Looking for the best small SUV that is affordable yet provides the room and performance that you desire has become much harder as we get ready to turn another page on the calendar. Small SUVs are becoming a viable alternative to the behemoths that crowded our streets and highways just a few years ago. This class of vehicles is quickly becoming one of the biggest sellers in the worldwide market as they provide excellent fuel economy, better vision while driving, roomier passenger seating and more cargo storage than other small cars or station wagons. Typically the best small SUV to buy will seat five passengers with some models offering a small but serviceable third row seat that is difficult to get into and usually only suitable for small children.
Most offer either a lift gate rear entry or side opening door with the lift gate option being the most popular. Power and performance are predictable in all models as the base engine is a 4 cylinder size with some models offering an upgrade to 6 cylinders which significantly reduces the estimated fuel mileage, which for most models is from 24 mpg to 36 mpg on the average. Prices range between a low of just over $15,000 dollars to over $43,000 dollars based on the manufacturer. Taking into account the basics of these cars three models stand out in this class. The best small SUV for this class is actually one of these two models: the Audi Q5 or the Ford Escape. The reviews below should help you to decide on the best small SUV to buy for your particular situation
Best Small SUV – Audi Q5
Extremely stylish to look at and with a luxurious feel behind the wheel the Audi Q5 is the epitome of the best small SUV. It combines luxury, durability and performance into one complete package. This complete package does come with a price tag of approximately $35,200 for the basic package and $42,500 for the top of the line Premium S Line. The standard engine on this vehicle is a 2.0L I4-211 HP which has a standard 8 speed automatic transmission holds 5 people comfortably holds 27 gallons of fuel and will gets approximately 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.
Comfort in this vehicle has not been spared as the front seats have 12 controls for adjustment; it also includes a CD system with 10 speakers and the ability to use your MP3 player or to subscribe to satellite radio. There are individual climate controls for the front passengers and separate controls for the rear passenger compartment. If you can afford the price tag then this is the model for you.
Best Small SUV Escape
A more affordable approach to the best small SUV search is the Ford Escape. The price tag on this vehicle comes in between $21,000 and $26,000 and comes standard with a 2.5L I4 171 HP engine, a 5 speed manual transmission, comfortable seating for 5, holds 17.5 gallons of fuel and gets 23 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. It has the widest wheelbase of any model in this class which allows it to offer more cargo and a roomier passenger cabin. With an eye toward safety, probably the most talked about feature of the Escape is the SYNC system that promotes hands free operation of the features that are most distracting to drivers.
This vehicle offers automatic parking and the MKey feature that allows parents to create limiting speeds for younger drivers as well as controlled stereo volume that might cause a problem for their children. The biggest problem with the interior of the Escape is that the rear seats do not fold but must be removed in order to use the entire rear space for cargo. Drum brakes do not provide the same smoothness as a disc brake system and the steering column does not adjust as much as most cars in this class. However, with the 5 speed transmission available this vehicle makes the most of its 171 horses and can tow up to 3500 pounds.
The small SUV in this class depends on your how deep your pockets are. For a more utilitarian workhorse we prefer the Ford Escape but if your driving habits have you on the road for much longer trips then the comfort and luxury of the Audi Q5 should be your choice. Overall there are approximately 10 models to choose from when searching for the best small SUV 2012, but these are two of the very best.