Are you on board the “Baby” SUV boom?

Last updated on November 25th, 2021
  Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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“Baby” SUVs are a cross between a compact hatch and an SUV, built for inner-urban and suburban conditions. They typically stand higher on the road than a usual hatchback or sub-compact, making them roomier and larger than your average Nissan Micra or Toyota Echo.

What was once a nervous market for these cars has once seen a trickle turn into a flood. In 2014, small SUVs were the fastest growing segment in the Australian car market. It soared up to 16% on last year, four times as much as medium-sized SUVs. (4.8%.) Drivers are less interested in small cars as a result, experiencing a 3.9% drop in sales. So what’s changed?

Less than ten years ago, if you wanted in on the trend you had to buy either the Subaru XV or Nissan Dualis (now rebadged the “Qashqai”). Now there are over 20 on the market from some of the world’s leading car marques. The Fiat Panda, Holden Trax and Nissan Juke are available for sale, joining the Honda HR-V, Fiat 500X, Renault Captur, Citroen C4 Cactus, Mitsubishi ASX (Australia’s top seller) and the Jeep Renegade as part of the baby SUV boom. So why do people like them?

Baby SUVs are usually equipped with four doors and ample interiors. There’s no cramming oneself into the back of a two door in a baby SUV, despite the diminutive name!

Baby SUVs pack engines that can tackle the beaten path just as well as the school-to-work run. For example, the new Mazda CX-3 packs a 1.5L four-cylinder SkyActive diesel engine with six-speed transmission laying on a rugged 270nM of torque. What is also attractive to city buyers is the fuel economy. The diesel CX-3 only uses 5.1L/100km combined in the All-Wheel Drive version.

Couple that to many baby SUVs coming equipped with mod-cons such as satellite navigation, multimedia packages and safety features such as reverse parking cameras and sensors. It’s become a natural choice for small and growing families.

For people who need a bit more “oomph” and room without the exterior bulk, the Baby SUV has proved a sure-fire winner compared to large SUVs. With so many advantages, will you get on board the “baby” SUV boom?

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