The range of small SUVs has never been so comprehensive and there are some proper well-kitted-out vehicles out there! 

If you’re ready to bag a bargain and find a small SUV suitable to you and your lifestyle - keep reading as I dig into our Lease Fetcher favourites, our top 9 of all small SUVs on the UK market.

Whether you need more room in the back for all your downhill biking gear, if you carry a full pram and baby kit, if you’re the first one out of the office on a Friday afternoon going on adventures or if you just like the look of them - then I bet there’s a car on this list that will make you tick!

The demand for small SUVs is booming, and manufacturers are spitting out new models, trims and ranges at fashion retail-like speed! What used to be a few select manufacturers branching out is now every single manufacturer. All of today's manufacturers with a bit of self-respect have a small SUV in their range, and they’re all looking pretty darn good.

First on the list, the Hyundai Kona. If you like to make a bold statement, then this zingy SUV is one of the top contestants in the small SUV market. 

Fun fact about the Kona, the guy who designed it - also designed the Lambo Murcielago. How about that!

With a very comprehensive choice of trims, there’s almost definitely a trim that will suit your style and vehicle requirements. 

The Kona comes with quite the engine choice. The most popular picks are the two highly efficient turbocharged petrol engines, the 1.0 T-GDi and 1.6 T-GDi, but the Kona is also available as a hybrid and will soon be available as an EV too. It’s a pretty exciting time if you’ve been thinking of going green! Driving the Kona (petrol 1.0 T-GDI) is decent, and the engine feels pretty rapid. Nothing spectacular, but a good ride at a good price. 

On the more exclusive trims, the interior and infotainment options really come to life with a premium sound system from Krell, Apple CarPlay & Android auto, wireless charging, Heads-up display, heated steering wheel and with a choice of interior colour trims! On the more standard trims, not so much!

For space, you’d expect a taller SUV to have a fair bit of space on the backseat. Here, the Kona disappoints. With very limited head and legroom, you need to consider the height of any potential rear passengers. The backseats are.. distinctly average. 

If you like the style and can live with the limited room on the backseat, then, by all means, get yourself a Hyundai Kona! If you’re looking for a bit more room but are set on Hyundai - then the Tuscon is the next step on the ladder.

 

Pros

  • 5 years of the manufacturers' warranty
  • Bold styling 
  • A wide range of trims available 

Cons

  • The standard models are a bit basic
  • As you upgrade your trim, the price increases fast! 
  • The backseats are a bit of a letdown

25 viewed this car Kona Hatchback View Gallery
7.2

Hyundai Kona Hatchback

19 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.6
  • Fuel: P, D, E, H
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £172.36 Per Month

Initial Rental: £2,068.32 inc VAT
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Designed for the Urban Jungle, the EcoSport feels more like driving a sporty car than a narrow, upright SUV. 

Contrary to Fords award-winning EcoBoost engine, the EcoSport is pronounced EccoSport.

With super-quick and light steering, it’s easy to combat any gusts that hit the wind catching profile. The EcoSport ride is pretty good, but with a slightly stiff suspension. If you’re going on the smaller roads, it’ll likely be a bumpy ride. Some people love that, other people are prone to motion sickness, it does, however, mean that when you’re turning a corner - the car doesn’t roll much. 

The infotainment in the EcoSport is neat. With a top of the range touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, DAB and Bluetooth as well as options to upgrade the stereo to the high end, creme de la creme, Bang & Olufsen - the EcoSport will have you pretty spoiled for tech.

The Ford EcoSport suffers a similar downfall as the Kona as it also has pretty poor second-row seating. The foot, knee and headroom is pretty limited so if you’ve got two teenage boys that need to fit in the back you should think twice before you get your wallet out. 

Another important thing to note about the EcoSport is that the boot swings out (like a door) rather than up. If you’re doing a lot of city driving and parallel parking then it can be a bit of a nuisance as you may not be able to open up the boot space properly. Ford has tried to make the slim space more practical and as a result, the boot floor in the new EcoSport is moveable which is pretty handy. 

