Best Small SUV To Buy Under 30k In Australia

March 20, 2024

Are you on the hunt for the best family car that won’t break the bank? Look no further! In today’s fast-paced world, having a reliable and affordable vehicle is crucial for families on the go.

But with so many options out there, how do you know which one is right for you? Fear not! In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best small SUVs available in Australia for under $30,000. From stylish designs to advanced safety features, these vehicles have it all.

So, prepare and get ready to discover the perfect ride for your family’s next adventure!

The Best Small SUVs in Australia For Under $30,000

Volkswagen T-Cross – Priced at $27,990

Volkswagen T-Cross

The Volkswagen T-Cross is a subcompact crossover SUV designed by the top German car brand Volkswagen. It’s known for its stylish design and versatility, making it suitable for everyday driving in the city.

The T-Cross costs $27,990, making it a good choice for people who want a fun and efficient city car. It’s stylish, practical, and versatile, making it a great option for a subcompact SUV.

Notable features and specifications

The inside of the Volkswagen T-Cross is similar to the Polo. It has good and not-so-great things. The controls are nice and easy to use, but there are a lot of hard plastics and the lack of fabric on the door panels feels cheap. Some parts, like the orange or green dashboard panels, make the cabin look better but cost extra.

The 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen and digital instrumentation look modern but stand out against the shiny plastic. However, most of the touchpoints are good, like the leather-wrapped steering wheel. The driving position is higher, more like a traditional SUV than the SEAT Arona.


The T-Cross 1.0-liter engine comes in two versions: one with 95hp and another with 110hp. There’s also a bigger 1.5-litre option for the R-Line. The 95hp engine is good for city driving but not as strong when the car is full or needs to speed up quickly.

It has a five-speed manual gearbox that’s not as smooth as other VW cars. The 110hp version has more power and comes with a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic, both of which are good. The automatic is especially smooth in the city.


If you drive in the city, you might not care too much about how your car handles on twisty roads. But Volkswagen made the T-Cross fun to drive anyway. Even though it sits up high, it feels more fancy than other cars. It might even be more fun than the Polo, which it shares parts with.

It’s got a bit of character when it drives. It’s good at turning corners and staying on track. Sometimes, you can feel the car’s electronic systems helping to keep it stable, but most people won’t notice this. It’s too bad because the steering lets you know how much grip you have, which is good for faster versions in the future.

When you drive it around curves, it stays pretty flat without tipping too much. In the city, its small size and easy steering make it simple to move around, and on the highway, it feels strong and safe, even in the wind. Gusts might push Other cars around, but the T-Cross doesn’t seem to mind.

How Safe is it?

In late 2019, the Volkswagen T-Cross was tested by Euro NCAP for safety in crashes, and it passed with flying colours. It did a great job protecting the driver and everyone inside, especially those in the front seats. According to Euro NCAP, the people in the back seats also get good protection.

The SEL models and higher come with automatic lights and adaptive cruise control. However, none of the T-Cross versions have Volkswagen鈥檚 4Motion four-wheel drive system, even though it looks like a rugged SUV. It’s better to use winter tyres in colder months for better grip, even without the four-wheel drive system.

What鈥檚 the servicing cost?

If you’re getting a new Volkswagen T roc, the only engine option is a 1.0-litre petrol. If you really want a diesel, you could look for a used one. But we suggest choosing the petrol engine because it’s more enjoyable to drive.

Since the T-Cross shares a lot of parts with other Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, and Skoda models, getting replacement parts shouldn’t be too expensive or hard to find. So, getting it serviced or meeting road costs shouldn’t be too hard or costly either.


  • Engines are efficient and lively
  • Lots of ways to personalize your car
  • Can change the inside to suit your needs


  • Inside materials are hard and not very nice
  • The ride can feel bumpy with bigger wheels
  • Not as exciting as some other cars

Kia Seltos – Priced at $29,500

Kia Seltos | Best Small SUV

The Kia Seltos is a cool SUV that competes with popular cars like the Mitsubishi ASX and Nissan Qashqai. It has a modern design and lots of room inside for all your stuff. The fancier versions even have a huge 10-inch touchscreen and cool pulsing lights inside the car.

