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.
The Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke have both started the trend of modern mini SUVs that are based on unibody contruction since early 2010s.
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).