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Once upon a time, SUVs were mainly for those who wanted to ride high and could afford to fill them up despite the poor fuel mileage. However, that’s changed, and now SUVs are one of the most popular segments in the auto world. U.S. News has recently released the Best SUVs of 2022, and there are two small SUVs we’ll discuss.

Rise of the SUVs

A silver 2023 Hyundai Tucson headlight, which is one of the small SUVs to buy.
2023 Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai Motor Company

Fuel prices may rise and fall, but technology has gotten better. Because of this, many vehicles like SUVs and trucks that used to guzzle gas are now getting great fuel mileage. Drivers have taken notice and are flocking to SUVs. 

This has had some unexpected changes in the auto world, such as the fall of sedans. Automakers like Ford have all but given up on sedans and have phased them out to focus on SUVs and pickup trucks.

This doesn’t mean that sedans are done, and if history is any indication, they will eventually make a roaring comeback. In the meantime, SUVs have carved out a place for themselves at the top of the vehicle food chain, and U.S. News reports the Mazda CX-5 and 2023 Hyundai Tucson are near the top of that list.

2022 Mazda CX-5

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 comes equipped with a four-cylinder engine that generates 187 hp. This was paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The fuel mileage is decent enough, with 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

According to U.S. News, one of the best parts of the 2022 Mazda CX-5 is the interior. It has a significant luxury feel to it in spite of the fact that it has an MSRP of $26,250 to $38,650. There are plastics throughout, but they have a soft feel, which helps elevate the interior.

The entertainment system is one area where the 2023 Mazda CX-5 fails to live up to the hype. Many of us thought that knobs had gone the way of the eight-track in favor of touch screens, but Mazda has chosen to utilize it in the CX-5. Rather than giving it a cool retro feel, it’s a big reminder of why people favor touchscreens.

Then there’s the little fact of the backseat. It can feel a little cramped and isn’t up for adults. The cargo area is also lacking.

Could the 2023 Hyundai Tucson be a great small SUV to buy?

The 2023 Hyundai Tucson is number two on the U.S. News list of small SUVs. With an MSRP of $26,450 to $37,210, it’s more than affordable and offers a lot for this price range.

The 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty greatly adds to this value. 

The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine generates 187 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive comes standard, but AWD is an option.

However, speed definitely isn’t one of the 2023 Hyundai Tucson’s strong points. It takes 9 seconds to go from 0 to 60, which is incredibly slow. 

One area where it really shines is the back seats. Most vehicles have small backseats that elicit cries of dismay when someone is relegated to the back. That’s not the case with the Tucson. It’s relatively roomy, and the seats are comfy.


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