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Matt Campbell
Reviewed & driven by
CarsGuide

24 Dec 2019

The small SUV segment continues to expand, with new models and updated versions of existing compact high-riders seemingly streaming into the country constantly. 

This is one of the busiest new car segments in Australia, and small SUVs like these aim to offer compact dimensions with family-friendly inclusions. We’ve assembled these four particular SUVs based on their size, and their price. They’re very close on both counts. 

  • Kia Seltos Sport with optional safety pack. Kia Seltos Sport with optional safety pack.
  • Nissan Qashqai ST+. Nissan Qashqai ST+.
  • Toyota C-HR base model. Toyota C-HR base model.
  • Mitsubishi ASX LS. Mitsubishi ASX LS.

The newest kid on the block is the Kia Seltos, which arrived in Australia in 2019 with more than just a strong warranty. Our version is the Sport model fitted with the optional safety pack.

The Toyota C-HR has been updated recently, with a new media screen and a mild facelift adding some extra desire. There’s also a hybrid variant now - but it was too expensive for this test, so we’ve got the base model. 

Another apparently new model is the Mitsubishi ASX, which has been facelifted and tweaked but is, essentially, the same car that launched here almost 10 years ago - that hasn’t stopped it from being popular - it remains the country’s reigning top-selling small SUV. We’ve got the LS model. 

And also here is the Nissan Qashqai, which is due for an update of its own soon, but it still looks pretty modern despite having launched way back in 2014. Our Qashqai is the ST+ version.

All of these models are petrol-powered, automatic, and front-wheel drive - we’re not talking off-roaders here, as these are aimed at buyers who spend a lot of time around town. 

With that in mind, we put these SUVs through their paces across a mix of scenarios to see which is the best small SUV out of this bunch.

All of these models are petrol-powered, automatic, and front-wheel drive. All of these models are petrol-powered, automatic, and front-wheel drive.

Design

This is always the hardest part of our testing to score, because design isn’t just about styling - it takes into account the way the car looks, sure, but it’s also about space efficiency and presentation, material quality, fit and finish, and more.

It was surprising to see just how long and low the C-HR was compared to its competitors. It was surprising to see just how long and low the C-HR was compared to its competitors.

The stand-out in terms of styling is the Toyota C-HR. It doesn’t look like an SUV in the traditional sense, and certainly stands out in this mix with its swoopy styling and hatch-like looks. When we lined them up in profile, it was surprising to see just how long and low the C-HR was compared to its competitors. 

You could level the criticism that the C-HR doesn’t do enough with its footprint. That’d be something I’d agree with. And that back door shape is critical to the comfort of rear-seat passengers - we’ll touch on that in the practicality section below. But the interior of the C-HR, the plushness of the finishes and the fit and finish all add up to a compelling design case. Love the facelifted front-end, too - those LED headlights help it pop. 

  • The stand-out in terms of styling is the C-HR. The stand-out in terms of styling is the C-HR.
  • With swoopy styling and hatch-like looks. With swoopy styling and hatch-like looks.

The Kia Seltos takes almost the opposite approach - not just because it has arguably the most questionable halogen headlights and daytime running lights for an all-new car in recent times - but because it’s a square looking unit. I like to think of the Seltos as like a modern-day first-generation Subaru Forester

It has that practical looking sensibility, but with a bit of European flair to it, according to our testers. There are some really nice elements to the materials used, like the goosebumps in the metalwork on the grille, and the really funky terrain of the speaker covers. The huge media screen adds a lot of “wow” to the cabin, but the hard plastic throughout the cabin - including on the armrests on the doors - detract from the cabin design.

  • The Seltos has halogen headlights and daytime running lights. The Seltos has halogen headlights and daytime running lights.
  • The Seltos is a square looking unit. The Seltos is a square looking unit.

