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buying: Best compact SUVs of 2021 and 2022

2014 Honda Civic: What You Need to Know

  2014 Honda Civic: What You Need to Know The 2014 Honda Civic has solid reliability and safety ratings, a premium interior, refined handling, and zippy engines. As a result, it ranks near the top of the compact car class. The 2014 Honda Civic is ranked: #1 in Used Small Cars $12K to $14K #2 in Used Compact Cars $10K to $15K #3 in 2014 Affordable Small Cars #3 in 2014 Compact Cars Is the 2014 Honda Civic a Good Used Car? Available in sedan and coupe body styles, the 2014 Honda Civic is an excellent used compact car. Its interior is comfortable, and it has an upscale look and feel. The Civic also rides smoothly on rough pavement and remains stable around turns.

Compact SUVs are now the go-to choice for family transportation. Actually, considering how popular they are, they have clearly moved beyond only family duty. With such popularity, though, comes an awful lot of competitors, and it can be difficult to figure out which one might be the best compact SUV for you.

a police car parked in a parking lot

It's important to note that by "compact SUV" we're talking about a specific segment. As we describe in our more comprehensive "Best small SUVs" list, there are two smaller sub segments: subcompact and midcompact. Frankly, today's segment of compact SUVs isn't exactly compact — some have more cargo space than vehicles that are considered midsize based on their exterior dimensions. They've all grown considerably over the years.

Tested: 2022 Volkswagen Taos Plays Big Among Subcompact SUVs

  Tested: 2022 Volkswagen Taos Plays Big Among Subcompact SUVs Nearly as large as the Tiguan, the Taos is an attractive new entry point for VW's crossover lineup.The all-new 2022 Volkswagen Taos is the product of a familiar pattern in the car business. As a particular vehicle segment grows in popularity (in this case, crossovers), manufacturers tend to enlarge and differentiate their entries to make room for new models that fill the newly created gaps in their lineup. With VW's range of SUVs in the United States swelling to include the compact Tiguan, mid-size Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport, and the electric ID.

While many lists out there just rattle off every vehicle available in a segment, we thought we'd be a bit more helpful and curate your shopping a bit with our top-recommended choices for the 2021 model year. We've included both mainstream and compact luxury SUV choices.

Best compact SUVs

a car parked on the side of a road: 2021 Honda CR-V Touring in light blue © Provided by Autoblog 2021 Honda CR-V Touring in light blue

Honda CR-V

Why it stands out: Best-in-class space, strong-yet-efficient base engine, available hybrid, middle lower LATCH anchor

Could be better: Antiquated and glitchy tech interface, a bit dull

Read our 2021 Honda CR-V Review

Consider the CR-V the baseline for any compact SUV search. Objectively speaking, it's tough to beat due to its massive cargo capacity, voluminous back seat, strong-yet-efficient engines (including the CR-V Hybrid), well-balanced driving dynamics, competitive pricing and features, strong safety ratings and well-regarded reliability. It's easy to see why it continues to be such a best-seller: for the vast majority of compact SUV buyers, and especially families, it checks every box. Of course, people don't make buying decisions based solely on objective criteria, so you may find it dull to look at or drive, be frustrated by its tech interface, or some other reason only you can think of. That's why other choices exist, including the next pair of small SUVs that may satisfy those subjective wants a little better.

2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer could get more expensive

  2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer could get more expensive 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer could get more expensive originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 10 Sep 2021 14:52:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

a car parked in a parking lot: 2021 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring in Soul Red Crystal © Provided by Autoblog 2021 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring in Soul Red Crystal

Mazda CX-5

Why it stands out: Budget Porsche driving experience; luxurious cabin; powerful turbo engine upgrade

Could be better: Less cargo, passenger and storage space; non-touchscreen infotainment won't be for everyone

Our full 2021 Mazda CX-5 Review, and check out what's in store for the updated 2022 CX-5.

