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What are the best small SUVs on sale in Ireland in 2021?

SUVs continue to be a major growth trend in Ireland in 2021. Small SUVs provide an attractive entry price along with those much sought after rugged good looks and high seating position. Almost every major car manufacturer has something to offer in this segment, also known as the B-SUV segment. Most of what is on offer uses a small petrol engine, but there are emerging trends for small SUV hybrid and electric that we can expect to see more of. Automatics are also available on some models.

At Changing Lanes, I’ve had the privilege to drive these models new as they hit the market for the first time. But some models really stand out and leave a lasting impression on this car reviewer, providing a great all-round package with style and efficiency. In this article I pick out my best small SUVs, with a brief description of why these models get top marks and are definitely worth adding to your shortlist if you are in the market for something small with attitude.

Please check the manufacturer’s website for the most up to date pricing and specifications.

RENAULT CAPTUR

The Renault Captur is now in its second generation and has really matured into a fantastic small SUV. The latest model arrived in Ireland in 2020. It’s known for its good looks but this time round Renault has seriously enhanced the cabin of the Captur. It fits this segment so well with the chunky looks of an SUV and a stylish interior. It’s well sized for the segment, practical and spacious. Engine options include petrol, diesel and a new plug-in hybrid for the very first time. It remains a great value small SUV and it’s well equipped.

The 2020 Renault Captur now on sale in Ireland!
The Renault Captur is one of the best small SUVs you can buy

OPEL MOKKA

The Opel Mokka made a magnificent comeback to Ireland in 2021 with an all-new model that is light years away from the model it replaced in design, quality and technology. It’s now available for the first time as an electric model (the Mokka-e), along with petrol and diesel versions. The Mokka is super stylish with a youthful vibe adding new energy to the brand. SRI models look the best with a sporty makeover. The Mokka features an all-new interior with the latest technology features and plenty of good quality materials.

The very stylish all electric Opel Mokka-e
The very stylish all electric Opel Mokka-e

DACIA DUSTER

The Dacia Duster was originally launched as a budget SUV but over the years this model has really found its stride and carved out a niche of loyal followers who love the boxy good looks and stance of a traditional SUV at a great price.  Compared to many of the other models on this list, the Duster lacks some sophistication in the finish of the interior and driving experience but it’s remarkably charming behind the wheel. An updated version of the Dacia Duster is now on sale in Ireland with tweaked styling, interior and equipment. The range kicks off with a petrol Dacia that also has an LPG tank that savvy buyers will love. Diesel is also available and a very accomplished four wheel drive model.

The 2021 Dacia Duster now on sale in Ireland
The 2021 Dacia Duster 

PEUGEOT 2008

Peugeot has been moving their brand upmarket and the latest generation of the 2008 brings so much sophistication and style to the B-SUV segment. The i-Cockpit interior creates a unique cabin experience in the small Peugeot and the 2008 feels truly premium behind the wheel. It’s agile on the road with a great selection of engines to choose from –  petrol, diesel and electric for the first time.

The new Peugeot 2008 is now on sale in Ireland
The Peugeot 2008 on test for Changing Lanes in 2020

NISSAN JUKE

The one that you could say kicked off the trend for small SUVs. The popular Nissan Juke got a much-needed update in 2020 with the launch of an all-new model with a fresh face and design. The Juke looks great and has a new interior that feels good quality. It’s also fun to drive with a small 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine under the bonnet proving lively and economical.

The new Nissan Juke is arriving in Ireland in November!
The new Nissan Juke arrived in Ireland in 2020

SEAT ARONA

A former Irish Small SUV of the Year. The SEAT Arona is simple and appealing, offering good value and a perfectly sized 1.0-litre petrol engine to match its compact dimensions. Together with SEAT’s larger SUVs, it has driven growth for the brand in Ireland, offering just the right package to make it a sound buy. The Arona is agile and fun to drive with a straightforward cabin design.

The 2018 SEAT Arona
The SEAT Arona on test for Changing Lanes in 2018

VOLKSWAGEN T-CROSS

Another former Irish Small SUV of the Year! The T-Cross is a real winner. It looks great, really convincing as a small SUV. The T-Cross is one of the best quality cars in the segment, bringing typical Volkswagen design, quality and technology to the cabin. It’s mature and refined to drive yet retains a fun side. Engines are perfectly matched too. Higher entry price than some of the others here but worth it we can say.

The new Volkswagen T-Cross!
The Volkswagen T-Cross on test for Changing Lanes in 2019

SKODA KAMIQ 

The Kamiq made a big entrance when it arrived in Ireland in late 2019. The smallest Skoda SUV on sale, it is one of the most fun of the entire Skoda range with chunky looks and so much attitude. It’s agile and fun to drive, and being a Skoda, it’s simply clever, with loads of neat features and spacious too for this segment.

The ŠKODA Kamiq is now on sale in Ireland
The ŠKODA Kamiq went on sale in Ireland in 2019

FORD PUMA

One of the best cars Ford has released in the last few years. Ford finally jumped on the small SUV wagon and what a great result it is. The Puma looks fantastic and is fun to drive in the way only a small Ford can be. It features a new Ford interior with one of the coolest digital instrument clusters in the segment. Small petrol engines are at home in the new Puma offering a lively drive with mild hybrid technology for the first time.

The new Ford Puma on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Ford Puma on test for Changing Lanes in 2020

HYUNDAI KONA

One of Ireland’s favourite small SUVs. The Kona was recently facelifted for a new look. There’s plenty of choice available in the Kona range – choose from a petrol engine, a petrol hybrid or an all-electric model.

The Hyundai Kona has been refreshed for 2021
The Hyundai Kona has been refreshed for 2021