The Mitsubishi ASX’s facelift is exactly that. Like when you see someone and think, “You look younger!” But in fact, it’s misleading, because despite the Dynamic Shield front-end design helping the ASX stand out compared to its predecessors, enough to convince the average punter to believe this is an all-new model. But, as much as we appreciate the sharper look, it hides an ageing design.

The ASX’s interior is what shows its heritage status more than the exterior, but we’ll get to that in the next section.

  • The Dynamic Shield front-end design helps the ASX stand out. The Dynamic Shield front-end design helps the ASX stand out.
  •  The sharper look hides an ageing design. The sharper look hides an ageing design.

The Nissan Qashqai remains a conventionally attractive vehicle, even though the styling hasn’t changed since this generation launched in 2014. It’s still stylish, contemporary and pleasant to look at. Certainly not as divisive like the other SUVs in this test.

  • The Qashqai remains a conventionally attractive vehicle. The Qashqai remains a conventionally attractive vehicle.
  • The styling hasn’t changed since this generation launched in 2014. The styling hasn’t changed since this generation launched in 2014.

But that might be an issue for you. Lots of small SUVs are interesting, especially the newer ones. And once again, the exterior has aged well, but the interior is another story for the Qashqai.

ModelScore
Toyota C-HR8
Kia Seltos Sport w/safety8
Mitsubishi ASX LS7
Nissan Qashqai ST+7

 

Practicality

They all have five seats and five doors, but there are differences between them when it comes to cabin practicality and presentation.

First up, let’s consider the size of these models. Below you’ll find the dimensions of each of these compact SUVs - and it’s very, very close. In fact, the difference in length is less than the width of an Australian 50 cent coin: there’s just 29mm splitting shortest to longest when it comes to their length. 

 

Toyota C-HR

Kia Seltos Sport w/safety

Mitsubishi ASX LS

Nissan Qashqai ST+

Length

4390mm

4370mm

4365mm

4394mm

Wheelbase

2640mm

2630mm

2670mm

2646mm

Width

1795mm

1800mm

1810mm

1806mm

Height

1565mm

1615mm

1640mm

1595mm

Boot capacity (litres)

318L

433L

393L

430L

As you can see, the boot space varies greatly between these models, and as we found in our testing, the usable space is still decent across the board. Only the C-HR couldn’t fit all three suitcases in the boot with the cargo cover in place, and it was touch-and-go for all three fitting with the tailgate closed (in fact, it only just fit the two larger ones). All three cases fit them all in without much hassle. 

  • Kia Seltos with rear seats in place. Kia Seltos with rear seats in place.
  • Kia Seltos with luggage. Kia Seltos with luggage.
  • Toyota C-HR with rear seats in place. Toyota C-HR with rear seats in place.
  • Toyota C-HR with luggage. Toyota C-HR with luggage.
  • Nissan Qashqai with rear seats in place. Nissan Qashqai with rear seats in place.
  • Nissan Qashqai with luggage. Nissan Qashqai with luggage.
  • Mitsubishi ASX with rear seats folded down. Mitsubishi ASX with rear seats folded down.
  • Mitsubishi ASX with luggage. Mitsubishi ASX with luggage.

The trusty (bulky) CarsGuide pram fit in the boot of all four SUVs, too, but in the C-HR and ASX there was a bit less space for the baby-themed extras you might need to take with you. 

All of these SUVs have split-fold rear seats, though only the Kia has a full-size spare wheel under its boot floor. You miss out on a cargo cover in the Kia, however.

As for back seat passenger space, these ‘small’ SUVs have decent room on offer - I set the driver’s seat for myself (182cm) and slotted in behind that spot in each of them to see how they compared.

You might think the ASX having the longest wheelbase would translate to the most second-row space - but you’d be wrong. In fact, the ASX had the worst legroom of this mix, and it also had the least comfortable back seat. The C-HR had the most comfortable back seat.

The C-HR and Qashqai were about on par for back seat space, while the Seltos offered the most space in the second-row. Headroom was good in all models, but the Kia felt the widest and most accommodating overall.

