September 29, 2023


Only Automotive

Each 2023 Compact SUV Ranked from Worst to Finest

9 min read

2023 nissan rogue suv driving


Compact SUVs are in all places, and fortunate for all of us, automakers have responded by making these fashions extra succesful and enjoyable to drive. Many automobiles on this phase supply extra cargo area than sedans, and one even has a powertrain with 302 horsepower!

It may be overwhelming to buy by means of the maze of compact SUV choices, so we have made it simpler by rating every possibility from worst to greatest. Involved in one thing larger or smaller? We have ranked these too.

Extra New SUVs Ranked from Worst to Finest:

Subcompact | Mid-Measurement | Full-Measurement | 3-Row

Commercial – Proceed Studying Beneath

Crossover SUVs aren’t usually recognized for his or her off-road chops, however the Jeep Compass Trailhawk is an exception. Make no mistake, the off-road-oriented Compass trim continues to be no Jeep Wrangler, however this small Jeep mannequin, which sits between the subcompact Renegade and the compact Cherokee, is surprisingly succesful off-the-beaten-path—when correctly outfitted. Jeep reworks the Compass’s powertrain line for 2023, too. Gone is the naturally aspirated 177-hp four-cylinder engine of yore and front-wheel-drive drivetrain. As a substitute, each 2023 Compass mannequin comes normal with a 200-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. An eight-speed automated serves because the intermediary between the engine and drive wheels.

  • Base worth: $31,590
  • Max. gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 25/22/31 mpg (est.)
  • All-wheel drive: Normal


16. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross benefitted from an exterior and inside replace for 2022. For 2023, Mitsubishi provides normal all-wheel-drive to the Eclipse Cross’s function listing. The identical 152-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four and constantly variable automated transmission (CVT) carry over from final yr. Each Eclipse Cross now comes normal with driver-assistance options together with forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, and lane-departure warning. Although the Eclipse Cross shouldn’t be the penalty field the subcompact Outlander Sport is, this SUV’s middling dynamics fail to assist it sustain with one of the best choices within the compact SUV phase.

  • Base worth: $27,335
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 26/25/28 mpg
  • All-wheel drive: Normal


GMC’s Terrain advantages from a light-weight refresh for 2022 that features new entrance and rear bumpers, LED headlights and taillights, and up to date inside bits. A 175-hp turbocharged four-cylinder and nine-speed automated transmission proceed to encourage this compact SUV. Entrance-wheel drive is normal, however all-wheel drive is optionally out there. The Terrain’s experience is on the agency aspect and, like its Chevrolet-badged Equinox sibling, the construct high quality inside is lower than stellar—particularly given the GMC’s base worth.

  • Base worth: $31,295
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 26/24/29 mpg
  • All-wheel drive: Accessible


Very like the smaller Jeep Compass, the compact Jeep Cherokee may be outfitted for off-the-grid exploration, albeit for a hefty premium. Whereas Jeep’s but to disclose data for the 2023 Cherokee, we anticipate the SUV to hold over largely unchanged from 2022. In that case, anticipate most trims to return normal with all-wheel drive, though the Latitude Lux trim will seemingly keep its normal front-wheel drive setup. Likewise, search for each 2023 Cherokee to function a 271-hp 3.2-liter V-6, with Latitude Lux and Restricted fashions retaining their optionally out there, 270-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 that packs 295 pound-feet of torque—56 lb-ft of twist greater than the V-6.

  • Base worth: $36,490 (2022)
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 26/23/31 mpg (2022)
  • All-wheel drive: Accessible


Following a refresh for 2022, the Chevrolet Equinox adjustments little for 2023. The bow-tie model’s compact SUV provides 5 horses to its turbo four-cylinder engine’s secure, netting it a complete of 175 hp. Even so, these additional ponies should not sufficient to correctly encourage the Equinox, a indisputable fact that’s exacerbated by the SUV’s sluggish six-speed automated gearbox.

