Crossover Comparison: Subcompact SUV vs. Compact SUV

Infiniti QX30 and QX50
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Which SUV Style Is Best for You?

There’s been a seismic shift in America’s car-buying habits over the last few years. With an extended period of low gas prices, SUV sales have eclipsed sales of compact and midsize cars, and the array of available SUV and crossover models continues to grow.

Most of the new models fall into the popular compact SUV or rapidly growing subcompact SUV segments. Automakers are seeing customers step down a size class when they move into the SUV market from the sedan segment. Midsize car owners are tending to buy compact SUVs, for example, while compact car buyers are adopting subcompact SUVs.

Once a customer has owned an SUV they generally keep buying them, according to Robert Davis, senior vice-president of U.S. operations for Mazda, “Nobody wants to go back down.”

Buyers now have choices, even within the same brands, of compact or subcompact SUVs. While subcompacts may be more nimble, fuel efficient, and less expensive, they generally don’t have the passenger and cargo space of their bigger brothers and sisters in the compact SUV segment.

Which choice is best for you? Check out the following slides to see how each brand’s offerings stack up against one another. You can see how each model compares to its peers by perusing our compact and subcompact SUV rankings.