You can get the Kia Seltos with a 2.0-litre engine and CVT, or go for the turbo model with an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. It’s pretty good at handling and driving around.

In the 2023 model, the Kia Seltos comes with new safety features, air vents at the back for all models, and USB-C charging ports. Lots of neat changes make it even better!

Toyota Yaris Cross – With a Price point of $31,980, it has gained a huge following for its design, packaging, economy, and comfort.

Notable features and specifications


The new 2023 Kia Seltos has some cool updates inside. The sporty and higher versions now have a modern digital dashboard with two big 10.25-inch screens. Even the cheaper S models have an 8.0-inch touchscreen and a simpler digital display. These new screens are super clear and show information really quickly and smoothly.

The fancier GT-Line versions also come with a colourful head-up display that shows important info like speed and directions right in front of the driver. It’s too bad this feature isn’t available on the lower models. There’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but they still need wires for the bigger screen with navigation. It would be great if these could work wirelessly.

The materials inside the car are mostly hard and not very fancy, but the build quality is still solid, like that of other Kia cars.


The 2023 Kia Seltos is still a great choice in the small SUV category. Even with the updates, the prices haven’t gone up a lot, and there are more cool features in all the different versions.

It’s a really practical car that can carry a lot of stuff, and it drives smoothly and with some excitement, too. The new digital screens inside make the car feel more luxurious, and the Kia Connect services are pretty special for this kind of car.

If you go for the turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive, you’ll get even better performance than before, and the new transmission is excellent. Plus, the engine is more efficient now, so you’ll save on fuel, too.

Maintenance and Running costs

Both of these cost a little over $2000 for five years, which is a good deal compared to most other brands except Honda and Toyota.

The Seltos still comes with Kia’s seven-year warranty, servicing with set prices for seven years, and roadside assistance for eight years. You also get Kia Connect for seven years for free. You’ll also get free map updates for up to 10 years for the navigation system if your car has it.

You need to take your car in for maintenance either every 12 months or 15,000km if you have the 2.0 MPi engine or a bit more often at 10,000km if you have the 1.6 T-GDi engine. Kia does this on purpose for its turbo models.


In 2019, the Kia Seltos got the highest safety rating of five stars from ANCAP. It scored 85% for protecting adults, 83% for protecting kids, 61% for looking out for people on the road, and 70% for its safety assistance.

All 2023 Kia Seltos cars come with lots of safety features, such as airbags, emergency braking, blind-spot assist, and more. The fancier Sport+ and GT-Line models also have extra features like cyclist avoidance, adaptive cruise control, and lead-vehicle departure alert.


Base models come equipped with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and a reversing camera with rear parking sensors.

If you choose the Seltos Sport, you’ll get a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a DAB radio and GPS. If you pick the top model, you’ll also get a head-up display, a 7.0-inch colour display, cool lights, wireless phone charging, and a great Bose sound system with eight speakers.


  • Amazing technology is available in all models
  • The new 8-speed automatic transmission is a big upgrade
  • Very useful SUV compared to others in its category


  • Irritating speed limit alerts
  • Simple halogen headlights on the basic versions
  • Some strange choices in the specifications

Toyota Yaris Cross – Priced at $31,980

Toyota Yaris Cross | Best Small SUV

The Toyota Yaris Cross has garnered a large following due to its design, packaging, fuel efficiency, and comfort. This compact SUV combines the qualities of a high-riding hatchback with the advancements of a new-generation small car. It can be an appealing choice for city driving.

The Yaris Cross is equipped with a hybrid electric powertrain, delivering stronger and more rewarding performance while prioritizing safety and ease of driving.

Notable Features And Specifications

Safety And Security

The Yaris Cross has many standard safety features, such as a pre-collision system, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and rearview camera. Higher trims offer even more safety features like rear-cross traffic alert, 360-degree camera, and advanced parking assist.

In 2021, it achieved a full five-star Euro NCAP test result, scoring 81% for safety assist systems and 86% for adult occupant safety, which is very impressive.


