Top 10 2020 Small SUVs by Customer Satisfaction

In an industry-leading effort to determine how owners feel about their vehicles, each year J.D. Power surveys thousands of verified new-vehicle owners to learn what has gone right and wrong during the first 90 days of their ownership experience. This information is gathered into benchmark studies, including the annual J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, the subject of this post.

2020 Mini Countryman Front View

The study data provides insight on car owners' experiences with the design, performance, safety, usability, comfort, and perceived quality of their vehicles. Each vehicle that meets a minimum standard for survey responses is given an index score that enables easy comparison between models. Based solely on what consumers who own the vehicles think of them, the index provides excellent insight on the vehicles that perform best in satisfying their customers. In APEAL the higher the index score, the better the model performs in terms of overall satisfaction.

Here you'll find the 10 highest-rated 2020 small SUVs for customer satisfaction, according to the consumers who own them. They are listed in descending order by APEAL index score with the highest-ranking vehicle at the top. The average index score for this segment is 824.

1. Mini Countryman in a tie with Toyota C-HR – Highest Small SUV in Customer Satisfaction According to Consumers! - Find the best Mini deals!

The 2020 Mini Countryman is a small, 5-passenger SUV that has many car-like attributes. It is available in six trim levels and with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The base engine is a turbocharged 134-horsepower 1.5-liter 3-cylinder, while the top engine is a 301-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. A plug-in hybrid version is available as well and it has additional electric-only range for 2020. This largest of Mini models offers 17.6 cu.-ft. of space behind the rear seatback and 47.6 cu.-ft. when the rear seatbacks are folded down.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Mini Countryman is 857 in a tie with the Toyota C-HR, and the Mini Countryman receives an APEAL award in the Small SUV segment. 

1. 2020 Toyota C-HR in a tie with Mini Countryman - Highest Small SUV in Customer Satisfaction According to Consumers! - Find the best Toyota deals!

The 2020 Toyota C-HR is a highly styled 5-passenger small SUV that is filled with standard safety features. It is a front-drive vehicle, and while most others in the segment offer all-wheel drive as an option, the C-HR does not. Toyota uses a 144-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine backed by a continuously variable automatic transmission to power the C-HR. On the tech front, an important new addition for 2020 is Android Auto compatibility. The C-HR offers 19 cu.-ft. of space behind the rear seats and 36.4 cu.-ft. with the back seats folded down.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Toyota C-HR is 857 in a tie with the Mini Countryman, and the Toyota C-HR receives an APEAL award in the Small SUV segment. 

2. 2020 Mazda CX-30 - Find the best Mazda deals!

The Mazda CX-30 small SUV was all-new for the 2020 model year, bringing a car-like sensibility to the segment. The 5-passenger SUV is powered by a 186-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission. An 8.8-inch infotainment display is standard, controlled by a console-mounted rotary knob instead of a more familiar touchscreen. This Mazda supplies 20.2 cu.-ft. of cargo space behind its rear seat and 45.2 cu.-ft. with the rear seat folded down. Adaptive cruise control is one of the more notable standard driver-assistance features. 

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Mazda CX-30 is 848. 

3. 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport - Find the best Mitsubishi deals!

The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a small crossover SUV that seats five passengers. Two engines choices are available, including a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a 168-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that is exclusive to the Outlander Sport GT. A continuously variable automatic transmission is now standard since Mitsubishi discontinued the SUV’s manual transmission for 2020. At the same time, a new 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system is now available. The Outlander Sport has 21.7 cu.-ft. of cargo space behind the rear seats and 49.5 cu.-ft. with the rear seats folded down.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is 847. 

4. 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport - Find the best Nissan deals!

The addition of standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 safety and drive-assistance features was a major addition to the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport. The standard NissanConnect infotainment system is fully featured, too, offering a 7.0-inch touchscreen, hands-free text messaging, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Nissan equips the 5-passenger small SUV has a 141-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder accompanied by a standard continuously variable automatic transmission, and it is available with front-drive or all-wheel-drive. The cargo area will hold 22.9 cu.-ft. with the rear seat in use and 61.1 cu.-ft. with the rear seat folded down.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport is 846.

5. 2020 Kia Soul - Find the best Kia deals!

The 2020 Kia Soul was completely redesigned for the 2020 model year while keeping its familiar shape and engaging personality. The 5-passenger small SUV is a front-driver with no all-wheel-drive option. This Kia offers two gasoline engine choices: a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder or a 201-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder in the GT-Line Turbo trim. The UVO infotainment system has a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen, and a 10.25-inch touchscreen is optional. Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are standard. There is 24.2 cu.-ft. of cargo space behind the rear seats, and with them folded 62 cu.-ft. is available.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Kia Soul is 842.

6. 2020 Nissan Kicks - Find the best Nissan deals!

The 2020 Nissan Kicks is a small SUV that is available with front-drive only. It seats five people and offers 25.3 cu.-ft. of cargo room behind the rear seats and 53.1 cu.-ft. with the rear seats folded down. Standard tech includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen and a 6-speaker stereo. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available. A 122-horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine teamed with a continuously variable automatic transmission is the only drivetrain choice for this Nissan. Available features include a surround-view parking camera system and driver drowsiness monitoring, both unusual in the segment.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Nissan Kicks is 834.

7. 2020 Hyundai Venue - Find the best Hyundai deals!

The Hyundai Venue is an all-new entry into the small SUV class for the 2020 model year. It is configured to carry up to five people and comes only with front-wheel drive. The Venue is powered by a 121-horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, and its standard 6-speed manual transmission is one of the few manual transmissions available in the class. A continuously variable automatic transmission is optional. With a smaller exterior size than many of its competitors, the Hyundai also provides less cargo room — 18.7 cu.-ft. behind the rear seats and 31.9 cu.-ft. with the rear seats folded. 

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Hyundai Venue is 831.

8. 2020 Subaru Crosstrek - Find the best Subaru deals!

While several vehicles in the class offer front-drive only, the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek includes all-wheel-drive as standard equipment, a Subaru hallmark. The 5-passenger small crossover SUV is powered by a 152-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with your choice of a standard 6-speed manual transmission or optional continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). New for 2020, the CVT-equipped models feature automatic engine stop/start technology. The Subaru offers 20.8 cu.-ft. of space behind the rear seats and 55.3 cu.-ft. with the rear seats folded down.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek is 828.

9. 2020 Buick Encore - Find the best Buick deals!

The 5-passenger 2020 Buick Encore is a small SUV that is available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. For 2020, Buick cut the previously available 153-horsepower engine option, so the only choice is a 138-horsepower 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine backed by a 6-speed automatic transmission. Tech includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Wi-Fi hotspot, and satellite radio. Navigation and premium Bose sound system are optional for this Buick. Cargo space measures 18.8 cu.-ft. behind the rear seats and 48.4 cu.-ft. with the rear seats folded down. 

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Buick Encore is 818.

10. 2020 Honda HR-V - Find the best Honda deals!

The 2020 Honda HR-V small SUV is virtually unchanged from the 2019 version, which got several improvements. It is available in several trim levels with either front-wheel or all-wheel-drive. A single engine is offered for this Honda, a 141-horsepower 4-cylinder coupled to a continuously variable automatic transmission. Up to five passengers will find ample room in the HR-V, and cargo space is ample as well, measuring 23.3 cu.-ft. behind the rear seats and up to 57.6 cu.-ft. with the rear seats folded. The base infotainment unit has a 5.0-inch screen, while a 7.0-inch screen is available as an upgrade that also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. 

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Honda HR-V is 815.