It’s no secret that SUVs have soared in popularity over the last couple of decades. And the trend is set to continue for years to come, more so because gas prices have plummeted in the last two years.
Nearly all major car brands on the market have SUVs. And, the three-row seating options, spacious interiors, and large cargo sections have made them the go-to for American families and commuters.
It’s a no-brainer that because SUVs are large, they come with a hefty price tag. But there’s a multitude of ways to be smart about your purchase by selecting the most affordable SUV that’ll serve you and your family well for countless years.
So, to narrow down your search, we’ve rounded up 10 of the most affordable SUVs that will give you value for your money.
1. Honda HR-V
The most economical SUVs are usually the smallest. But the 2016 HR-V with a footprint of 9 inches longer than the Fit counterpart can handle a maximum of 58.8 cubic feet of cargo when its rear seats are folded down.
More importantly, the HR-V has a starting price of $19,115 and comes complete with everything an owner requires for their daily drives. So, you’ll find filtered air conditioning with rear seat heater ducts, a multi-view rear camera, 160-watt audio system with USB connectivity and four speakers, Bluetooth for audio streaming and hands-free calling, and a multi-function steering wheel.
The vehicle delivers thrifty fuel economy grades of a maximum of 28 mpg city 35 mpg highway or the perfect combination of both. As a result, owners save up to $350 annually.
2. Hyundai Venue
Yes, you can own a new SUV for less than $18,000 if you opt for the 2020 Hyundai Venue. It’s a beast that’s armed with a 4-cylinder engine of 1.6 liters and can generate a maximum of 113 pounds-feet of torque at 4500 RPM and 121 horsepower at 6300 RPM. Upon using an automatic transmission, the Venue’s fuel efficiency is ranked at about 34 mpg in the highway, 30 mpg in the city, and an average rating of 32 mpg. Meanwhile, the SUV comes with standard safety features ranging from lane-keeping assist, and collision avoidance, to pedestrian detection.
3. Chevrolet Trailblazer
Targeting small families or those reveling in the single life, the 2020 Trailblazer has been around for a while. The generous cargo space it provides sets it apart from the pack. Upon folding the 2nd row and front passenger seats, this SUV can comfortably fit 54.4 cubic feet of cargo with a length of up to 8.5 feet.
And the 2021 version will have a generic 1.2-liter turbo engine that can deliver a maximum of 162 pound-feet of torque at 2500 RPM and 137 horsepower at 5000 RPM.
4. Nissan Kicks
The 2020 Kicks is ideal for anyone who’s shopping around for a new car that has more personality. You’ll also be pleased to learn that the starting price of this SUV falls below the $20,000 mark.
Below the hood is a generic 1.6-liter engine with four cylinders that can produce a maximum of 1114 pound-feet of torque at 4000 RPM and 122 horsepower at 6300 RPM.
Regarding fuel economy, Kick has a rating of 31 mpg in the city coupled with 36 mpg on the highway. In turn, this makes a 31 mpg combination rating.
5. Ford EcoSport
The 2020 EcoSport has a starting price that’s below $20,000, making it one of the most affordable SUV models. It has a standard 1-liter EcoBoost engine that produces a maximum of 123 horsepower at 6000 rotations per minute (RPM) along with 125-pound-feet of torque at the same speed.
Meanwhile, you’ll also find a 2-liter engine that delivers a maximum of 166 horsepower at a speed of 6500 RPM and 149 pound-feet of torque at a speed of 4500 RPM. And, this engine alternative is armed with state-of-the-art four-wheel-drive (4WD) technology.
6. Hyundai Kona
If you’re on the quest for a small and fairly affordable SUV, then your search ends here with the 2020 Kona, whose starting price falls below $20,000. Below the hood, it comprises a generic 2-liter engine with four cylinders that produces a maximum of 147 horsepower at a speed of 6200 RPM and 132-pound-feet of torque at a speed of 4500 RPM.
