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The small SUVs the CarExpert workforce would purchase


They’re in all places, small SUVs.

Final yr, of simply over one million automobiles bought in Australia, 123,016 belonged to the mass-market Small SUV section in VFACTS, which incorporates prime sellers just like the MG ZS and Mitsubishi ASX.

Throw in an additional 52,756 automobiles from the (somewhat arbitrarily outlined) Gentle SUV section, residence to the perennially hot-selling Mazda CX-3, and one other 20,464 automobiles from the premium small SUV section, which incorporates the Audi Q3, and you may see simply how common these automobiles are.

As the normal mild automobiles (suppose Toyota Yaris) and small automotive (Toyota Corolla) segments shrink in quantity, these patrons look like transitioning to similarly-sized SUVs – though that step up in trip top brings with it a step up in value.

It appears as if you’ll be able to name something an SUV these days, supplied there’s some black plastic cladding and a barely greater hip level.

And so it’s with these small SUVs that the overwhelming majority are front-wheel drive, with no off-road functionality and arguably little extra practicality than small wagons, that are unpopular and subsequently just about extinct right here.

For readability, we’ve bundled within the flock of automobiles from what are known as the Gentle SUV and Small SUV segments in VFACTS.

We’ve additionally restricted our scope to the mass-market Gentle and Small SUV segments, so there aren’t any Audis or BMWs on our record.

We all know this segmentation is mostly solely recognized by anoraks, so we’ve revealed a full record of automobiles under.

Every member of the CarExpert editorial workforce has picked their selection from the record… properly, apart from Alborz, who didn’t comply with the project.

Alborz Fallah: Nothing

These choices don’t gel with me, primarily as a result of they’re pretending to be SUVs and that’s like pretending to have an arts diploma. It’s not precisely one thing to attempt for simply because each one else has one.

Absolutely the majority of those automobiles are simply raised hatches whereby producers have labored out that they’ll cost $3-5k extra simply by placing on some black physique cladding and elevating the trip top. I imply significantly, what’s a Corolla Cross? Is it a cross-dressing Corolla? Does it determine as an SUV simply because it says so?

There’s loads of speak in the mean time concerning the next-generation of automobiles being the top of the SUV period. I certain hope so, as a result of the small SUV section is just about every part that’s mistaken with the SUV section which in itself, is every part that’s mistaken with the automotive market.

Scott Collie: Skoda Kamiq

Wow, there’s loads of selection right here.

The larger new Hyundai Kona is a robust possibility, as is the older however nonetheless glorious Kia Seltos. I just like the quirky little Peugeot 2008, too.

The Skoda Kamiq could be my decide, although. It’s the right measurement for tight metropolis streets on the surface, however packs a shocking quantity of area inside. The 110TSI engine has sufficient grunt to make the Kamiq really feel fast sufficient, and it has the identical strong, greater automotive feeling we’ve come to anticipate from different Volkswagen automobiles primarily based on the identical platform.

MORE: Skoda Kamiq new automotive offers

Anthony Crawford: Hyundai Kona

Proper from the outset the Hyundai Kona was quick on area, particularly should you had been making an attempt accommodate youngsters and important child equipment.

Hyundai clearly listened to its prospects who had been telling them as a lot, as a result of the new-generation Kona is a surefire hit with sufficient area to haul youngsters, prams and important gear with out compromise.

It’s additionally a cutting-edge design from any angle – inside and outside.

Jade Credentino: Honda HR-V

My vote could be the Honda HR-V. I had the possibility to drive it for per week or so earlier this yr and it was my first Honda expertise as properly.

It’s so well-packaged, and you already know what to anticipate price-wise with Honda’s pricing scheme – no nasty disappointments on the dealership.

My favorite options within the top-spec e:HEV L embody heated entrance seats, a heated steering wheel, wi-fi Apple CarPlay and keyless begin – tick, tick, tick, tick!

Jack Fast: Mazda CX-30

The Mazda CX-30 G25 Touring SP – $40,510 earlier than on-roads.

If I used to be at present seeking to purchase a Gentle or Small SUV I’d positively be contemplating a hybrid, however none of the present choices actually get my coronary heart racing.

That’s why I’ve chosen the Mazda CX-30 in blacked-out Touring SP guise with the peppy G25 engine.

The CX-30 with the two.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine is correctly heat hatch-like in a straight line, with enjoyable and smile-inducing driving dynamics to match.

It’s not all sunshine and roses nevertheless as having halogen DRLs on a automotive that prices greater than $40,000 earlier than on-roads isn’t a terrific look, and plugging in your cellphone for Apple CarPlay within the centre armrest can get tiresome.

William Stopford: Ford Puma

I’ve all the time most popular sedans and wagons, so if I’m going to be satisfied to purchase a small SUV it is going to must be one thing both tremendously sensible or able to placing a smile on my face.

The Ford Puma will not be the previous, nevertheless it’s actually the latter.

It mightn’t be significantly highly effective, nevertheless it’s remarkably fun-to-drive. One memorable fang alongside Mount Wonderful Street cemented the Puma in my thoughts as probably the most pleasant car within the mainstream Gentle/Small SUV segments. Sharp turn-in, just about no physique roll, and glorious steering imply that is an SUV you’ll truly wish to deal with some twisties in.

The in-car tech can be good and the inside is inoffensive, although rear seat area is missing.

An electrical model is coming subsequent yr and I’m curious if it has equally pleasant dynamics. What I’d actually wish to see, nevertheless, is for Ford Australia to deliver the Puma ST right here.

A runner-up for me could be the extraordinarily well-packaged Kia Seltos, or its redesigned Hyundai Kona cousin. The Mazda CX-30 is good too, nevertheless it’s a disgrace we miss out on the turbocharged 2.5-litre 4.

MORE: Ford Puma new automotive offers

James Wong: Mazda CX-30

Often I scoff at small SUVs, as previously they’ve appeared like money grabs when the equal passenger automotive isn’t any much less sensible and extra succesful dynamically.

Nevertheless in 2023 there are much better selections available in Australia, although we’re nonetheless pretty restricted when it comes to electrified choices within the section.

I hold coming again to the Mazda CX-30 as my benchmark. The combination of on-road enjoyment and cabin refinement actually isn’t a system matched by mainstream opponents, and the inside is the nicest compact crossover cockpit this aspect of one thing with a premium badge.

All variants come well-equipped out of the field, with good security and know-how inclusions, and you may possibility the Imaginative and prescient Know-how Package deal for a nominal sum on decrease grades to get flagship tech like surround-view cameras and a semi-autonomous freeway assistant with out having to spend massive on the top-dog Astina.

My solely actual gripe is the shortage of a correct hybrid possibility. The G20e M Hybrid and difficult X20 M Hybrid don’t have a leg to face on in comparison with a Corolla Cross Hybrid or Kona Hybrid on the subject of outright gasoline financial savings, and particularly the e-Skyactiv X motor with its much-hyped compression-ignition tech is sort of expensive all issues thought of.

If I used to be to choose a second various, I’d most likely go for the Nissan Qashqai or Skoda Kamiq.

If the upcoming Qashqai e-Energy collection hybrid drives something like its bigger X-Path e-Energy sibling it’ll have the premium powertrain to go together with the upscale inside provided in greater grades, whereas the common-or-garden Skoda Kamiq stays a prime contender for its punchy and environment friendly turbocharged powertrains, and sensible inside packaging that will make you query whether or not you want a dimensionally bigger car.

MORE: Nissan Qashqai new automotive offers



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