The Best Subcompact SUVs of 2024

by George Kennedy

Subcompact SUVs represent the fastest-growing category in the new car market, and for good cause. They provide an excellent mix of comfort, capability, safety, and efficiency, at a price most can afford. Drivers and passengers experience a higher seating position in a small SUV compared to a sedan or compact car, enjoying more functional space than a subcompact car would offer. Additionally, many compact SUVs feature cutting-edge infotainment tech, advanced driver-assistance and safety features. They boast roomier interiors in comparison to hatchbacks, offering enhanced practicality without a significant increase in starting prices.

So popular are subcompact SUVs in 2024, that nearly every major automaker now offers at least one. To help make sense of it all, we’ve assembled the following list of the best SUVs in the segment, depending on your needs.

If you want to know more about any individual subcompact crossover, head over to the CarGurus Research page for our expert reviews. There you can also find other models that didn’t make this list, such as the Toyota C-HR, Nissan Kicks, the Fiat 500X, the Toyota Corolla Cross, and the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.

The Best Subcompact SUVs of 2024

2024 Buick Envista Review Lead In

Buick Envista

Best for: Fashionistas who love a good value
The Buick Envista is a brand-new model for 2024, replacing the Encore as the brands entry-level model. The overall design is striking, appearing far more upscale than its base manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $22,400 suggests.

Motivation is provided a 1.2-liter turbocharged three-cylinder powertrain driving the front wheels through a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. Don’t let the engine size fool you, it has plenty of power for highway on-ramps.

Inside, the Envista is decked out with a standard 8-inch digital instrument cluster, 11-inch infotainment touchscreen, Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Wireless phone charging is standard on the top-spec Avenir and available on lower trims.
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2024 Honda HR-V

Honda HR-V

Best for: Honda loyalists with cargo needs
The HR-V was completely redesigned for 2023 and the 2024 model has no changes. The HR-V stands out with its terrific fit and finish, and though it might not skew as upscale as the Buick Envista or Mazda CX-30 does, you can still feel the quality of the HR-V from behind the wheel.

The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine makes 158 horsepower and yet acceleration is sluggish. On the plus side, it corners and handles very well, and it’s highly maneuverable in tight space. The base LX trim comes with a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This new infotainment system is certainly an improvement. The EX-L comes with a larger 9-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Auto. And every version of the 2024 Honda HR-V comes with the HondaSensing suite of driver assistance features.
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2024 Hyundai Kona Review - Summary

Hyundai Kona

Best for: Another athletic, premium option that doesn’t command high prices
The all-new 2024 Hyundai Kona and the Mazda CX-30 offer very similar things, just in different packaging. The Kona has dynamic, futuristic styling backed by an upscale interior and nimble handling. The base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine makes an underwhelming 147 horsepower, but with front-wheel drive (FWD) it returns up to 29 mpg city, 34 highway, and 31 combined in the entry-level SE trim. The upgraded 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 190 horsepower and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 2024 Kona’s standard features include a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s also available with a Bose premium stereo. The Kona also comes standard with Safe-Exit Warning, forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, rear-occupant alert, and automatic high beams. It has 63.7 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats folded down, which is exceptional for the class.
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2024 Hyundai Venue

Hyundai Venue

Best for: Families who live in the city
The Hyundai Venue is a funky, yet attractive, small SUV. With its tall-but-short styling, the Venue has just 31.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which is low for the class. The Venue’s only engine is a sluggish, 121-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder. On the plus side, it returns solid fuel economy of 29 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined.

So, if it's underpowered and low on cargo space, why is the Hyundai Venue on this list? Because of its cabin. The upright styling provides plenty of headroom and terrific visibility. The dash layout is attractive, and the controls are simple and easy to use. The infotainment system is very intuitive and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and is available with wireless device charging. The Venue is also very maneuverable in tight spaces, making it a terrific choice for shoppers who live in cities. And let’s not forget that Hyundai and its corporate cousin, Kia, are known for their generous warranties.
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2024 Kia Seltos review summary

Kia Seltos

Best for: Families who want the best subcompact SUV for the money
The Kia Seltos has a sharp cabin with solid fit and finish, plenty of passenger space, and as much as 62.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded. The base engine makes 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, sent to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). An upgraded turbocharged four-cylinder engine now makes 195 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 2024 Seltos comes standard with an intuitive 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All trims above the base LX feature a larger 10.25-infotainment touchscreen as well as a 10.25-inch fully digital instrument cluster. The Seltos also comes with plenty of standard driver assistance features, including forward-collision avoidance, lane-departure warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, and driver drowsiness monitoring.
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2024 Kia Soul

Kia Soul

Best for: Families who care about form as much as function
Like the Hyundai Venue, the Kia Soul benefits from an unorthodox layout, but it takes that concept a step further. As a result, it has an impressive 62.1 cubic feet of cargo space, and the tall, boxy proportions allow you to fit larger items in the back. Both the first and second rows are spacious, with plenty of head- and legroom even for back-seat passengers. The tall seating position provides terrific visibility for the driver. For 2024, a new EX Designer Package is available featuring 18-inch wheels, a cloth and synthetic leather seats, and a unique interior color scheme.

