Since SUVs exploded on the North American market twenty years ago, they have handily replaced the minivan as the vehicle of choice for families that want a spacious, reliable vehicle that is as good at getting the kids to hockey practice as it is at getting up to the cottage for a weekend away.

With the rising popularity of the SUV has come a proliferation of different types and models. As concerns about fuel mileage and environmental impact have become increasingly significant factors in what Canadian families look for in a vehicle, smaller, more fuel-efficient SUVs have been developed to appeal to this market, and this in turn has given birth to the incredibly successful compact SUV phenomenon. If you are in the market for a new family vehicle, here (in no particular order) are the best compact SUVs for the Canadian family.

Toyota RAV4

Toyota is perhaps best known as a brand that prizes function and dependability over flash, and the RAV4 is an excellent example of this. The RAV4 comes with many different options, but even the more basic packages deliver a comfortable, practical driving experience. 

Mazda CX-5 

Mazda has made a name for itself for providing good quality at an affordable price, and the CX-5 compact is no different. It’s been praised for its fine handling and agile drivetrain, but it is less spacious than other SUVs of its class, which may be a turnoff for some buyers.

 

Nissan Rogue

The Nissan Rogue blends incredible performance with rugged good looks. Not only does this compact provide excellent fuel-efficiency and some of the best safety features in the industry, it comes with a luxurious, up-scale interior. If you’re looking for a deal on a Nissan Rogue you are not alone — this is rapidly becoming one of the most popular compact SUVs in Canada. 

Ford Escape

Ford’s compact SUV offers good value, and for shoppers who want something larger than a hatchback but aren’t sure they want to go full-SUV, the Escape is the perfect vehicle. It’s ample cargo space and excellent technological features make this a great car for small families who need a little more room than a typical sedan can offer. 

Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai is not well known for its SUVs, having built a reputation in North America for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, but the Tucson is everything you might want from a Hyundai SUV. The Tucson is smaller than a lot of the other vehicles on this list, but for urban drivers who want something that is a little more versatile, this makes the Tucson an appealing choice — especially when you factor in features like blind-spot monitoring and rearview camera that make this one of the safest SUVs on the road.

If you are in the market for a compact SUV that blends the roominess and comfort of a full-size SUV with the agility and efficiency of a smaller car, you’re in luck — there has never been a better time to shop for a compact SUV in Canada, and with so many high quality options available, you’re sure to find a vehicle that fits your needs and budget.

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