As you drive the front-wheel-drive variation (2WD), the vehicle’s fuel efficiency is about 33 mpg on a highway and 27 mpg in the city. Contrarily, if you drive the all-wheel-drive variant, then the fuel economy is 30 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg in the city.
7. Mazda CX-3
As A highly-rated SUV, our list would be incomplete without the CX-3. Below the hood of the 2020 model year version, you’ll stumble upon a 2-liter engine that generates up to 146 pound-feet of torque at a speed of 2800 RPM and 148 horsepower at 6000 RPM.
If you’re curious about the fuel efficiency, this vehicle that has a starting price of $20,000 covers 34 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg in the city upon activating the front-wheel-drive counterpart. But, if you have an all-wheel-drive CX-3, then you’re looking at 32 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in the city.
8. The Kia Seltos
It has no qualms taking on rough terrain from time to time. 2020 Kia Seltos has a 2-liter engine with four cylinders that can generate a maximum of 132 pound-feet of torque long with 146 horsepower.
On the other hand, the vehicle with a starting price of $21,000 also offers trim that has a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder front engine containing turbochargers. They deliver up to 195 pound-feet torque and 175 horsepower.
Furthermore, the trims containing the 1.6-liter cylinders utilize an all-wheel-drive layout for enhanced traction. Of all the trims that contain the 2.0-liter engine, the S trim gives users free rein to choose between the all-wheel-drive and front-wheel drive.
9. Chevrolet Trax
It’s an SUV that’s been in the market for some time and has a typical 1.4-liter turbo with four cylinders that produce up to 148 pound-feet of torque at a speed of 1850 RPM coupled with 138 horsepower at 4900 RPM. With a fuel tank capacity of 14 gallons, the 2020 Trax is rated to comfortably tackle 31 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg in the city. As a result, this gives owners a combined or average rating of 28 mpg. Standard features to this vehicle are the remote keyless entry and an excellent rearview camera.
10. Toyota C-HR
For a starting price of about $21,000, users get a standard 2-liter engine with four cylinders that can produce a maximum of 139 pound-feet torque and 144 horsepower at 3900 RPM and 6100 RPM, respectively.
Furthermore, if fuel economy is a point of concern for you, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that the 2020 C-HR can comfortably handle 31 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in the city, which ushers in an average rating of 29 mpg.
The SUV’s trims are armed with the top of the range Toyota Safety Sense technology that includes a lane departure alert offering steering assist, and a pre-collision system.
Tips for Buying the Most Affordable SUV Model
Regardless of the compact crossover or large SUV you settle for, there are a few tried-and-true tips that’ll steer you in the right direction towards getting the best price on your preferred model.
Pay in Cash
It’s unarguably the most straightforward way of getting a better deal on an SUV. After all, cash is king and the most ideal type of negotiation. A myriad of people believes that paying cash for a car is unreachable for them. However, by saving a few hundred dollars a month or supplementing your income, you’re well on your way to saving up enough to pay for your desired SUV upfront.
Get Various Loan Offers
If you’re completely unable to pay cash for your car, then getting various quotes for a loan is the next best thing. Before you walk into a dealership, reach out to your local bank, or conduct your due diligence on the different financing offers available. In turn, when you set foot in a car dealership, you have some negotiating power.
Aim for More Than the Stipulated Monthly Installment
Most people put too much emphasis on their monthly installments, which plays right into the car dealer’s hand. They’ll fixate you on a reduced monthly payment, but in essence, they’re charging you more for the vehicle spread over an extensive loan duration. And this doesn’t factor in the likelihood of tanking your car.
If you spread out your loan by up to seven years, you’ll owe more on your vehicle than its value, which can leave you in the lurch after an accident. So, the best way to lower your monthly installment without incurring additional costs, in the long run, is to get the lowest possible interest rate, make a large down payment, and negotiate a lower cost.
Skip The Extended Warranty
Car dealerships make a ton of cash on warranties. You don’t need to shell out more money for an extended warranty. Instead, it’s cost-effective to set aside a few hundred bucks every month earmarked for car problems that may crop up and fund them out of pocket.