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An SUV has become a popular choice among car buyers. The introduction of subcompact luxury SUVs has brought an alternative with high seating positions, less upfront cost, and better gas mileage. However, there are specific features sacrificed, such as engine power and cargo space. So, is a subcompact luxury SUV best for you? Here’s a detailed look at their pros and cons. 

Pro: Better gas mileage

A grey 2023 Honda CR-V, a subcompact SUV that could be best for you, driving down the desert
2023 Honda CR-V | Hyundai Motor Company

According to U.S News, subcompact luxury SUVs offer several advantages, such as better gas mileage. Although smaller vehicles don’t necessarily mean they’re better, subcompact luxury SUVs have a better gas mileage return than compact SUVs. As per Capital One Auto Navigator, they’re low-weight, efficient, and have a tidy aerodynamic profile, giving them a fuel-economy rating between 30 to 40 mpg. Others have smaller engines than compact SUVs, and being lighter gives them better gas mileage. 

Subcompact luxury SUVs can also offer better gas mileage depending on the vehicle’s transmission. Small vehicles have more gears, leading to better fuel efficiency since their engines run at lower revolutions while in higher gears. They also use a continuously variable transmission (CVT) which can offer better fuel efficiency. 

Pro: Less upfront cost 

Subcompact luxury SUVs are the best options for people looking to spend less on a car with impressive efficiency since they’re cheaper than larger cars. For instance, Hyundai Venue goes as low as $24,990, Mitsubishi ASX for $36,490, and $29,290 for the Kia Seltos, making them affordable for low-income buyers. 

Pro: Flexible cargo space 

A 2023 Honda CR-V cargo area, which could be the subcompact SUV best for you, parked outdoors.
2023 Honda CR-V | Hyundai Motor Company

Subcompact luxury SUVs may not offer a larger cargo space than compact ones, but they still offer a flexible cargo space that would fit a small family. According to Car and Driver, some subcompact luxury SUVs providing the best cargo space are Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, Kia Seltos, Kia Soul, and Chevrolet Trailblazer. Most of these vehicles offer a carry-on capacity of 20 suitcases with their rear seats folded. 

Con: Safety

Besides the advantages described above, there are several cons to buying a subcompact luxury SUV. One of these disadvantages is safety. Compact SUVs provide better crash protection than subcompact ones when no other aspect is considered. They provide more space around passengers, reducing the direct impact between them and the point of impact. 

Con: Lack of Value for Money

Subcompact luxury SUVs may sell at an affordable price, but they don’t offer too much value for money as compact SUVs. With a larger vehicle, you’ll get more space, equipment, and better performance, even when selling at a higher price. This makes them convenient options for large families. 

Compact SUVs to take a look at

There are several SUVs you can consider in 2023. The Kia Seltos tops the list thanks to its 29 mpg, versatility, roomy interior, and standard AWD on its trims. It’s closely followed by the Mazda CX-30, which offers a luxurious interior, a punchy optional turbocharged engine, and spry handling. Another model you can consider is the 2023 Honda HR-V. This redesigned Honda has a first-rate interior, composed handling, and an easy-to-touch screen. However, it has a weak acceleration than Kia Seltos and Mazda CX-30. 


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