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Ranking lists can help consumers narrow down their vehicle search through process of elimination. While rankings can vary depending on the publication, vehicles at the very top of lists tend to be popular among experts and consumers alike. Car and Driver ranked every 2022 subcompact SUV. Only 1 SUV is declared the best subcompact SUV model by Car and Driver.

Car and Driver’s pick for the best subcompact SUV shouldn’t surprise you

A blue Mazda CX-30 subcompact SUV is driving on the road.
The Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

If you’re a fan of subcompact SUVs, three models should come to mind when considering the best that the market has to offer: the Hyundai Kona, the Mazda CX-30, and the Kia Soul. All three models make great sedan alternatives. One model outranked the competition on C/D’s list of best 2022 subcompact SUVs, and its value proposition makes it a fine pick.

Car and Driver ranks the 2022 Mazda CX-30 as the best 2022 subcompact SUV. Many drivers who own other subcompact SUVs disagree, but it’s hard to deny that Mazda is producing some of the best quality SUVs in the subcompact, small, and midsize SUV segments.

Kelley Blue Book praises the 2022 Mazda CX-30 for its refined interior, engaging driving dynamics, and many standard features. U.S. News & World Reports compliments the CX-30’s smooth ride, handling, and standard all-wheel drive.

Should you get a 2022 Mazda CX-30?

A blue Mazda CX-30 subcompact SUV is driving on a wet road.
The Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

The 2022 Mazda CX-30 starts at $22,500. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to make 191 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. The CX-30 includes 24 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway.

The CX-30 comes standard with a remote keyless entry system, a 12-volt power outlet, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. It also includes off-road traction assist, Mazda radar cruise control with stop-and-go, and driver attention alert.

The Mazda CX-30 is a great subcompact SUV option for drivers looking to make the switch from a sedan to their first SUV because of features like standard all-wheel drive. The CX-30 has the enjoyable driving dynamics of a smaller vehicle but offers the practicality of an SUV as well.

If you’re looking for the most refined subcompact SUV option for the money, the CX-30 is the way to go. The Select trim is one of the best trim options because it adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and blind-spot monitoring for an affordable price ($24,900).

What is the best subcompact SUV on the market?

A red Mazda CX-30 subcompact SUV is parked.
The Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

Is the Turbo in the Mazda CX-30 Worth the Premium Price?

The CX-30 is included near the top of most subcompact SUV ranking lists by popular automotive publications. Its greatest rivals are the South Korean Hyundai Kona and Kia Soul. The Kona is a subcompact SUV with a quirky design that is known for being fun to drive. The Kia Soul is a staple in its segment that is best known for being incredibly affordable.

The 2022 Hyundai Kona is slightly more affordable than the 2022 Mazda CX-30, but it isn’t as classy. The CX-30’s base engine is more powerful than the Hyundai Kona base engine. Hyundai’s subcompact SUV is more fuel efficient. Ultimately, the CX-30 is the better choice for drivers that desire a near-luxury SUV that’s both attractive and sporty.