Best motability small SUVs with no deposit
So, you want to take out a Motability lease on a small SUV but don’t want to pay anything up front. We reveal the best cars that are available with no advance payment...
Small SUVs are some of the most desirable cars on sale, because they offer the lofty driving position and rugged styling of an off-roader, but they’re compact, making them easy to manoeuvre and park, and they’re often fitted with small petrol engines that help to keep fuel bills down.
And if you’re after a small SUV on the Motability leasing scheme, you’re in luck, because there are plenty of different models to choose from, including the car that started the small SUV class, the Nissan Juke, and also models from popular brands such as Skoda and Suzuki.
Here, we round up all the best small SUVs that can be leased on Motability that don’t require you to pay an advance payment up front. All the cars in our list have gained at least three out of five stars in our road tests, so they shine in most areas from ride and handling to practicality.
Citroen C3 Aircross 1.2 Puretech 110 Feel
It may have quirky looks, but the C3 Aircross has a frugal yet punchy petrol engine, impressive seating flexibility and a whopping great boot. It’s not the last word in driver enjoyment, but its attractive interior is roomy and practical with lots of storage.
You can only get the entry-level Feel trim without any up-front payment, but that's our preferred variant, because it comes with most of the kit that most people will want, including a touchscreen infotainment system, air conditioning and cruise control. We’d recommend adding a trio of extras: Active Safety Braking (Citroën’s term for automatic emergency braking), the City Pack (which provides rear parking sensors) and sliding rear seats. If you want an automatic gearbox, you have to move up to Flair trim, and the advance payment will be £395.
Hyundai Kona 1.0T GDI Blue Drive S
With low running costs and decent performance from its sprightly three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine, Hyundai’s small SUV has a lot going for it. The interior isn’t as roomy as some rivals, but it comes with a generous amount of standard equipment, including air conditioning and cruise control.
There are also electric and hybrid versions of the Kona, but it’s only the petrol-engined model that has no advance payment, because it has a far more affordable list price than the other pair. Although S trim provides most of the creature comforts you’re likely to require, it doesn’t have a proper infotainment system that can be paired with a smartphone using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. If this is a deal-breaker for you, we’d recommend SE trim, which has a £199 advance payment.
Kia Stonic 1.0T GDI 3
If you’re after a small SUV that’s fun and involving to drive, the Stonic should be on your wish list, because it’s one of the most agile you can buy, and its turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine is powerful enough to zip around town and cope with motorway journeys.
You can have 2, 3 or Maxx trim levels with no advance payment, and we’d recommend going for 3, because it gives you an important suite of safety systems (automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and driver attention monitoring) and a better infotainment system than 2. Maxx is more about style than substance, adding faux-leather upholstery and interior detailing. However, it doesn’t come with those important safety systems and they can’t be added as options, so we’d avoid it.
Nissan Juke 1.0 DiG-T N-Connecta
The latest Juke is vastly superior to the previous-generation model, with strong safety credentials, lots of equipment and a smart-looking interior. At present, a turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine is the only choice of power, and although the Juke isn't the swiftest small SUV, it has a reasonable turn of speed. Additionally, the Juke has good grip and doesn’t sway about too much in corners.
Our favourite mid-range N-Connecta Juke trim can be had with no advance payment. It comes with a modern-looking 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system, plus climate control and keyless entry.
Renault Captur 1.3 Iconic
The Captur was one of the first small SUVs, and this second-generation version is slightly bigger than the first, so it has more room for passengers and their luggage and it comes with upgraded digital systems.
Unlike other 1.0-litre engines, the Captur’s doesn’t have a scintillating turn of speed, so we’d avoid it and plump for the 1.3 instead. Play trim provides a good amount of standard kit, including cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, power-folding door mirrors, keyless entry and go and climate control. However, we'd jump up to Iconic, because it adds privacy glass, a contrasting roof colour, upgraded sat-nav and rear parking sensors.
Seat Arona 1.0 TSI 115 SE Technology
The Arona is a great all-rounder; it’s spacious enough to accommodate four tall adults in comfort and is one of the most enjoyable cars in this class to drive. The lowest-powered 1.0 TSI 95 petrol engine is fine if most of your driving is around town, but if you regularly venture farther afield, we’d go for the punchier 1.0 TSI 115, because it’s better at getting up to motorway speeds.
Although entry-level SE trim gives you cruise control, air conditioning, contrasting roof colour and metallic paint, our favourite trim level is SE Technology, because it adds a better infotainment system and parking sensors. You can choose an Arona with a manual or automatic gearbox on Motability, without having to pay anything up front.
Skoda Kamiq 1.0 SE L
The Kamiq is our top choice among small SUVs. It's roomier and classier inside than most of its rivals, plus it’s good to drive and has a comfortable ride.
It’s available with the same choice of 1.0-litre petrol engines as the Seat Arona, and the same thinking applies: choose the 1.0 TSI 95 if you’re an urban driver or the 1.0 TSI 115 if you regularly make longer journeys. You can also opt for a more powerful 1.5-litre petrol engine without having to make an advance payment.
We’d avoid entry-level S trim and opt for SE or SE L to get niceties such as automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, cruise control and rear parking sensors. You can pick a Kamiq with a manual or automatic gearbox without having to pay anything up front.
Suzuki Vitara 1.4 Boosterjet SZ4
The Vitara is one of the biggest small SUVs you can buy and one of the most frugal, because its 1.4-litre petrol engine is aided by mild hybrid technology that reduces fuel consumption and aids acceleration.
Only the cheapest SZ4 trim can be had with no advance payment, but don’t let that put you off, because it comes with a high level of safety equipment, a good infotainment system, adaptive cruise control and climate control. If you want an automatic gearbox, you need to upgrade to SZ-T trim, and that means an up-front fee of £399.
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