The C-HR suffers a terrible design flaw in the back - the way the rear window scoops up means you’re left with a windows about the same size as an A4 sheet of paper, which could be car sickness-inducing, and certainly made our testers feel claustrophobic. But that may not matter to you - there are plenty of small SUV buyers that are single, or couples without kids.

  • The ASX had the least comfortable back seat. The ASX had the least comfortable back seat.
  • The C-HR suffers a terrible design flaw in the back. The C-HR suffers a terrible design flaw in the back.
  • The Qashqai was about on par for back seat space with the C-HR. The Qashqai was about on par for back seat space with the C-HR.
  • The Seltos offered the most space in the second-row. The Seltos offered the most space in the second-row.

None of these cars have rear-seat air vents, and the storage on offer differs, too. The ASX doesn’t have door pockets, the C-HR has small bottle holders in the door armrests, while the others have decent storage with bottle holders in the doors. Only the ASX gets a centre armrest with cupholders, the others all miss out, while the map pocket count is as follows: C-HR - 0; Seltos - 0; ASX - 1; Qashqai - 2. 

The front seat spaces are all vastly different in terms of presentation and practicality, too.

The ASX is the plainest and oldest looking inside, but the controls (although budget feeling) are logically placed and the storage options are fine. 

The Qashqai feels the second-most modern inside, with decent storage though the cabin, a few nicer finishes here and there, but seats that feel a little small. We loved the flat-bottom steering wheel, but the media system? We’ll touch on that below.

The Kia Seltos steps things up with the biggest screen here, and it looks considerably more modern in its design too. The storage game is strong, but the materials - aside from the lovely blue-check cloth seats - could be better. There’s hard plastic all over the place, including the door arm rests. Yes, there is a softer plastic on the centre console bin, but I drove this Seltos for six hours during this loan, and it was quite uncomfortable to not have somewhere soft to rest your arm when you’re driving. 

  • The ASX is the plainest and oldest looking inside. The ASX is the plainest and oldest looking inside.
  • The Qashqai feels the second-most modern inside. The Qashqai feels the second-most modern inside.
  • Our pick for front-seat environs was the C-HR. Our pick for front-seat environs was the C-HR.
  • The Kia Seltos steps things up with the biggest screen here. The Kia Seltos steps things up with the biggest screen here.

Our pick for front-seat environs was the C-HR. It has a superb look and feel to it, with soft finishes to the dash and doors, and a really modern design. We don’t like how much the dashboard juts into the passenger’s space, but the seats were the most comfortable, and yes - this is one Toyota that now has smartphone mirroring for the media system. 

Let’s take a look at how the media systems of each of these models compare.

 

Toyota C-HR

Kia Seltos Sport w/safety

Mitsubishi ASX LS

Nissan Qashqai ST+

Sound system (standard equipment)

6 speakers

6 speakers

4 speakers

6 speakers

USB count

1

2

2

1

Bluetooth phone and audio streaming

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

DAB radio

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Touch screen size

8.0-inch

10.25-inch

8.0-inch

7.0-inch

Apple CarPlay

Yes

Yes

Yes

Coming in 2020

Android Auto

Yes

Yes

Yes

Coming in 2020

Sat nav

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Wireless phone charing (Qi)

No

No

No

No

We found the Nissan’s screen to be the worst to use in pretty much all aspects - slow and difficult to connect to Bluetooth, bad menu navigation and poxy display graphics. But if you’re reading this after the first quarter of 2020, those may be irrelevant points, because a new media screen is set to be rolled out soon.

The Mitsubishi’s system offered surprisingly good sound quality considering its speaker deficit, but the lack of sat nav may bug some buyers. Its reversing camera could be glitchy and laggy, meaning you mightn’t be seeing a true representation of what was behind you. 

The Toyota’s system was second-best, and while the integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is welcome, the native system built in to the screen is still a bit fidgety. 

