Best SUVs in Canada 2023 – Top 10 Updated List

Best SUVs in Canada 2023

The SUV market in Canada continues to thrive as consumer preferences shift towards versatile, spacious, and capable vehicles. With a plethora of options available, it can be challenging to navigate through the crowded SUV landscape and identify the best models that cater to Canadian buyers’ needs and preferences. Here is the list of the top 10 SUVs in Canada as of 2023:


Starting Price


Kia Seltos



Hyundai Kona



Mazda CX-30



Nissan Kicks



Volkswagen Taos



Subaru Crosstrek



Hyundai Venue



Honda HR-V



Chevrolet Trailblazer



Buick Encore GX


Top 10 SUV in Canada

From compact crossovers to full-size SUVs, automakers are pushing boundaries to deliver vehicles that combine practicality, performance, and modern features. In this dynamic and competitive market, the best SUVs excel in various aspects, including design, technology, safety, versatility, and driving experience.

Our analysis takes into account factors such as sales figures, market share, industry recognition, and consumer feedback to highlight the standout SUV models leading the pack in 2023.

Throughout this exploration of the best SUVs in Canada, we will examine the latest offerings from both domestic and international manufacturers, recognizing the diverse range of vehicles that Canadians have access to. Whether you prioritize fuel efficiency for city driving, off-road capability for adventurous excursions, or luxurious comfort for long road trips, there is an SUV tailored to meet your specific requirements.

In this article, we delve into the top SUVs making their mark in Canada in 2023, showcasing the models that have garnered significant attention, strong sales, and critical acclaim.


1. Kia Seltos ($25,000)

The Kia Seltos has experienced significant growth, with sales reaching 5,256 units in the first quarter of the year, representing a remarkable 101 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Despite a narrow margin of victory in Q1, it is uncertain whether the Kia Seltos will maintain its position at the top of the leaderboard by the end of the year. Nevertheless, its ascent to the number one spot is a noteworthy accomplishment.

The Kia Seltos faced a challenging situation upon its arrival in the market in March 2020, as it entered the scene much later than its counterpart, the Hyundai Kona, which shares the same platform. The Hyundai Kona had already been introduced in February 2018, giving it a head start and establishing a solid presence in the segment. Consequently, the Kia Seltos had a considerable amount of catching up to do.

However, despite the initial disadvantage, the Kia Seltos has made impressive strides in closing the gap. The first-quarter sales volume of the Seltos doubled compared to the previous year, indicating a substantial increase in consumer demand. This growth suggests that the Kia Seltos has successfully gained traction in the market and has managed to attract a significant number of customers.

While it remains uncertain whether the Kia Seltos will maintain its leading position throughout the rest of the year, its current success is a testament to the vehicle’s appeal and the efforts of Kia to establish a strong presence in the highly competitive SUV market.

The Kia Seltos’ achievement serves as a noteworthy milestone for the brand, showcasing its ability to contend with well-established competitors and emerge as a popular choice among consumers.

Best SUVs in Canada 2023 - Top 10 Updated List

2. Hyundai Kona ($24,274)

Despite a slight decrease in sales, the Hyundai Kona has maintained its position as the leading subcompact utility vehicle. With four consecutive years of sales leadership, the Kona has firmly established itself in the market.

However, the Hyundai Kona is now transitioning into its second generation, and during this transition, there has been a slight decline in total units sold.

The Kona’s 4 percent year-over-year decline in sales is relatively modest, especially when compared to the significant growth of its platform partner, the Kia Seltos. The rise of the Seltos has overshadowed the Kona’s slight decline in sales. It’s worth noting that at the same time last year, the Hyundai Kona accounted for 13 percent of subcompact crossover sales, and it has maintained a similar market share in 2023.

Although facing some challenges in sales performance, the Hyundai Kona’s position as a top-selling subcompact utility vehicle remains strong. The forthcoming second-generation Kona aims to build on the success of its predecessor and continue to be a competitive choice in the subcompact SUV segment.

Best SUVs in Canada 2023 - Top 10 Updated List

3. Mazda CX-30 ($22,950) 

The Mazda CX-30 has experienced an impressive surge in sales, with a remarkable 173 percent increase compared to the previous year. This significant growth has solidified the CX-30’s reputation as a vehicle worthy of widespread consideration in the market.

