Subcompact crossovers are the best for starters. Limited power won’t let you drive recklessly. On the other hand, maintenance and running costs are exceptional. These models are not as popular as the compact segment, where some vehicles achieve 400k sales per annum. Well, some companies are even considering cutting their models from the market, since more buyers are choosing bigger SUVs. But, the results from 2019 are showing promises. The subcompact CUV share is 4.5 percent, 1 percent better than in the previous season.
Besides the fuel economy and cheap maintenance, a big advantage of mini crossovers is great agility. Also, these are the cheapest vehicles in the class. On the other hand, you are not getting too much power and the cargo space is not too generous. Rear seats are cramped, but some models have nice layouts that provide enough legroom.
Let’s see which are the best subcompact crossovers in the market.
2020 Chevy Trax
We’ll start from the best-selling model in the segment for the previous season. General Motors sold 116,000 units, of 750,000 subcompact crossovers sold in 2019.
The 2020 Chevy Trax will offer more room than its rivals. Drivers will need more alert and warning features, though. The base price of the GM’s smallest crossover is $22,300 with the destination fee, and it comes with a nicely equipped interior. A 7-inch touchscreen is the center of the infotainment system that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.
Under the bonnet of the 2020 Chevy Trax is a 1.4-liter turbo-four engine capable of producing 140 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque. We expected a better fuel economy, but the CUV can’t do better than 31 mpg (front-wheel drive). The resale value of the Trax is backing off buyers, while the 2020 edition comes with new colors and Midnight package updates.
2020 Honda HR-V
The Japanese company updated its CUV for the previous season. So, there is no need for further upgrades right now. Unchanged, the 2020 Honda HR-V will cost just under $22,000, while the Sport trim adds $1,700. EX, EX-L, and Touring are other models that add navigation, leather upholstery, and improved safety systems.
The powerplant for Honda’s mini crossover is a 1.8-liter displacement. The four-cylinder engine delivers 140 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque through a CVT. Comparing to the Chevrolet Trax, the 2020 Honda HR-V will return a better fuel economy, 31 mpg combined. With an AWD it drops to 29 mpg.
2020 Honda HR-V Mugen Tuning, Hybrid, and Turbo Engine
2020 Hyundai Kona
The fastest-growing brand in the automotive market is Hyundai. In the previous season, its Kona achieved 55 percent higher sales. This season, we can expect even more from the 2020 Hyundai Kona. The company added the SEL Plus trim, while most other versions will now offer wireless charging. Ultimate model is more luxurious with adaptive cruise control.
That is not all. Besides the gasoline engines, the CUV is available with an electric drivetrain. After the update, the battery provides a range of 258 miles and 200 horsepower. There are also two other petrol units – a base 2.0-liter aad turbocharged 1.6. The first one comes with a class-average 147 hp and 132 lb-ft. The other one steps up with 175 hp and 195 pound-feet of torque.
Base versions of the 2020 Hyundai Kona cost only $20,000, which makes this CUV one of the best buys in the segment.
2021 Hyundai Kona Review (Range, Specs)
2020 Jeep Renegade
After a fruitful season in 2018, Renegade achieved a 20 percent drop in sales last year. The facelift was not a good choice and the raise of the competition is something that should worry about the FCA.
The 2020 Jeep Renegade will come unchanged. Fans praise the look of the CUV, as well as its off-road abilities, especially the Trailhawk edition. The resale value is not as good as for the Honda HR-V.
With more power than its rivals, Renegade can develop 180 hp either you choose turbocharged I3 or the Tigershark 2.4 four-pot engine. The first one is still new and the reports are positive so far. The base price of the 2020 Jeep Renegade will be again around $23,000.
2020 Nissan Kicks
The successor of Nissan Juke has a rough time. Kicks is not meeting expectations after the company decided to make a replacement. Since it is not the time for big changes yet, we doubt that the model for this season can make things better.
The overall impression about the crossover is not bad though and we don’t know why it doesn’t sell better. The 2020 Nissan Kicks will cost only $20,500 and the base package comes with Apple CarPlay and Android auto. Under the hood is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. It might not be too powerful with 120 hp, but the model returns 33 mpg. Still, the company will need more options for the engine room. For example, if you pick the SR model, you will get Bose audio, leather steering wheel, and spoilers to boost exterior appearance.
We would recommend you wait for the next season. The company announced big changes in the crossover and SUV classes. Chiefs were not precise, but we believe that the first revisit is due for the 2021 Nissan Kicks. So, the upgraded crossover could bring some serious changes for the first time since it arrived in 2018.