The EcoSport model has a bit of a muddled past and was actively avoided for many years. However, after the 2015 make-over, Ford EcoSport has been more popular than ever and with good reason! We think it’s a great small SUV.

Pros

  • An easy to use infotainment system
  • Premium look with the big Ford grille on the front  

Cons

  • The suspension is pretty stiff
  • Backseats have very limited space for passengers

32 viewed this car Ecosport Hatchback View Gallery
7.3

Ford Ecosport Hatchback

16 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.5
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 104 - 149g/km

From £194.91 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,754.19 inc VAT
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Dreaming of a Volkswagen Tiguan but can’t quite justify the expense? Aren’t we all! Lucky for you, the T-Cross has a lot of similar albeit smaller and cheaper features and at a much more affordable premium.

All the T-Cross trims share engines with the VW Polo. From the more standard S 1.0 TSI 95PS to the most premium R-Line 1.0 TSI 115PS all engines are tested by time (in the award-winning Polo) and pretty economical to run!

The look of the T-Cross is really something else. With a large bar across the back, roof spoiler, a chunky sculpted body and a gorgeous well-defined front, the T-Cross model takes a lot of its design features from the higher end T-Roc and Tiguan.

Interiors of the T-Roc are robust, clean, elegant, practical and simple in true VW fashion. The infotainment screen is integrated into the dash which is pretty nifty and, of course, works with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. On the more premium trims, you also have the option to upgrade your sound system to BeatsAudio that boasts a first class sound experience with a powerful subwoofer.

Built to suit an active lifestyle, the T-Cross is incredibly versatile in its interior. The passenger front seat can be folded flat down and the rear seating can be adjusted to provide more legroom for passengers or more boot space. 

As with most of the vehicles on this list, the standard model is a bit sparse so if you’re after the fun features, you’ll have to fork out on a trim upgrade. 

Overall, the T-Cross is a great small SUV, perhaps the small SUV we’ve all been waiting for?

Pros

  • When it comes to design, the T-Cross is in a league of its own!
  • The use of space in this small SUV is impressive

Cons

  • The glove box is tiny. Why? VW just HAD to make space for a.. *drumroll*.. CD player
  • The basic trim, the T-Cross S, is a biiiit basic with its features

23 viewed this car T-cross Estate View Gallery
7.3

Volkswagen T-cross Estate

16 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Estate
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 107 - 119g/km

From £199.25 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,793.25 inc VAT
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The Citroen C3 Aircross is built for advanced comfort and for high practicality. With it’s wide comfy seats, and French interior, the C3 Aircross is much like the C3 - except for the radical upgrade to the appearance. 

There are three trim options available and a heck of a lot of personalisation and upgrade choices. The most popular engines are petrol and range between 83-130 horse powers. It does also come with a diesel engine however. All in all, the driving is much like a C3 but with softer suspension. It’s comfortable but not exactly a fun ride. The gearbox can feel a little clunky and almost van-like at times, and slotting into the correct gear can be tricky. Apart from that - the C3 Aircross provides a very comfortable ride.

Even the cheapest trim comes with an industry leading set of features and gadgets! The entry-level ‘Feel’ boasts a 7inch touch screen, dark tinted rear windows, air conditioning, roof bars, cruise control, pull out boot floor and a bunch of other things too!

Personalisation choice for the Aircross is unrivalled. With a wide range of body colours, roof finishes and interior ambiance choices you can make sure that your car is unique. And there are plenty of upgrade options too. If you’re after a panoramic sunroof, backseat sun blinds, a towbar, blind spot monitor, a specialist audio system, or perhaps transverse roof bars all you have to do is tick a box and they’ll make it happen. Bear in mind that the more boxes you tick the more is added on to the price.

