On the road: Our pick of the best compact SUVs

Whether you are looking for the perfect fit for a growing family or maybe a little extra space for the shopping bags, here’s LIVING’s pick of the best compact SUVs 

Need more space in your ride?

Volvo XC40

Volvo’s answer to the demand for compact SUVs has been met with huge success. Launched only in autumn 2017, it has already claimed the coveted, What Car? Car of the Year title for 2018.

But with award-winning safety, connectivity and infotainment technologies, it’s not hard to see why, and it makes the XC40 one of the best-equipped small premium SUVs.

Safety and driver-assistance features include Volvo’s semi-autonomous Pilot Assist system, the latest generation of City Safety, Run-off Road Protection and Mitigation, Cross Traffic Alert with auto brake, and the 360° camera that helps drivers manoeuvre their car into tight parking spaces.

Volvo XC40

The XC40 also has more functional storage space in the doors and under the seats, a special space for phones (including inductive charging), a fold-out hook for small bags and a removable waste bin in the tunnel console.

Prices start from £27,610. 


The new BMW X2 is appealing primarily to a young and young-at-heart, urban and active target group who are keen to see their personal character reflected on the road through an emotionally-engaging car.

The Sports Activity Coupe is a BMW with a standalone character. Its head-turning design combines the discreet robustness of a BMW X model with the athletic potency of a coupe. As well as the standard BMW X2, customers can also choose from the BMW X2 M Sport and M Sport X models.

A host of design details underscore the distinctive character of the BMW X2. These include the BMW roundel on the C-pillars and the styling of the kidney grille, whose outline is wider at its base than at its top (for the first time on a modern BMW).


Three engine/transmission variants are offered from launch: the BMW X2 sDrive20i petrol model with 141 kW / 192 hp, plus the X2 xDrive20d diesel variant with 140 kW / 190 hp, and X2 xDrive25d diesel with 170 kW / 231 hp.

Prices start from £29,050.

Read more: Top 4 cars for affordable luxury

Kia Stonic

The sporty Kia Stonic is the South Korean company’s first entry into the rapidly expanding small (B-segment) SUV market. In the UK, the Stonic is available in five versions based on three engines and two trim grades – badged ‘2’ and ‘First Edition’. Grade ‘2’ offers all three engines, while the ‘First Edition’ is available with the 1.0-litre T-GDi and 1.6-litre CRDi units.

Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, all-round electric windows with an automatic function on the driver’s side, roof rails, rear parking sensors, remote locking, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, a 3.5-inch supervision cluster, Bluetooth with voice recognition and music streaming, automatic light control, bi-function projection headlamps with static cornering lights and LED daytime running lights. There are body-coloured bumpers, door mirror casings and door handles, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and 60:40 split rear seats. A six-speaker audio system is standard.

Kia Stonic

All versions have a six-speed manual transmission and drive the front wheels . Autonomous Emergency Braking – a rarity in B-SUVs – and Lane Departure Warning are standard with ‘First Edition’ and optional with grade ‘2’.

Prices start from £16,540.

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DS 7 Crossback

The DS 7 Crossback SUV combines the latest technological innovations with new levels of driving comfort and performance.

Taking the first step towards autonomous driving, innovative technologies such as DS Active Led Vision, DS Connected Pilot and DS Driver Attention Assist increase safety, comfort and peace of mind for both the driver and the passengers.

For the exterior, a new diamond-effect grille, horizontal chrome DS Wings and LED rotating headlamps create dynamic lines on the body front, while the interior is available with a choice of four DS inspiration ambiences reflecting the DS concept of even more personalisation options.

DS 7 Crossback

The SUV will be available with a plug-in hybrid petrol drivetrain with 300hp and 4X4, a new latest generation Efficient Automatic Transmission with 8-speeds, a THP S&S 225hp engine and two electric motors.

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