The best urban SUVs

Current commercials are revealing: the trend is towards the urban SUV. Like the city car, it remains one of the favorite cars of the French. The idea of being behind the wheel of such a vehicle is seductive, if only for its elevation, its bold look, its versatility and its countless customization options. Thermal, electric or hybrid? Choose your urban SUV from our selection!

Citroën C3 Aicross

Citroën C3 Aicross

From €18,850 on Citroën

The Citroën C3 Aicross is considered to be the most comfortable urban SUV of the moment. It has a spacious interior with a length of 4.15 m and an average height of 1.64 m. A real Swiss Army knife, it can be modulated as you wish.

Dacia Spring

Dacia Spring

From 17 090 € on Dacia

Even though the Dacia Spring is quite compact from the outside, you'll still enjoy plenty of living space on board. This small urban SUV features sporty lines, a 100% electric engine and remarkable driving comfort.

Skoda Kamiq

Skoda Kamiq

From 20 640 € on Skoda

A great success for the Skoda brand, the Kamiq, 424 cm long, promises maximum comfort to all drivers. It is as powerful as it is safe. With its athletic looks and compact size, you will have no trouble squeezing into the narrowest of streets.

Renault Captur

Renault Captur

From €21,950 on Renault

Practicality and livability are what best define the Renault Captur. This small SUV takes care of its presentation with a very athletic design. It is available in 3 distinct engines: gasoline, diesel and rechargeable hybrid.

Peugeot 2008

Peugeot 2008

From 21 090 € on Peugeot

You will be able to configure its finish as well as its engine, color and comfort options. For those who like 100% electric cars, this small urban SUV offers a high range, up to 320 km. Whichever model you choose, it will always be a very pleasant ride in the city.

Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke

Starting at €21,090 on Nissan

Reassuring and stable, the Nissan Juke does not lack originality. And despite the advent of many new, more sophisticated models, this small urban SUV still has many years ahead of it. We can only appreciate its ease of customization, from wheels to mirrors.

Hyundai Kona

Hyundai Kona

From €24,050 on Hyundai

The Hyundai Kona appeared on the market in 2017, stylish and dynamic. Its gasoline version, with a power of 120 hp, is wise in urban environments. The one with all-wheel drive guarantees you better traction and optimal grip. This small urban SUV is also available in electric and non-rechargeable hybrid.

Audi Q2

Audi Q2

From €28,760 on Audi

Over-equipped, the Audi Q2 urban SUV impresses with its refined lines and its friendly baroudeur look. You have everything to benefit from its range of equipment dedicated to infotainment. The driving assistance options are there, as well as connectivity. Its controlled damping allows it to adapt to all types of roads

Seat Arona

Seat Arona

From €17,990 on Seat

Following a major restyling in 2017, the Seat Arona now gets full LED headlights and the front fascias have been updated. Its most welcoming cabin is still part of the race. On top of that, you'll be able to drive safely thanks to Seat Connect and Travel Assist in-house technologies.

Opel Mokka

Opel Mokka

From €20,350 on Opel

Do you have a weakness for small allendered SUVs? Choose the Opel Mokka. It's certain that you won't be unmoved by its seductive look, muscular lines and dynamic performance. This urban SUV, also available in 100% electric, is a serious rival to the Nissan Juke.

Buying guide - Urban SUV

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How to choose your Urban SUV

Are you looking for a car that can handle city driving? An urban SUV is just what you need. There's something for everyone, and automakers are not skimping on the latest technology in terms of trends. Here are our tips to help you make the right choice:
choisir SUV urbain

Criterion n°1 : The engine

Your purchase decision will be based primarily on how you intend to use the urban SUV. If you only drive occasionally, a model with a diesel engine will do very well. Indeed, its polluting character would be contrary to your desire to participate in the preservation of the environment. If you make several short daily trips, a gasoline engine is highly recommended. Furthermore, you should choose an electric or hybrid engine if you want to limit your fuel consumption. Just make sure that your routes are 100% urban and that charging stations are accessible to you at all times.

Criterion n°2 : 2 or 4 wheel drive?