The Yaris Cross can comfortably seat four adults, but the rear seat might feel cramped for taller people. It has a decent-sized trunk, although there are other cars with more space for luggage.

The interior of the Yaris Cross is similar to the Yaris hatchback but slightly larger. There’s plenty of space up front, with adjustable seats for all sizes. Higher trims have heated seats and a heated steering wheel, and most trims offer power-adjustable lumbar support. There’s also good storage space, including door bins, cupholders, a phone storage space, and a small glovebox.


The Yaris Cross is great for driving in the city because it’s like a tall hatchback, giving you a good view of the road. It has safety features like automatic emergency braking and a rearview camera. The car also has a smooth automatic transmission and a fuel-saving hybrid engine.

The Yaris Cross provides a smooth ride on the highway, but it’s not designed for high-speed driving. It has features like adaptive cruise control and lane assist, making long trips more comfortable.

On twisty roads, the Yaris Cross handles well with its stiff suspension and good grip, although it may not be the most exciting drive. If you want more excitement, you might prefer the Ford Puma.


The Yaris Cross has a well-built cabin with easy-to-use controls and high-quality materials. It may not have the most stylish design, but its strong build quality is appealing. You can add different packs, like the SUV Pack, for extra features. The infotainment system is easy to use, and top trims have additional features like wireless smartphone connectivity and sat nav.

MPG And Emissions

The Toyota Yaris Cross has a 114hp 1.5-litre self-charging hybrid engine that can run on electric power for short periods. It comes with a standard CVT automatic transmission and front-wheel-drive, but the Excel trim offers an all-wheel-drive option, which is rare for this type of small SUV.

The front-wheel-drive model isn’t very fast, taking 11.2 seconds from 0-100km/h. However, it has impressive fuel economy, managing up to 5.4 L/100km and emitting 100g/km of CO2. The all-wheel-drive model may offer more traction in slippery conditions, but it’s slower and has slightly lower fuel economy compared to the front-wheel-drive version.


  • The hybrid engine saves a lot of fuel
  • The high ride makes it easy to see the road
  • The big boot is great for carrying different things


  • The information system is not very smooth
  • The engine can make a lot of noise
  • The car moves a lot on bumpy roads

Mazda CX-3 – Prices starting from $23,490

Mazda CX-3 | Best Small SUV

The Mazda CX-3 is a subcompact crossover SUV manufactured by Mazda. It shares a platform with the third-generation Mazda2 and offers different trims, such as Neo Sport and Maxx Sport, with prices starting from $23,490.

The Mazda CX-3 incorporates the latest technology and safety features, providing drivers with everything they need to make each day their own. With its innovative technology and advanced safety systems, this gem offers a compelling driving experience that prioritizes enjoyment and security.

Notable Features And Specifications


The Mazda CX-3 is equipped with a 2.0L PETROL ENGINE that delivers an output of 110 kW and 195 Nm of torque. The combined fuel consumption for the automatic front-wheel drive model is reported to be 6.3 litres per 100 kilometres.


The interior of the Mazda CX-3 boasts the MZD-connected 8-inch colour touch screen, which provides intuitive access to various vehicle functions and entertainment options.

Furthermore, including the Bose premium audio system with 7 speakers ensures a high-quality audio experience for all occupants. The Mazda CX-3 offers a comfortable and versatile 5-seat configuration, providing ample space for passengers and cargo alike.


The Mazda CX-3 comes with exceptional performance and agile handling as standard. With Skyactiv Technology, you can enjoy an impressive mix of power and fuel efficiency to take your day to a new level.

The vehicle’s athletic handling, responsive steering, and efficient powertrain contribute to a spunky driving experience, making it a standout choice in its class.


The Mazda CX-3 always keeps an eye out for you so you can move with confidence. It uses a mix of radars, cameras, and warnings to keep you safe with the latest intelligent safety technologies. This means the car is always looking for potential dangers and can alert you if it senses anything that might cause harm.

What鈥檚 More?

With 5 years of Premium Roadside Assistance, The car got you covered. This means that if your car has any issues while driving, the company will be there to help you.