The CX-30 faced some challenges during its initial launch, as it arrived just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This unfortunate timing hindered its ability to make a substantial impact in the market. However, recent developments indicate that the CX-30 is now fulfilling its true potential.

In fact, the Mazda CX-30 is poised to become Mazda’s top-selling vehicle, especially with the absence of the CX-3 from the lineup, which primarily catered to entry-level sales. The CX-30’s strong performance has brought it in close competition with the popular Mazda CX-5, with a mere 11-unit difference in sales between January and March.

The Mazda CX-30’s success highlights its appeal to consumers, who have recognized its combination of style, performance, and features. The CX-30’s emergence as a potential top seller reflects Mazda’s ability to produce compelling vehicles that resonate with buyers.

As the CX-30 continues to gain momentum and solidify its position in the market, it demonstrates that Mazda has successfully captured the interest of consumers with its versatile and attractive compact SUV offering.

Best SUVs in Canada 2023 - Top 10 Updated List

4. Nissan Kicks ($11,519)

The Nissan Kicks has experienced a decline in sales, with a significant 20 percent decrease compared to the previous year. This decline comes at a time when the larger Nissan Qashqai, which was once a segment leader, is going through a transitional phase, resulting in a halt in its availability in the United States market.

As a result, the Nissan Kicks is expected to carry the burden of small crossover sales for Nissan in Canada. However, it has not been able to fulfill this role effectively, at least not in the first quarter.

Fortunately for Nissan, the availability of the Rogue model this year has significantly improved compared to the previous year. The Rogue experienced a notable 27 percent increase in sales, reaching 5,918 units in the first quarter. This positive performance of the Rogue compensates for the Kicks’ decline and provides some relief for Nissan.

Despite its decreased sales, the Nissan Kicks remains the second-best-selling model for the brand. However, when considering the combined sales of the Kicks and Qashqai, Nissan’s share in the segment has decreased from 23 percent in the first quarter of 2022 to the current 12 percent. This decline in market share highlights the challenges Nissan is currently facing in the highly competitive small crossover segment.

Nissan will likely need to strategize and address the sales decline of the Kicks to regain its market share in the segment. Improving the availability and performance of its models, including the Qashqai, will be crucial for Nissan to remain competitive and regain traction in the Canadian market.

Best SUVs in Canada 2023 - Top 10 Updated List

5. Volkswagen Taos ($24,155)

The Volkswagen Taos, a recently introduced subcompact crossover, has experienced a significant increase in sales, with a notable 33 percent growth compared to the previous year. Among the list of newly introduced models in the segment, the Taos stands out as the most recent addition to Volkswagen’s lineup.

Similar to the successful Atlas and second-generation Tiguan, the Taos has proven to be a hit in the market. This is a remarkable turnaround for Volkswagen, considering their past struggles with developing popular SUV models. The positive reception and increasing sales of the Taos indicate that Volkswagen has successfully addressed previous shortcomings and delivered a desirable subcompact crossover.

With its impressive sales performance, the Volkswagen Taos currently holds the title of the most popular Volkswagen model in Canada. It trails the podium position in its segment by only 213 sales, highlighting its strong market presence and competitiveness.

The Volkswagen Taos’ success demonstrates the brand’s ability to design and produce appealing SUVs that resonate with Canadian consumers. Its popularity serves as a testament to Volkswagen’s commitment to improving and diversifying their lineup to meet the demands of the market.

Best SUVs in Canada 2023 - Top 10 Updated List

6. Subaru Crosstrek ($26,145)

The Subaru Crosstrek, a model that has often been a strong contender for the top spot, has experienced a challenging start to 2023, with a significant 29 percent decrease in sales compared to the previous year. However, this decline is not entirely unexpected, considering Subaru’s short-term sales trajectory.

In addition to the Crosstrek, other Subaru models have also faced declines in sales in the first quarter of the year. The Impreza, for example, saw a 24 percent drop in sales, while the Legacy and BRZ experienced even more substantial declines of 46 percent and 64 percent, respectively. The Forester, another popular Subaru model, saw a 12 percent decrease in sales.

