The 12 Smallest SUVs in the world
Photo: KnowInsiders.

The rise of the SUV - which stands for ‘Sport Utility Vehicle’ - has dominated the car industry over the last few years. These high-riding hatchbacks, which typically feature boxy styling that mimics that of capable four-wheel-drive off-roaders have proven incredibly popular with drivers across the globe after SUV sales really took off over the last two decades.

There are a number of reasons why they’ve gone down so well with the public. They’re typically larger than traditional family hatchbacks, which - in theory - means more space for passengers and luggage. Their ride height is usually higher, too, which can mean a better view of the road ahead and potentially a more relaxing drive as a result.

When WWII was over, automobile manufacturers were left alone with plenty of manufactured war machines in their factories that wouldn’t be used in any wars for a while. So many of them saw the opportunity and decided to act upon it. That’s how companies like Jeep appeared.

Sport Utility Vehicles or “SUVs” were introduced to the mass-production market, defining a regular off-roader that could beat the un-developed Humvee in the act of performance. So bigger and sportier vehicles were a pretty standard thing by the mid-'90s with the abnormally massive Hummer models on the top.

But then again, things have changed since then. The market is voting for smaller models with a less physical footprint so that they can avoid paying more taxes on the large SUVs and also to be able to park easier. We’ve been gathering information on this new demand and came up with this list of the smallest SUVs ever made.

List of Top 12 Smallest SUVs ever produced:

12. 2020 Mini Countryman - 169.8 inches

11. 2020 Hyundai Kona - 164.0 inches

10. 2020 Nissan Juke - 162.40 inches

9. 2020 Ford Ecosport - 161.3 inches

8. 2020 Mazda CX-3 - 168.3 inches

7. 2020 Jeep Renegade - 166.6 inches

6. 2021 Kia Seltos – 172.0 inches

5. 2020 Honda HR-V – 170.4 inches

4. 2020 Audi Q2 – 170.0 inches

3. 2020 Toyota C-HR - 172.6 inches

2. 2020 BMW X1 - 172.0 inches

1. 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class - 173.9 inches

Detailed information on the 12 Smallest SUVs around the world:

12. 2020 Mini Countryman

Length: 169.8 inches

The 2019 MINI Countryman is something truly unique for the American consumer to consider. It has a lot of practical value as it is affordably priced. It can even haul five passengers and a good amount of cargo for such a small car. Perhaps best of all, it's easy on the pocketbook when you're at the pumps.

11. 2020 Hyundai Kona

Length: 164.0 inches

The 2020 Hyundai Kona is one of the best options among subcompact SUVs. It's affordable, well-equipped, upscale, and fun to drive. If you need to drive in snow or want to traverse up gravel roads, get your Hyundai Kona with the optional all-wheel-drive system. The innovative AWD system enhances traction to prevent slipping. Plus, the high ground clearance and center of gravity in the Hyundai Kona improve its ability in the snow.

10. 2020 Nissan Juke

Length: 162.40 inches

The Nissan Juke was a pioneer when it launched nine years ago. It packed the attitude and altitude of a crossover, and out-there styling, all shrunk into a supermini’s length span. The 2020 model has a more spacious interior and more acceptable looks on the headlights and grills. Nissan claims that everything is better in the updated model from cabin quality to the technology onboard.

9. 2020 Ford Ecosport

The 12 Smallest SUVs in the world

Length: 161.3 inches

Ford’s small SUV is named Ecosport, and it is basically a tiny off-road wannabe with the attitude of a sports model and the body that is hardly as big as a Fiesta. The 2020 Ford EcoSport doesn't compare favorably to most vehicles in the subcompact SUV class. It suffers from an underpowered base engine, a harsh ride, and limited advanced safety features. The EcoSport does not have an overall score or ranking because it hasn't been fully crash tested or rated for reliability.

8. 2020 Mazda CX-3

The 12 Smallest SUVs in the world

Length: 168.3 inches

Mazda has made no changes to its smallest SUV for 2021, as the CX-3 enters the new model year exactly as it was in 2020. Forget the practical reasons to buy a subcompact crossover and focus on the emotional ones, which will lead you to the 2020 Mazda CX-3. While it has a higher seating position than the Mazda 3 hatchback, it has a smaller back seat and less cargo space.

7. 2020 Jeep Renegade

The 12 Smallest SUVs in the world

Length: 166.6 inches

If you’re searching for a small SUV that doesn’t make you look like a fool in off-road trails, this Jeep model is the only one in this list that can get it done appropriately. The base price is set at $22,620, and it comes with a 180-hp powertrain with the optional turbocharger added on the top.

6. 2021 Kia Seltos

The 12 Smallest SUVs in the world

Length: 172.0 inches

The 2021 Kia Seltos is really, really good. Although its direct competition includes more than a dozen other subcompact SUVs, the Seltos is such an excellent all-arounder that we'd also recommend it to those shopping a segment up, in the compacts.

5. 2020 Honda HR-V

The 12 Smallest SUVs in the world

Length: 170.4 inches

Highs Impressive fuel economy, outstanding cargo storage, durable and well-built interior. Honda overcame the challenge of having a spacious interior in a compact SUV masterfully as it gives out lots of head and legroom.

Read more: Top 10 Best Electric Cars in the World in 2021/2022

4. 2020 Audi Q2

The 12 Smallest SUVs in the world

Length: 170.0 inches

The Audi Q2 has always offered plenty of appeal in the compact SUV market, and potential buyers are sure to love the increased standard spec on this new model, especially when it’s made all the more tempting by a small price drop compared with the previous version. The Q2 remains a perfectly fine car to drive, but in the face of fresher competition from German rivals BMW and Mercedes, the Q2 isn’t quite the pick of the bunch.

3. 2020 Toyota C-HR

The 12 Smallest SUVs in the world

Length: 172.6 inches

Toyota classifies this model as a “Compact High Rider” or C-HR for short, and it’s just a bit larger than Corolla. The 2020 model comes in a bold and stylish design that is equipped with a 2-liter engine for the North American market. New features in the updated model include the upgraded safety and the latest Android Auto assistant.

2. 2020 BMW X1

The 12 Smallest SUVs in the world

Length: 172.0 inches

The X1 is the best example of a small and practical family car from the BMW SUV family with a hint of dynamic use-of-spaces inside. Among other models we’ve discussed so far, the X1 doesn’t have the best fuel economy, so we would advise you to go for a hybrid version of it when in doubt.

1. 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

The 12 Smallest SUVs in the world

Length: 173.9 inches

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA is athletic and offers a user-friendly infotainment system, but it’s slow to accelerate from a stop, and its cabin has some subpar materials. The GLA doesn’t have an overall score in our luxury subcompact SUV rankings because it has not been fully crash tested.

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