The choice of your future urban SUV will depend on the type of journey you make. Generally, all models are equipped with 2-wheel drive. However, some can be equipped with an all-wheel drive. This will allow you to benefit from good road handling and excellent traction. You won't have to worry about the vagaries of the weather (heavy rain, snow...). Of course, having 4-wheel drive inevitably means an extra cost. However, it seems advantageous for those who drive as much on the highway as in the city.

Criterion n°3 : The budget

Based on the budget allocated to the purchase of your urban SUV. You'll not only save time, you'll also avoid overpriced models. To determine how much you need, consider the cost of the car. Also consider additional expenses such as the price per liter of fuel, insurance, maintenance costs... otherwise you run the risk of going over your budget.

Criterion n°4 : The safety and comfort options

The time of poorly equipped cars is over! All of today's urban SUVs have comfort and safety options, offered as standard, that will amplify the pleasure of driving. In this area, car manufacturers are competing with each other in terms of ingenuity to differentiate themselves from the competition. Automatic ignition, air conditioning, central locking, driver assistance systems, automatic emergency braking, radar or rearview camera... are all possibilities that will allow you to customize your urban SUV the way you want.

Criterion n°5 : The brand

This criterion can be very subjective. The choice of the ideal brand will be based on several parameters, but mostly on your experience and your needs. Do you value patriotism? Then we recommend French brands such as Renault or Peugeot. If you admire European manufacturing quality, why not choose a German brand like Volkswagen (the T-Cross) or a Swedish brand like Volvo (the XC40)? At the same time, the charisma of Italian urban SUVs is sure to charm you. For a down-to-earth, pragmatic approach and a good price/option ratio, go for Korean and Japanese models.

How much does it cost to maintain an urban SUV?

avis SUV urbain

Like any other vehicle, the urban SUV requires regular maintenance. Certain parts and components of the car wear out with use. They need to be replaced on a regular basis. The car is also not immune to breakdowns or accidents that damage certain parts. Repairs and replacements are necessary. Keep in mind that a properly maintained urban SUV will keep its original condition for a longer period of time. The car will then lose less value, especially if you plan to resell it.

This maintenance has a cost. There is a tendency to think that SUVs are more expensive to maintain than smaller cars like compacts and city cars. This is partly true. In reality, it depends on the type of SUV. Urban SUVs are no more expensive to maintain than a city car. This is because SUVs share many similarities with city cars. This means that maintenance costs remain similar and affordable compared to a large luxury SUV.

Clearly, the urban SUV isn't as expensive to run as you might think. But how much should you pay? The amount depends inherently on the model. On average, you should expect to pay €2,300 in maintenance costs to run an urban SUV for 100,000 km, which equates to about six years of use. The Renault Captur with a diesel engine is the most affordable, requiring €1,764 in maintenance costs over 100,000 km, or €294 per year.

Models such as the Nissan Juke and the Opel Nokka require much more maintenance costs with respective averages of €2,747 and €2,656 over 100,000 km. In any case, it is always recommended to entrust the maintenance to a qualified professional, if possible to the dealer, and to note everything in the maintenance booklet in order to keep a complete history.

The different types of Urban SUVs

You want to buy a new urban SUV? Before investing, you should know that the existing models can be categorized according to their engine. Thus, you have the choice between :

Urban thermal SUV

SUV urbain thermique

The urban thermal SUV runs on either gasoline or diesel.

  • Gasoline engine : perfectly suited for mixed use (city and road). Its tank capacity does not have to suffer from the presence of one or more batteries, as is the case with a hybrid. The latest generation of engines have a direct injection system and even a cylinder deactivation mechanism to limit fuel consumption.
  • Diesel engine : can be used in both urban and rural areas. The advantage of this type of engine lies in its moderate consumption. Even better, it emits very little CO2 compared to the gasoline engine. Dynamism, high torque, pleasant driving... are among its major assets.

Urban hybrid SUV

SUV urbain hybride

Heavier than a conventional sedan, this type of urban SUV combines two distinct types of engines: the combustion engine is located at the front while the electric is placed at the rear. The electric motor will assist the internal combustion engine during starting and acceleration. To save money, you can alternate between the two engines depending on the distance to cover. They are classified in 2 sub-categories, namely the rechargeable hybrid and the non-rechargeable.

