Solera Cap HPI sponsor strip - desktop

Sponsored by Solera Cap HPI

Car of the Year Awards 2023: Best small SUV to drive

A small SUV's compact size mustn’t come at the expense of practicality and should be reflected by low running costs. It should ride comfortably, too, while maintaining a sense of fun...

Best small SUV to drive

Ford Puma 1.0 EcoBoost 155 mHEV ST-Line

Car of the Year Awards logo - Solera cap hpi

If family practicalities say you need a small SUV, but your heart yearns for a sports car, the Ford Puma is the answer.

For starters, it’s the most powerful small SUV on these pages; its 153bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine always feels eager, thanks to a mild hybrid system that provides small doses of instant electrical assistance, using energy recycled from braking. That also brings a welcome boost in efficiency.

Ford Puma 2022 dashboard

It’s by far the neatest-handling small SUV, too, yet for all its sportiness, the Puma is also a very practical proposition. Its generous boot includes a handy well below the boot floor, with a removable plug so you can wash away deposits from the kids’ muddy wellies.

It’s an incredibly strong showing, but the Volkswagen T-Roc is a more well-rounded proposition, with a cushier, quieter ride and more interior space front and back.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

See all of our Car of the Year 2023 winners >>