Like the T-Cross, the rear seats (on the Flair trim) moves back and forth allowing for a very large boot space and with the passenger seat folding down flat too, you can easily freight longer items. 

The infotainment in the C3 Aircross is pretty decent and has built in TomTom satnav but is also compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto & Mirrorlink.

When upgrading to the slightly more expensive ‘Flair’ trim, even more gadgets are piled on! Heated electrically adjusted wing mirrors, automatic aircon, reversing camera, rear parking sensors and a keyless entry and start.

The C3 Aircross is deceptively spacious and provides an extremely practical and comfortable ride. It’s a great small SUV and it would provide a good spacious family car.

Pros

  • Deceptively spacious
  • Even the standard trim is pretty kitted out

Cons

  • Driving the C3 Aircross is not much fun 
  • The seating is almost too soft and if you’re going far, you might lack some lower back support

The CX-3 is possibly one of the best looking SUVs on the market with its slick premium body.

Based on the Mazda 2 hatchback, the CX-3 has been jacked up and styled to look more SUV-like and had its most recent revamp in 2018. The CX-3 is available with three engines and in three different trims. Driving the CX-3 is smooth, linear and powerful and the gearbox is one of the finer in the market.

Regardless of what trim you go for, you get a smart interior with high quality materials. A few of the rival cars such as the T-Cross and Arona have been quick to fill up the dashboard with plastics but not so much in the CX-3. Instead, most dashboard elements feel pretty plush. 

The climate control systems in the CX-3 are easy to work, handy to grab and not hidden inside a layered infotainment system. It does still have an infotainment system, and actually one of the best on the market. The basic trim comes with a 7inch touch screen. 

Fun fact about the infotainment system though, the touch screen only works when you’re parked or driving at low speed. If you’re in full drive, you can’t use the touch screen as Mazda has deemed it too distracting. If you’re working the system on the go, you’ll have to use the rotary dial. 

The CX-3 is a pretty good small SUV, ultimately it all comes down to style and preference in this market. If you like the lower body and sculpted lines - then the CX-3 could easily be the car of your dreams!

Pros

  • Optional Bose upgrade to the audio system
  • Both interior and exterior look great!

Cons

  • Apple CarPlay & Android Auto can only be fitted from a dealer and you’ll have to pay extra
  • There isn’t much room on the backseat 
  • Driving at high speed can be pretty noisy in the CX-3
34 viewed this car Cx-3 Hatchback View Gallery
6.9

Mazda Cx-3 Hatchback

20 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 105 - 160g/km

From £265.03 Per Month

Initial Rental: £2,385.27 inc VAT
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Basically, the SEAT Arona is an overinflated, pumped up Ibiza. It feels incredibly spacious both in the front, the back seats and in the boot and has a smart-ish looking body and interior.

 The Arona is nice and easy to drive, nippy enough when you put your foot down and generally feels fairly sporty. With quite a few big windows and thin body work, the visibility in the Arona is really good! Suspension is a bit firmer than you’d expect in an SUV, but it’s nothing major. 

You have a choice of a whopping 5 different trims. All trims come with a list of engines to choose from, though the standard, Reference, has a choice of three engines: the 1.0 EcoTSI 95HP 70kW, 1.0 TGI 90HP 66kW and the 1.6 TDI 9HP 70kW. 

The interior is clean, simple and smart looking although the dashboard has a plasticy feeling which seems to be a recurring thing in these smaller SUVs.

With regards to equipment, the entry level model has pretty much all the basic functionality you need but if you go a step up, you’ll get a big 8inch infotainment screen (as opposed to the entry level 5inch) as well as parking sensors and wireless charging to mention a few. 

SEAT Arona is a pretty sweet ride, with some unique style choices. I’d recommend you take it for a spin and see how you feel! 