  • The plug-in hybrid : is ideal for long journeys. You may not find a charging station during your trip. In the city, its ability to run on all-electric power will be most beneficial. The environment will thank you for it.
  • The non-rechargeable hybrid or full hybrid: this one cannot be recharged via a charging station. Instead, the engine accumulates energy through regenerative braking. Its maximum speed easily reaches 50 to 70 km/h in 100% electric mode.

Urban 100% electric SUV

SUV urbain électrique

The 100% electric urban SUV, as its name suggests, has no internal combustion engine. No more fuel-related problems: clogged engine, breakdowns and pharaonic expenses in the long run. Nevertheless, you will benefit from great power and a more than satisfactory range(up to 500 km per recharge). The electric car adapts to all situations. It will look great in the city, but will also drive with style in the country.

The only drawback to the all-electric urban SUV is the higher cost of ownership compared to previous types of models. However, driving this type of vehicle promises many advantages:

  • The cost of recharging is much lower than for gasoline and diesel. The price is around 2 €/100 km.
  • Free parking
  • Eligible for an ecological bonus
  • Government assistance for the installation of a charging station at home...

Urban SUV or city car?

Urban SUV

The urban SUV is at the top of the current trend. This type of vehicle has similar dimensions to city cars, but with only one difference, the ground clearance. Urban SUVs, like other types of Sport Utility Vehicles, are taller. In fact, many urban SUVs are upgraded versions of the city cars released earlier.

Of course, high ground clearance alone does not define an urban SUV. This type of vehicle has a more powerful engine and, in some cases, all-wheel drive. This, of course, increases fuel consumption. The urban SUV also has a host of additional options that add comfort and luxury to the car.


The city car is the ultimate urban car. It is small and agile, light and easy to drive. It manages perfectly well in urban areas without being bad on the road. Its small engine has low fuel consumption, but also very average performance. Count on a comfortable interior, but relatively narrow, especially in the back seat, due to the small size of the car.

As far as price is concerned, the city car's prices are particularly attractive. Low-cost models can be bought new for as little as ten thousand euros. Of course, other models are real top-of-the-range cars offered at quite high prices.


Although the urban SUV shares many similarities with the city car, it has the advantage of height, a factor that is often reassuring to drivers. It offers a wider range of options that make it more comfortable and luxurious than a city car. Best of all, the urban SUV is generally more powerful and more at ease off city roads. Its higher price will be its only disadvantage compared to city cars.

Why buy an urban SUV?

pourquoi acheter SUV urbain


Although often debated, headroom is a proven advantage for the urban SUV, and for all SUVs for that matter. The driver enjoys a better peripheral view thanks to the raised ground level of this type of urban car. This can help in emergency braking situations as the driver has a better view of vehicles and obstacles ahead.


SUVs are generally classified as luxury cars. Urban SUVs are no exception to this rule. Although basic versions with limited options are available, high-end finishes are always offered by manufacturers. By driving an SUV, you will enjoy optimal comfort in terms of both driving options and the interior.


The urban SUV is initially designed for urban trips. Its limited size and engine make it particularly comfortable in the city. That doesn't mean it's bad on the highway. Quite the contrary. More powerful than the city cars, the urban SUV drives very well on the road. It can even venture onto more difficult trails, thanks to its high ground clearance.

The choice of engine

Unlike large SUVs equipped with large displacement engines that pollute, the urban SUV uses smaller engines. Logically, they consume less fuel and their lower weight helps reduce fuel costs. More ecological engines (hybrids, electric) are also becoming more common in this type of vehicle.

The price

Of course, an urban SUV will cost relatively more than an ordinary city car or compact car. However, in the large SUV family, the urban models are the most affordable. They cost less than a crossover or a large SUV. So you get the advantages and prestige of these vehicles while enjoying more affordable prices.

The best brands of Urban SUVs

In our opinion, the best brands of Urban SUVs in 2022 are :


Citroën entered the SUV segment rather late compared to other carmakers. However, the company is not behind in terms of technology and reputation. Quite the contrary! Citroën is now one of the market leaders in the UK. Its Citroën C3 Aircross model is its flagship urban SUV, which is a hit with young English people.