  • Base worth: $27,995
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 28/26/31 mpg
  • All-wheel drive: Accessible


Ford provides its Escape with all kinds of powertrains. Strictly gas-powered Escapes depend on a 181-hp turbocharged three-cylinder engine for motivation, nonetheless, a 250-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 can also be out there. The previous engine provides each front- and all-wheel-drive choices and delivers satisfactory efficiency, whereas the latter is all-wheel-drive-only and makes the Escape fairly zippy. The Escape can also be out there in gasoline-electric and plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid varieties. Going the hybrid route nets consumers a 2.5-liter gasoline engine and two electrical motors that should be good for a peak output of greater than 200 horses. Go for the Escape PHEV, and the Blue Oval’s compact SUV provides an estimated 37 miles of all-electric driving vary. We just like the refined experience high quality of the Ford Escape in addition to its spacious cabin and trendy options. A facelift for 2023 improves its exterior and inside appears dramatically. Nonetheless, the Escape feels just a few steps behind phase leaders.

  • Base worth: $28,995
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 41/44/37 mpg (2022)
  • All-wheel drive: Accessible


The Subaru Forester continues to depend on the identical fundamental method that is helped it entice prospects for many years. This contains normal all-wheel drive, glorious visibility, a roomy inside, and a spacious cargo bay. We’re a little bit disillusioned the SUV is proscribed to 1 powertrain: a 182-hp naturally aspirated flat-four that mates to a constantly variable automated transmission (CVT). The mix delivers easy and fairly peppy acceleration in day-to-day driving conditions, even when it feels a little bit underpowered throughout passing conditions at freeway speeds. It is definitely not the quickest within the class, however the Subaru Forester continues to be probably the greatest all-around compact crossovers and an reasonably priced approach to get all-wheel drive.

  • Base worth: $27,620
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 29/26/33 mpg
  • All-wheel drive: Normal


The newest Outlander shares its chassis with the Nissan Rogue. Not like the three-cylinder Rogue, nonetheless, the Mitsubishi depends on an ordinary 181-hp four-cylinder engine for motivation. On our 75-mph freeway fuel-economy take a look at, although, a so-equipped Outlander SEL achieved an underwhelming 26 mpg. That mentioned, these on the lookout for further effectivity might need to take a look at the Outlander PHEV, which encompasses a four-cylinder engine and two electrical motors to supply a peak output of 248 horsepower. A big 20.0-kWh battery pack permits it to journey a manufacturer-estimated 38 miles on a full cost. Irrespective of the powertrain, all Outlanders supply three rows of seats, nonetheless, its rearmost row is about as helpful because the rear seats in a Porsche 911.

  • Base worth: $29,315
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 27/24/31 mpg
  • All-wheel drive: Accessible


The Nissan Rogue welcomed a brand new powertrain for 2022: a turbocharged 1.5-liter I-3 with 201 horsepower and Nissan’s trick variable compression ratio know-how. As earlier than, a CVT is the one recreation on the town and it shoots the engine’s energy to both the SUV’s entrance wheels or—optionally—all 4 of its wheels courtesy of the Rogue’s out there all-wheel-drive system. Go for all-wheel drive and the three-cylinder Rogue hits 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. The Rogue might not set the compact SUV normal, nevertheless it’s definitely a strong possibility on this class, providing an ergonomic cabin with aggressive supplies and cheap area for passengers and cargo. Plus, Nissan provides a blacked-out Midnight Version trim to the road for 2023 that should broaden the enchantment of this SUV.

  • Base worth: $28,655
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 33/30/37 mpg
  • All-wheel drive: Accessible


The Toyota RAV4 continues to supply customers quite a lot of powertrain choices. Strictly gas-powered RAV4s function a 203-hp four-cylinder that pairs with an eight-speed automated transmission. RAV4 Hybrid fashions have normal all-wheel drive and depend on a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain that produces a peak of 219 horsepower. The RAV4 Prime is essentially the most highly effective variant. It is a plug-in hybrid mannequin with 302 horsepower. Our solely main grievance with this well-rounded compact SUV facilities on its comparatively loud four-cylinder engine.

  • Base worth: $28,910
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 40/41/38 mpg
  • All-wheel drive: Accessible


As the one automobile on this listing with a bottle opener constructed into the liftgate, it is clear the Ford Bronco Sport is right here to occasion. Its appears match its functionality, and, although they do not look related, the Bronco Sport and Escape each share a platform. A 181-hp turbocharged three-cylinder is normal, and a bigger 250-hp four-cylinder engine is obtainable; each include an eight-speed automated. A Bronco Sport Badlands positioned second in a latest compact crossover comparability take a look at, the place it beat the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, however got here up brief towards the Mazda CX-5 as a consequence of an absence of creature comforts and paved-road efficiency.

