Top-Rated 2020 Small SUVs in Quality According to Consumers

Liz Kim | Jun 24, 2020

Small SUVs are among the most popular vehicles on sale in America today, and you benefit from numerous choices in this segment. But which small SUVs rate highest in quality according to the consumers who own one? You’re about to find out.

2020 Kia Soul X-Line Small SUV

J.D. Power surveys thousands of verified new vehicle owners each year, asking them what has gone right and what has gone wrong with their purchases during the first 90 days of ownership. The results are gathered, analyzed, and published in industry benchmark studies, one of which is the annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS).

To rank vehicles according to quality, J.D. Power gives each qualifying model that meets a minimum standard of total responses a “problems per 100 vehicles” score, or PP100. A lower PP100 score means that the model ranks higher in terms of quality because the people who own it report fewer problems per 100 vehicles on the road.

Listed in this post, you’ll find the 10 small SUVs that rate highest for quality according to the consumers who own them. They appear in descending order by PP100 score, putting the highest-quality small SUV at the last.

10. 2020 Buick Encore - Find the best Buick Encore deals!

Serving as Buick’s subcompact SUV, the 2020 Buick Encore was available in 1SV, Preferred, Sport Touring, and Essence trim at the start of the model year. By the summer of 2020, the lineup shrank to 1SV and Preferred. Buick made few other changes to the 2020 Encore, which has a 138-horsepower, 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine powering the front or all four wheels. Open the rear liftgate to access 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat. A maximum of 48.4 cubic feet is available with the rear seats folded down.

The PP100 score for the 2020 Buick Encore is 143, in a tie with the Chevrolet Trax, Jeep Cherokee, and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.

9. 2020 Chevrolet Trax - Find the best Chevrolet Trax deals!

A mechanical twin of the Buick Encore, the 2020 Chevrolet Trax subcompact SUV is offered in LS, LT and Premier trim levels, each equipped with a 138-hp turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine powering the front wheels. All-wheel drive is optional. Cargo space measures 18.7 cubic feet with the rear seats in use and 48.4 cubic feet of space with them folded down. For 2020, Chevy dropped the optional Midnight Edition Package.

The PP100 score for the 2020 Chevrolet Trax is 143, in a tie with the Buick Encore, Jeep Cherokee, and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.

8. 2020 Jeep Cherokee - Find the best Jeep Cherokee deals!

A compact SUV, the 2020 Jeep Cherokee comes in five trim levels, including the rugged Trailhawk off-road version. A 180-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard, but you can upgrade to a 270-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder or a 271-hp 3.2-liter V-6. All-wheel-drive is an option, except for the Trailhawk, in which it comes standard. Pop the rear liftgate and you’ll find 25.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 54.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. 

The PP100 score for the 2020 Jeep Cherokee is 143, in a tie with the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.

7. 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport - Find the best Mitsubishi Outlander deals!

Mitsubishi’s subcompact Outlander Sport gets a facelift for 2020, along with equipment adjustments for some of the trim levels. It comes in five trim levels: ES, SP, SE, BE, and GT. The first four have a 148-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, while the GT has a 168-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder under its hood. All-wheel drive is an option. Cargo-wise, you’ll find 21.7 cubic feet behind the back seat and 49.5 cubic feet of maximum volume.

The PP100 score for the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is 143, in a tie with the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, and Jeep Cherokee.

6. 2020 Toyota C-HR - Find the best Toyota C-HR deals!

Available only with front-wheel drive, the 2020 Toyota C-HR is a “coupe, high-roof” subcompact SUV offered in LE, XLE, and Limited trim levels. A 144-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is the only choice. Behind the rear seat, you’ll find 19.1 cubic feet of space. Fold the rear seats for 37 cubic feet of cargo capacity. For 2020, the styling is freshened, the infotainment system adds Android Auto, and every C-HR gets more standard equipment.

The PP100 score for the 2020 Toyota C-HR is 139.

5. 2020 Buick Envision - Find the best Buick Envision deals!

The biggest of Buick’s three small SUVs, the 2020 Envision carries over unchanged following a thorough freshening for the 2019 model year. It comes in five trim levels, offers a 197-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder or a 252-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, and is available with AWD. The cargo area supplies 26.9 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 57.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

The PP100 score for the 2020 Buick Envision is 134.

4. 2020 Chevrolet Equinox - Find the best Chevrolet Equinox deals!

One of the most popular compact SUVs in America, the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox comes in L, LS, LT, and Premier trim. All models include newly standard Chevy Safety Assist technology for 2020, and engine choices are a standard 170-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder or an optional 252-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. All-wheel drive is also available. With the rear seats in use, the Equinox provides 29.9 cubic feet of cargo space and folding the rear seats gives you 63.9 cubic feet.

The PP100 score for the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox is 133.

3. 2020 Kia Sportage - Find the best Kia Sportage deals!

Kia freshens the compact Sportage for 2020. Whether you get the LX, S, EX or SX trim levels, you’ll receive revised styling, improved technology, enhanced safety, and upgraded materials. A 181-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder motivates most Sportages, but you have to get the SX trim for the 240-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. Both engines are available with AWD. In the cargo area, 30.7 cubic feet of space awaits behind the rear seats. Fold them down to access 60.1 cubic feet.

The PP100 score for the 2020 Kia Sportage is 131.

2. 2020 Hyundai Tucson – J.D. Power Award Winner in Initial Quality! - Find the best Hyundai Tucson deals!

Hyundai’s compact Tucson is one of three small SUVs the automaker sells. It’s offered in six different trim levels and is powered by a 161-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder or a 181-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. All-wheel drive is an option. In advance of an expected redesign for 2021, the 2020 Hyundai Tucson carries over from last year largely unchanged. As far as cargo space goes, you’ll get 31 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 61.9 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

The PP100 score for the 2020 Hyundai Tucson is 127, and the SUV receives an Initial Quality award in the Compact SUV segment.

1. 2020 Kia Soul – Highest Small SUV in Quality According to Consumers! - Find the best Kia Soul deals!

Kia’s funky little Soul, completely redesigned for 2020, is the highest rated small SUV for quality according to the verified consumers who own them.

Kia doesn’t stray far from the recipe that has defined the Soul for years. The redesigned 2020 model comes in LX, S, X-Line, GT-Line, EX, and GT-Line Turbo trim levels, providing plenty of variety. A 147-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard, while the GT-Line Turbo comes with a rousing 201-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder. All-wheel drive is not available, but next year an all-electric version with about 250 miles of driving range arrives. Behind the rear seats, you’ll find 24.2 cubic feet of cargo space. Lower the seats and you’ll get 62.1 cubic feet.

The PP100 score for the 2020 Kia Soul is 125, and the SUV receives an Initial Quality award in the Small SUV segment.

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