You can also enjoy peace of mind with the 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty. This means that your car is protected for 5 years, no matter how far you drive. If anything breaks or doesn’t work as it should, the company takes care of it.

If you add Mazda Genuine Accessories to your car when you first get it, they will come with a 5-year warranty. If you add them later, the warranty is 2 years. This means these accessories are guaranteed to last and work well for a long time.


  • Modern and attractive design with sleek headlamps, a wide front grille, and an aerodynamic side profile
  • Strong build quality and premium feel, with strong doors and high-quality materials
  • Extensive safety features including airbags, stability control, parking sensors, and more


  • Plain interior design with a simple dashboard and unexciting instrument console
  • Limited space due to the curvy design, resulting in lesser headroom and shoulder room
  • Lower ground clearance and less commanding road presence compared to traditional SUVs

Hyundai Venue – Priced from $24,990

Hyundai Venue

The Hyundai Venue is great for people on a tight budget. But don’t let its low price fool you – this small SUV offers more than just affordability at your Madman Hyundai dealership.

The Venue costs similar to many small cars but provides a bigger interior and cargo space. It also comes with the top technology you’d expect from a good car purchase. Keep reading to find out if these Hyundai SUVs have everything you want.

Notable Features And Specifications

Engine Performance

The Hyundai venue has a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine with 121 horsepower and 113 pound-feet torque. It’s a front-wheel drive with a continuously variable automatic (CVT) transmission. The small engine is eager but not as strong as other similar-sized engines in rival cars.

Its maximum torque comes at a relatively high speed, so you need to press the gas pedal more to get the most power. The CVT tries to act like a regular automatic transmission, but it doesn’t do much to quiet the noise from the engine.


The Hyundai Venue’s size makes it a good fit for most home garages, with measurements of 159 inches long, 69.7 inches high, and 61.6 inches wide. This is helpful for keeping your car inside during the hot Phoenix summers.

With a ground clearance of 6.7 inches, the driver gets a higher view out of the car, aided by tinted windows that reduce the sun’s glare.

When choosing the exterior colour, you have many options like Green Apple, Intense Blue, Scarlet Red Pearl, and Shimmering Silver. Or you can go for a more mysterious look with Ecotronic Gray or Onyx Black. You also have the choice of Lunar White or Ceramic White.

Interior And Infotainment

The Hyundai Venue has an 8-inch touchscreen for easy use and Bluetooth for hands-free commands. The SE and SEL models have HD radio, wireless Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and a 4.2-inch display. The Limited model has a navigation touchscreen and Sirius XM, along with extra USB ports and a wireless charger.

Fuel Economy

The Venue is great for an affordable SUV with good fuel consumption. It has above-average fuel efficiency, getting 7 L/100km in the city and 7.2 L/100km on the highway, for an overall rating of 7 Litres/100km.

The front-wheel drive Venue also offers a special snow mode on the SEL and Limited models and is powered by a 121 horsepower engine with an intelligent variable automatic transmission.


This car has the same 10-year powertrain warranty as the mighty Palisades. This means you have up to 150,000 kilometres of reassurance that the engine can go the distance. The 5-year limited warranty gives you five years of roadside assistance, not just for engine trouble but also for a flat tyre, an empty fuel tank, or any other problem on the road.


  • Three powertrain options are available: 1.2L normal petrol, 1.0L turbo petrol, and 1.5L turbo diesel.
  • The Venue facelift has keyless entry, auto AC, cruise control, and sunroof features.
  • Good performance and fuel efficiency with the 1.0L turbo petrol engine.


  • Lack of rear armrest in lower variants.
  • Reliability issues with the DCT automatic transmission.
  • Some variants offer poor value for money and lack essential features.

Mitsubishi ASX – Starting from $24,990

Mitsubishi ASX | Best Small SUV

The Mitsubishi ASX is a compact SUV that comes with a lot of cool features. It’s a great fit for you and your family. The ASX is packed with the newest technology to keep you safe, connected, and entertained.

It has enough space for your stuff and looks stylish, too. The ASX has good performance to go along with its other features. You can get a Mitsubishi ASX starting at $24,990.

