Compact SUVs are insanely popular here in the states. With so many models on the market, from so many different auto manufacturers, how do you choose the best compact SUVs for 2019? We looked at ratings across a variety of publications and considered the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ratings and those from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety to determine the best compact crossovers for your money. Compact SUVs are generally known as crossovers and tend to be based on a car platform. Most SUV’s, in contrast, are based on a truck chassis. Most compact SUVs are similar in size to a mid-size sedan. Take a look at the seven best compact SUVs below.
Best Compact SUVs of 2019
The 2019 Mazda CX-5 continually gets rave reviews around the auto-journo cognoscenti. Why? It’s impressive driving dynamics, simple, good-looking interior and exterior design, and some of that magic “zoom-zoom.” With a base price that starts around $25,000 and a variety of different engines, the Mazda CX-5 has enough space to haul the family and offers enough fun behind the wheel to be worth the price. The IIHS gave the Mazda a Top Safety Pick + Award for 2019, while NHTSA gives it a five-star safety rating. Plus, it gets an EPA-estimated 29 miles per gallon combined.
Back in 1996, when Honda announced the CR-V, the acronym stood for “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle,” and that moniker still holds true today. The 2019 Honda CR-V is comfortable, spacious, and fuel-efficient and priced right for a small crossover. The IIHS gave the 2019 Honda CR-V a Top Safety Pick rating while NHTSA gave it a five-star crash rating. The EPA says that the 2019 Honda CR-V gets 30 miles per gallon combined.
Subaru’s have a tremendous fan base because of their practicality, offroad ability, and reliability. The 2019 Subaru Forester has all those traits. It’s got ample cargo and passenger room, great safety technology, and standard all-wheel drive. NHTSA gave the 2019 Subaru Forester a five-star safety rating, and the IIHS awarded it a Top Safety Pick + rating. The EPA says that the 2019 Subaru Forester gets 29 miles per gallon, too, so you won’t find yourself continually heading to the gas station to fill up.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 was all-new in 2019 and garnered some high praise. The RAV4 offers the latest in Toyota safety and a new all-wheel-drive hybrid version for those who want to save on gas. With room for five people and ample storage space the RAV4 is a good bet for a small crossover that offers practicality at an affordable price. The 2019 Toyota RAV4 starts at just above $25,000 and gets a five-star safety rating from NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. The EPA says that the RAV4 gets 30 miles per gallon combined, too.
The 2019 Kia Sportage comes with one of the best warranties in the business, offers ample space and a pleasant drive, with space for five people plus their belongings. It gets good ratings from the industry as a solid all-around crossover for a reasonable price—the Kia Sportage starts at just over $23,000. The IIHS gave it an overall rating of good in its crash tests while NHTSA gives it a five-star crash rating. The EPA says that the Kia Sportage gets 25 miles per gallon combined.
Another entry from the Hyundai-Kia company that lands on our list of the best compact SUVs is the 2019 Hyundai Tucson. It comes with the same 10-year/100,000 mile warranty as the Kia on our list, and offers a suite of standard safety equipment, an updated exterior, and interior design, and, according to the EPA, up to 26 miles per gallon combined mileage. The IIHS gave the Tucson a Top Safety Pick + award, and NHTSA gave the small crossover a five-star crash rating.
As Ford begins to make its move away from passenger cars and double down on SUVs and crossovers, the 2019 Ford Escape stands out in the crowded field. It offers plenty of power, a solid transmission, and available all-wheel drive with ample room for passengers. Our reviewer found it easy and comfortable to drive, too. The IIHS gives the Ford Escape an Acceptable rating, while NHTSA gives it a five-star crash rating. The EPA says that the Escape gets up to 26 miles per gallon combined.
The Bottom Line
In a crowded and popular market like the compact crossover space, it can be hard to separate the winners from the losers. Taking into consideration your needs (and whether or not all-wheel drive is a necessity), both in terms of space and what kind of driving you do, can help you save money and choose the best compact SUV for you.