Small SUV

Forget low-ratio gears, knobbly tyres and an ability to climb mountains. Most small SUVs are bought as alternatives to conventional family hatchbacks. To have a chance in this category, then, a car must offer a classy, practical interior with plenty of equipment. It should combine a comfortable ride with composed handling, and be a quiet and strong performer. Our winner needs to offer affordable running costs, too.

Nissan Qashqai
Key facts
0-60mph 12.4sec
Top speed 112mph
Fuel economy 74.3mpg
CO2 emission 99g/km

Nissan Qashqai

Best buy £16,000-£22,000

The previous Qashqai was all about comfort, sacrificing fun to achieve it. However, this new version is much more rounded; it feels agile and secure in corners, yet still rides well.

List price £20,840
Target price £20,840
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Renault Captur
Key facts
0-60mph 13.0sec
Top speed 106mph
Fuel economy 56.5mpg
CO2 emission 115g/km

Renault Captur

Best buy less than £16,000

Most of the smallest SUVs have big flaws, but the Clio-based Captur is different. For starters, it has a spacious and user-friendly cabin and is one of the quietest cars of its kind.

List price £14,995
Target price £14,468
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Audi Q3
Key facts
0-60mph 9.9sec
Top speed 126mph
Fuel economy 54.3mpg
CO2 emission 137g/km

Audi Q3

Best buy more than £22,000

Move north of the £22,000 mark and there are several premium-badged models to choose from, but none matches the ability of the Audi Q3.

List price £25,595
Target price £23,954
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