the most comfortable compact SUVs to go on vacation this summer

A different era, different customs, the Citroën Xantia, Renault Laguna and other Peugeot 406s were popular with French families at the end of the last century. Ten years later, the situation has changed and it is minibuses that have captured the hearts of parents and their children. Nowadays, when you need space to carry as much luggage as possible and take the very small trunk to the other side of France or Europe, the French are clearly turning to compact SUVs. And precisely because the summer holidays are finally coming to an end, you may be wondering: which model knows more than any other to give you the most enjoyable journey? All you had to do was ask!

Our measurements were taken before the restyling of the Citroën C5 Aircross and DS 7 Crossback (now called DS 7, period) but there is no reason to make the revised and corrected versions less than their respective predecessors.

Comfort, a French affair

When it comes to comfort, the Citroën C5 Aircross has little or no lesson to learn from anyone. Thank you hydraulic stop shock absorbers! All that really remains is to take care of the comfort of the seats and it will be flawless.© Alex Krassovsky

Let it be said, none of our selected models are, strictly speaking, uncomfortable. This is reflected in the final notes. There is only 0.6 point difference between the most comfortable SUV (the DS 7 Crossback) and the 7th in the ranking (the Hyundai Tucson), that’s how much they fit in a handkerchief. When we look in detail at the results of the various SUVs that we have classified according to three criteria – driving position, suspension comfort and hearing – it is clear that they all did very well on the last point. However, they still have their own strengths.

For example, The German tradition obliges, the models of the Volkswagen group -Tiguan, Seat Ateca (it’s Maaaarrc who will be happy!) or Audi Q3- excel in seating comfort. Great range of adjustments, good support, the firmness of the seats may not be to everyone’s taste, but your back will thank you on long journeys. Conversely, the C5 Aircross’s plush seats lack support. This can be annoying after a few hours on the road.

It’s a shame, because otherwise the Chevron SUV is flawless. It absorbs the unevenness of the road best thanks to its highly efficient hydraulic stop shock absorbers and is also at the top of the quietest models in its category. In general, French models are very well arranged. Moreover, it is a tricolor car that is at the very top of the podium: the DS 7 with an excellent 16.8/20. If the premium SUV loses a few points in driving position, it outperforms the C5 Aircross on this point, and at least as good or barely worse elsewhere. Undoubtedly, it takes care of its occupants. 2nd overall, with an average of 16.7/20, the Peugeot 3008 also lives up to its reputation. With a more classic driving position (but this is also what customers might like), he would have even taken pole position. On the other hand, a small disappointment for the Renault Arkana, nowhere outstanding. Now, and this concerns not only the Arkana, but all models in the selection, regardless of the vehicle selected, it is better to avoid the big wheels. Finally, in the same kind of idea, when it is offered as an option, the sports suspension should be avoided.

The most comfortable compact SUVs in 2022

The compact SUVs with the best driving position in 2022

Fashion model Rating (/20) Our opinion
Fashion modelAudi Q3 Rating (/20)18 Our opinionPerfect adjustment options for seats and steering wheel, and backrests that support the body well: all body types and all sizes find an excellent driving position in the Q3.
Fashion modelChair Ateca Rating (/20)17.5 Our opinionThanks to the common Volkswagen Group platform, the Spaniard has ample opportunity to adjust the driving position. We are well settled there and can travel for a long time.
Fashion modelvolkswagen tiguan Rating (/20)17.5 Our opinionThe cushions on the leather seats are a bit firm. But the wide adjustment options will satisfy all types of drivers, whether they prefer to drive high or low.
Fashion modelFord Kuga Rating (/20)16 Our opinionNice adjustment options of the steering wheel and seats allow a driving position with small onions. But the seats lack a bit of lateral support over long distances or winding roads.
Fashion modelHyundai Tucson Rating (/20)15.5 Our opinionSeat and steering wheel adjustment options are slightly less than the German ones, but nothing serious. In contrast, the seats are quite flat and the lateral support is insufficient.
Fashion modelPeugeot 3008 Rating (/20)15 Our opinionDon’t worry about the seats, which offer good support in the 3008. On the other hand, the i-Cockpit, where the steering wheel has to be lowered to see the counters, will not be suitable for everyone.
Fashion modelDS 7 Crossback Rating (/20)15 Our opinionAs always with DS, the very nice seats maintain the bodywork well. But the amplitudes of adjustment, like that of the steering wheel, are less than in the Germans, and the adults will be able to complain about it.
Fashion modelMercedes GLA Rating (/20)14 Our opinionThe adjustment range of the steering wheels and seats is quite good in this GLA, but we sit a little too upright to really maintain the bodywork on long journeys.
Fashion modelRenault Arkan Rating (/20)14 Our opinionElongated version of the Captur, the Arkana, like him, lacks a small amplitude of adjustment in depth of the handlebars to be perfectly positioned in relation to the pedals. Fortunately, the seats hold up well.
Fashion modelCitroen C5 Aircross Rating (/20)13 Our opinionBy playing thoroughly with comfort, Citroën has preferred very soft seats, almost too much. It lacks support and in addition it sits very straight, which does not suit all body types.

