Small SUVs continue to take market share away from the old-school family sedan. What started as the crossover, a blend of sedan and SUV, continues to morph into a segment capable of dropping the kids off at school, carrying two weeks’ worth of groceries, and taking the family camping past the end of the paved road. As an all-around “member of the family,” choosing the most reliable small SUV that meets your needs is essential. Recently, U.S. News released a roundup of the “Most Reliable Small SUVs.” So, let’s dig deeper into the top five entrants on the list.
2022 BMW X4
The 2022 BMW X4 is the most reliable small SUV on the U.S. News list. With a starting price of $51,800, BMW stands behind the X4 with a four-year or 50,000-mile limited warranty. Along with a “solid list of standard safety features,” the X4 includes automatic emergency braking and rear cross-traffic alerts to keep your family safe. Inside the X4, the luxurious interior consists of a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, and Wi-Fi.
There are three powertrain options, including the 30i’s 248 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the M40i’s 382 horsepower turbo 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder, and the twin-turbo inline-six M with 473 hp or the M Competition with 503 hp. Whichever powertrain you choose, it’ll come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system.
2022 Hyundai Tucson
The next and nearly equally reliable small SUV on the list is the 2022 Hyundai Tucson, which costs half as much as the BMW X4 at $25,800. The newly redesigned Tucson earned the U.S. News “Best Compact SUV for the Money” and “Best Compact SUV for Families” recognitions. The high praise and predicted reliability come backed by Hyundai’s five-year or 60,000-mile limited warranty and 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
While the lower price forgoes the BMW’s larger touchscreen, the Tucson features more cargo space and a quiet cabin with “plenty of passenger space in both rows.” The Tucson also features “several advanced safety features,” an 8-inch touchscreen, and wireless connectivity for your smartphone.
Engine choices for the 2022 Tucson include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 187 horsepower or a hybrid powertrain with a 1.6-liter turbo. Additionally, a plug-in hybrid on the horizon uses the same 1.6-liter engine. The hybrid comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, while other models feature an eight-speed automatic, and front-wheel drive is standard, but some options offer a choice for all-wheel drive.
2022 Kia Sportage
With an identical reliability score, the 2022 Kia Sportage is third on our list of reliable small SUVs. Starting at $24,090, the Sportage features the same warranty as the Tucson. Additionally, the Sportage’s interior includes comfortable seating for adults in both rows, premium materials, and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system like the Tucson.
Powertrain options for the Sportage include the base 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 181 horsepower, a 240-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and a hybrid option with a turbocharged 1.6-liter paired with a 44-kW electric motor that produces 227 horsepower.
2022 Kia Soul
Fourth on the list is the 2022 Kia Soul. The Soul also comes with Kia’s exceptional warranty and a nearly identical reliability score to the Sportage. Although it’s one of the smaller SUVs on the list, it provides adequate space inside for passengers and cargo, and its small size makes it easy to maneuver in tight spaces.
The Soul presents a simple-to-use infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen and smartphone connectivity. While the $19,290 base model doesn’t provide the latest safety technology, upgrading from the base trim allows additional features. The base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 147 horsepower. You’ll have to upgrade to the Soul Turbo to take advantage of the 201-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder.
2022 Lincoln Corsair
At $36,580, the 2022 Lincoln Corsair isn’t the least or most expensive small SUV on our list. Still, its reliability score is close to the others. Additionally, it comes with advanced driver-assistance technology, including pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alerts, and an available adaptive cruise control system. Finally, Lincoln’s four-year or 50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year or 70,000-mile powertrain warranty provide peace of mind.
The Corsair’s interior is quiet, comfortable, and luxurious, with heated front seats, an 8-inch touchscreen, smartphone connectivity, and Wi-Fi. The Corsair’s base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine features 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. If you need more power, there’s an available 2.3-liter turbo with 295 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Finally, if you desire better fuel economy, choose the hybrid powertrain with two electric motors and a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 266 horsepower.
Which small SUV is the best?
Choosing the best small SUV from this list is a matter of preference, but it’s hard to justify the BMW X4’s price when the Lincoln Corsair is nearly as reliable, luxurious, and way less expensive. Meanwhile, the low-cost offerings from Hyundai and Kia feature the best warranty and will provide reliable transportation with money left over to actually drive somewhere.