A grey 2024 Ford Escape driving on a city street.

Popular Compact SUVs for 2024

Compact SUVs seem to be the main type of vehicle you see on the road these days. They’re a great combination of versatility and practicality: not as big and hard to maneuver as full-size SUVs, but with more cargo space and leg room for passengers than a sedan-style car. The 2024 Ford Escape, the 2024 Chevy Equinox, and the 2024 Toyota RAV4 are all popular options for car buyers, among many others. But what makes these different compact SUVs special? How do their unique blends of design and utility make them stand out in a crowded market? Let’s take a look.

2024 GMC Terrain

The 2024 GMC Terrain is competitive in the small SUV market this year. While its engine options and performance match up well, it stands out in a crowded lineup for its design. Many folks who decide to go with a Terrain do so because of the interior appointments and lush driving environment the Terrain offers. This is especially true if you make the leap into a new Denali trim, known for its opulence and comfort. Some luxury interior features include French-stitched leather upholstered seating as well as a steering wheel wrapped in leather. Get the most out of this luxury ride by cranking the music up on your Bose 7-Speaker Premium Audio System, also available in the Denali model.

2024 Chevy Equinox

For the past two years, JD Power has rated the 2022-2023 Chevy Equinox as #1 for New Vehicle Quality among Compact SUVs. We don’t know what the rating will be for the 2024 model, but we’re sure it’ll be up there. This small SUV is popular with busy parents and individuals who need to zip around the city with the flexibility to still load up and get out of town on the weekend. This SUV is known for its competitive starting price in the market, starting at only $26,600 MSRP for the base trim.

It will remain a good budget option for years to come due to its competitive fuel efficiency, getting 26 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. Despite being an affordable small SUV for many, Chevy doesn’t skimp on the technology available, even on the features that come standard in the base model. All models have the Chevy infotainment system accessible through a minimum 7-inch diagonal screen.

Interior view of a 2024 Ford Escape showing the front seats and steering wheel.

The 2024 Ford Escape

The 2024 Ford Escape touts itself as a powerhouse of a compact SUV that doesn’t sacrifice any versatility or performance despite its small size. It comes in six trim levels, ranging from just shy of $30,000 to just over $40,000, making this an economical choice as well. Ford is known in the market for their “Built Ford Tough” trucks, and they’ve ported that idea into the Escape, even if these vehicles are more likely to be seen running the kids to school rather than working the job site.

To make the surprisingly peppy performance possible, Ford offers a few different engine options to new Escape buyers. The base engine is a 1.5L EcoBoost that delivers 180 hp. The next level up is a 2.0L EcoBoost turbo engine that produces a whopping 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. This is probably the engine you want to go with if you plan on towing regularly. You heard that right: the Escape, even as a compact SUV, is entirely capable of towing up to 3,500 lbs when it’s been properly equipped with the towing package Ford offers.

For environmentally-conscious folks or those who want to save some dough at the gas station, the Ford Escape comes in a choice of two hybrid engines. The first level of the hybrid engine, a 2.5L iVCT I-4 Hybrid, can create 192 total system hp. For more horsepower while still going green, opt for the 2.5L iVCT I-4 Plug-in Hybrid to get 210 hp. No matter which of these great engine options you choose, Ford delivers on its commitment to power and capability, all wrapped up in a small SUV package with the Escape.

2024 Mazda CX-5

The 2024 Mazda CX-5 takes the word sleek to a whole new level. From the base trim level up to the Turbo Signature, this small SUV delivers powerful and eye-catching lines and external features that will have heads turning. Mazda touts the CX-5 as an “elevated driving experience,” and we couldn’t agree more.

The inside is just as rich as the exterior, with a clean aesthetic that shouts luxury. The Mazda CX-5 isn’t all style over substance by any means, though. It comes standard with AWD, so you stay grounded on the road. Additionally, it won the 2023 IIHS “Top Safety Pick” award. It even earned a 5-star Overall Safety Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2023. We expect the accolades to be similarly impressive for the 2024 model year.

2024 Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai’s newest Tucson is jam-packed with features that make it an excellent choice for busy families and individuals with packed schedules. It can seamlessly go from date night in the city to loading up with camping equipment for a weekend getaway in the wilderness. Versatility is at the heart of what makes the Tucson a great small SUV choice for any prospective buyer.

There are too many safety and convenience technology features to list here, but sensors and cameras seem to be able to keep the Tucson out of even the toughest situations, ranging from avoiding potential collisions to helping you out with an app if you leave your keys in the house. Amazingly, the Tuscon can even park itself with available Remote Smart Parking Assist. With just a touch of a button, this SUV can squeeze neatly into that spot you’d never attempt on your own.

Side view of a blue 2024 Toyota RAV4 Woodland Edition parked on a grassy hill.

2024 Toyota RAV4

The RAV4 was made for folks wanting to explore the great outdoors while maintaining a busy weekday schedule. This SUV has up to 8.6 inches of ground clearance, meaning you won’t get caught up on that root jutting out from the dirt road, and you won’t scrape the undercarriage when they lay a new speed bump you just don’t see. And with available AWD and its multi-link rear suspension, you’re set to hit the trails. Get the most out of your adventures with an available panoramic glass roof that will let you see the stars and sky in a whole new way.

2024 Subaru Forester

Depending on where you are in North America, you might see more or less of these great vehicles. They’re a favorite for many in towns that get a lot of snow because of the Symmetrical AWD that comes as a standard feature on every Forester. These safety features help cars stay in their lanes during bad weather, help traverse challenging terrain with ease, and give a great sense of peace of mind to many.

This small SUV is also known in the industry for its dependability, making it a solid investment without fear of poor resale value in years to come. In fact, Kelley Blue Book gave the Subaru Forester the “Best Resale Value” award for the past 4 years. For folks looking for safety, dependability, and staying power, look no further than the Forester.

Which Compact SUV Are You?

No matter what key selling points grab you, there’s sure to be a compact SUV with your name on it. Whether you go for the 2024 Ford Escape’s outstanding performance, the standard AWD on the Subaru Forester, or go full luxury with a Denali trim Terrain, a compact SUV will help your family live life to the fullest. Go from errands to road trips to off-roading without trouble when you get into one of these models of small SUVs.