What Car? Personal Shopper: best small SUV for less than £17,000

Want a new car but don't know where to start? Just send us your criteria and we'll give you our recommended choice, as well as the best new and used alternatives, and tell you how much we can sav...

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Darren Moss
7 Sep 2017 6:0 | Last updated: 17 Sep 2018 15:53

Buying new

  • Our recommended choice: Seat Arona 1.0 TSI SE Technology
  • List price: £17,740
  • Best What Car? deal: £16,214

What Car? Personal Shopper: best small SUV for less than £17,000

Small SUVs don't come any better than this – in fact, we named the Arona as our Small SUV of the Year at the 2018 What Car? Awards. It's the smaller sibling to the Ateca and upcoming Taracco, and is based on the current Ibiza which, handily, is also our current small car class leader.

When it comes to engine options, there are two 1.0-litre petrols or two 1.6-litre diesels to choose from, and it's the cheapest 1.0-litre petrol which we recommend for its punch and fuel economy. SE Technology trim is our pick of the range, too, because it comes with everything you're likely to need including rear parking sensors and an upgraded infotainment system.

It's good news on space, too, because while you can fit more inside a Citroën C3 Aircross or Volkswagen T-Roc, the Arona's 400-litre boot dwarfs that of the big-selling Nissan Juke, plus you get a height-adjustable floor as standard – getting in everything you need for a wild weekend shouldn't be any trouble, then.

With an on-the-road price of £17,740, this Arona would normally be out of budget. However, and as always, What Car? New Car Buying can help. Our latest Arona deals take that price down to a far more palatable £16,214. Alternatively, if you want to buy on a PCP finance deal, look to pay about £234 per month (based on a 15% deposit and 6.4% APR).

Find a great Seat Arona deal

Read our full Seat Arona review


  • Also consider: Suzuki Vitara 1.6 SZ-T
  • List price: £17,999
  • Best What Car? deal: £16,999

What Car? Personal Shopper: best small SUV for less than £17,000

A discount of £1000 brings our favourite version of the Suzuki Vitara into budget. This SZ-T model comes with sat-nav, 17in alloy wheels and rear privacy glass, which help to make the car feel more upmarket, and the 1.6-litre petrol engine you get here is smooth and economical.

Find a great Suzuki Vitara deal

Read our full Suzuki Vitara review


  • Also consider: Renault Captur 0.9 TCe 90 Dynamique S Nav
  • List price: £18,460
  • Best What Car? deal: £16,349

What Car? Personal Shopper: best small SUV for less than £17,000

The Captur is one of the more popular small SUVs, and although some of its interior quality lags behind rivals, you can go some way to addressing that with Dynamique S Nav trim. This brings leather for the steering wheel, handbrake and gearlever as well as adding rear parking sensors, LED front headlights and a fixed glass sunroof.

Find a great Renault Captur deal

Read our full Renault Captur review

Next: our recommended used car choice >