Top-Rated 2018 Small SUVs in Quality

Christian Wardlaw | Jun 20, 2018
Over three decades ago, the company founded by John David Power conducted the first annual Initial Quality Study (IQS). Designed to measure owner-reported problems with new vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership, the J.D. Power IQS became the automotive industry’s benchmark study for vehicle quality.

Fast-forward to today, and J.D. Power creates Power Circle Ratings from the information it collects through the IQS. These ratings are designed for consumers to use when they are shopping for a new vehicle, providing a visual summary of the information in a way that is simple to understand and use.

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2018 Buick Envision front quarter left photo This buyer’s guide contains the top-rated 2018 Small SUVs for Initial Quality. Each model earned a Power Circle Rating of 4 or 5 out of a possible 5 for initial quality during the first 90 days of ownership.

2018 Buick Envision

What’s notable about the Buick Envision earning a quality award from J.D. Power is that this compact crossover SUV is made in China. In fact, it was the first Chinese-built vehicle to be sold in the U.S. It is offered in five different trim levels, with a choice between turbocharged and non-turbo engines, and with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. No significant changes are made to the 2018 Envision.

The 2018 Buick Envision receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and receives a quality award in the Compact SUV segment.

2018 Chevrolet Equinox

Chevrolet’s compact 5-passenger crossover SUV is completely redesigned for 2018. It is offered in four trim levels ranging from basic to upscale, and is powered by a choice between two different turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engines, and one turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel engine. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive an option.

The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2018 Chevrolet Trax

Chevrolet’s entry-level small SUV is the Trax. It comes in LS, LT, and Premier trim with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and front- or all-wheel drive. For 2018, Chevrolet made its MyLink infotainment system standard on all Trax trims, added a sporty Redline Package for the Trax LT, and upgraded the Trax Premier with additional safety technologies.

The 2018 Chevrolet Trax receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2018 Ford Escape

Now six years old, the compact Ford Escape crossover gains a new SEL trim level for 2018. The change brings the number of variants to four. Ford also offers two turbocharged engine upgrades from the Escape’s base 2.5-liter engine, but to get them it is necessary to choose SE, SEL, or Titanium trim. As of 2018, the most powerful engine is now reserved for the Escape Titanium.

The 2018 Ford Escape receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2018 Honda CR-V

Redesigned for the 2017 model year, the Honda CR-V continues for 2018 without changes. Buyers choose between LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring trim, with LX equipped with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. All other versions have a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional.

The 2018 Honda CR-V receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2018 Hyundai Tucson

One of two small SUVs that Hyundai offers, the Tucson’s trim level deck is reshuffled for 2018. At the same time, equipment levels and packages see minor adjustments. Two 4-cylinder engines are available, one of which is turbocharged, and the Tucson is front-wheel drive unless you request the optional all-wheel-drive system.

The 2018 Hyundai Tucson receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and receives a quality award in the Small SUV segment.

2018 Jeep Cherokee

Jeep’s popular compact SUV gets a new base trim level for 2018. Latitude, previously the mid-grade choice, replaces Sport trim at the bottom of the lineup, while a new Latitude Plus version debuts to take its place. Most versions of the Cherokee get added standard equipment, and this Jeep continues to offer a 4-cylinder or V6 engine paired with front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

The 2018 Jeep Cherokee receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2018 Kia Niro

A 5-passenger hatchback with SUV styling cues, the front-wheel-drive Niro is a hybrid vehicle rated by the EPA to get as much as 50 mpg in combined driving. For 2018, Kia adds more equipment to some versions of the Niro, and debuts a new plug-in hybrid drivetrain providing 26 miles of electric range and 560 miles of total driving range.

The 2018 Kia Niro receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2018 Kia Sportage

Kia’s small crossover SUV is available in LX, EX, and SX Turbo trim levels. A 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard in LX and EX, while the sporty SX Turbo enjoys 240 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. All-wheel drive is optional across the board. For 2018, Kia adds standard equipment to all three versions of the Sportage.

The 2018 Kia Sportage receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2018 Mini Countryman

Though the Countryman is a small crossover SUV, it’s simultaneously Mini’s largest vehicle. Available with a turbocharged 3-cylinder, a turbocharged 4-cylinder in two different states of tune, and plug-in hybrid drivetrains, the Countryman features front- or all-wheel drive. As is true of every Mini, the Countryman can be options to specific preferences, helping to explain its premium price tag.

The 2018 Mini Countryman receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Minor styling touch-ups and a new Touring Package update the Outlander Sport for 2018. Two different 4-cylinder engines are available, as well as manual or continuously variable transmissions and front- or all-wheel drive. Four trim levels are offered: ES, LE, SE, and SEL. Every one of them includes a nice set of aluminum wheels.

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.








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