10 Best SUVs under $25,000

America loves SUVs and this group of affordable SUVs is especially lovable

2022 Hyundai Tucson

When it comes to listing the 10  best SUVs under $25,000, here are the facts: Buying an SUV that cost less the $25,000 used to be an easy task. In years past a boatload of compact crossovers competed at that price point. But the times have certainly changed. Now if you want a new SUV under $25,000 you must look to the subcompacts. The good news is subcompact SUVs of today are almost as large as the compact SUVs of just a few years ago. That’s one reason why subcompact SUVs are taking automotive world by storm right now.

Just about every automotive brand has an entry into the mini SUV market, making it very popular among consumers and very competitive for the various brands. Some carmakers have two or three models in the segment. The industry’s once-niche segment has become a major competitive battleground, and its growth is accelerating as time goes on.

All of that growth and competition in the market is a great thing for consumers, but the overwhelming number of choices makes it hard to pick a winner. The good news is that there are several great options that won’t break the bank. We’ve driven and researched the best SUVs on the market to bring you the best options under $25,000.

Here’s our list of the 10 best SUVs under $25,000 for 2022:

2022 Honda HR-V

 

The 2022 Honda HR-V replaces the CR-V on our list this year, partly because the CR-V costs over $25,000 these days, but also because it has set itself apart in the subcompact SUV segment. It boasts a simple yet appealing exterior design and a folding “Magic Seat” that will add lots of cargo room on the inside. The 141-horsepower 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine won’t wow you with its power, but it is practical and drives well, and at a starting MSRP of about $22,000 offers significant value and economy. The more expensive EX model has a list of nifty upgrades that includes heated front seats, passive entry, a sunroof, and driver assist technology.

2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

After skipping the 2021 model year, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is one of two small SUVs from the brand to make our list this year. The Eclipse Cross brings an economical price tag at about $24,000, and fuel economy of 27.4 mpg. It also brings a personality with above-average performance for its class. The 1.5-liter turbocharged 152-horsepower engine offers good acceleration, and it contributes to the quiet smooth ride. The driver will also enjoy the premium interior. Standard features on the base trim levels are 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, premium interior fabrics and materials, as well as driver assist technology. Higher level trims have an 8.0-inch screen.

2022 Kia Sportage

There aren’t a whole lot of new features and improvement to the 2022 Kia Sportage, because an all-new 2023 Sportage is imminent as this is being written. The new Sportage will be better in virtually every way but it won’t be available for less than $25,000. On the other hand, it is likely you can still get the 2022 Sportage for $25K or less. It comes with two engine choices, the 2.4-liter 187-horsepower engine will certainly suffice, but some will opt for the to the more powerful 237-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. With the turbocharged engine the compact Sportage is one of the liveliest vehicles in its class. Inside, the Sportage cabin feels like a luxury SUV with a pleasing mix of premium materials, comfort and style. An 8.0-inch infotainment screen is standard on all models.

2022 Hyundai Tucson

All-new this year, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson is a looker with a grille and fascia that will turn heads. Under the hood choices abound. There is a 187-horsepower 2.5-liter engine, a 227-horsepower hybrid powertrain, and a 261-horsepower plug-in hybrid. For those wishing to spend $25K or less though, the base engine is the lone alternative. The base model is well-equipped but you might want to opt up to a mid-range trim. Either way you’ll find a comfortable interior, plenty of cargo room, and a 10.5-inch infotainment screen. With the base engine fuel economy is 26 mpg city/33 mpg highway. As you might guess, the more expensive hybrid powertrains turn in much better mileage figures.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

The second Mitsubishi on our list for 2022 is the Outlander Sport starts at around $23,000. The base engine is a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter FWD engine while the upgrade is a 2.4-liter 168-horsepower powerplant. Both use a continuously variable (CVT) transmission In either case, the Outlander Sport, like all Mitsubishis, offers astandard 100,000-mile waranty. Features include lane departure and forward collision warning technology. Available safety features include rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring. The interior offers generous cargo space with a folding flat rear seat. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available on a 7.0- or 8.0-inch infotainment display.

2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer

The 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer makes the list this year not because of its power. Even by mini SUV standards the 1.2-liter engine with 137-horsepower is a bit of a laggard. But the Trailblazer makes up for that with style and appeal, plus creature comforts inside. Features and options include heated steering wheel, trailer hitch package, roof rack and quality Chevrolet infotainment system. With a starting price tag of $21,600 and EPA rating of 29 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, this mini SUV offers great value for the money, though we suggest upgrading to the 1.3-liter 155-horsepower engine and all-wheel-drive.

The 2022 Kia Soul

With its signature boxy profle, the 2022 Kia Soul, starting at around $19,000 could very well be the best car for the money in the segment. The 147-horsepower 2.0-liter base level engine with CVT is certainly adequate, while the 201-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter ratchets up the fun. Inside the car there is plenty of room for four adults and their gear to enjoy a comfortable road trip. New for 2022 is the 10.5-inch infotainment display and upgraded technology, audio, safety and automatic climate control packages for higher level trims. MPG ratings are impressive at 33 highway and 27 city.

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross
Photo: Jack R. Nerad

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross is the latest gasoline-powered Toyota crossover, and it is a serious value. At $22,195 MSRP, the Corolla Cross with its 2.0-liter 169-horsepower 4-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive option will be a new force in the subcompact SUV market. Like most small, inexpensive SUVs, this car isn’t powerful, but it is roomy and economical with 31 mpg city/33 mpg highway EPA ratings. The base model is quite plain inside, but should you want more style you can get it while only mildly nudging over the $25K mark. Base models have a 7.0-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio all standard, and an 8-inch screen adorns upper-level Corolla Cross models.

2022 Volkswagen Taos

The 2022 Volkswagen TaosJoining the Tiguan, Atlas, and Atlas Cross Sport in the growing range of Volkswagen crossover SUVs, the 2022 Volkswagen Taos has hit the ground running. The first thing you’ll notice is the relative size to other mini SUVs. The Taos is taller, roomier and has more cargo space than most others in the class. And in this case, bigger means better. The Taos has a new version of the 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that delivers 158-horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. With a flat torque curve, the Taos feels peppy. Other subcompact SUvs are cheaper, but the Taos does offer sophisticated European style that most in the class can’t touch. Inside, the base Taos has a rather small 6.5-inch touchscreen, but more expensive trims have an 8-inch touchscreen.

2022 Buick Encore GX

Larger than the Buick Encore, the 2022 Buick Encore GX combines style and appeal with value and economy. It is powered by a turbocharged 1.3-liter 3-cylinder engine with 155 horsepower. In front-drive models, the engine is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission, while in all-wheel-drive versions, the engine is teamed with a 9-speed conventional automatic. The front-drive Encore GX delivers an estimated 29 mpg driving in the city and 32 mpg driving on the highway. With all-wheel drive, the Encore GX gets 26 mpg city/29 mpg highway. The Encore GX has one of the most luxurious interiors in the segment, and it’s a good choice for a single person seeking a quiet, composed driving experience. All Buick Encore GX models have an 8-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

UPDATED December 23, 2021

Please See our List of Top 10 Used SUVs Under $15,000