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Sport utility vehicles (SUV) are best known for having four-wheel drive capabilities on rugged terrain. But today’s urban driver is looking for features that will make their drive time in city traffic a little easier. Car manufacturers have listened to the demands of the consumer and adopted features to create comfort and convenience in the new compact SUVs on the market.

An extended cargo area with adequate legroom for passengers is a benefit of small SUVs. The compact dimensions of the vehicle make it easier to park and maneuver through city traffic. The upgraded infotainment systems provide unlimited access to all forms of media. Here are some of the best small SUVs that are ideal for drivers who live in crowded cities.

Subaru Crosstrek: one of the safest small SUVs

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek is one of the best small SUVs for city driving. It offers a comfortable ride with its spacious interior. The Crosstrek is a solid choice for crowded streets with unique Subaru safety features.

It has standard all-wheel drive and gets an impressive 33 MPG highway driving. Vehicle handling is sometimes not precise, with slow acceleration speed. Luckily, it handles well in bad weather with the X-Mode traction system. 

A starting price of $21,895 is lower than others in its class. The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek was awarded Edmunds’ Best Small SUVs and Best Gas Mileage SUVs for this year.

Jeep Renegade: a small SUV with a modern twist

The 2019 Renegade is one of the smaller vehicles in the Jeep lineup. It has urban appeal with its updated front, round headlamps and trapezoid-shaped wheel arches.

The design has been modernized, yet still reflects the iconic features of the Jeep brand. The 2019 Renegade offers a comfortable ride but there is limited legroom for backseat passengers and the cargo area is quite small. State-of-the-art safety features include lane change warnings, speed assist, traffic sign recognition, emergency braking, and forward-collision warnings.

These features are essential when driving in city traffic. The starting price of $23,520 is fair considering that the previously optional 2.4-liter engine is now standard. The nine-speed automatic transmission does not offer a lot of power leading to lackluster fuel economy. The 2019 Jeep Renegade is a competent small SUV with fewer faults than others in its class.

Honda CR-V: an award-winning option

The 2019 Honda CR-V received Kelley Blue Book’s Award for Compact SUV Best Buy of 2019. Honda must be doing something right with this vehicle as this is the fourth year it has won in this category.

The small 1.5-Liter VTEC turbocharged four-cylinder engine is efficient, allowing for 26 City/32 Hwy MPG. This easy-to-drive car has a stellar reputation for reliability. Honda vehicles are notorious for having great resale value, so the starting price of $24,450 is a good deal.

The roomy interior has a huge cargo capacity, compared to other SUVs in its class. Automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control are all part of the driver-assistance safety features in the Honda Sensing System. The 2020 Honda CR-V will be arriving soon.

Mazda CX-5: the best overall choice

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 has ranked #1 in Compact SUVs by U.S. News. It is the first of its generation to offer a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, delivering up to 250 horsepower. With a starting price of $24,350, this energetic engine provides a fuel economy of 25 City/31 Hwy MPG. 

The CX-5 has added the ultimate co-pilots of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to the onboard system. A 360-degree camera with front and rear sensors make parking on a crowded city street a breeze. 

Customers love the interior cabin, which is very upscale for a compact SUV. There is ample seating space for 5 passengers and the ventilated front seats are a nice addition. The smaller than average cargo space seems to be the biggest complaint. 

The CX-5 offers a quiet smooth ride and handles better than most vehicles in its class. The high safety scores and brisk acceleration make the CX-5 a quality small SUV at a fair price.


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