Mini SUV, also called subcompact SUV or subcompact crossover, is a class of small sport utility vehicles with a length under and around 4,200 mm (165.4 in). The term usually comprises any vehicle that is smaller than a compact SUV in North-American standardization, or any 4x4 with a supermini body in international standardization or based on a supermini (B-segment cars in Europe) platform.
First mini SUVs appeared in the course of 1990s and were off-road vehicles built on body-on-frame chassis, such as the Jeep Wrangler and Suzuki Samurai. Although some of the current models still use this concept, mostly due to their off-road prowess and more manageable size on the trail (for example, a large SUV might not fit in the narrower parts of the trail), modern mini SUVs reside on unibody construction and offer only few off-road capabilities, hence falling into the crossover SUV category. Some are even representative of modern superminis with only a bumper hinge and more ground clearance.
In Japan, as cars under 3,400 mm (133.9 in) in length are classified as kei cars and attract lower taxes; some manufacturers build these cars with off-road looks (such as the Mitsubishi Pajero Mini).