Pros

  • You have a good choice of body and roof colours 
  • The Arona is nice to drive and really spacious

Cons

  • The entry level trim only has a 5 speed gearbox which can be annoying on the motorway 
  • There is a lot of plastic in the Arona’s interior which makes it rattle when driving
80 viewed this car Arona Hatchback View Gallery
7.8

Seat Arona Hatchback

32 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.6
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 106 - 115g/km

From £148.25 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,779.00 inc VAT
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First released in 2013, the Renault Captur was one of the first small SUVs on the market, and it has done tremendously well. 

Actually, the Captur is Renaults best selling car in the UK and one of the best selling small SUVs in Europe.

Based on the CMF-B platform, the same as the Clio, there are four different trims for the Captur. The Play, Iconic, S Edition & GT Line.

When you’re driving the car around, the suspension in the car is good and smoothly evens out your ride when going over bumps and potholes. The engine in the Play model isn’t anything special and can feel rather dull however, the diesel option is quite nippy.

There’s very little of the rattly plastic dashboard in the Captur, which is delightful for a change. The interior is a bit simple and childish at times, but it is functional. And the infotainment system supports Android Auto but not Apple CarPlay. Odd. Take that Apple fans!

The seating in the Captur is pretty good and elevated and legroom for the guys on the backseat is decent enough. However, there isn’t an awful lot of headroom in the back. If you’re regularly transporting tall people around, you may want to test out the Captur before you seal the deal. 

All around the Renault Captur is good value for money. It’s a good car and a strong contestant to the small SUV market. 

Pros

  • Some cool upgrade options such as removable seat covers, sunroof and fun color schemes
  • You can upgrade to the powerful, high-end, Bose sound system

Cons

  • The seat recline is manual and is oddly enough on the left hand side which is rather awkward
  • Android Auto but no Apple CarPlay - what’s that all about?
83 viewed this car Captur Hatchback View Gallery
7.8

Renault Captur Hatchback

41 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.5
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 95 - 128g/km

From £116.04 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,392.48 inc VAT
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The 2008 did better than Peugeot ever imagined! With a more upmarket feel and a lovely interior, the 2008 is one to try out before you settle on a small SUV.

Driving the 2008 is relaxing and the suspension does a great job of ironing out the bumps in the road. The car is available in four trims and there are three different petrol engines and one diesel to pick from. The highest available horsepower is 130 and it’s surprisingly rapid on the road! 

The driving position and drivers seat is more elevated compared to the classic hatchback so the visibility out the front is better on the Peugeot 2008, however - the visibility when looking out through the back isn’t fantastic as the body pillars are chunky as anything.

The infotainment system is a bit so so. There’s nothing massively wrong with it, it’s just bang on average. The 7-inch infotainment screen works with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirror Link as well as just via general Bluetooth. If you upgrade to a more premium trim,  it also includes integrated TomTom satnav with real-time traffic updates.

The boot is a decent size, nothing spectacular, however, it has a full size spare wheel under the boot floor which is pretty unique these days.

Overall - the 2008 is a pretty decent small SUV and the interior is a strong selling point! The car drives well, looks good and has some impressive features. Give it try yourself!

Pros

  • The car can tell if you’ve had an accident and will automatically call the emergency services
  • Interior is rather upmarket 

Cons

  • It’s not the widest car so you’ll struggle to fit three people on the back seat
  • There’s no central armrest
23 viewed this car 2008 Estate View Gallery
7.3

Peugeot 2008 Estate

15 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.6
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Estate
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 90 - 150g/km

From £235.28 Per Month

Initial Rental: £2,117.56 inc VAT
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Stick your head inside the Stonic and you’ll immediately notice the sleek dashboard with a splash of color, that is if you’re getting a first edition. It’s chunky, looks robust and generally, looks the exact way you’d expect a small SUV to look. 

Driving the Stonic feels like driving a hatchback. Although the suspension is a bit stiff, it feels agile and quick and can be quite a fun car when you take it out for a spin.