Basically, the CX-5 delivers in areas where the CR-V falls short: style and driving fun. It can also be considered an alternative to luxury compact SUVs. It all starts with its elegantly sporty styling and carries inside where its handsome design and plush materials are a clear step up from others at its price point. Then, when you're behind the wheel, the CX-5 impresses with engaging driving manners that we've routinely described as indicative of a "budget Porsche." Furthermore, its available turbocharged engine even has as much or more power as several similarly sized luxury models. Now, it doesn't have as much passenger or cargo space as the CR-V or RAV4, so it won't be for everyone, but it should definitely be considered.

Tested: 2022 Genesis GV70 3.5T Makes a Bold Entrance

  Tested: 2022 Genesis GV70 3.5T Makes a Bold Entrance Genesis's new GV70 compact SUV might be a little late but appears ready to steal a scene or two. From the October 2021 issue of Car and Driver.A memorable entrance can make up for lateness. Consider the GV70, Genesis's mid-size-SUV answer to everything from the BMW X3 to the Lexus RX350. Sure, it's a little tardy, but its compelling mix of luxury and performance with a competitive price appears to have been worth the wait. © Andi Hedrick - Car and Driver 2022 Genesis GV70 3.5T AWD Sport Prestige Mechanically, the GV70 borrows liberally from the G70 sports sedan.

a car driving on a city street: 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road in gray © Provided by Autoblog 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road in gray

Toyota RAV4

Why it stands out: Unmatched variety of models including two hybrids; spacious back seat and cargo area; reliability

Could be better: Unrefined base engine; antiquated tech interface

Our full 2021 Toyota RAV4 Review

The RAV4 has more passenger and cargo space than most. It's comfortable and surprisingly responsive to drive. Its interior is well built with quality materials, and offers user-friendly controls and abundant storage. Its resale value and reliability should be better than almost anything on the road. Those are all the basics that the RAV4 nails, but the latest version really stands out by offering an unparalleled variety of models. From the run-of-the-mill RAV4 LE or XLE you can go in different directions toward the more rugged Adventure and TRD Off-Road models, or toward the sporty XSE Hybrid and Prime. And those latter two are particularly significant, as the RAV4 is the rare small SUV that's not only available as a hybrid, but as a plug-in hybrid (Prime) as well. The Ford Escape is the only other. We like that there's a little something for everyone with the RAV4.

2022 GMC Hummer EV Prototype First Drive: Truck Yeah!

  2022 GMC Hummer EV Prototype First Drive: Truck Yeah! We got a first taste of what it is like behind the wheel of the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup truck and it is a mouthful. There is a lot of Hummer to move (about 9,000 pounds, in fact). Factor in the trio of electric motors, the 24-module battery pack, and all the bells and whistles included in the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 launch model, and this is a massive truck. © Manufacturer,Povi Pullinen 2022 GMC Hummer EV Prototype First Drive: Truck Yeah!-featured General Motors relishes it. The Hummer has been reinvented as a battery electric vehicle under the GMC brand, but it remains true to its roots as a huge, off-road-capable beast.

Best compact luxury SUVs

a car parked on the side of a road © Provided by Autoblog

Genesis GV70

Why it stands out: Beautiful interior; user-friendly tech; sophisticated road manners Could be better: Merely average back seat space; not as sporty as it looks

Read our 2022 Genesis GV70 review

The GV70 bursts onto the scene as a genuine, real-deal challenger for the overall excellence demonstrated by the Mercedes GLC and Porsche Macan, including offering a high-powered version. Although technically cheaper than German models, this isn't a value play — it still has a higher price than those from Acura, Lexus and Infiniti, and features a plusher interior and more sophisticated engineering that warrants it. Its distinctive looks and beautiful interior really stand out (check out the purple, green and blue interior choices), and its rear-wheel-drive platform can be augmented by a smooth, massively powerful turbo V6 and a high-tech adaptive suspension that not only reacts to road imperfections but anticipates them.

