Consumer Reports: Avoid These Small SUVs, What to Buy Instead

Sometimes a new car doesn’t meet the fundamental standards required for a well-rounded SUV. The small SUVs on this list were either praised by Consumer Reports or rebuffed for various reasons. For the most part, a lack of safety features and an unreliable nature means you can skip these compact SUV options for 2022.

Consumer Reports skipped the Volkswagen Taos SUV

Consumer Reports suggests avoiding these small SUVs
The Volkswagen Taos SUV sitting in a driveway | Volkswagen

While the 2022 Volkswagen Taos is a popular small SUV choice, Consumer Reports says it might be worth skipping. The Taos only received a 55 out of 100 overall, putting it in eighth place among 14 other compact SUVs. While it has a roomy cabin and agile handling, the acceleration is lacking. With 26 mpg overall, the Taos fuel economy was unimpressive. Consumer Reports said it was disappointing that Volkswagen did not include forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), blind-spot warning (BSW), and rear-cross traffic warning (RCTW) on the base trim.

Price Range:  $23,295 – $33,345

The Subaru Crosstrek SUV is worth taking a second look at

The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek received pretty positive feedback across the board. The Crosstrek SUV racked up a score of 86 out of 100 overall. All of the scores were above-average on the road test, predicted reliability, and predicted owner satisfaction. Consumer Reports put the Subaru Crosstrek first on the list of small sport utility vehicles. With 29 mpg overall and a competent engine, it offers a lot. Consumer Reports says the lack of EyeSight driver assistance system coming standard is a big drawback, though. You have to level up to get FCW and AEB.

Price Range:  $22,645 – $35,845

Try to escape the Ford Escape SUV if you can

The 2022 Ford Escape just can’t seem to get it right. With a 55 out of 100 overall, the Escape SUV missed the mark in the areas of predicted owner satisfaction and predicted reliability. Consumer Reports says there are more issues than just that, though. Getting only 26 mpg overall, the engine “transmits an annoying vibration at low engine speeds.” The transmission isn’t very smooth when shifting, and the ride is a bit too firm for the SUV. Plus, the interior materials are lacking. Consumer Reports says to wait until 2023 before considering the Ford Escape. However, the 2022 Escape compact SUV comes standard with FCW, AEB, and BSW.

Price Range:  $26,510 – $39,185

The Hyundai Tucson checks all of the boxes for Consumer Reports


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The Hyundai Tucson is one of the highest-rated compact SUVs from Consumer Reports’ testing. It received above-average scores on the road test, predicted reliability, and predicted owner satisfaction. Plus, the Tucson SUV also received the coveted “green choice” recommendation. The 2022 Hyundai Tucson hybrid powertrain managed 35 mpg in the testing and 28 mpg overall. FCW, AEB, and BSW are all standard.

Price Range:  $24,950 – $42,700

If you are looking for reliable compact SUV options, it might be worth skipping over the Volkswagen Taos and Ford Escape. There are more dependable and fuel-efficient choices on the market that won’t leave you stranded.