2020 Toyota C-HR
If the Kicks is underachieving, then disappointment with the Toyota is even bigger. The C-HR debuted with an aggressive look and high expectations. While Rav4 is breaking records in sales, its smaller sibling found less than 50,000 homes last year.
Well, the new 2020 Toyota C-HR could revive the interest in this nameplate. The company updated the front fascia and there are new wheels and LED headlights. Toyota finally made Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available for their vehicles.
A few reasons why you should buy the 2020 Toyota C-HR are attractive styling, superb handling and agility, excellent fuel economy, a safety package with advanced features, and great resale value. On the other hand, the lacks of the 2020 Toyota C-HR are no AWD, tight rear row and cargo area, and pricey. The MSRP of the company’s smallest crossover is $21,300.
2020 Ford EcoSport
The Blue Oval company focuses on larger vehicles rather than the mini crossovers. Still, the 2020 Ford EcoSport is an important player on the market. Well, it seems that replacement is almost ready, with the Ford Puma prototypes looking production-ready.
The 2020 Ford EcoSport comes with a 1.0-liter I3 turbocharged engine as the latest addition. This small block is delivering 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. You won’t get too much power, but the crossover performs similarly in urban areas and on the open road. If you want more torque, then a 2.0-liter I4 is an optional engine. In this case, EcoSport is gaining 165 hp and 150 lb-ft.
The subcompact crossover is available in four trim levels. The entry-level trim is S, with the MSRP just shy of $20k. The SE will already boost the offer since it adds $3,500. The 2020 Ford EcoSport Titanium uses premium B&O audio, leather upholstery, and 17-inch wheels. Still, it is not the most expensive model in the lineup, with SES version having a $27,500 price tag.
2020 Mazda CX-3
Mazda CX-3 underachieved last season. The company sold only 16k units, and we were shocked. This is one of the most versatile crossovers in the subcompact segment. Well, its base price of nearly $21,500 might be the stumbling block.
The 2020 Mazda CX-3 will be a good choice for an off-road drive. Jeep Renegade Trailhawk might be better, but there are no too many other models that can keep the pace with CX-3. We can say the same for the cargo space. Again, we can’t expect too much from such a vehicle and made it a downside.
The SkyActiv technology is making the 2020 Mazda CX-3 a favorite among buyers who wants power and fuel economy in one. A 2.0-liter unit is capable to produce 150 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque while returning 32 mpg combined. Even the AWD model is keeping the record above 30 mpg.
The new CX-3 could get a hybrid engine. We could hear a lot of rumors about this drivetrain, but it wasn’t there when the company launched the crossover. We still believe that the hybrid engine will come eventually, probably as an update in the second half of 2020.
2020 Kia Soul
Another all-electric crossover on the list. It uses the same system as the Hyundai Kona. Also, the alternatives are the same. A 2.0-liter produces the same amount of power, while the 1.6-l displacement is tuned to burst more – 200 hp and 195 lb-ft.
Whatsoever, the 2020 Kia Soul is an all-new model with a focus on its styling. One of the rear boxy crossovers draws more attention than its sibling Kona. For its size, the Soul is pretty spacious. Also, the price will make you consider it a good buy. Well, there is a strange thing about the new model. The company launched an off-road oriented X-Line trim, but there is no all-wheel drive available.
The 2020 Kia Soul Electric is definitely the star of the lineup. A 64 kWh battery is ready to cover 243 miles. It is pretty capable with 200 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. A 10-inch screen is a highlight that you won’t find anywhere else across the lineup. Other notable upgrades for the mini crossover are navigation, heated front buckets, or extra infotainment features.
2020 Buick Encore
The 2020 Buick Encore is a mechanical twin of Chevy Trax. However, the upscale offer is making it more elegant, but it doesn’t belong to the premium class. The price starts pretty high, but the Encore brings you features you must pay on the other crossovers.
The power source for the 2020 Buick Encore is a 1.4-liter turbo-four engine with 140 hp and 150 lb-ft. A six-speed auto transmission forwards power to front wheels, or optionally to all four corners. The gas mileage is not among the best in the class with 27 mpg combined.
The new 2020 Buick Encore is available in four trim levels. The entry-level model is 1SV with 18-inch wheels. Preferred and Sport Tuning are the mid-range offer. The most expensive version is Essence, with dual-zone climate control, heated buckets, and leather upholstery. The price reaches $30,000 waters.