is the four-cylinder hybrid Sahara, which can go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. Overall, the 2022 Jeep Wrangler has a top speed of around 100 mph.
8. 2022 Mazda CX-5
The Mazda Cx-5 is another compact SUV with remarkable horsepower. Its turbo engine delivers 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.
The non-turbo one delivers just 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque.
Meanwhile, both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive drivetrain.
However, while the non-turbo four-cylinder engine offers great throttle response and is quick to drive, the turbo engine offers more acceleration.
So far, the CX-5 turbo engine reaches 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, while the non-turbo engine does it in 8.3 seconds.
All models of the 2022 CX-5 come with a top speed above 100 mph.