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On the hunt for the best small SUV in Australia? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

In 2021, SUVs accounted for almost half of all vehicles bought in Australia – and a large portion of them was in the small and compact SUV category.

We’ve rounded up the top 5 small SUVs on the market, all offering the ultimate style, comfort, excellent driving quality and a few extra perks.

1. Kia Seltos

The Kia Seltos packs an outstanding amount of space into a seemingly small body.

If you’re looking for a “bigger” small SUV with an extremely spacious interior and a lot of boot space to zoom around the city, the Seltos is a great choice!

It comes with 2 engine options:

  • 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated 4-cylinder petrol (110kW and 180Nm)
  • 1.6-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder (130kW and 265Nm)

You’ll be pleased to know that the Seltos comes with a 7-year unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Pros: Spacious cabin, turbo option, comfortable

Cons: Lower-end versions have halogen headlights, lacks rear vents

2. Hyundai Kona

Hyundai Kona

The Kona may be among the smallest car on this list – but it’s a true stalwart in the small SUV market.

The standard range offers two engines, either a 2.0-litre, naturally-aspirated 4-cylinder, or a 1.6-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder.

And if you want a more powered-up version, there’s also the option of the Kona N with its 206kW engine that’s able to reach 100km/h in around 5.5 seconds!

Hyundai exclusively offers a fully-electric version of the Kona, but be prepared to pay a whole lot more than for its petrol equivalent.

The Kona comes with a 5-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Pros: Good tech, fun to drive, great performance

Cons: Cramped back seat, expensive higher-end models

3. Toyota C-HR

Toyota C-HR

The C-HR is the perfect example of how Toyota can get a bit funky when they want to. To sum this SUV up: it’s sporty, it’s edgy, and it’s unique (specifically the interior design.)

It comes with the following engine options:

  • 1.2-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine (85kW/185Nm) in the standard model
  • 1.8-litre hybrid engine (90kW) in the higher-end GR Sport and Koba

The C-HR is backed by Toyota’s 5-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, which is extended to 7-years if the car is serviced within the brand’s dealer network.

Pros: Hybrid option, excellent driving experience, unique interior space

Cons: Could have more power, some bigger SUVs are similarly priced

4. Mazda CX-30

If you want a sophisticated small SUV with a luxurious interior and a long list of standard features included, the CX-30 takes the cake.

It comes with the choice of 4 engines:

  • 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol (114kW/200Nm)
  • 2.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol (139kW/252Nm)
  • 2.0-litre supercharged 4-cylinder
  • 24V mild-hybrid system (132kW/223Nm) (called the X20)

Plus, 2022 saw the release of the new G20e engine with 114kW and 200Nm and a 24V mild-hybrid system.

Mazda offers a 5-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty on the CX-30.

  • Pros: Luxurious interior design, smooth drive, strong standard equipment
  • Cons: No turbocharged engine, small boot

5. Peugeot 2008

The Peugeot 2008 can be described as the best “notice me” small SUV.

In other words, if you want your car to stand out from the crowd no matter where you’re parked, this is the car for you.

The interior is not only stylish and of high quality, but also comfortable and spacious with a decent-sized boot.

It boasts a 1.2-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that delivers 114kW and 240Nm. In terms of fuel economy, it’s give-or-take 6.5 litres per 100 kilometres.

The 2008 is covered by Peugeot’s 5-year unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Pros: Looks great, spacious interior, engine sounds awesome

Cons: Lacking rear air vents

Final Words

If you’re one of the vast majority of Australians that loves small SUVs, you certainly are spoilt for choice!

Whether you enjoy sitting high off the ground, need a little more cabin space, or simply like the look of the iconic black body cladding – there are plenty of small SUVs on the market that can fulfil all of your needs.

Pick one of our 5 best small SUVs on this list, and you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do it sooner.

Happy driving!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Honda CR-V is one of the most reliable compact SUVs available on the market. For many years, it has been consistently named a top pick in its class by experts and consumers alike. The CR-V offers excellent performance, fuel efficiency and convenience features that make it an ideal choice for those seeking a dependable small SUV. Its interior cabin is roomy, comfortable and equipped with modern technology options such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. In addition to its strong reputation for reliability, the Honda CR-V comes with an unbeatable warranty package offering coverage up to 5 years/60,000 miles. With all these advantages taken into account, it’s easy to see why the Honda CR-V is considered the number one most reliable compact SUV.


David Muench (Carnes Mechanical)

David Muench (Carnes Mechanical)

Hey, I’m David. I’ve worked in a cars store for 6 years. I write reviews and guides, helping people to choose the most suitable technicals and best product for them. I’m happy to finally share my knowledge of the industry here, on CarnesMechanical.

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