Wide Open Roads
Open Search form

Our Picks for Top 3 Compact SUVs

These top 3 compact SUVs offer plenty of options with the best combination of performance, value, and reliability.

The compact SUVs segment has long been considered one of the most versatile, with plenty of options to suit the everyday driver or the speed enthusiast. The thing is, every brand jumped on the wagon, and now there’s a decision to be made.

Here are our top three compact SUVs for the 2017 model year.

3. 2017 Hyundai Tucson

Redesigned in 2016, the Hyundai Tucson‘s reputation has been improving by leaps and bounds over the past several years.

With around a $22,700 starting price, the pros include a 4 out of 5-star reliability rating from J.D. Power, a class best 10-year/100,000 mile warranty, a large cabin, and sporty handling. Unfortunately, the downsides are its average engine (four cylinders for 175 horsepower) and a stale interior with little imagination. Practicality over style has long been the Tucson’s calling card.

2. 2017 Mazda CX-5

This year, the CX-5 has a complete redesign. Like the smaller CX-3, the CX-5 has been critically acclaimed for its zippy handling and pep in its step, typical of most Mazdas.

Automatics start at $24K with a top trim all-wheel drive model for less than $30K. The SUV’s lowlights include class average mileage (24/31 mph), 5 cubic feet less in cargo space from the 2016 version, and an average reliability rating, which is a longstanding (and touchy) issue with Mazdas.

1. 2017 Honda CR-V

The CR-V reigns supreme over the class. Its long laundry list of features, such as class-leading cargo space, 25-28 city/31-34 highway fuel economy, and technological options makes this a class leader. Reliability ratings soar compared to the other two models on this list despite its lower price.

Plus, the CR-V’s higher trims offer wood panels vs. other’s hard plastics. Its infotainment system has been upgraded for 2017 with knobs replacing the previous touch controls.

On power, the base CR-V delivers 184 HP and more of a pedestrian ride than the sportier Mazda CX-5, our 2nd choice in the top 3.

Now that you’ve seen our top three picks, what are yours?

NEXT: WATERCAR PANTHER WILL GET YOU AROUND, EVEN ON WATER