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Compact SUVs are quite popular among shoppers for a few reasons. Small SUVs are versatile, with enough room for all passengers but still reasonable fuel economy. Many people also appreciate the higher driving position, which offers better visibility and sometimes even improved safety. This is especially important with small family SUVs to keep everyone safe. Check out where these options from Toyota and Hyundai landed in the rankings for 2023.

What is the best small family SUV in 2023?

The best small family SUV is this 2023 Hyundai Tucson
A 2023 Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai

For the last few years, the best small family SUV accolade has gone to the 2023 Hyundai Tucson. When U.S. News ranked the best SUVs for this year, the Hyundai Tucson racked up the points. It makes sense, as the newest version of the Tucson is comfortable, safe, and relatively affordable.

The best family SUV of 2023 has plenty of room for five passengers and comes with a few ways to configure it. Hyundai only has one engine option this year, a 2.5L four-cylinder with 187 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, but shoppers can opt for all-wheel drive too.

With that said about the family-friendly Tucson, which small family SUV has taken a tumble in the rankings? That would be the 2023 Toyota RAV4.

Is the 2023 Toyota RAV4 still a good family SUV?

The best small SUV used to be the 2023 Toyota RAV4
A 2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 is still a great small family SUV; it just isn’t the best anymore. Toyota equips the RAV4 with plenty of space for passengers in the cabin and more room in the cargo area than some other options. It is easy to drive and park, thanks to those compact dimensions.

2023 Hyundai Tucson2023 Toyota RAV4
Critics’ Rating8.87.9
Quality & Reliability7781
Small family SUV rankings

There wasn’t much new to report for 2023, with the Toyota RAV4 sticking with the same formula as the last few years. A bigger touchscreen comes standard this year, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Toyota RAV4 was the best compact SUV for years, offering excellent safety scores and a reasonable cost. It still provides those things, but the Hyundai Tucson just does it better now. That doesn’t negate the fact that the RAV4 is a well-rounded vehicle that is suitable for many shoppers. The compact sport utility vehicle category is quite full of good options, which is excellent for consumers.

What is the safest compact SUV to buy for a family?

One of the more critical areas that shoppers consider is safety, and the 2023 Hyundai Tucson earned high marks across the board. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Tucson its Top Safety Pick Plus award this year. On top of that, the 2023 Tucson earned a five-star overall safety rating this year. The SUV impressed on all of the critical crash tests.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 wasn’t far behind, earning the IIHS Top Safety Pick award. It also earned a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. The compact SUV protected the driver and passengers during testing and earned a high rollover resistance test score.

Having a lot of options for a small family SUV is better than not having enough to choose from, but it is interesting to watch the trajectory of the RAV4 over the last few years. The Hyundai Tucson has also proven to be a safe and reliable option for families, so keep it on your shortlist.


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