For most of us, the space and utility of a little one is enough. SUVs in this class are easy to live with, efficient and have enough room to be comfortable. But they are not all the same. What do Edmunds reviewers think are the best for 2023?
What is a small SUV?
Small SUVs meet the needs of many of us. They’ve got enough room to seat five comfortably, but they’re not the behemoths you can’t park. Most have enough interior space to fit enough luggage for a week-long trip and gas mileage that won’t hurt the pump. is a site that rates and reviews new and used cars, and in this case, all of the small SUVs on the list cost under $32,000. Interestingly, the best-selling, yet aging Toyota RAV4 didn’t make the list.
and give it an off-road upgrade? Get the file. That means you get the room and playful handling of the CX-5, plus the utility of an all-wheel drive SUV that isn’t afraid to tackle some mountain trails and mud. Mazda introduced the CX-50 for 2023.
The base version of the CX-50 starts at $27,550. The hot turbocharged version, however, with 256 horsepower, will put a smile on your face more for $27,150.
No. 2: Honda CR-V
Honda has completely redesigned the CR-V for 2023 and it now has a more traditional SUV look, as well as a significantly updated interior. The new one is in the sweet spot for many buyers and is a best seller, so Honda handled the redesign with care. It’s bigger and more practical than its predecessor and comes standard with the tech most people want, like Apple Car Play and Android Auto, as well as a large touchscreen.
The 190-horsepower CR-V starts at $31,610, however the $33,000 Sport Hybrid adds a two-motor hybrid powertrain that gets better mileage, but has 204 horsepower.
No. 3: Mazda CX-5
If the CX-50 is on the list, why not the CX-5? The CX-5 combines all the goodness of the CX-50, but in a package designed to take on the streets. It comes with all-wheel drive and lively, fun handling as standard. For 2023 the CX-5 starts at as little as $26,700. While it’s a blast to drive, many buyers decide the $36,850 entry price is a bit much.
#4: Subaru Forester
The Forester is starting to get a little long, but still offers plenty of value in the segment. While it offers a lot for 2023, it gets a complete redesign for 2024, and that could mean the 2023s will be bargains at your local dealer. Subaru All Subaru’s feature all-wheel drive and solid mechanicals that, while not fast, offer a solid driving experience. The Forester is one of the best-selling small SUVs because of its good looks, large interior volume, and unassuming wagon-like profile.
For 2023 the Forester starts at $26,395.
No. 5: Kia Sportage
If you need room in your small SUV, the Sportage offers more room in the back. The Sportage’s new styling also sets it apart from others in the segment with its unconventional, bold front end and grille. While the base 187-horsepower engine won’t stir your soul, Kia offers a 261-horsepower plug-in hybrid version that has an EV range of 34 miles. Inside, it’s packed with more tech and panache than you might expect, including two optional widescreen displays.
The Sportage starts at $26,290. The hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions start at $27,490 and $38,690, respectively.