  • Base worth: $30,810
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 26/25/28 mpg (2022)
  • All-wheel drive: Normal


Together with an ordinary gasoline powertrain, the newest Tucson can also be out there with gasoline-electric hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrain choices. Lesser gasoline fashions depend on a rough 187-hp 2.5-liter I-4 for motivation. It mates to an eight-speed automated gearbox, which shoots energy to the entrance wheels. All-wheel drive, nonetheless, is non-compulsory. The hybrid setup, in the meantime, makes 221 horses, whereas the plug-in nets 261 and provides as much as 33 miles of electric-only driving, per the EPA. Each come normal with all-wheel drive.

  • Base worth: $27,745
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 38/38/38 mpg
  • All-wheel drive: Accessible


The Kia Sportage sits above the subcompact Seltos however under the three-row Sorento within the Korean model’s SUV mannequin line. Because of a redesign for 2023, the Sportage stands out much more from its smaller and bigger kin. Credit score each its love-it-or-hate-it design, in addition to its expanded powertrain lineup, which now contains hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, in addition to a strictly gas-powered mannequin. We advocate avoiding the gasoline engine, although, as its 187 horsepower struggles to maneuver this Kia. Each hybrid choices supply greater than 200 horses and internet the Sportage satisfactory straight-line efficiency.

  • Base worth: $27,285
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 43/42/44 mpg
  • All-wheel drive: Accessible


The Volkswagen Tiguan is among the greatest choices on this phase. In actual fact, it is giant sufficient to squeeze in a tiny third-row seat in sure fashions. A 184-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automated come normal, as does front-wheel drive. The powertrain feels considerably overmatched by the Tiguan’s mass, although, notably when the SUV is provided with its non-compulsory all-wheel-drive system. Like most trendy Volkswagens, the Tiguan’s inside is ergonomic however lacks any actual sense of fashion.

  • Base worth: $28,245
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 27/24/31 mpg
  • All-wheel drive: Accessible


The Mazda CX-5 impresses with its luxurious really feel and reasonably priced pricing. This Mazda provides greater than only a comfy, well-appointed experience, although, because the CX-5 is definitely gratifying to drive. Consumers can go for both a 187-hp 2.5-liter I-4 or a 256-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter I-4, each of which mate to a six-speed automated transmission. All-wheel-drive is normal throughout the road.

  • Base worth: $27,975
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 26/24/30 mpg
  • All-wheel drive: Normal


Mazda provides a second compact crossover to its lineup, the CX-50. Greater than the CX-5, the CX-50 sits on the identical underpinnings because the subcompact CX-30. As such, the CX-50 feels as if it punches above its class, providing a well-crafted cabin and pleasing driving dynamics. Like its CX-5 stablemate, the CX-50 provides two powertrain choices, a 187-hp 2.5-liter I-4 or a 256-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter I-4.

  • Base worth: $28,825
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 27/24/30 mpg
  • All-wheel drive: Normal


Honda’s CR-V is not the sportiest or best-looking compact SUV, however it’s arguably essentially the most well-rounded one. The solely gas-powered CR-V comes with a 190-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine. A 204-hp CR-V Hybrid can also be out there, and it gives the extra gratifying driving expertise. Credit score the gasoline-electric powertrain’s refinement, in addition to Honda’s determination to supply the CR-V Hybrid solely in Sport and Sport Touring guises—trims that aren’t out there with the lesser gasoline engine. No matter what powers it, each CR-V advantages from a spacious inside and ergonomic controls. The actual fact this SUV shouldn’t be half dangerous to drive is simply icing on the cake.

  • Base worth: $32,355
  • Max. EPA gasoline financial system (mixed/metropolis/freeway): 40/43/36 mpg
  • All-wheel drive: Accessible


Each 2023 Compact SUV Ranked from Worst to Finest

17. Jeep Compass
16. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
15. GMC Terrain
14. Jeep Cherokee
13. Chevrolet Equinox
12. Ford Escape
11. Subaru Forester
10. Mitsubishi Outlander
9. Nissan Rogue
8. Toyota RAV4
7. Ford Bronco Sport
6. Hyundai Tucson
5. Kia Sportage
4. Volkswagen Tiguan
3. Mazda CX-5
2. Mazda CX-50
1. Honda CR-V

Commercial – Proceed Studying Beneath

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