Choose a Compact SUV For Your European Vacation

European manufacturers are known for their superior engineering, often leading to longer lifespan for cars and SUVs, increasing resale values for owners.

SUVs have skyrocketed in popularity despite tight streets and skyrocketing fuel costs, with repeat purchases by customers being evidence of their devotion.

Luxury SUVs have quickly become a go-to option for many buyers. Offering nearly every upscale convenience feature found in sedans, these models have quickly become an industry standard.


Selecting a compact SUV as part of your European vacation means more interior space than is typically provided by economy cars from other car rental companies, while being easily navigated narrow streets and small parking spaces. Our compact fleet features models from leading manufacturers, giving you access to an assortment of designs, options, and upgrades.

Small SUVs have emerged as one of the bright spots in Europe’s struggling new-car market, and manufacturers are flocking to this segment in order to spur sales growth. Small SUVs offer many of the same driving and storage benefits of larger SUVs but with reduced exterior dimensions and lower prices; furthermore they’re often built using similar mechanical platforms as hatchbacks or compact cars, helping lower development costs.

At one end of the spectrum are SUVs like the Range Rover Evoque and Skoda Kamiq that provide drivers with a higher driving position above traffic; at the other end sit more streamlined designs such as those found in Citroen C3 Aircross or Peugeot 2008 that place them lower down inside.

No matter the design of these vehicles, most in this class provide plenty of cargo room and comfort for four. If you’re searching for a compact luxury SUV that provides plenty of cargo room and comfort for four, we suggest the Volvo XC60 as an example – its blend of traditional Swedish design with modern 247 horsepower turbocharged inline four engine makes driving enjoyable and provides an enjoyable road trip experience.

If you’re on a budget, we suggest considering the Toyota Yaris Cross. This enjoyable car provides fuel returns of over 60mpg while boasting a smartly designed cabin featuring high-grade materials.

Volkswagen Tiguan and Dacia Duster led SUV rankings in the small category, while Renault Captur, Nissan Qashqai and Opel/Vauxhall Mokka all experienced significant volume increases during May 2022. If you prefer Korean cars more, perhaps Hyundai Tucson is worth your consideration; last year it was best-selling car in this segment with sleek designs, advanced technologies and more power than most of its rivals.


Not so long ago, the SUV market was filled with unwieldy behemoths that were more difficult to drive than they were practical. Today however, manufacturers are merging performance and luxury into sport utility vehicles that are actually enjoyable to drive; midsize SUV models from Volvo, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW being prime examples of such models that combine comfort with an authoritative presence on the road.

Nissan remains Europe’s top seller in this class with the Qashqai’s second-generation debut expected to continue its popularity. Meanwhile, VW Tiguan stands as a strong rival offering plenty of space and an appealing exterior design; and Peugeot 3008 even comes equipped with hybrid technology for increased fuel efficiency.

Luxury brands also provide midsized SUVs for buyers seeking more luxurious accommodations than can be found in compact SUVs. Consumer Reports has given Audi’s Q7 an excellent predicted reliability rating of 56 points; placing it among the top three of all European three-row SUVs.

The Porsche Macan is another worthy contender when searching for a performance-oriented luxury SUV, offering four-wheel-drive or all-wheel drive variants. Additionally, there’s the Range Rover Evoque which provides ample passenger and cargo space and can take on off-road terrain with ease.

There has also been an increasing presence of all-electric models in this class, with Tesla Model Y leading sales among premium sector models. Other all-electric options in the premium segment include Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron models; Mercedes EQ will join this mix later this decade as will an electric X3 scheduled for production by BMW.


Once upon a time, large SUVs were lumbering behemoths with four-wheel drive power that took up too much space and consumed fuel at an alarming rate. But automakers quickly recognized that most buyers weren’t interested in off-road ability; rather they valued high riding positions, impressive road presence, practicality – often without four-wheel drive! Now the best large SUVs focus on high riding positions, impressive road presence, considerable practicality – often without four-wheel drive capability.

Luxury brands have excelled at this, with European SUVs that come over to America often offering luxurious accommodations and an element of style. Volvo’s XC90 SUV exemplifies everything one would expect from this brand (safety, reliability and egalitarian Scandi luxury), along with offering an exceptional suite of active safety features that makes driving it an enjoyable experience despite its size.

Its combination of versatility, performance and luxury has propelled it to be one of Europe’s and world’s most beloved SUVs – not least due to its affordable pricing point. And even without 4×4 capabilities it remains more than capable of handling parking garages or dirt roads with ease.

The Volvo XC90 offers more than practicality; it provides enough room for families. But its real draw is in its appearance – its menacing handsomeness makes it instantly appealing among both young men and women, and makes the XC90 the SUV of choice among many who wish to stand out in a crowd.

SUVs tend to excel when it comes to towing, partially due to being built specifically with this purpose in mind but also because most come equipped with impressive towing capacities – few European SUVs match Volvo XC90’s enormous towing capacity but many provide enough power for towing two jet skis or small trailers.

Sixt offers a selection of popular SUV manufacturers for rental in Europe. Additionally, some of these models have earned top scores from Consumer Reports when it comes to predicted reliability – these will provide years of hassle-free motoring experience to make sure that you experience your trip at its fullest!

All-In-One Family Hauler & Tow Machine

When towing a camper, boat, or powerboat, an SUV with a powerful engine and substantial maximum towing capacity is an ideal solution. Additionally, these models typically provide enough cargo room to store everything needed as well as luxury features and driver assist technology such as blind spot monitoring, panoramic views, wireless device charging capability etc.

Manufacturers frequently boast of their maximum trailer towing ratings; however, this should only be taken as one piece of information. Knowing your vehicle and passenger weight as well as maximum payload and tongue weight is also vital information. These should account for at least 10-15% of its total weight when considering trailer towing capacity.

The 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer L is an all-around capable SUV, boasting impressive acceleration, ample cabin space and an outstanding towing rating that ranks it among the top family haulers on the market. While somewhat pricey, its cabin rivals that of a Rolls-Royce Cullinan in terms of luxury and comfort at half the cost.

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class coupe stands out with an excellent maximum towing rating. Not only is it beautiful to look at but its driving experience is both pleasurable and spacious – boasting ample cargo room under its descending roofline. Capable of towing anything from an AMG GT-R in an enclosed trailer up to and including powerboats!

The 2021 Lexus GX 460 is another large SUV boasting a robust engine and an above-average towing rating for the class. Furthermore, this luxurious ride provides ample room and comfort during long trips while boasting amenities like dual-zone automatic climate control, sunroof seating premium lighting ambient and wireless device charging capabilities.