Published 23/10/2020

Published 23/10/2020

What are the best small SUVs for families? 

The SUV is a family favourite and is also one of the most popular types of vehicle that we lease here at Carparison. Whilst large SUVs remain popular, the continual emergence of the compact crossover has meant that practicality does not depend on sheer size alone.

If you want the benefits of an SUV but are daunted by the likes of the Volvo XC90 or Hyundai Santa Fe then look no further: we’ve put together a list of our top choices for those who are after a SUV lease car that is more modest in size but is just as practical for the family.


The Kamiq completes Skoda's trio of SUVs and is the smallest of the pack. It is drawn from the same blueprint as its larger siblings the Kodiaq and Karoq but, as it is smaller, it is consequentially cheaper. On our test drive of the Skoda Kamiq we noted its light and agile steering; the Kamiq feels well-weighted and offers a smooth, comfortable drive. Its tight turning circle leaves its competitors in the dust and its tall rear windows are claimed to aid passengers who suffer from travel sickness. AND it provides three isofix points: two in the rear outer seats and in the front passenger seat.

Boot capacity: 400 litres
Standout feature: Rear windows that aid travel sickness


This bold looking statement of an SUV is a perfect addition to a growing family. You won't need to worry about squeezing in a pushchair or any other luggage into the Suzuki Vitara as space is complemented by thoughtful design (No entrance lip, handy underfloor storage and a higher boot floor, to name just a few of our highlights). Deep footwells make the cabin all the more comfortable for tall drivers and therefore the rear seats more comfortable for those sitting behind. Fun to drive, the Vitara has good road grip and handles well over big bumps and potholes.

Boot capacity: 375 litres
Standout feature: Practical boot features


The Range Rover Evoque is still one of the most popular SUV's you can drive. Equipped with decent, efficient engines it is reliable and handles well on all terrain. It's not a car you might think of for a families battling muddy boot prints and sticky, roaming fingers. But luxury need not come at the expense of practicality. There is loads of storage space and comfort isn't in question. As we found on our own Evoque test drive, its driving position is commanding and it switches between city, motorway or country driving with incredible ease.

Boot capacity: 591 litres
Standout feature: Luxury aesthetic


The smallest in the Volkswagen SUV line-up is still surprisingly roomy. Its tall body (107mm taller than the Polo) make it stand out against many of its competitors, the benefits being felt from front to back. Large, thoughtfully placed windows then ensure the whole interior feels spacious and light. This serenity is mirrored on the move with the T-Cross offering a quiet, ironed-out drive. Standard equipment is ample, haloed by an eight-inch full-colour infotainment system and wireless charging. You'll have your choice of a variety of design packs and paint colours to add that extra touch of personalisation. All considered, the Volkswagen T-Cross is an ideal family SUV.

Boot capacity: 455 litres
Standout feature: Interior experience


This low-sitting SUV is a fun, small family car with lots to offer. It's based on the much-loved Fiesta and, much to its credit, steers and drives like the model it takes inspiration from. The boot has an easily adjustable floor with a waterproof storage cargo fitted underneath to carry more messy items. Ingeniously, this comes with a plug-hole to easily release liquid (perfect for muddy boots or sandy wetsuits after a day at the beach). You can also expand its sizeable boot with a handy 60/40 rear seat split. Its bold, its practical and it puts a smile on your face. That's why the Ford Puma gets our vote!

Boot capacity: 456 litres
Standout feature: Boot practicality


The Juke has ditched its historically 'marmite' design in favor of something a lot more palatable. Reborn and redesigned, it now sits a lot closer to the hugely popular Nissan Qashqai. Having said that, the Juke is undeniably still full of character. It also has plenty of storage and offers a fair amount of kit. The Nissan Juke is fun to drive and boasts a unique-feeling seating position that is higher than standard hatchbacks but feels low comparative to the car's dashboard and bonnet. The seats are supportive and come with a decent amount of head and leg room (both front and back). Perhaps surprisingly, its boot can hold nearly as much as the Qashqai. 

Boot capacity: 422 litres
Standout feature: Quirkiness


With its angular and stylish design, the XC40 is an impressive looking SUV. It also handles perfectly and feels surprisingly compact on the road. Nevertheless, the interior is broad and offers a substantial amount of head and leg room for all. Three adults can sit comfortably in the back which is much rarer than you would think within this segment. Space extends right to the back with a boot that can offer a capacity of 460 litres. In practical terms this means that the XC40 will hold up to seven cases (which is one more than the Ford Kuga PHEV could fit in). Reliable, safe and spacious were the takeaways from our test drive in the Volvo XC40 and it was really popular amongst our team. Volvo consistently offer the perfect combination of quality and usability, and the XC40 amalgamates both perfectly. 

Boot capacity: 460 litres
Standout feature: spacious yet compact on the road


The Captur has taken a notable step up in design quality compared to its predecessor. It has new, stylish soft touch plastic which covers most surfaces and complements its responsive, minimalist infotainment system. The Renault Captur is loved by many for its quirky aesthetic and the vast array of potential colour combinations inside and out. We loved test driving the the Renault Captur: truly reveling in its design, practicality and drive. Importantly, it also comes with a five stars safety rating from Euro NCAP. We think it's a great all-round family car. 

Boot capacity: 422 litres
Standout feature: Personalisation


If you are looking for a smooth and comfortable ride then the SEAT Arona would be a perfect addition to your family. It takes its style inspiration from the popular SEAT Ibiza hatchback. This means the SEAT Arona has inherited a bold yet professional aesthetic that stands out from the SUV crowd (note the contrast roof). But there is one area where it excels the most: tech. Its displays and controls offer unbeatable usability with clear graphics, fluid responsivity and easy connectivity.

Boot capacity: 400 litres
Standout feature: Technology




The X1 may be BMW’s smallest SUV but it certainly doesn’t compromise on quality or space. Head, shoulder and elbow room for all occupants is ample, with more rear leg room for rear passengers compared to its first generation model. Rear seats can slide or recline and fold in a 40/20/40 split for incredible interior versatility. The BMW X1 also has an impressive 505L boot capacity, fitting more in than the Audi Q3 and the Volvo XC40. It’s sporty, sharp handling makes it fun to drive and its stiff suspension means it also handles corners with ease. It offers a premium build quality that even the most unruly kids would struggle to hamper. 

Boot capacity: 505 litres
Standout feature: Interior versatility

Skoda Kamiq

Whatever you look for in your perfect family car - be it tech to keep everyone entertained, boot space for unavoidable everyday luggage or the safety features that help protect your world - our best small SUVs cover all bases. Compact in size, but vastly adaptable to suit most family needs, these 10 SUVs should definitely make it on your shortlist.

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