Comparatively, a year ago, the Crosstrek ranked third in its segment, highlighting its previous strong market performance. However, the current decline in sales for the Crosstrek is consistent with the broader sales trends seen across Subaru’s lineup.

Subaru will need to evaluate the factors contributing to these sales declines and develop strategies to regain momentum in the market. It’s possible that shifting consumer preferences, increased competition, or other market dynamics may be influencing these results.

Adapting to changing market demands and potentially refreshing their models or marketing strategies could be essential for Subaru to regain its footing and improve sales performance across its lineup, including the Crosstrek.

Best SUVs in Canada 2023 - Top 10 Updated List

7. Hyundai Venue ($22,374)

The Hyundai Venue, a compact SUV, has seen a modest but notable increase in sales, with a 6 percent growth compared to the previous year. The Venue stands out as one of only two vehicles in the top 10 that does not offer all-wheel drive.

In the past, the absence of all-wheel drive might have prevented vehicles from being considered as top sellers. However, the Venue’s success demonstrates that this factor is no longer a barrier to achieving sales success.

One key factor contributing to the Venue’s popularity is its competitive pricing. With a starting price just above $23,000, the Venue is significantly more affordable than many of its segment competitors. This lower price point appeals to budget-conscious consumers and offers an attractive value proposition. In contrast, the typical entry-level price for compact SUVs in the segment is around $29,000, including freight and PDI charges.

The Hyundai Venue’s ability to thrive in the market without all-wheel drive and at a lower price point highlights the changing preferences and priorities of consumers. It showcases that factors such as affordability, fuel efficiency, and compact size are increasingly valued by buyers.

Hyundai’s success with the Venue suggests that providing a well-equipped and competitively priced vehicle can be a winning formula in the compact SUV segment. By offering a compelling combination of features, value, and affordability, the Venue has found a niche in the market and has achieved notable sales growth.

Best SUVs in Canada 2023 - Top 10 Updated List

8. Honda HR-V ($25,705)

The Honda HR-V, currently in its second-generation phase, has experienced a marginal decline in sales, down 0.2 percent compared to the previous year. This slight decrease in sales places the HR-V further away from the top position in its segment.

The HR-V’s current standing is noteworthy considering its previous success as a segment leader. In 2017, the HR-V claimed the top spot with 14,149 sales. However, the landscape has changed since then, and the HR-V is facing stiffer competition.

Honda’s focus on SUVs in 2022, dubbed the “Year of the SUV,” highlights the importance the brand places on this segment. While the HR-V may not currently be at the top of the sales charts, it remains a significant player in the market.

To improve the HR-V’s performance, Honda may need to evaluate the factors contributing to the decline and explore opportunities to enhance its appeal. This could involve updating the model, introducing new features, or adopting marketing strategies to better position the HR-V against its competitors.

Given Honda’s commitment to the SUV segment and its past success with the HR-V, there is potential for the model to regain its prominence and recapture consumer interest in the future.

Best SUVs in Canada 2023 - Top 10 Updated List

9. Chevrolet Trailblazer ($24,198)

The Chevrolet Trailblazer has shown a significant increase in sales, with a noteworthy 95 percent growth compared to the previous year. However, it is important to consider the context of this achievement. Last year, the Trailblazer’s sales were quite low, making it relatively easier to double the previous year’s abysmal total.

Additionally, the limited supply across much of GM’s network at the start of 2022 likely contributed to the impressive appearance of the Trailblazer’s sales performance in early 2023.

While the Trailblazer’s sales increase is notable, its first-quarter tally of 1,951 units is relatively average for the segment. This highlights the disappointment that Detroit automakers, including Chevrolet, have faced in the subcompact SUV segment.

Notably, the Ford Ecosport, a competitor in the segment, typically does not rank high on the sales list. Additionally, there is no representation from the Stellantis family (which includes brands such as Jeep and Fiat) in the top positions.

The subcompact SUV segment is dominated by Asian brands, with the exception of one German brand. This suggests that Detroit automakers have struggled to gain significant traction and market share in this particular segment. The competition from Asian automakers has been fierce, with their models consistently ranking at the top.