The Soul comes standard with a 147-horsepower four-cylinder engine, which does feel underpowered at times. The infotainment system features a standard 8-inch touchscreen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 10.25-inch touchscreen is available, as is wireless device charging. This all makes the Soul a well-equipped and functional value.
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2024 Mazda CX-30

Mazda CX-30

Best for: Families who want a sporty, upscale ride without the luxury price tag
The CX-30 anchors the most affordable end of the Mazda crossover lineup. Thanks to its wide, athletic stance, the CX-30 actually looks like a lifted Mazda3 hatchback. It backs up that visual connection with similarly athletic, refined handling. The base four-cylinder engine makes a respectable 191 horsepower. If you are seeking a bit more in the way of thrills, you may want to opt for the 227-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. With premium fuel, this turbo powertrain makes 250 horsepower.

The CX-30 provides 45.2 cubic feet of cargo space, about average for the class, and its wide stance makes for a large rear hatch opening, improving access to the cargo area. The upscale cabin is highlighted by the MazdaConnect infotainment system, which looks sharp and has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but is complicated to use. There is no touch functionality; instead, it’s operated via controls in the center console. Luckily, the car has an upscale interior rivaling those of many luxury SUVs and terrific driving dynamics to make up for it.
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2024 Mini Countryman review summary

MINI Countryman

Best for: Luxury shoppers with a lead foot
The MINI Countryman is perhaps the most honest subcompact SUV. Sure, the "MINI" name on a crossover SUV may offend brand purists, but the Countryman knows what this class of vehicle is all about. What it lacks in cargo space it makes up for in premium materials and dynamic handling. With a base price of nearly $32,650, the Countryman is expensive for the class, but it brings plenty of premium features. For 2024, the plug-in hybrid is more attractive due to it’s lower base-price.

You’ll want to skip the 134-horsepower three-cylinder base engine if you are looking at gas-only models and move right on up to the 189-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder in the Countryman S. If you can afford it, the JCW, or John Cooper Works, trim is a performance machine. It provides 301 horsepower and sporty handling.
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2024 Subaru Crosstrek review summary

Subaru Crosstrek

Best for: Families who love the great outdoors
One of the main criticisms of subcompact SUVs is that they lack the capability of more traditional sport utility vehicles. With standard all-wheel drive (AWD) and 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the all-new third-generation 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is one of the most capable vehicles on this list. It also has a cargo capacity of 54.7 cubic feet, which is good for the class. Looking for even more capability? The Wilderness trim increases ground clearance to 9.3-inches and adds a roof rack capable of handling up to 700 pounds of static load.

The 2024 Crosstrek comes standard with an impressive 11.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also comes standard with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

The base 2.0-liter engine feels weak at times, and, in fact, the Crosstrek is one of the slowest cars on the market today. We would strongly recommend selecting the optional 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which makes 182 horsepower and can be found on the Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trims. If you can spring for either of these ($29,195 for the Sport and $31,095 for the Limited, and $32,195 for the Wilderness at the time of this writing), the extra power is well worth it. If you’re interested in a 2024 Crosstrek with a manual transmission, you are out of luck, as the only transmission available is a CVT.
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2023 Volkswagen Taos review thumbnail

Volkswagen Taos

Best for: A fuel-efficient option with plenty of cubic feet for the price
The Taos is one of the newest entries in the Volkswagen lineup, making it a fresh face in the subcompact SUV segment. It packs a lot of space for a vehicle its size, delivering up to 65.9 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded. The Taos also delivers surprisingly adult-friendly second-row seating. However, Volkswagen does seem to take the “quantity-over-quality” approach on this model at times, and some of its cabin materials are sub-par.

The only engine option for the 2024 Taos is a 158-horsepower four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Despite the low output, acceleration is decent. Front-wheel-drive (FWD) models get an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD models gain a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Taos comes standard IQ.DRIVE driver assistance technology which includes automatic cruise control, automatic emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring. It also comes standard with a push-button start, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
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Related Topics

From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine,, Hemmings Classic Wheels,, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.

Michael McKibben has nearly a decade of experience in the automotive space as a creator, editor, marketer, and writer. Based in Washington DC, he specializes in Electric Vehicles (EVs) and has a passion for design, sustainability, and innovation.

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