Top 10 Best Small SUV coming to Australia in 2022

By Alexi Falson on 28 Jan 2022
image for Top 10 Best Small SUV coming to Australia in 2022 Australia's appetite for small SUVs has been nothing short of immense over the past few years. This has led a number of manufacturers to create their own take on the small SUV platform, which has seen a huge number of additions to the segment in recent years.

Following on from our list of the best compact SUVs of 2021, let’s take a look at some of the biggest and best additions to the small SUV market that are arriving in 2022.

With so many options out there in the small SUV market, it can be difficult to separate the good from the great, so with that in mind, let’s take a look at the best compact crossover SUVs that are well-deserving of your attention in 2022. 

Next-Gen Kia Niro Hybrid

While the current generation Kia Niro only hit Australian dealerships recently, Kia has announced plans for the second generation Niro, complete with a radical new styling package and updated battery-electric hybrid technology. 

The updated Kia Niro is expected to arrive in Australia in late 2022, featuring a more efficient hybrid system, as well as the choice of plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and battery-electric (BEV) variants. 

Inside, the Niro features a minimal, futuristic design, with a pair of 10.25-inch displays joined together to make one curved panel, and a host of smart technology inside. 

The next-gen Niro shares its platform with the Hyundai i30 Sedan, which offers a generous amount of space for rear occupants. This is a promising sign for the Niro, which could take the small SUV segment by storm, particularly with that clever hybrid drive technology. 

Expect to see the second-generation Kia Niro arriving in Australia in the third quarter of 2022. 

All-New C40 Recharge and Facelifted XC40

Volvo is preparing for a huge year in 2022 with the release of two major variants of its compact SUV, with the XC40 and C40 Recharge both arriving in the latter stages of 2022. 

First up, the latest generation of XC40 will feature petrol-electric hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric variants in a radically restyled package that features more safety and entertainment tech than ever before. PHEV variants will feature a compact battery pack that offers stand-alone EV driving, while significantly reducing overall fuel use. 

A few months after that release, Volvo is planning on unleashing its all-new, standalone model, the C40 Recharge, which is an all-electric take on the XC40 platform, with sportier styling that mimics that of a coupe with practical touches. 

Expect to see the XC40 arriving here in Australia throughout the third quarter of 2022, while the all-new C40 Recharge is expected to touch down in the fourth quarter. 

Second-Generation MG ZS EV

2022 will also see the release of the second-generation MG ZS EV, a car that has taken the Australian market by storm in recent years. Taking the honours for Australia’s cheapest all-electric vehicle, the MG ZS EV is set to offer even more value for money when the next generation arrives, complete with more range from the battery pack, an updated styling package and more technology as standard. 

The first-gen ZS EV received a 44.5kWh battery pack offering a range of 263km on a single charge. The replacement, however, is expected to lift this to 320km thanks to a 51kWh battery, and up to 44km in the range-topping long-range variant, which receives a 72kWh battery pack. 

Replacing Australia’s current cheapest electric car and adding even more all-electric range will surely be a winning formula for MG when the ZS EV replacement arrives in the first half of 2022. 

Volkswagen T-Roc

Volkswagen is set to give its T-Roc lineup a significant refresh later this year, including the release of a new high-performance T-Roc R variant. The T-Roc R is expected to receive a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine producing 221kW/400Nm, sending power to all four wheels via Volkswagen’s seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. 

Sitting atop the range, the T-Roc R will be one of the best options within the small SUV segment for those looking for maximum thrills from their compact SUV. 

VW is yet to confirm prices for the lineup, but we do know that it’s set for a mid-2022 arrival, featuring a revised styling package, updated interior design with the latest infotainment system, as well as new LED lights that offer added presence over its replacement. 

Ford Escape

Ford is planning big things for its SUV lineup, headlined by the arrival of an all-new generation of the Ford Escape, which features the company’s first-ever plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) compact SUV. The Ford Escape PHEV looks set to provide Australian buyers with by-far the most fuel-efficient Escape in the lineup, with added safety and entertainment equipment as standard. 