While the Chevrolet Trailblazer’s sales increase is a positive development, it also underscores the challenges that Detroit automakers face in the subcompact SUV segment. It will be crucial for domestic manufacturers to enhance their offerings, differentiate themselves, and adapt to shifting consumer preferences to better compete in this highly competitive market segment.

Best SUVs in Canada 2023 - Top 10 Updated List

10. Buick Encore GX ($26,398)

The Buick Encore GX has experienced a remarkable 165 percent increase in sales compared to the previous year. This impressive growth comes after a challenging start to 2022, where supply limitations hampered sales performance. In contrast, the numbers for 2023 are notably brighter for the Encore GX.

It is important to distinguish the Encore GX from the discontinued Buick Encore and the front-wheel-drive-only Envista, which will serve as Buick’s entry-level model. The Encore GX is a stablemate of the Chevrolet Trailblazer, sharing many similarities with its Chevrolet counterpart. This close association between the Encore GX and Trailblazer is evident in their virtually identical sales numbers.

The strong performance of both the Buick Encore GX and the Chevrolet Trailblazer has resulted in a combined market share of 10 percent for GM in the subcompact SUV-crossover category in Canada. This signifies a significant presence for GM in the segment.

The success of the Buick Encore GX is encouraging for Buick and GM, as it demonstrates a positive response from consumers to their offerings in the subcompact SUV segment. The strong sales growth suggests that the Encore GX has resonated with buyers, potentially due to its attractive design, features, and competitive positioning.

Moving forward, Buick and GM will likely aim to capitalize on the Encore GX’s success and further strengthen their position in the subcompact SUV-crossover category. Continued efforts to meet consumer demand, enhance the product offering, and differentiate the Encore GX from its competitors will be vital in maintaining and expanding their market share in this highly competitive segment.

Best SUVs in Canada 2023 - Top 10 Updated List

How to choose the right SUV?

Choosing the right SUV involves considering various factors that align with your specific needs and preferences. Here are some key considerations to help you make an informed decision:

Size and Space: Determine the size of SUV that suits your lifestyle. Compact SUVs offer better maneuverability and fuel efficiency, while mid-size and full-size SUVs provide more passenger and cargo space. Consider the number of occupants and the type of activities you’ll be engaging in to determine the appropriate size.

Purpose and Driving Conditions: Consider how you plan to use your SUV. Will it primarily be used for commuting in the city, long road trips, off-road adventures, or a combination of these? Choose an SUV with the appropriate features, such as all-wheel drive or off-road capabilities, to match your intended usage.

Fuel Efficiency: Evaluate the SUV’s fuel economy, especially if you anticipate frequent long-distance travel or want to reduce your environmental footprint. Hybrid or electric SUVs offer improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions compared to traditional gasoline-powered models.

Safety Features: Check for advanced safety features such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, and rearview cameras. These technologies enhance your safety on the road and help prevent accidents.

Performance and Handling: Consider your preferences for performance and handling characteristics. Some SUVs prioritize a smooth and comfortable ride, while others focus on sporty driving dynamics. Test drive different models to find the one that aligns with your driving style.

Technology and Connectivity: Assess the SUV’s infotainment system, including touchscreen interface, smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay/Android Auto), Bluetooth connectivity, and available advanced features like wireless charging and Wi-Fi hotspot. Ensure the technology meets your expectations for convenience and connectivity.

Reliability and Resale Value: Research the SUV’s reliability ratings and resale value. Reliable vehicles typically require fewer repairs and have lower maintenance costs over time. Resale value is essential if you plan to sell or trade-in your SUV in the future.

Budget: Determine your budget, including the purchase price, financing options, insurance costs, and long-term ownership expenses. Consider not only the initial cost but also ongoing maintenance, fuel, and insurance expenses associated with the SUV.

Reviews and Recommendations: Read reviews from reputable automotive sources, consult consumer ratings, and seek recommendations from trusted sources. Professional reviews and owner experiences can provide valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of different SUV models.

Test Drive: Lastly, take the SUV for a test drive to assess its comfort, visibility, driving experience, and overall fit for you and your family. Pay attention to factors such as seat comfort, ergonomics, noise levels, and overall handling.

By considering these factors and prioritizing your specific needs, you can make an informed decision when choosing the right SUV that suits your lifestyle, preferences, and budget.

Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

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