Notable Features And Specifications


You can drive confidently on city streets and country roads with either a manual or CVT auto 2WD model. The 2.0L MIVEC engine is perfect for city driving, giving you smooth power and great fuel efficiency. If you want more power, you can choose the 2.4L MIVEC petrol engine, which gives you 123kW of power and 222Nm of torque. It’s a great choice for those who want a little extra oomph!

Spacious Boot

The Mitsubishi ASX is compact but still gives you plenty of room. It’s perfect for carrying all your stuff and having enough space for your friends and family.

You no longer have to worry about finding your keys in a sea of bags. Just press the tailgate button and you’re in! It’s easy to load and unload heavy things because the opening is wide and the floor is low.


You can choose between the chrome-accented ASX Exceed or the darker ASX GSR. Both models come with a powerful engine and smooth automatic transmission.

The ASX GSR has a bold look with a blacked-out grille and alloy wheels. The ASX Exceed is more about luxury with a chrome grille and polished alloy wheels. Both models have striking black wheels.

Level of Technology

Mitsubishi Motors Intuitive Technology (MiTECK) is a smart system that keeps you safe, comfortable, and entertained while driving. It combines different technologies to work together and make your driving experience better. Some of the features include:

路聽聽聽Forward Collision Mitigation

路聽聽聽Active Stability Control (ASC) and Active Traction Control

路聽聽聽Hill Start Assist

路聽聽聽Blind Spot Warning

路聽聽聽Lane Change Assist

路聽聽聽Rear Cross Traffic Alert

路聽聽聽Lane Departure Warning


Mitsubishi has a special offer just for Australia: A 10-Year New Car Warranty with 10 Years Capped Price Servicing. This is something no other car company in Australia offers.

The promise of quality and service standards makes Mitsubishi different from other car makers. The Mitsubishi Diamond Advantage program is a way of giving you complete peace of mind.

Every Mitsubishi is made and supported to give you the best driving experience. You can trust it to be reliable and safe.


路聽聽聽聽聽聽It’s the perfect size for a midsize SUV

路聽聽聽聽聽聽It’s easy to drive and park

路聽聽聽聽聽聽It has a good road presence

路聽聽聽聽聽聽It feels spacious inside, even though it’s not very big

路聽聽聽聽聽聽It has lots of legroom and headroom


路聽聽聽聽聽聽The design inside is a bit dull

路聽聽聽聽聽聽The 2.0-litre petrol engine isn’t very fuel-efficient

路聽聽聽聽聽聽The exterior design is starting to look old compared to newer SUVs

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Cheapest Small SUV in Australia?

The Suzuki Ignis, Hyundai Venue, Mitsubishi ASX, and MG ZS are some of the cheapest SUVs you can buy. They are usually reliable, and each offers something unique, such as different designs, technology features, and more.

What Is The Most Reliable SUV in Australia?

The cheapest and most reliable compact SUVs can change depending on the brand, model, and year. However, some popular models that are always good in terms of reliability, performance, and price are the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, and Subaru Forester.

What Small SUV Has The Highest Rating?

The Honda CR-V is a compact SUV that many people love. It’s the best one you can buy, and it’s even won an award for being the best value for your money. It’s the top choice in its category, which means it sets the standard for all the other compact SUVs.

What Is Consumer Reports Best Small Suv 2023?

For the past 10 years, Consumer Reports has been picking the Subaru Forester as one of the best cars you can buy. It’s a popular choice among people who want a reliable car that’s also fun to drive. This shows that the Forester is a great car that people love and is a top choice for many car buyers.


Finding the best small SUV for your family doesn’t have to be daunting. With so many great options available in Australia for under $30,000, you will surely find the perfect ride that suits your needs. Whether you’re looking for a stylish and sporty SUV, there’s something for everyone in this price range.

When it comes time to purchase your new small SUV, consider supporting local businesses like Madman Motors. Madman Motors offers a wide selection of high-quality cars at affordable prices. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff always help you find the perfect vehicle for your family.

So why wait? Start your search for the best small SUV today and see why so many families are choosing these versatile vehicles for their daily adventures!

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