We are going to look at the Audi Q2, Peugeot 2008, Volkswagen T-Roc and BMW X1.

Combining a hatchback with the dimensions of a more substantial car, a compact SUV is the perfect option for an easy life. Capable and dependable, it’ll provide all you need for urban and out-of-town transport - more interior space and a higher seating position for easy access, and improved visibility and safety, too.

There’s also better practicality, a result of a bigger boot space and clever design that makes loading easier. With more ground clearance than a smaller hatchback, you’ll find a compact SUV is more adventurous, without compromising on style and performance.

Woman leaning against a red Audi SQ2

Which Compact SUV Looks the Best?

Driving a practical and economical car doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on style. Inside and out, all of our compact SUVs are easy on the eye.

Here’s what they have to shout about: The Audi Q2 gives no mixed signals when it comes to looks. Its diamond-shaped front fascia and well-defined silhouette indicate a prestige SUV. The car has twelve paint finishes and a contrasting C-pillar.

Its sporty nature can be felt in the interior too with red accents and optional elegant matt aluminium finish. Black sport seats are available in Index cloth or Milano leather, also with a choice of red or grey accents. The Q2 comes in three variants:, Sport and S-Line, with 16”, 17” or 18” alloys, and S-Line offering a unique body kit and LED front lights, too. When compared to the rest of the crew, the Peugeot 2008 looks more sleek, yet still sporty and aggressive. Peugeot has created a balanced SUV with a distinctive front fascia and a sense of open space thanks to its big windows.

Inside, occupants can expect an immersive interior with high quality finish. The 2008 comes in four trim levels: Active, Allure Premium and GT. Apart from conventional mood lighting, there are optional LED illuminated headliner and optional panoramic roof (standard on GT Line). A choice of eight exterior colours and two interior finishes is available. The baby Tiguan is the newest addition to the Volkswagen SUV family, and its design is as you would expect from VW - functional and unfussy. The T-Roc is conservative, low key and beautiful in its simplicity. It comes in five trims to suit every taste: Life, Style, R-Line and R.

The T-Roc design offers the widest colour palette of all our line-up, which can help you build your own chic, urban compact SUV. You’ll get the sharpest looks from the R-Line with 19” alloys, sport seats and a different body kit with body coloured side skirts. The BMW X1 has the manufacturer’s strong heritage written all over it. First, there’s the athletic design with the trademark kidney grille. Then, there’s its well defined silhouette with big wheel arches that accommodate 17” alloy wheels as standard on the SE, with 18” on higher trims.

The interior is driver-oriented and finished in high quality materials with cloth, Alcantara or leather upholstery choices, and aluminium and chrome inlays proving that the X1 is a premium example in its class. This X1 is offered in SE, Sport, luxurious xLine and exclusive M Power trim levels.

What Compact SUV has the Best Handling?

From city to country; a quick spin to a mammoth road trip, easy handling makes every journey a piece of cake. All our compact SUVs are equipped to make your driving a delight, take a look:

At 4.2m long and 2m wide, the Audi Q2 is certainly not the biggest of our compact SUVs, with an average turning circle of 11.1m. The optional quattro is very helpful in more demanding conditions, offering off-road grip, despite the fact that it’s combined with a relatively low 14.7cm of ground clearance. Rear parking sensors are standard, Park Assist and rear view camera are optional in all trims, allowing even the most wary of drivers to easily manoeuvre into those elusive parking spaces.

Compared to the Q2, the Peugeot 2008 is a bit shorter, at 4.15m but they share the same overall width of 2m. However, the 2008 has quite an impressive turning circle of 10m, making it the most agile car in this comparison. Ground clearance is also good, at 16.5cm, but it only has front wheel drive, limiting those off-road adventures. A rear view camera is optional on Allure and standard on GT Line, Park Assist is optional on Allure and GT Line, and rear parking sensors are optional on all trims, at additional cost.

orange 2008 parked on a drive

Volkswagen’s compact SUV, the T-Roc is 4.23m in length, but at 1.92m in width, it’s narrower than its competitors. Its turning circle measures 11.1m, the same as the Q2 but the T-Roc sits 16cm off the ground, more than the Q2. 4Motion all-wheel-drive is available only in SEL and R-Line variants. If you’re looking for a little help with parking, sensors are optional in the basic trim, and come as standard on the SE upwards. The rear view camera is an option on SE and above, as is park assist.