Ford says the upcoming Escape PHEV will offer up to 56-kilometres of pure electric driving range from its 14.4kWh battery, while also receiving a regenerative braking package that captures energy lost while you’re slowing down. 

Offered exclusively in the ST-Line grade, the Escape PHEV will receive LED headlights, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, surround-view camera, autonomous emergency braking and radar cruise control as standard when it arrives later in 2022. 

Nissan Qashqai

The third generation of Nissan’s difficult-to-pronounce but unmistakably stylish compact SUV is set to arrive some time this year, with some clever new drive technology for the first time ever. 

Nissan has confirmed that we’ll see two major variants of the Qashqai arriving in 2022, with the 1.3-litre petrol touching down in the first quarter, and an E-Power hybrid variant arriving later in the year.

When they arrive, they’ll usher in the latest generation of Nissan’s striking design language, as well as a heap of entertainment and safety features for families comparing their options within the compact SUV market. 

Porsche Macan EV

Porsche is set to take the fight to its more premium competitions within the compact SUV market with an all-new, all-electric Macan EV. The arrival of a new-generation Porsche Macan will likely see the return of a turbocharged four-cylinder at the base of the range, flanked by a performance twin-turbo V6 unit, as well as the addition of Porsche’s first ever all-electric Macan. 

While Porsche is yet to confirm any firm powertrain details, we do know that it will ride on the VW Group’s PPE electric platform, and is likely to receive a battery pack up to 90kWh in the flagship variant, offering range figures well above the 500km for the top variants. 

Honda HR-V

Those hanging out for a replacement for the Honda HR-V will be happy to hear that not only is a next-gen replacement on its way for 2022, the updated range will also feature a new hybrid variant, adding to its competitiveness in an overcrowded compact SUV market. 

The HR-V range will offer a 1.5-litre petrol unit as an entry-point into the lineup, with the option of a 1.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid for the first time in the HR-V range sitting atop the range. 

Honda says that its new e:HEV hybrid motor pushes out a healthy 96kW/253Nm, while offering a WLTP-certified fuel economy rating of just 5.4L per 100km, featuring a clever regenerative braking system that captures energy lost during braking, and feeding this back into the compact onboard battery. 

Honda says that the all-new HR-V range will arrive in Australian dealerships before the halfway point of 2022. 

Peugeot 3008 Plug-in Hybrid 

Peugeot has confirmed that a plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV) variant of the stylish Peugeot 3008 is set to arrive here in Australia in early 2022, and we’re excited about it. The Peugeot 3008 came as a bit of a surprise, impressing us with its lively engine and smooth transmission, while receiving one of the most striking visual styling packages we’ve seen in recent years. 

Better still, there’s genuine substance atop the piles of style when you step inside, with a generous amount of space available in the compact platform.

The arrival of an all-new PHEV variant to the 3008 lineup means that buyers can save a significant amount of their money on fuel, while benefiting from short bursts of all-electric driving that add to the overall appeal of Peugeot’s 3008 lineup. 

It doesn’t come cheap, though, with prices of the PHEV slated at $79,990, although it does come absolutely brimming with features. Expect to see the 3008 GT Sport PHEV in early 2022.  

Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid

One of the most exciting new compact SUVs arriving into Australia in 2022 comes in the form of the upcoming Toyota Corolla Cross; a completely new car from Toyota. It’s been designed to ensure Toyota has a solid footing within the compact SUV market, sitting above the C-HR compact crossover and below the family-favourite RAV4. 

While Toyota is yet to lift the lid on some of the most important information of the Corolla Cross, we do know that it will use the TNGA-C platform, borrowed from the Corolla hatch and sedan, while offering more rear occupant space. 

The Corolla Cross is also set to feature a choice of petrol and petrol-hybrid engine options, offering impressive fuel economy while retaining the ability to move five people comfortably.

As per usual, Toyota’s attractive list prices and generous ownership programs are set to impress buyers when the Corolla Cross arrives here later in 2022. 

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If our list of the best small SUVs in Australia this year has your imagination running wild, click here to get in contact with our team of car-buying experts who can help you find your dream car at the best price. 


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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