It is not only rising fuel prices that are currently making mini SUVs increasingly popular. The more compact and maneuverable vehicles are better suited to city traffic and represent a good compromise between the advantages of an SUV and growing environmental awareness. We at CARIFY will tell you what the mini SUV trend is all about. We also offer you a huge selection of the popular vehicles in many equipment variants and colors.
What is a Mini SUV?
The term is made up of the prefix for small and the abbreviation for Sport Utility Vehicle. Sometimes it is also referred to as a small car or city SUV. SUVs were originally developed as off-road vehicles for hunters and fishermen - in the English-speaking world, these activities fall under "sports". This class of vehicle is characterized by all-wheel drive and a spacious, comfortable and high-lying interior.
The mini versions of the SUVs have a high entrance and seat in common with the larger models. The vehicles are based on the platform of small cars and are correspondingly smaller and less powerful. The amount of space inside is also significantly reduced.
Popular Mini SUV models
The small SUV variants are also becoming increasingly popular with car subscriptions. Here we present the top picks among the Mini SUVs at CARIFY.
The compact SUV from the long-established Ingolstadt-based company has been shaking up the car market since 2016. The popular model series based on the MQB platform has since been discontinued in favor of larger vehicles, but you can still get it on subscription from us. The Q2 is available in a basic, sports and design variant with various equipment and extras such as the head-up display and extensive driver assistance systems.
Available fuel types: Petrol, diesel
Horsepower: 100 to 200
Transmission: Automatic, manual
Drive type: Front wheel, all-wheel drive
Monthly rate (750 free kilometers per month, minimum insurance cover): 779 to 999 CHF
The Mini SUV from Wolfsburg also uses the MQB platform. No wonder, as it is the sister model of the Audi Q2, also a vehicle from the Volkswagen Group. It is also available as a convertible version, although VW has since discontinued this. Thanks to the powerful two-liter TSI engine, the R version of the T-Roc has up to 300 hp.
Available fuel types: Petrol
PS: 190 or 300
Gearbox: Automatic, manual
Drive type: All-wheel drive
Monthly rate (750 free kilometers per month, minimum insurance cover): 849 to 1179 CHF
Its origins as a sports coupé can still be seen in the American car manufacturer's Mini SUV, which has been in production since 2020. However, it is no longer based on the Fiesta, but on the Global B platform. During development, Ford placed great importance on usability, which is particularly noticeable in the use of space. With the additional watertight storage space under the load floor, it offers more room for luggage. This makes the Puma a particularly flexible Mini SUV.
Available fuel types: Mild hybrid petrol
PS: 100 to 200
Transmission: Automatic, manual
Drive type: All-wheel drive
Monthly rate (750 free kilometers per month, minimum insurance cover): 509 to 819 CHF
Advantages and disadvantages of a mini SUV
We've already talked about some of the advantages and disadvantages of small SUVs. Here's an overview of them all:
Advantages of mini SUVs
Slightly higher seating position than in a small car:
More comfortable entry
Better overview of the traffic
Easy to park thanks to compact dimensions
More spacious interior than a small car, often with flexible interior design options
Cheaper than large SUVs and therefore also affordable for those on a budget
Disadvantages of mini SUVs
More expensive than small cars
Slightly higher fuel consumption than small cars
Usually no off-road capability due to all-wheel drive
Little space for cargo
Mini SUV vs. large SUV
For many years, large SUVs were the must-have among new vehicles. They are seen as an imposing status symbol and, with their high seating position and weight, convey an incomparable feeling of safety. Designed for off-road use and for carrying hunting and fishing equipment, SUVs almost always have four-wheel drive and a spacious load area. This can even be enlarged by folding down the rear seat. However, most SUV owners mainly use their SUVs in the city, where the advantages of off-road vehicles are reversed. They take up more space on the roads than conventional vehicles, barely fit into a parking space or marked parking spaces and consume huge amounts of fuel. The load area, on the other hand, rarely transports more than a week's shopping. Added to this are the considerable taxes and insurance premiums for SUVs, which are also expensive to buy.