The BMW X1 is 4.45m in length and 2.04m in width, meaning it’s easily the biggest one in this line-up. With a turning circle of 11.4m, it’s also, in theory, the hardest one to manoeuvre around the streets. Fortunately, the xDrive all-wheel-drive function is available in every trim, starting with the 18d SE variant.

Standard equipment includes rear park distance control, while front parking assist and rear camera are optional extras. Driving assistant plus offers features like traffic jam assist, but it’s only available with the automatic transmission.

Which Compact SUV Offers the Best Practicality?

It’s the interior space as well as all the little touches that make driving a pleasure rather than a chore. Check out what each of our compact SUVs have to offer in the practicality stakes:

The boot space of the Audi Q2 is a little on the small side at 405 litres, increasing to 1,050 litres with the rear seats folded down. The 74cm height of the boot opening compensates for this a little as it provides easy access when loading your car. A powered tailgate is available in all trims at an extra cost. A smartphone interface allows safe and easy connection while the virtual cockpit is great for conveniently checking traffic or finding the nearest petrol station.

The Peugeot 2008 boasts 410 litres of boot space when the seats are up, which can increase to a respectable 1,400 litres. Tailgate height is just 60cm, which is easy on your back when when loading heavier items. All models benefit from a 7” multifunction screen with steering wheel controls and can have 3D sat nav and Peugeot Connect SOS as an upgrade (standard on the Allure Premium and GT Line trims).

When the seats are up, the VW T-Roc’s boot space measures 445 litres, while the total volume is 1,290 litres, with plenty of other storage scattered throughout the cabin. A fairly good height of over 1,573mm provides comfortable headroom for the driver and passengers. Optional voice control allows communication with your car without lifting a finger, bringing family, friends and colleagues to you safely via phone, while technology features like Car-Net make it as easy as pie for you to keep connected to the wider world.

As the largest in our group of compact SUVs, the BMW X1 offers 505 litres in the boot and an amazing 1,550 litres when the rear seats are folded. Keyless Comfort Go access is a payable option, but the automatic boot is standard, as are handy 12V sockets for easy charging of gadgets. Sat nav is included in all models and controlled via the iDrive touchscreen which projects relevant information directly onto the windscreen, making it a breeze to keep on track.

With 500 more litres of boot space than the Q2 and easy boot opening as standard, we think that the BMW X1 is an absolute winner in this category, offering by far the most interior space and standard features.

side view of volkswagen t roc driving on a road

Which Compact SUV is the Best Value for Money?

Finding the right compact SUV is just part of the challenge, making sure that the numbers add up is another important factor when buying a car. Here’s what figures you could be looking at when funding your new car:

The starting price of the Audi Q2 is £24,635 for the 116 PS 1.0 litre petrol Sport and ranges up to £34,640 for the Black Edition (without optional extras).

The sleek Peugeot 2008 starts at £24,295 for the ACTIVE PREMIUM+. You’ll have to stretch to £29,445 for the top of the range GT.

Opt for the VW T-Roc and the lowest price you’ll pay is £26,080 for the T-Roc Life. Go for the R and you’ll be looking at £42,155 without extras. The engine that returns the most miles per gallon is the 1.0 TSI with a 6-speed manual.

As a premium compact SUV, BMW’s X1 has a starting price of £33,775, which is by far the highest price tag compared to others. In fact you’ll be looking at £38,525 for the xDrive20d M Sport.

Speaking in numbers, the winner in the costs department is easy to calculate: we’re voting for the Peugeot 2008 since it offers the best fuel mileage for the lowest starting price as well as reasonable insurance.

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