Our pick was the Kia Seltos’s screen, which had the crispest display, the most pleasing form factor, and the best integration of menus and controls. It was simply the best here when it came to media. 

On balance, we ranked the Kia the best for practicality (biggest boot, biggest back seat), then the Nissan (second-biggest boot and good practical elements) followed by the ASX (not as good for space, but not the worst). The C-HR - despite its pretty cabin - ran last here, because the back seat passenger experience is unpleasant. As stated earlier, that might matter to you, or it might not. If that’s the case, take this score with a grain of salt. 

ModelScore
Toyota C-HR6
Kia Seltos Sport w/safety8
Mitsubishi ASX LS7
Nissan Qashqai ST+8

Value

We aimed to get these models as close to one another as we could on price, in order to give you the best information and to keep the test as equal as possible.

Below you’ll see list pricing for each of these models, which is the quoted cost offered by the manufacturer (also known as MLP, RRP, MSRP). We’ve also put the driveaway prices at the time of writing, and these are straight from the manufacturer’s websites with the postcode 2000 set for the prices you see below.

The most affordable model here is the Mitsubishi ASX LS, which has a list price of $28,490 plus on-road costs. Drive-away, no more to pay? You’re looking at $30,240 - meaning it’s the cheapest overall.

The next up the cost ladder is the Kia Seltos Sport with the safety pack. It has a list price of $28,990, while the drive-away price is attractive at $30,490. 

Next is the Toyota C-HR, which has a list price of $29,540. The drive-away price on this model is up there, at $33,318.

And the highest list price is the Nissan Qashqai ST+, at $30,790. It’s also the dearest on drive-away pricing, at $34,427. 

Does the Nissan justify its high price in the equipment stakes? Here’s a breakdown for you to see for yourself.

 

Toyota C-HR

Kia Seltos Sport w/safety

Mitsubishi ASX LS

Nissan Qashqai ST+

Wheels

17-inch steel

17-inch alloy

18-inch alloy

17-inch alloy

Spare wheel

Space saver

Full size alloy

Space saver

Space saver

Headlights

LED

Halogen

LED

Halogen

Daytime running lights

LED

Halogen

LED

LED

Auto headlights

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Auto high-beam

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Auto wipers

Yes

No

Yes

No

Seat trim

Cloth

Cloth

Cloth

Cloth

Steering wheel trim

Fake leather

Leather

Leather

Leather

Front seat adjustment

Manual

Manual

Manual

Manual

Air conditioning

Dual-zone climate control

Single-zone climate control

Manual air-con

Manual air-con

Rear seat vents

No

No

No

No

Keyless entry

No

No

Yes

Yes

Push-button start

No

No

Yes

Yes

These was pretty close. We appreciate the conveniences offered by the C-HR in dual-zone climate and LED headlights. It’s hard to forgive Kia for fitting halogen lamps all around. And both fall short with their old-school turn-key ignitions. 

That said, there are some shortcomings to be considered across the board here, and the fact remains that the ASX and Kia are very attractively priced. The scores below reflect the list pricing (not the drive-away deals, as they vary over time and location). 

ModelScore
Toyota C-HR7
Kia Seltos Sport w/safety7
Mitsubishi ASX LS8
Nissan Qashqai ST+6

Engine and transmission

If you’re expecting thrills under the bonnet of any of these four cars, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

  • Toyota C-HR: 1.2-litre four-cylinder direct injection turbo. Toyota C-HR: 1.2-litre four-cylinder direct injection turbo.
  • Kia Seltos: 2.0-litre four-cylinder multi-point injection. Kia Seltos: 2.0-litre four-cylinder multi-point injection.
  • Mitsubishi ASX: 2.0-litre four-cylinder multi-point injection. Mitsubishi ASX: 2.0-litre four-cylinder multi-point injection.
  • Nissan Qashqai: 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct injection. Nissan Qashqai: 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct injection.

