As Americans downsize their vehicles to get better fuel economy and fit on increasingly congested urban streets, automakers have met the demand with a range of small SUVs. Unlike the lumbering beasts of the '90s, these little SUVs use independent suspensions to improve ride comfort and new technologies to aggressively pursue better fuel economy. Versatile seating means these vehicles can seat five or haul large amounts of cargo.
Acura's recently redesigned RDX marks the second generation for this premium SUV. A bit smaller than Acura's full-size MDX, it still boasts plenty of cargo space and room for five.
Although the X3's last model update was in 2011, BMW's tech still puts it ahead of many other cars. Features such as an adaptive suspension let it drive like a sports car, while all-wheel-drive helps it out in slippery conditions.
Mazda added the CX-5 to its crossover line, under the Cx-9 and CX-7, to fill the need for a smaller vehicle. The CX-5 also showcases Mazda's SkyActiv engineering for efficiency, which means a lighter vehicle with a more economical engine.
The smallest of the lot here, the Juke can barely be called an SUV, yet Nissan does offer this little five-seater with all-wheel-drive. Its coolest feature is D-Mode, which lets the driver push a button to take it from economy cruiser to nimble little rally car.
As countless YouTube videos show, the Evoque, Range Rover's small and stylish SUV, has real offroad chops. Although diminutive, it has a bold stance and a comfortable cabin.