Compact SUVs make up one of the most competitive new vehicle segments here in the United States. With affordable price tags, room for a small family, relatively large cargo areas, available all-wheel drive, and most of the infotainment and safety technology buyers want out of a modern vehicle, it’s easy to see why these reasonably sized SUVs are so popular, and automakers are constantly releasing new offerings in this competitive segment. Here we’ve listed four of the newest compact SUVs either on sale, or soon-to-be on sale here in 2019.
2020 Ford Escape
The Escape is all-new for the 2020 model year. Four powertrains will be available. On the strictly-combustion side, the entry-level engine is a 1.5-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder making 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. The more potent option is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making an impressive 250 hp and an even more impressive 275 lb-ft of torque. This optional turbo is noteworthy given that most competing compact SUVs offer just one powertrain option, as the compact SUV segment is typically more about efficiency than performance. Both of the basic gas-powered Escapes come with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The new Escape will also offer two alternative powertrains. The Escape Hybrid will make use of an inline 4-cylinder paired with an electric motor for a combined output of 198 hp, while the Escape PHEV makes 209 hp. While fuel economy figures have yet to be announced, expect the Escape PHEV to travel up to 30 miles on electric power alone. The gas-powered Escapes get an 8-speed automatic, while the Hybrid and PHEV come with a CVT. Beyond that, the new Escape offers loads of active safety tech and a variety of other new features. 4G LTE compatibility with Wi-Fi capability is standard, while Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is offered on the SE trim and up.
For those craving a more rugged aesthetic from their Ford SUV, the Blue Oval is expected to release a more off-road capable, Bronco-inspired compact SUV in the next year or so. The new rugged compact SUV will make use of the same platform and likely more than one of the powertrains offered on the new Escape, but with greater off-road capability and some fun off-road features. Find a Ford Escape for sale
2019 Toyota RAV4
The leader among the newest compact SUVs that you can actually buy right now is the Toyota RAV4. In 2018, the RAV4 was the best-selling non-truck in the United States, and for 2019, it’s been fully redesigned. The new model should pick up right where the last generation left off, as it improves upon its predecessor in every way. Two powertrains are offered. Regular models come with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder making 203 hp and 184 lb-ft, while the available Hybrid comes with a similar version of that 2.5-liter 4-cylinder paired with a hybrid component for a total output of 219 hp. Fuel economy comes in at 30 miles per gallon in combined driving for basic LE, XLE, XLE Premium, and Limited trims. An Adventure trim is available that offers unique styling front and rear, along with more useful roof-rails, orange interior accents, and some other stylistic elements that give the RAV4 a more rugged aesthetic. The 2019 RAV4 Adventure returns 28 mpg combined. Adventure and Limited trims also get a torque-vectoring AWD system. Toyota has also made the XSE trim exclusive to the RAV4 Hybrid, which is, surprisingly, faster than the basic gas model to begin with. In XSE guise, the RAV4 Hybrid offers surprisingly spry handling — test drive one to see what we mean. Beyond powertrains, the new RAV4 offers a great interior layout with quality materials used in all the right places, and offers a great array of active safety features, including next-gen tech like lane tracing and street sign recognition. While Apple CarPlay is standard, Android Auto is still mysteriously absent. Find a Toyota RAV4 for sale
2019 Subaru Forester
Like the RAV4, the Subaru Forester is all-new for the 2019 model year. One of the big changes to the 2019 model is that it’s available with just a single powertrain: a 2.5-liter flat 4-cylinder making 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque and paired with a CVT. As with most Subaru products, AWD is standard. While a turbocharged XT model had been a staple in the Forester lineup for ages, it’s been dropped as part of the 2019 redesign. We think there’s room for a performance-leaning Forester in the marketplace though, so we hope Subaru will agree with us and potentially reintroduce an XT — or even an STI model — down the road. Subaru’s suite of active safety features now comes standard across the board, meaning that every 2019 Forester offers automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and a trick feature Subaru calls "lead vehicle start alert," that alerts you when the vehicle in front of you has started moving again after coming to a complete stop in traffic or at a red light. More safety tech is optional, while Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard. Find a Subaru Forester for sale
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan
After fumbling on as a very European, undersized compact SUV for nearly a decade, Volkswagen introduced a much-improved, Americanized Tiguan to the U.S. market for the 2018 model year. While still considered a compact SUV, the new Tiguan differentiates itself by offering room for up to seven passengers via an available third-row seat. Front-wheel drive-equipped models offer the third row as standard, while on AWD examples the third row is optional. Beyond its third-row seat, the Tiguan offers loads of interior space and a good array of available features, although it’s decidedly less-German than the version that preceded it, which may disappoint long-time Volkswagen fans. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder making 184 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. As mentioned before, FWD is standard, while AWD is optional. Fuel economy isn’t exactly class-leading, as FWD models return 25 mpg combined, while AWD nets 24 combined. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard. S trims get a basic 6.5-in screen while all other trims get a larger 8.0-in unit. Volkswagen divides the Tiguan’s available active safety features into two different tiers. The "Driver Assistance Package" is optional on the base S trim, but comes standard on all other trims, and includes forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The SEL Premium trim gains lane-keeping assist and rear automatic emergency braking. Automatic high beams and a 360-degree surround-view camera are also available. A panoramic sunroof, a foot-activated power lift gate and a heated steering wheel are all available as well. Buyers looking for more curb appeal should look to a Tiguan R-Line, which is available as an add-on to the SEL trim and offers larger wheels and other unqiue styling elements.
Additionally, if you can scoop up a 2019 model, the Tiguan offers an excellent 6-year/72,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, the best in the industry. 2020 models will see their warranty cut to 4 years/50,000 miles. Find a Volkswagen Tiguan for sale