When you drive any car at all, you want to be sure you can see what’s in front of you as well as whatever is going on at the back.
This is why it is important for vehicles to have great visibility, as it makes for not just convenience but also safety.
During our research, we found many people don’t seem to care about how much visibility their SUV gets. They think just because it’s an SUV, it will do just fine.
However, while there’s some sound logic there, having a good ground clearance doesn’t always mean great visibility.
This is exactly why we have put together a list of compact and subcompact SUVs with the best visibility on the market. Let’s get started.
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Subcompact SUVs With the Best Visibility
Subcompact SUVs are the smallest SUVs around, which is why they are also known as “small SUVs.” They are a class below compact SUVs.
Check out a few subcompact SUVs with great visibility here:
1. Subaru Crosstrek
The Subaru Crosstrek is a subcompact crossover SUV that debuted in 2012 as part of Subaru’s lineup for the 2013 model year. Its third generation has been announced for 2023 and it is one of the best-selling SUVs in the U.S.
Besides selling over 100,000 units for the past five years without fail, the Crosstrek has also enjoyed quite the success critically.
It earned the eighth spot on U.S. News’ competitive list of best subcompact SUVs for the most recent model year. Not to mention mostly positive ratings from other outlets.
Some of its best features include a roomy cabin, standard AWD, a composed ride, and a well-built interior. The Subaru Crosstrek also enjoys great visibility, with its large windows and comparatively small roof pillars.
Add to that, the standard EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which, in Subaru’s own words, serves as an “extra set of eyes”.
It features a wide range of safety systems, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, and Pre-Collison Braking, amongst others.
It also features “dual color cameras” which is the core of its system, and this serves to look out for any unexpected dangers. That, plus the rearview camera, ensures the Crosstrek scores very high in the visibility aspect.
Besides visibility, it’s necessary for smaller drivers to reach their pedals easily. So, here are some SUVs with adjustable pedals.
2. Honda HR-V
The Honda HR-V debuted in 1998 as a subcompact crossover SUV. Now in its third generation, the Honda HR-V has managed to sell about 500,000 units since 2014 after a seven-year-long hiatus.
It is considered one of the best subcompact SUVs currently and it ranks #6 on U.S. News’ list of the best subcompact SUVs.
The HR-V sports a dope interior, composed ride, nimble handling, and a cornucopia of standard features.
In terms of visibility, the Honda HR-V enjoys great outward visibility thanks to its low dash, thin windscreen pillars, and big door mirrors for the sides.
Also, there are very few over-the-shoulder blind spots and, of course, a rear-view mirror, which means great rear visibility.
Another feature that aids visibility is the multi-angle rearview camera, which gives you a great view of all that’s going on at the back of the car. Overall, we would say the Honda HR-V’s great visibility is one of its strongest suits.
3. Kia Soul
The Kia Soul debuted in 2008 as a 5-door subcompact crossover SUV. Produced and marketed globally by Kia, the Soul entered its third generation in 2019 and has sold over a million units since debuting.
Many critics and pundits consider it one of the best subcompact SUVs ever made. Some of its top features include well-mannered handling, roomy cargo, and a slew of standard driver-assistance features.
The Kia Soul has some of the best visibility features among vehicles in its class, and that has been the case for a while. The outward visibility is excellent thanks to the Soul’s great shape, which makes for almost zero blind spots.
Further, the Soul has great visibility because it’s one of the SUVs with the highest driver seat position.
And, of course, you have great mirrors which can be properly positioned to avoid any obscurities. The windows at the rear are quite huge and upright, which also improves the rear visibility.
We should also mention the rear-view camera, which further improves rear visibility and the available blind spot monitoring system.
Please make sure to also read our article about full-size SUVs with the best visibility.
4. Nissan Kicks
The Nissan Kicks entered the production and marketing phase in 2016 as a subcompact crossover SUV.
In the last 4 years, it has sold well over 200,000 units in the U.S. alone and it has experienced a surge in sales every year since 2019.
It is also considered one of the very best subcompact SUVs owing to its reliability and quality. Some of the Kicks’ most acclaimed features include great gas mileage, huge cargo space, and myriads of standard features.
The Nissan Kicks also has excellent outward visibility thanks to its thin windshield pillars, light cabin, and huge side mirrors.
The visibility is further improved on the rear by the surround-view camera system, which is standard and, of course, the blindspot monitoring system.
Compact SUVs With the Best Visibility
Compact SUVs are also known as compact crossover SUVs and they are the second smallest SUVs. Below are some compact SUVs with great visibility:
5. Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester debuted in 1997 as a compact crossover SUV. It is now in its fifth generation and has notched millions of sales as well as multiple awards, including Motor Trend SUV of the Year (2009/2014).
It is ranked 4th in U.S. News’ List of the best compact SUVs with features like standard AWD and good gas mileage receiving the most acclaim.
Another one of the Forester’s highly acclaimed features is its visibility both at the front and in the rear.
It boasts a large windshield, thin roof pillars, huge windows, and a side glass; plus there are no head restraints, which means all-round excellent visibility.
It’s also among compact SUVs with extra comfortable seats.
Other features that aids the Forester’s visibility are subsumed in its standard EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which, in Subaru’s own words, serves as an “extra set of eyes”.
It comprises several safety features including a dual-color camera and lane-keep assist.
There is also the blind spot monitoring system which serves to further reduce the chances of falling victim to any blind spots.
Little wonder Consumer Reports have consistently rated the Forester as the best SUV for visibility.
Make sure to also read our article about compact SUVs with the most passenger room.
6. Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 made its debut in the United States in 1995 as part of the SUV offerings by the growing Toyota brand.
Now in its fifth generation, it has risen through the ranks to become one of Toyota’s best-selling SUVs with a diamond+10 million sales figure, in music terms.
In addition to its commercial success, it also enjoys considerable critical success as it is deemed by pundits as one of the best compact SUVs money can buy.
Some of its top features include its excellent gas mileage, massive cargo space, and a slew of standard features.
The Toyota RAV4 is endowed with great outward visibility thanks to the properly placed windows, thin roof pillars, and a great windshield.
All of that combines with the rearview camera and the limited 360-degree camera makes for great sightlines on the front, side, and rear.
Besides its large cabin and best-in-class fuel efficiency, the RAV4 is one of the small SUVs with 4WD, although this depends on the trim level.
You can also browse through our article about compact SUVs with the highest ground clearance. We featured some of your favorite small SUVs too.
7. Hyundai Tucson
The Hyundai Tucson is a compact SUV manufactured and marketed by Hyundai since 2004. It is the best-selling SUV in Hyundai’s lineup with over 7 million units sold worldwide.
The model entered its fourth generation in 2020 and is considered by many critics to be one of the best compact SUVs on the market. It boasts excellent features like nimble handling, exciting ride quality, great fuel economy, and a first-rate interior.
The Hyundai Tucson also boasts superb visibility thanks to its great shape, big windows, and relatively thin roof pillars. It also offers great safety features to aid visibility, including the blindspot monitoring system, rearview camera and lane keep assist.
Visibility at the rear is not exactly “Forester standard” because of the very thick roof pillars which create a little obstruction. However, that’s nothing a good backup camera cannot make up for.
You should also read our article about compact SUVs with the most passenger room.