It’s been a few years since the Subaru Crosstrek won our comparison test of the smallest SUVs on the market (for a second time). Since then, it’s been updated and some newcomers have entered the fray, so we pitted a 2021 Crosstrek against a Chevrolet Trailblazer, a Kia Seltos and a Mazda CX-30 in a week of regimented testing to see if the Subaru could pull off a three-peat. The exact model years and trim levels we tested and their final ranking were:
1. 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD
2. 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Limited AWD
3. 2020 Mazda CX-30 Premium Package AWD
4. 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer RS AWD
As always, our results apply specifically to the vehicles we tested as equipped and priced — not the entire model line. (Among many other considerations, three of our contestants were equipped with optional engines.) Whether it’s the quality of the field or our ability to match the most competitive players, our comparison test results just keep getting closer. We say again as we have on occasion that even the “loser” is no loser, but we remain committed to scoring and ranking our contestants. Careful shoppers will view our likes and dislikes below for each car and decide what matters most to them. The Good and Bad entries are arranged in descending order of their importance to the judges — Managing Editor Joe Bruzek and Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays — and their influence on the results.
Affordable Small SUV Challenge
Results | Winner | How We Tested
All judging categories could earn a maximum of 20 points with the exception of driver-assist technology, which is limited to 10 points, and value, which allows a maximum of 40 points. The following graphic shows all categories and the various wins and losses at a glance.