The infotainment has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so even though it doesn’t have any actual satnav software on the lower-end trims, you can still swing your directions easily via your phone!

Features in the Stonic are comprehensive! From autopilot to automatic aircon to rear parking sensors, the KIA Stonic is well kitted out - you may need to do some upgrades though if you’re wanting the full premium package.

When you sit in the driver's seat, it doesn’t quite feel so SUV-ish but more like a normal hatchback. The back seats are alright, although people over 6 ft might struggle to get comfy. 

The boot in the Stonic is humble. There’s not much to give and despite it having an adjustable boot floor, there’s still a bit of a boot lip. 

Overall, the KIA Stonic is a nice looking car and it drives well! With small SUVs though, it’s all about style. 

So the question remains, do you fancy the Stonic?

Pros

  • You can upgrade your Stonic to include both heated front seats and a heated steering wheel
  • The Stonic is a very nice ride and the clutch, gear and steering is smooooth

Cons

  • The glove compartment is a bit small and with two manuals, one for the car one for the infotainment, they can’t both fit in there
  • When you use the rear window screenwash it literally washes down the back - it’s not a pretty sight
19 viewed this car Stonic Estate View Gallery
7.3

Kia Stonic Estate

8 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.6
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Estate
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 106 - 132g/km

From £196.46 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,768.14 inc VAT
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Why these cars?

The customers in the small SUV market are often more focused on styling and infotainment rather than horsepowers, steering feels and technical specifications. 

Don’t get me wrong, the car has to be good and drive well, but the fact of the matter is that the average small SUV customer couldn’t care less about the size of the engine and how quickly it can go from 0-60mph. Furthermore, despite all the vehicles being classed small SUVs, very few of them actually boast an all-wheel drive. 

What the average customer is after - is an urban, good looking, affordable, well driving, small SUV. Not a beast of an off-roader!

You’ll likely have noticed that a few of the vehicles could arguably be classed as medium-sized SUVs or compact SUVs if you will. And that is arguably true.

 

To get on this list, the vehicle had to be a small- ish SUV, look snappy, drive well, have a few cool features and not cost the moon. 

How to pick a small SUV?

If you’re on the lookout for a new car, how do you pick the right small SUV in a market that’s quickly becoming one of the biggest car markets? Here are some things to consider!

Running cost

Running costs is always something you should consider. Will you be able to get replacement parts quick and cheap? How long are you covered by your manufacturers' warranty and how much does it cost to insure? All things worth considering when you shortlist your favourites.

Fuel economy 

The fuel economy in these small SUVs is generally pretty good. This is because the vast majority of them are built on the same framework as their hatchback younger siblings. However, the MPGs do vary so if you’re after a fuel-efficient car, be sure to check out how far it travels per litre.

Interior space

The main selling point of small SUVs is style. As previously mentioned, the general small SUV customer doesn’t care too much about the intricate technical specifications, however - the style and bodywork is ultra important. 

You know best what style you’re after so follow your own heart, not your neighbours!

Driving Experience

Narrow down your choices and take your shortlisted few on a ride. The driving experience will likely be very different and you’ll get an idea of what type of car and driving experience suits you best. 

Off-road functionality 

Now it’s worth noting that even though these vehicles are called small SUVs, cross overs, compact SUV, whatever you want to call them - they are almost all front-wheel-drive only. There are a few four-wheel drives in the pack but generally, the small SUV is more looks than actual raw and outdoorsy power!

If you’re after a true all-wheel drive that can also go off-road - then perhaps a small SUV isn’t the right car for you.

Other small SUVs and cross overs to consider

The small SUV market is mahoosive! Below I’ve listed some other great contestants that didn’t quite make the cut on this particular list!

Dacia Duster

Ford KA+ Active

Nissan Juke

Honda HR-V

Suzuki Ignis

Fiat 500x

Infinity Q30

Audi Q2

BMW X1

Mini Countryman

Volvo XC40