Renault is the French manufacturer that got interested in the SUV segment quite early. With the Duster, the brand managed to get a big market share in the UK and internationally. Today, Renault offers several very popular urban SUVs like the Captur and the Kiger, which already has a bright future ahead of it.

A subsidiary of Renault, Dacia has posted a triumphant return to the French car market with the Duster. In 2019, the low-cost SUV was the second best-selling car in Europe. Restyled, it still enjoys a high level of popularity among drivers. In 2021, Dacia will offer its electric urban SUV marketed under the name Dacia Spring.

Like Citroën, Peugeot arrived fairly recently on the SUV market, which was already booming at the time. However, the French manufacturer managed, despite its delay, to impose itself by offering reliable, economical and aesthetic models. As proof, the Peugeot 2008 was the best-selling SUV in the UK in 2020.

Hyundai is a big name in the SUV market in the UK and around the world. The Korean manufacturer has excellent sales by seducing customers with comfortable models at very competitive prices. Its Kona urban SUV is a great success in the UK. It will soon be joined by a second model, the Hyundai Bayon, which has many assets to seduce.

What is the price for an Urban SUV

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

17000 £ to 21000 £
21000 £ to 26000 £
more than 26000 £
Price range diagram


A diesel engine for very heavy drivers

The choice of engine for your urban SUV depends on the distance you travel throughout the year. If you drive a lot and regularly cover a lot of miles, it is advisable to choose a diesel-powered urban SUV. It will be more economical. However, note that this type of engine is not very ecological and will disappear in the years to come.

Consider the cost of battery use on electric urban SUVs

The electric urban SUV is an excellent choice. This type of engine is becoming more common and is becoming more popular on the market. But be careful! When buying a car, consider the cost of using the battery. Some manufacturers offer an annual battery lease which, in the long term, can be particularly expensive.

The urban SUV for small families

Because of its small size, the urban SUV is very agile in the city while remaining comfortable on the road. It is much more affordable than other SUVs. This makes it an excellent choice if you want to make the best compromise between cost and comfort. But beware, the urban SUV is not suitable for large families with more than three children at the risk of feeling very cramped.

Choose finishes to save money

As with other car categories, the urban SUV comes, on each model, with different finishes. The basic trims are the most affordable. Costs will increase as the trim level goes up. You can thus juggle options and finishes in order to enjoy an affordable purchase price while benefiting from many comfort options on your urban SUV.

Financing for electric models

Some manufacturers, like Mazda and Hyundai, offer financing for the purchase of electric urban SUVs. They are particularly since they save you from taking out a car loan with a third-party bank when you buy your next SUV. Best of all, you'll be getting a modern, environmentally friendly car. Ask your dealer about available financing options.


What does urban SUV mean?

The urban SUV is a fairly recent category of vehicle. It is generally defined as an SUV version of models that were initially released as city cars. The urban SUV shares the same dimensions as a city car, with a length of no more than 4.30 m. It has a higher ground clearance and offers additional options and a more powerful engine. Its ground clearance is higher and it has additional options and an engine whose power is revised upwards.

What is the difference between an urban SUV and a crossover?

The urban SUV is an SUV declination of a city car. It has the same lines and dimensions, but also the same base. Visually, it stands out from the original city car by its more imposing height. The crossover does the same. However, it is not inspired by a city car, but rather by a sedan or an estate car. Generally speaking, the crossover is a cross between a station wagon and an SUV.

What is the least polluting urban SUV?

The pollution level ofan urban SUV depends on several criteria. The engine is the main factor. Usually, there are different engines offered on a single model. If you really want to focus on the lowest level of pollution, opt for a 100% electric engine that emits zero carbon. More and more manufacturers are offering this type of engine on their urban SUVs.

Who invented the SUV?

The Range Rover from the British brand Land Rover is very often presented as the very first SUV. However, long before the British model was launched, Jeep launched the Wagoneer in the United States in 1963. It was a sedan mounted on a 4x4 chassis. The Jeep Wagoneer was equipped with all-wheel drive and offered a spacious interior and an excellent level of comfort.


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