Although they are large and bulky vehicles with a lot of power, just like pickup trucks, the primary purpose of SUVs has always been to carry passengers. They are more comfortable, better insulated, and often offer more spacious seating than any other segment. One of the main criticisms of SUVs over the years has been their size and fuel economy, which put them behind sedans and hatchbacks for decades, but not anymore. Today, SUVs are more practical and fuel efficient than ever with a host of sub-segments to ensure every buyer gets exactly what they need.
For travel, everyday urban driving and errands, nothing beats a compact SUV. Once this segment was no bigger than regular cars, today some compact SUVs are more than big enough for a family of five and their luggage.
That aside, these vehicles can tow up to 3,000 pounds and still offer lively handling and acceleration. It is therefore not surprising that this segment is growing in sales. And in fact, the sheer number of compact SUVs produced by virtually every major manufacturer can be downright confusing to buyers looking for a new SUV. That’s why we’ve put together our own list of the 10 best compacts SUVs of 2022†
10 GMC grounds
In tenth place comes the 2022 GMC Terrain (basic version) is equipped with a 1.5L Turbo 4-cylinder engine that delivers 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque† The compact SUV comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission and various technologies such as Hill Descent Control and StabiliTrak, an electronic stability control system with traction control.
In terms of towing capacity, the GMC Terrain can tow anything weighing up to 1,500 lbs. As you can see, the interior looks very nice, but as expected, comfort comes at a price. The SLT model starts at an MSRP of $34,895.
9 Jeep Cherokee
If the Grand Cherokee sounds a bit much, you can always go for the compact Cherokee. This SUV is stronger than the GMC Terrain as it features a 3.2L V-6 engine with 271 horsepower, a 9-speed automatic transmission and a towing capacity of 2,000 lbs†
Apart from several comfort and technological features, the combined MPG of the compact SUV is 22 with a reasonable 27 MPG on highways, making it a great choice for long trips. The base version has a suggested retail price of $33,995.
8 Toyota RAV4
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 (LE version), which comes in eighth position, is equipped with a VVT-i 2.5L 4-cylinder DOHC engine with 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque† Unlike the previous entries, this compact SUV has an 8-speed automatic transmission and a towing capacity of 1,500 lbs.
Again, aside from comfort and various driving aids, the real MPV here is the highway MPG coming in at 35. The LE RAV4 starts at $26,975, making it more affordable compared to other vehicles on this list. Spend twenty-five hundred more and you could buy the hybrid model for even more efficiency.
7 Nissan Rogue
The Nissan Rogue from 2022 has a 1.5L DOHC 12-valve VC-Turbo engine with 201 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque† While the base model is very affordable, you’ll have to sacrifice the AWD capabilities of the premium model, which costs only about $1,500 more and costs $28,650.
It also features various driving, steering, braking and parking aids, as well as an 8-inch color touchscreen infotainment system that is guaranteed to provide useful information and entertain passengers.
6 Subaru Forester
Even though the Forester’s 182hp 2.5L DOHC engine and 176 lb-ft of torque may not seem like much, the compact SUV managed to claim sixth position on our list. The reason behind that is none other than its affordability and great design.
There are 6 different versions with the base starting at $25,895. However, the towing capacity is 1,500 lbs, so if you need a great towing machine, you’ll be better off with the Wilderness trim. That said, the latter costs $33,520, so it may take some time to make the right decision.
5 Ford Bronco Sport
The American-made compact SUV comes equipped with a 1.5L EcoBoost engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission† What we really liked about the Ford Bronco Sport was the GOAT (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain), which means that the vehicle will seamlessly change driving modes to provide the best driving experience based on the surface it is driving on.
The Ford Co-pilot 360, a range of driver assistance systems, is another great feature of the Bronco Sport. The base version with 181 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque costs $28,265.
4 Honda CR-V
In fourth place is the 2022 Honda CR-V rocks a 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC engine with 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque† The compact SUV comes with Honda Sensing, a suite of safety and driver assist technologies that enhance the overall driving experience.
While the CR-V’s interior design is excellent, the car’s MPG on the highway is 34, making it excellent for long-haul journeys. The base model, the LX, starts at $26,800.
3 Kia Sportage
Claiming the third position, almost entirely for its incredible exterior and interior design, the Kia Sportage features a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine with 187 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque† The Sportage drives very well with smooth transitions thanks to the 8-speed automatic transmission.
As for towing capacity, using the trailer brakes you can tow up to 2500 pounds. Otherwise, you should limit yourself to just 1,653 pounds. The cheapest version, the LX, starts at a suggested retail price of $25,990, making it one of the most affordable options on our list.
2 Mazda CX-5
The number two on this list, the Mazda CX-5 is equipped with a SKYACTIV-G 2.5L DOHC 16-valve engine with 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque† Finding a compact SUV with AWD at such an affordable price is not something we often see and this is enough to give the CX-5 the second place on our list.
Another reason is the towing capacity, as the base model can tow up to 2,000 lbs without adding premium elements to the trim. It has a suggested retail price of $26,250.
1 Hyundai Tucson
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson claims top spot on our list, and a compact SUV has never looked sexier than this one. It is broadly customizable as you can choose from a selection of 8 exterior colors and 2 interior colors. The car is equipped with a 2.5L DOHC 16-valve engine with 187 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque and an 8-speed automatic transmission†
The towing capacity is again 2,000 pounds and 1,650 pounds without the trailer brakes. The car is sold in 5 different trims, but the base version labeled SE starts at $25,800.
5 SUVs That Are Prone to Trouble (And 5 That Are Incredibly Reliable)