None of them have huge power and torque outputs, as you’ll see in the engine specs breakdown below. And all four of them have continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatics, and all are front-wheel drive.

At the very least, the Toyota’s tiny engine is turbocharged, which does add some zest to the equation even if its grunt numbers are modest. 

 

Toyota C-HR

Kia Seltos Sport w/safety

Mitsubishi ASX LS

Nissan Qashqai ST+

Engine

1.2-litre four-cylinder direct injection turbo

2.0-litre four-cylinder multi-point injection

2.0-litre four-cylinder multi-point injection

2.0-litre four-cylinder direct injection

Power

85kW at 5200-5600rpm

110kW at 6200rpm

110kW at 6000rpm

106kW at 6000rpm

Torque

185Nm at 1500-4000rpm

180Nm at 4500rpm

197Nm at 4200rpm

200Nm at 4400rpm

Transmission

CVT automatic

CVT automatic

CVT automatic

CVT automatic

Kerb weight

1440kg

1355kg

1380kg

1375kg

Towing capacity - unbraked trailer

600kg

600kg

750kg

729kg

Towing capacity - braked trailer

600kg

1100kg

1300kg

1200kg

We’ll discuss the merits and pitfalls of each of the powertrains in the driving section below. 

ModelScore
Toyota C-HR7
Kia Seltos Sport w/safety7
Mitsubishi ASX LS7
Nissan Qashqai ST+7

Fuel consumption

We filled our test cars up before our test loop, brimming the tanks to see which was going to be our winner when it came to fuel economy. The drive we did included some highway pace driving, as well as twisty mountain roads, stop-start traffic, urban running and B-road cruising. 

Here are the details on what we saw on the day.

 

Toyota C-HR

Kia Seltos Sport w/safety

Mitsubishi ASX LS

Nissan Qashqai ST+

Combined cycle fuel consumption

6.4L/100km

6.8L/100km

7.6L/100km

6.9L/100km

Displayed fuel consumption on test

7.9L/100km

8.5L/100km

10.0L/100km

10.6L/100km

Actual fuel use on test, at the pump

8.9L/100km

9.2L/100km

9.4L/100km

9.5L/100km

Percentage over claim

40 per cent

36 per cent

23 per cent

38 per cent

Fuel tank size

50 litres

50 litres

63 litres

65 litres

Fuel required

95RON premium unleaded

91RON regular unleaded

91RON regular unleaded

91RON regular unleaded

It’s worth noting that only the C-HR requires premium unleaded (95RON), while the other three models can run on 91RON regular unleaded. But that doesn’t account for the difference in real-world fuel use we saw, as all cars were using 95RON premium on test.

While the C-HR was the furthest over its claimed consumption in percentage terms, it was still the most efficient based on our test loop. It’s also the only one of these cars with a hybrid option at the time of writing, so if you can afford that (about $6000 more!), then we’d suggest you consider it. 

With less than 600mL of fuel separating these four SUVs, we’re calling this a draw.

ModelScore
Toyota C-HR7
Kia Seltos Sport w/safety7
Mitsubishi ASX LS7
Nissan Qashqai ST+7

Driving

I’ve come to the realisation there are a lot of people who don’t really care how their car drives. Those people tend to drive cars like the ASX.

In other words, the ASX doesn’t drive great. Its clumsy suspension stumbled over big or small bumps, and its steering was inconsistent and fidgety. It’s also the only one of these models that exhibited steering wheel kickback over mid corner bumps.

Its engine and CVT will get you away from a standing start okay, but mid-range acceleration isn’t its forte. It felt sluggish and slow to respond at times, lacking refinement across the board when it came to driving.

The Qashqai got the job done on the road, but it’s certainly not the sort of car you get out of and think, “Well, that was fun!”

It has a more refined powertrain than the ASX, even though it’s sluggish from a standstill - it builds pace reasonably once you hit about 20 km/h or higher. It was considerably quieter than the ASX when accelerating, too.