The compact SUVs with the most comfortable suspension in 2022

Fashion model Rating (/20) Our opinion
Fashion modelCitroen C5 Aircross Rating (/20)18 Our opinionAs for the C4, long-travel suspension and hydraulic-stop dampers provide a comfort reference to this C5 Aircross that absorbs everything with ease … except the urban connections with its large wheels.
Fashion modelDS 7 Crossback Rating (/20)17.5 Our opinionSlightly less plush than the C5 Aircross, the DS7 Crossback still offers very good everyday comfort and amazing speed bump absorption thanks to its camera-controlled suspension.
Fashion modelPeugeot 3008 Rating (/20)17 Our opinionDespite a chassis that is as dynamic as it is efficient, the 3008 offers almost as good comfort as its Citroën and DS cousins. There are some trepidation in the city, but elsewhere there is great progress.
Fashion modelvolkswagen tiguan Rating (/20)15 Our opinionBe careful with the Tiguan, because depending on the version, the results are very different. For proper comfort, avoid large wheels and R Line finishes.
Fashion modelChair Ateca Rating (/20)15 Our opinionIn terms of comfort, it is a bit the same for the Ateca as for its cousin Tiguan. So especially no big wheels or FR finish, otherwise you will attract the ire of the whole family.
Fashion modelHyundai Tucson Rating (/20)15 Our opinionIn the high finishes, the very large 19-inch wheels cause quite strong vibrations at low speeds. It’s better, but not perfect, with the 18 inch. The suspensions take care of the rest.
Fashion modelRenault Arkan Rating (/20)15 Our opinionWe didn’t get to try the Zen trim, which has 17-inch rims, which should limit the low-speed jitters in 18-inchers. Then the Arkana is comfortable on the road.
Fashion modelAudi Q3 Rating (/20)14 Our opinionWith the optional controlled damping, the Q3’s suspension provides good comfort, provided you avoid very large wheels. For your vertebrae, avoid the S line finish with a lowered frame.
Fashion modelMercedes GLA Rating (/20)13 Our opinionMercedes naturally strove for comfort for its SUV, but went too far in flexibility. The back shows pumps once the road is no longer flat. And controlled damping doesn’t solve the problem.
Fashion modelFord Kuga Rating (/20)12.5 Our opinionLike many Fords, the Kuga features suspensions that can easily accommodate large deformations. But it sins by its rather hectic damping on the luminaires.

The quietest compact SUVs in 2022

A little reminder for those who don’t know, the perceived noise doubles every 3 dBa. This is exactly what explains why the final results are so tight on this criterion. Between a C5 Aircross and an Arkana the difference is only 1 or 2 dBA. Note that we have used the figures for the medium-power petrol versions.

Fashion model Rating (/20) Sound measured at 90 km/h Sound measured at 110 km/h Sound measured at 130 km/h
Fashion modelCitroen C5 Aircross Rating (/20)18 Sound measured at 90 km/h62dBa Sound measured at 110 km/h65dBa Sound measured at 130 km/h67dBa
Fashion modelHyundai Tucson Rating (/20)18 Sound measured at 90 km/h62dBa Sound measured at 110 km/h65dBa Sound measured at 130 km/h67dBa
Fashion modelPeugeot 3008 Rating (/20)18 Sound measured at 90 km/h62dBa Sound measured at 110 km/h65dBa Sound measured at 130 km/h67dBa
Fashion modelDS 7 Crossback Rating (/20)18 Sound measured at 90 km/h62dBa Sound measured at 110 km/h65dBa Sound measured at 130 km/h67dBa
Fashion modelAudi Q3 Rating (/20)17 Sound measured at 90 km/h63dBa Sound measured at 110 km/h66dBa Sound measured at 130 km/h68dBa
Fashion modelChair Ateca Rating (/20)17 Sound measured at 90 km/h63dBa Sound measured at 110 km/h66dBa Sound measured at 130 km/h68dBa
Fashion modelMercedes GLA Rating (/20)17 Sound measured at 90 km/h63dBa Sound measured at 110 km/h66dBa Sound measured at 130 km/h68dBa
Fashion modelFord Kuga Rating (/20)16.5 Sound measured at 90 km/h64dBa Sound measured at 110 km/h66dBa Sound measured at 130 km/h68dBa
Fashion modelvolkswagen tiguan Rating (/20)16.5 Sound measured at 90 km/h64dBa Sound measured at 110 km/h66dBa Sound measured at 130 km/h68dBa
Fashion modelRenault Arkan Rating (/20)15.5 Sound measured at 90 km/h63dBa Sound measured at 110 km/h66dBa Sound measured at 130 km/h69dBa

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