Skip to main content

Kelley Blue Book Best Compact SUVs for 2022

Kelley Blue Book recently released their best compact SUV choices for you to consider toward picking the best compact 2022 SUV models rated right now.


The Smallest SUVs are the Smartest SUVs

Not everyone wants---or needs---a honking big SUV. For many, it’s a decision based more on weighing the pluses and minuses when it comes to comfort, fuel economy, parking ease; and, of course…cost.

And that’s why Kelley Blue Book editors have put together what they refer to as “The smallest SUVs are often the smartest SUVs” in their recent listing of their best 2022 compact SUV models that are designed to fit customers with more than size in mind.

Related article: Best Four-Cylinder SUVs With Turbo in 2021

That said, here is a summary of their listing to help you scan quickly through the choices before looking a little deeper into each make and model.


#1: 2021 Toyota RAV4
Starting Price: $27,225 (Rating 4.8)

• Toyota quality & reliability
• Roomy interior
• Standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration
• Light off-road ability

• More expensive than comparable rivals
• Cabin noise levels
• Navigation only available in top trims
• No option for leather upholstery

#2: 2022 Honda CR-V
Starting Price: $26,875 (Rating 4.7)

• Spacious for passengers and cargo
• Good standard safety tech
• Safe and reliable
• Peppy and efficient engine
• Excellent resale value

• Dated standard infotainment system
• Only tows up to 1,500 lbs
• No off-road trim

#3: 2022 Hyundai Tucson
Starting Price: $26,135 (Rating 4.6)

• Wider and longer, with dramatic new styling
• Tech-friendly interior
• Loaded with connectivity and safety features
• Spacious cabin
• Plug-in hybrid coming later this year

• New styling may not be for everyone
• Optional giant touchscreen could show lots of fingerprints
• Capacitive-touch controls on center console lack “feel”
• Adaptive cruise control is optional, not included in safety suite
• No volume or station knob for the audio system

#4: 2021 Mazda CX-5
Starting Price: $26,370 (Rating 4.5)

• Attractively styled, inside & out
• Abundant standard equipment
• One of the sportiest SUVs
• Available turbo 2.5-liter engine

• Back seat not the roomiest
• Cargo area on the small side, too
• Infotainment not that intuitive

#5: 2021 Nissan Rogue
Starting Price: $26,745 (Rating 4.4)

• Sharp new styling
• Improved ProPilot Assist
• Quieter interior
• More-responsive AWD
• Available digital instrument cluster

• No hybrid model
• Power remains only just enough

#6: 2022 Subaru Forester
Starting Price: $26,320 (Rating 4.3)

• Roomy for a compact-crossover SUV
• All-wheel drive is standard
• Plenty of safety features as standard
• Can achieve 33 mpg on the highway
• Tough construction

• The only transmission is a continuously variable automatic (CVT)
• CVTs tend to blunt engine responses
• Styling is somewhat rustic
• Maximum towing capacity is only 1,500 pounds

#7: 2022 Chevrolet Equinox
Starting Price: $26,995 (Rating 4.2)

• Standard active safety systems
• Standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
• Roomy rear seat

• Less cargo room than Honda, Toyota and VW rivals
• No hybrid option

#8: 2022 GMC Terrain
Starting Price: $29,095 (Rating 4.1)

• Interesting styling
• Rugged AT4 trim
• Premium Denali model
• Roomy seating
• Nice standard tech

• Uninspiring engine
• Odd gear-shift buttons
• Tight cargo area

#9: 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan
Starting Price: $26,440 (Rating 4.0)

• Refreshed for 2022
• Updated styling
• New interior with standard digital gauges
• Heated front seats are standard
• Standard automatic emergency braking

• No hybrid, no optional V6
• No AWD model with three rows
• Resale values trail Japanese rivals

#10: 2022 Kia Sportage
Starting Price: $25,265 (Rating 3.9)

• Great price-to-feature ratio
• Roomy occupant space for a compact crossover
• Quality cabin materials

• Not particularly easy on gas
• Many rivals have more cargo space

11. 2021 Ford Escape
Starting Price: $26,130 (Rating 3.7)

• Four powertrain options
• Hybrid and a PHEV models
• Sliding 2nd-row seats
• Excellent ride quality
• Ford Co-Pilot360 standard

• Generic styling
• Steering lacks feel
• No sporty model

12. 2021 Jeep Cherokee
Starting Price: $27,785 (Rating 3.4)

• Real off-road ability
• V6 & turbo-4 engine options
• Outstanding high-tech features
• Many standard safety features

• Average reliability & resale value
• Under-powered base engine
• Small cargo area
• More expensive than some rivals

Related article: Consumer Reports Car Analysts Recommend These 2021 Compact SUV models

For a more detailed breakdown of the data, please visit the Kelley Blue Book website and/or the search engine from TorqueNews to find the latest detailed reviews of each model.

Be sure to check out other CR-related articles that covers buying used cars, selling used cars, and buying SUV’s of all makes and models.

COMING UP NEXT: Best Low Cost Used Cars and SUVs That Consumer Reports Analysts Would Recommend for Their Own Family

Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily news and topics related to ICE and EV cars and trucks.