Its steering was generally light but lacked consistency - depending how fast you were going, you could be left second-guessing how much you needed to turn the wheel. 

The suspension lacked composure, though - it almost felt like there was too much air in the tyres, with a wooden nature to the ride over bumps at lower speeds. It was also pretty restless at higher speeds, too. 

  • The ASX has clumsy suspension, and its steering was inconsistent and fidgety. The ASX has clumsy suspension, and its steering was inconsistent and fidgety.
  • The Qashqai steering was generally light but lacked consistency. The Qashqai steering was generally light but lacked consistency.
  • The Seltos felt more refined, quieter and more responsive. The Seltos felt more refined, quieter and more responsive.
  • The C-HR just felt sweeter than its rivals. The C-HR just felt sweeter than its rivals.

There was a big gap between the Qashqai and the Seltos, which was considerably better to drive in all aspects. 

It instantly felt more refined, quieter and more responsive, with the suspension offering up a ride that was more composed and controlled, though it could be a little firm at lower speeds - but not to the point of being annoying or uncomfortable.

The steering lacks consistency to its weighting, feeling too heavy at higher speeds but light enough at parking pace. 

But it was the powertrain that impressed us most in the Kia, with its engine and CVT proving adequately powerful and nicely refined. 

It was a considerably more enjoyable drive than the Mitsubishi and Nissan, but it wasn’t the best of these four when it came to driving manners. That accolade went to the Toyota.

  • the C-HR is not fast but it felt more refined and smooth-revving. the C-HR is not fast but it felt more refined and smooth-revving.
  •  The Kia Seltos could be a little firm at lower speeds. The Kia Seltos could be a little firm at lower speeds.
  • The Qashqai suspension lacked composure. The Qashqai suspension lacked composure.
  • The ASX is the only one of these models that exhibited steering wheel kickback over mid corner bumps. The ASX is the only one of these models that exhibited steering wheel kickback over mid corner bumps.

The C-HR just felt sweeter than its rivals in every aspect when it came to the drive experience. 

Its steering was light, accurate and nicely weighted, and it gripped really well in the twisty bits, too. It was easily the most fun to drive.

The suspension is a big part of that - it’s on the firm side, but is very compliant and controlled, yet also very comfortable. It doesn’t roll around much in the corners, but its soft and pliant in the way it changes direction.

The engine isn’t a powerhouse - it has less power than its rivals, but it is turbocharged, and that gives it a more willing feel in the mid-range, and it pulls pretty hard for a little tacker. 

It’s not fast - don’t get me wrong - but it felt more refined and smooth-revving than its rivals, and its CVT was more responsive to changes in throttle application. 

Overall, the C-HR was the most refined, most pleasant and most enjoyable to drive.

ModelScore
Toyota C-HR9
Kia Seltos Sport w/safety8
Mitsubishi ASX LS5
Nissan Qashqai ST+6

Safety

These are small SUVs, but they’re all family-focused - so safety equipment and technology is a vital consideration. 

There’s a bit of a difference in terms of what you get in each of these models - you need to take note that the details below reflect the Seltos with the safety pack - if it didn’t have it, this Sport model would have a four-star ANCAP rating and lack a few vital features. It’s an additional $1000, and well worth the spend. 

Here’s a breakdown for you.

 

Toyota C-HR

Kia Seltos Sport w/safety

Mitsubishi ASX LS

Nissan Qashqai ST+

Autonomous emergency braking

Yes - high and low speed

Yes -  high and low speed

Yes - high and low speed

Yes - low speed

Pedestrian and cyclist detection

Yes

Yes

Pedestrian only

No

Lane departure warning

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Lane keeping assist

Yes

Yes

 

No

Yes

Blind spot monitoring

Yes

No

Yes

No

Rear cross traffic alert

Yes

No

Yes

 

