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Some people need a compact SUV that doesn’t take up too much room. These reliable small SUVs have high safety scores, the newest technology, and enough cargo space for everyone’s things. There’s also one sport utility vehicle worth skipping over, but it isn’t all bad news. Check out some of the best options from Mazda and Honda below.

The number one pick for reliable small SUVs is the Mazda CX-50

Zircon Sand 2023 Mazda CX-50 parked in the desert.
2023 Mazda CX-50 | Mazda

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 was Edmunds’ number one pick when testing some small SUVs. Mazda’s CX-50 is brand new for 2023, with all the latest tech buyers might expect. It offers sharp handling, an upscale interior, and even off-road capability. Lane keep assist, rear smart brake support, and blind-spot monitoring are some of the favorite safety features. It doesn’t have official safety scores yet, but those should be out soon enough. Mazda builds the 2023 CX-50 SUV in its brand-new Huntsville, Alabama factory.

MSRP range: $26,800 – $41,550

Honda’s CR-V is another reliable small SUV worth checking out

The 2022 Honda CR-V is known for being a reliable small SUV. It offers good fuel economy and a roomy interior. Drivers and experts report that the CR-V is comfortable and has intelligent storage solutions. Some of the best safety systems are the collision mitigation braking system, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2022 CR-V a five-star overall safety rating.

MSRP range: $26,800 – $36,600

The Mazda CX-5 is sporty and fun to drive

While it came in third on this list, Edmunds says the 2022 Mazda CX-5 is one of the most reliable small SUVs. Mazda’s SUV has a reputation for being enjoyable to drive. It also has plenty of room in the cargo area for whatever passengers need to bring. The interior is high-quality, and there isn’t much else to complain about. Some of the best safety systems include smart brake support, lane-keeping assist, and rear cross-traffic alert. The NHTSA gave the CX-5 a five-star overall safety rating. In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave this Mazda SUV high scores on its crash tests.

MSRP range: $26,250 – $39,000

You can skip over the GMC Terrain if you need a reliable small SUV

Coming in 14th place out of 14 small SUVs, the 2022 GMC Terrain was below average. While a comfortable interior and technology are noted positives about the Terrain, a weak engine, slow transmission, and rough ride were some noted negatives. GMC’s SUV also has a high price compared to its competition. Rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and safety alert seat are some of the safety systems. The NHTSA gave the 2022 GMC Terrain a five-star safety rating, but there are better options.

MSRP range: $27,900 – $36,600

The reliable small SUV segment has a lot of competition, which is good for the consumer. Automakers are constantly trying to make these SUVs safer and more reliable to beat competitors. That’s not a bad problem to have, but it does make the number of choices higher.


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