The Best Small SUV According to Consumer Reports

by : Lisa Ziegler

Consumer Reports, one of the most trusted sources of information and advice on consumer products and services including the automotive industry has released their test results for SUV models. The complete test report will be published in the May issue of Consumer Reports that is now available in news stands. In addition, the May issue will also feature the complete updates of previously tested minivans and other small sport utility vehicle (SUV) models.

Among the 20 popular small SUVs sold in international markets today that has been tested by Consumer Reports staff, the newly redesigned Hyundai Santa Fe obtained a "Very Good" overall rating in terms of consumer value.

Other small SUVs tested by Consumer Reports include the Subaru Forester, Mitsubishi Outlander, Suzuki XL7, and Dodge Nitro. The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V are also included and have been previously tested by Consumer Reports. Although the result is not equal to the Hyundai Santa Fe, other SUVs tested like the Subaru Forester, Mitsubishi Outlander, and the Suzuki XL7 also earned Very Good" overall ratings. Unfortunately, the Dodge Nitro received a "Fair" overall score.

The redesigned Hyundai Santa Fe obtained the highest rating for its impressive enhancement compared to the previous model. For a starting manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $30,745, the Hyundai Santa Fe comes with a spacious interior with third row seats. The vehicle has 37.5 cubic feet of storage space with the second and third-row seats folded. The vehicle is equipped with a 242-hp 3.3-liter V6 engine under its hood combined with a standard 5-speed automatic gearbox.

Like the Hyundai Santa Fe, the Mitsubishi Outlander XLS tested by Consumer Reports is also a redesigned model for the small SUV segment. Equipped with roomy interior, the Mitsubishi Outlander provides 33.5 cubic feet of storage space when the rear seatbacks are folded. Equipped with a 220- hp 3.0-liter V6 engine coupled with a six-speed transmission, the Mitsubishi Outlander XLS roll out in dealerships carrying a base manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $30,615.

The Suzuki XL7 Luxury, which also earned "Very Good" overall rating from Consumer Reports has a MSRP of $29,284. It comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that provides powerful performance delivering 252 hp, mated to a 5-speed automatic gearbox.

Meanwhile, the Dodge Nitro SLT has the least fuel efficiency and performance among the group of SUVs tested by Consumer Reports. The vehicle features the same platform like the

Jeep Liberty with . With a MSRP of $28, 875, the Dodge Nitro offers a 210-hp 3.7-liter V6 engine with only 16 mpg. , the group's worst. Inside, the 60/40 rear seatbacks offers 39.5 cubic feet of storage space.