No

Adaptive cruise control

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Reversing camera

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Surround view camera

No

No

No

Yes

Rear parking sensors

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Front parking sensors

Yes

No

No

Yes

 

Road sign recognition/warning

No

No

No

No

Driver fatigue monitoring

No

Yes

No

Coming in 2020

Airbag count

7

6

7

6

ANCAP score

5 stars - 2017

5 stars - 2019 (with safety pack)

5 stars - 2014

5 stars - 2017

The Toyota is the most comprehensively equipped when it comes to safety equipment. But the others aren’t far off. It’s good to see reasonably competitive levels of active safety gear, even in cars that are well and truly towards the end of their life-cycles. 

On balance, we’re giving the ASX and Qashqai the same score here - both have good elements but both are also missing stuff. The Seltos meets the higher requirements to hit its five-star score for 2019 with the safety pack - and we thoroughly recommend you add it. But the C-HR is our winner on balance, offering the best suite of safety stuff as standard.

ModelScore
Toyota C-HR9
Kia Seltos Sport w/safety8
Mitsubishi ASX LS7
Nissan Qashqai ST+7

Ownership

Your ideal ownership plan could just be cheap servicing. Or it could be a long warranty. Or free roadside assist

Well, you might rank these models differently to us, but we’ve taken a broad look and considered all the elements in the table below when we scored these models for their ownership promise.

 

Toyota C-HR

Kia Seltos Sport w/safety

Mitsubishi ASX LS

Nissan Qashqai ST+

Warranty

Five years/unlimited kilometres

Seven years/unlimited kilometres

Five years/100,000km

Five years/unlimited kilometres

Servicing intervals

12 months/15,000km

12 months/15,000km

12 months/15,000km

12 months/10,000km

Capped price plan duration

Five years/75,000km

Seven years/105,000km

Three years/45,000km

Six years/60,000km

Average service cost over three years

$195

$345

$199

$257

Roadside assistance included?

Additional cost

Seven years complimentary

Up to four years if serviced with Mitsubishi

Five years complimentary

The Kia stands out for warranty cover, but its servicing costs are comparatively high. The Nissan suffers shorter service intervals than its rivals, which could be annoying if you do a lot of driving. The Toyota is cheap to service and its warranty plan runs at five years but extends to seven years for the powertrain if you have logbook service history. And the Mitsubishi is cheap to service but has only three years of capped-price service cover.

It’s close, but we think the seven-year offering from Kia still pegs it top spot even if it is more expensive to service, while the Mitsubishi doesn’t quite stack up as well as it could due to its shorter capped-price cover period.

ModelScore
Toyota C-HR8
Kia Seltos Sport w/safety9
Mitsubishi ASX LS7
Nissan Qashqai ST+8

Verdict

This was a close contest. Well, between two of these cars it was, anyway.

The Mitsubishi ASX LS was our last-place getter in this test. It is good value, and the redesign is pretty sharp, but it is showing its age when it comes to driving dynamics and drivetrain refinement.

The Nissan Qashqai ST+ was judged slightly better, but its also feeling a little dated, especially in the way it drives and its ancient media system. That update in early 2020 will make a small difference, but it won’t change the way the car drives.

Between the top two cars it was a really close contest. Between the top two cars it was a really close contest.

For the top two, it was really, really close.

If you can deal with the claustrophobic back seat and the smaller boot area - maybe it’s just you, or you’re in a couple but don’t have kids - then the Toyota C-HR base model will undoubtedly put a smile on your face. 

But if you need the practicality that a small SUV is supposed to offer, the Kia Seltos Sport with the safety pack is the one you should choose. It’s practical, drives really well and has a permanent warranty the others can’t match. It's missing a few things we think it should have, but it’s the one you would choose with your head, where the C-HR is the one your heart might want.

ModelScore
Toyota C-HR7.6
Kia Seltos Sport w/safety7.8
Mitsubishi ASX LS6.9
Nissan Qashqai ST+7.0


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