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Best Small SUVs in Australia

Posted on Wednesday 4th September 2020

The increasing popularity of small SUVs in Australia has seen a rise in the number of makes and models. If you're in the market for one, read on. In this article, we've done a succinct review of the range in the market. This will help you pick the best small SUV to suit your needs.

Holden Trax

This great-looking SUV comes with a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine (the 1.8-litre manual was dropped from the range in late 2019). It's 1.4-litre turbocharged engine ticks the boxes for power. Quite surprisingly to some perhaps, its' not lacking on the technology front either. The infotainment system puts it on par with other leading makes and models in the market.

Its major drawback is its huge appetite for petrol. The fuel costs can add up when zipping about the city on weekdays and roughing-it-out on the weekends.

Mazda CX-3

The Mazda CX-3 epitomises the style revolution the brand has undergone in the last decade. Powered by dependable engine performance and comfort, this SUV has the power and looks that many buyers are looking for. Add the must-haves of today's car, for example, reversing camera, cruise control and a multitude of airbags, it will certainly make the shortlist of potential buyers.

If it has one weakness, that may be the appearance. Some may consider it a little too 'designer-looking' for an SUV. And in contrast to its other rivals, it falls short in terms of cabin space.

Mitsubishi ASX

This is an immensely popular vehicle. One of the reasons is its affordability. Add its track record as a reliable brand and it's little wonder why it is the choice of many new entrants into the SUV category.

With the ASX, don't be fooled by its compact-size appearance. And if safety tops your list of criteria, this small SUV certainly needs to be on your list. The autonomous braking system, pedestrian recognition and lane keeping assistance are some of the features that come with the compact SUV.

The low price of Mitsubishi ASX could make some people sceptical. It sounds too good to be true. But let the test drive speak for itself.

Subaru SV

It can tow a braked trailer that weighs up to 1400kg. How about that for strength and power? Subaru has been steadily building its reputation for the strength and power over the years.

It's an all-wheel-drive, which means you can slip into the outback easily. Its jacked-up suspension feature cushions the car well on those bumpy off-roads. Add leather trimming, as well as heated front seats and you have got comfort and style too.

Another feature of the car is the X-mode system that directs drive to the wheel. It lends a firmer grip, making driving up steep slopes much easier. With excellent child-seat fixtures, even your little one will feel safe and comfortable off-road. But the transmission may keep them awake! It borders on the noisy end of the spectrum.

Honda HR-V

If you're looking for cargo room, this vehicle has it! It's the only model that allows the seat base to folded completely down. It gives the car the 'height' it needs to load up larger items.

And if you like the feel of everything at your fingertips, the adjustable height and reach of its steering wheel is a big plus. From operating your Bluetooth, infotainment system to cruise control, everything is within easy reach. The Honda HR-V boasts a low speed autonomous braking system as well as lane watch and passenger side blind spot camera in its mid-tier model.

The model's drawbacks are its noisy engine and it can be sluggish when accelerating. This makes long distance drives less enjoyable, especially when overtaking.

Toyota CH-R

Space, fuel efficiency and safety - what more can you ask for in an SUV? With a hybrid option, an increasingly Toyota feature, and a wide selection of colours, you'll make a statement with the Toyota CH-R.

Its aggressive design and styling is a striking Toyota feature. On off-roads, it's hill-start feature is great. You'll never be caught sliding down! With a tyre-pressure monitor, you'll never have to worry about where the nearest petrol station is to inflate your tyres.

Nissan Qashqai

Its most outstanding feature is the 5 or 7-inch touch screen. With a quieter cabin and ventilation system, it makes catching a movie, for passengers that is, a nice experience.

Other features that make the Qashqai a favourite include keyless entry, push-button start, hill-start assist and a reversing camera. On and off-road, it's light and responsive steering makes driving easy.

However, if you intend on having tall passengers in the back, it'll be tight. There's not much legroom in the back. Bringing passengers on an off-road adventure will be an issue.

Kia Seltos

Kia's unique 7-year warranty extends to its SUV range too. And, it has the biggest infotainment screen too - 10.25 inch! In addition, it edges most other makes in the class with its power steering and suspension. The spacious interior makes it a great family car.

But the ride may not be comfortable for back-seat passengers. It doesn't feature rear air vents. And as far as safety is concerned, only its higher-end models feature those that are comparable to competitor makes and models.


As far as comfort and engine performance are concerned, the X1 carries on the BMW legacy. It is smartphone friendly with excellent connectivity. Nothing appears to have been compromised from a technology perspective in the X1.

If you're a power driver, you'll be won over by the swift acceleration of the X1. It's got a powerful and efficient engine; so you won’t have to worry too much about burning the fuel.

You get what you pay for. So expect to pay more for the BMW X1.

Audi Q2

This is the closest rival to the BMW X1 in the European make class. If you're looking for mobile entertainment on your road trips, the Audi Q2's eight-speaker sound system beats the competition. You’ll be looking forward to getting out for a long drive as its well-appointed interior is typically Audi.

The luxuries of this make extend to its functionality too. Wipers that are activated when it starts raining, satellite navigation and pedestrian detection are just some of the features that make it a top choice in the premium small SUV segment.

If there's one shortcoming it would be the absence of a rear air-vents.

There you have it - 10 of the top small SUV cars in Australia for your consideration. From safety, features to comfort, there is something for everyone.

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