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autoblog

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

Why it stands out: Drives like a proper Mercedes; stylish interior; diverse model lineup

Could be better: Overwhelming and confusing tech interface; interior space

Read our full 2021 Mercedes GLC Review

The GLC was so masterfully executed when it was introduced six years ago that it continues to impress despite numerous competitors entering the field or being redesigned since. Principally, the GLC is so good because it looks, drives and is equipped like a proper Mercedes. Sure, checking a few options boxes helps to fully achieve that status, but even the most basic GLC drives with a solidity and refinement that's largely unmatched, and possesses a stylish interior dominated by an elegant waterfall of wood trim. It's not quite as tech-dominant in appearance as other Mercedes, but it does include nearly all of Mercedes' safety and infotainment tech features, including (for better and worse) the pretty but confusing MBUX tech interface. Two body styles (regular and "coupe") and three engine options (including two AMG models) provide a lineup diversity only the BMW X3/X4 can match.

2022 Lexus LX600 SUV—You Know, the New Land Cruiser—Debuts Soon

  2022 Lexus LX600 SUV—You Know, the New Land Cruiser—Debuts Soon Bummed that Toyota won’t be sending the newest Land Cruiser 4×4 to America? Blame your fellow countrymen and women, who didn’t buy enough of the old Land Cruisers for Toyota to justify re-upping the iconic SUV here. Rather than wait 25 years to import one, or figure out how to do that right now, may we interest you in the new Land Cruiser's Lexus-badged equivalent, the LX? © Manufacturer 2022 Lexus LX600 SUV—You Know, the New Land Cruiser—Debuts Soon-featured Lexus has just announced the arrival of the next-generation LX SUV, which we presume will be based once again on the global Land Cruiser platform.

a car parked on the side of a building © Provided by Autoblog

Porsche Macan

Why it stands out: The best compact SUV to drive; Porsche quality and customization potential

Could be better: Expensive before you even get to the exorbitantly priced options; small interior

Read our most recent Porsche Macan Review

Taken literally, the Porsche Macan is almost certainly the best compact luxury SUV. The way it looks, the way it's made and, most significantly, the way it drives would make it a no-brainer if we were shopping for a compact SUV ... and didn't have to worry about a budget. Ah yes, there's the rub. As exceptional as the Macan is, it's still a Porsche, which means that it delivers pretty dismal feature content and space for the money. The base four-cylinder model in particular is a questionable value. So, is it the most sensible choice? No, but then, this isn't the "Most Sensible Luxury SUV" list. It's about the best. The Macan is one of them.

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autoblog

Volvo XC60

Why it stands out: Scandinavian design; more space and features for the money; available plug-in hybrid

Could be better: Unrefined engines; unremarkable handling

Read our full 2021 Volvo XC60 Review

OK, so sometimes it is about being a bit sensible, and the XC60 is more so than most. It's more spacious than the norm and (surprise!) this Volvo boasts safety credentials that should please fretful parents everywhere. It's also pretty fuel efficient, and even available with an excellent plug-in hybrid model dubbed Recharge. But the XC60 also isn't some uber-utilitarian boxy Volvo of old. The styling is timelessly beautiful, and its interior oozes Scandinavian cool. Quality and feature content are also fully in keeping with the bigger, pricier XC90. Basically, the XC60 is one of the more sensible choices in the segment, but also one of the best.

Related video:

Best compact SUVs of 2021 and 2022 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 16 Sep 2021 13:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

EV Maker VinFast Plans Two Electric SUVs Styled by Pininfarina .
The Vietnamese company's ambitious plans for North America include SUVs with up to 422 miles of range to be marketed in a Tesla-style direct sales format. Vietnamese automaker VinFast plans to expand to North America with two new electric SUVs.The compact VF e35 and VF e36 look attractive with styling by Pininfarina.Claimed electric range for the smaller e35 is as high as 310 miles per charge while the larger e36 is supposedly good for up t0 422 miles.

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