The small and maneuverable Mini SUVs offer many advantages in everyday life. They make good progress in the city and also fit into small parking spaces. At the same time, the raised seating position gives you a better overview of the traffic. However, they are not suitable as status symbols. The Minis are almost as economical as a small car in terms of fuel consumption. However, if you are looking for an all-terrain vehicle, you are limited to just a few Mini SUV models. The small SUVs are predominantly front-wheel drive. The interior space is also more similar to that of a small car. On the other hand, they are inexpensive to buy and maintain. We have taken a closer look at the main differences between the two types of SUV for you.
Differences in size and maneuverability
The following table clearly shows the differences in size between the SUV and the Mini variant. This is particularly noticeable in the length and height. The width is limited by the dimensions of the lanes.
For SUVs, the length ranges from 4,800 to 5,697 mm, with widths up to 1,853 mm and heights up to 1,920 mm. In comparison, Mini SUVs have lengths varying from 3,700 to 4,480 mm, widths from 1,579 to 1,825 mm, and heights from 1,490 to 1,723 mm.
You have probably already noticed this yourself: The longer and wider a vehicle is, the more difficult it is to navigate. It is not for nothing that the adjective "maneuverable" is often used in the context of small cars. Changing lanes, turning maneuvers and parking are much easier with small vehicles than with long and wide SUVs.
Fuel consumption and maintenance costs
Although mini SUVs are somewhat heavier than small cars, they are nowhere near as heavy as their big sisters, the SUVs. As a result, they also consume less gasoline or diesel. In the ADAC Ecotest, the Renault Captur with 6.5 l per 100 km proved to be almost as economical as the Renault Clio with 100 hp (6.3 l). With around 20 % more weight and greater wind resistance than comparably sized estate cars, normal SUVs generally consume more than most other cars. All-wheel drive SUVs are particularly expensive to maintain, consuming as much as a third more fuel. This has a negative impact on the CO2 footprint of combustion engines and can lead to problems in the long term if more and more traffic-restricted environmental zones are introduced. The expensive vehicles also have high maintenance costs, to which the loss in value is added. Due to the considerable purchase price, this is also higher than for the Mini SUV.
So if you want to enjoy some of the advantages of an SUV and save on maintenance costs at the same time, a Mini SUV is perfect for you. You can be even more economical and environmentally friendly on the road if you opt for a Mini SUV with a hybrid or electric drive.
Suitability for everyday use
Who drives off-road every day? If you take your SUV out into the countryside at the weekend at most, but are otherwise out and about in the city, you'll be paying a pretty penny for the pleasure of SUV driving. If you are mainly interested in comfort aspects such as getting in and out of the car comfortably and the better overview offered by the raised seating position, you are better off with a mini SUV. When it comes to suitability for everyday use, the little ones are clearly ahead. If you opt for a model with a flexible interior layout, even larger and bulkier loads are possible. However, they are only suitable as a family car to a limited extent. If you have several children, you will appreciate the space available in large SUVs, which can accommodate baby carriages, sledges and/or the family dog.
The advantages of Mini SUVs clearly outweigh the disadvantages. With their comfortable entry and high seat, they offer the top advantages of an SUV for city traffic without being so heavy and difficult to maneuver. In everyday life, larger and heavier SUV models are unnecessarily expensive to maintain. Many features for off-road capability, such as all-wheel drive, are not needed in everyday practice. For small families or singles with moderate space requirements in the cargo area, the small SUVs represent the perfect compromise between space, comfort, economy and maneuverability.
What is a Mini SUV?
It is a compact vehicle with a raised seating position that is based on a small car.
What popular Mini SUV models are there?
Almost every car manufacturer now has its own Mini SUV based on one of its small cars. The VW T-Cross, the Seat Arona and the Skoda Kamiq are particularly popular. Also popular: the Dacia Spring, which is particularly affordable.
What are the differences between mini SUVs and large SUVs?
The most obvious difference between large and mini SUVs is their size. Only slightly more expansive than the small cars on which they are based, the minis impress with their maneuverability in city traffic. While many SUVs are equipped with all-wheel drive, most Minis only come with front-wheel drive. Small and light, minis are cheaper to buy and maintain, but have much less interior space than large SUVs.
Are mini SUVs a good choice for cities?
Definitely! They are an ideal solution for city traffic and fit into most parking spaces. They are also more spacious than small cars and allow you to drive with foresight in slow-moving traffic from a raised seat.