By Eric Brandt
It’s not hard to see why compact SUVs are so popular. They combine SUV versatility with small car drivability and fuel economy, which makes for a desirable vehicle for a lot of drivers. Whether you just need a practical daily commuter or even a small family vehicle, there’s a good chance that there’s a compact SUV out there that fits your lifestyle just right.
We’ve put together a list of the 10 most affordable compact crossover SUVs on the market for the 2019 model year. This list just includes compact crossovers and not smaller, more affordable subcompact SUVs, which is technically a different segment. A few crossovers on our list kind of straddle the line between subcompact and compact, but every SUV on this list is roughly the same size. Also, we’ve made sure to include destination charges in the pricing for each vehicle.
Without further ado, here are the 10 most affordable new compact SUVs of 2019.
2019 Honda CR-V: $25,545
The Honda /zigman2/quotes/207173990/composite HMC +1.04% CR-V is hands-down one of the best and most well-rounded compact crossovers you can buy and that’s partly because of its affordable pricing. If you’re looking for a small SUV with a lot of space inside for both passengers and cargo, the CR-V is one of the most space-efficient vehicles in this class making it a great car for small families. If you have some extra room in your budget, we recommend upgrading to the EX trim or higher so you get the Honda Sensing safety tech suite and the turbocharged engine, which improves both performance and fuel economy.
2019 Mazda CX-5: $25,395
For a modern crossover that combines style, fun driving character, and a surprisingly premium interior, check out the Mazda CX-5. The base engine may not have a lot of muscle, but it provides lively acceleration and this chassis provides engaging driving dynamics, especially for an SUV. This Mazda /zigman2/quotes/206326885/composite MZDAY +0.34% also has one of the best interiors at this price point when it comes to both design and material quality making you feel like you’re in a more expensive car. There’s a new turbocharged gas engine and a turbodiesel for 2019, but those are only available in the higher, more expensive trims.
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan: $25,290
The recently redesigned Volkswagen /zigman2/quotes/204431732/composite VWAGY +2.90% Tiguan is the only crossover on this list available with three rows of seats. Granted, that third row is pretty cramped considering this VW’s compact dimensions, but it’s still nice to have in case you need it in a pinch. The ride quality is comfortable and serene, making it good for long-distance commutes and it has an impressively roomy cargo area when it isn’t optioned with the third row of seats. The Tiguan also has a distinctly German personality that makes it stand out from the more mainstream crowd.
2019 Subaru Forester: $25,270
Over the years, the Subaru Forester has evolved from a quirky wagon to a more conventional compact crossover. It retains its Subaru /zigman2/quotes/200526066/composite FUJHY +0.40% charm through things like its distinct Subaru look and, of course, standard all-wheel-drive on every model. This makes it one of the most affordable AWD vehicles you can get in this segment since every other model on this list else charges extra for it. The Forester’s standard AWD not only makes it good for wet or snowy road conditions but for off-roading too, especially when equipped with optional X-Mode. Another thing we love about the Forester is standard EyeSight safety tech on every model, which gives you automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist.
2019 Ford Escape: $25,200
The Ford /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F +4.45% Escape is due for replacement with its next-generation starting in the 2020 model year, but the 2019 model still presents a strong value in compact crossovers. It has an especially generously-sized cargo area and has sporty handling complemented well by its exciting engine choices. The base engine is good, but if your budget allows it, we like the turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, which turns up the performance with 245 horsepower. For a more efficient crossover, consider the smaller 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine, which also offers a performance upgrade over the base engine.
2019 Kia Sportage: $25,035
The Kia Sportage is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades in compact crossovers. It does just about everything well with above-average performance, a roomy, upscale interior, a modern aesthetic and one of our favorite infotainment systems. There are few areas where the Sportage really blows away its competition, but again, it’s an SUV that does everything well and does nothing badly. If anything, its fuel economy is subpar for this segment, but other than that, the Sportage checks a lot of boxes for anyone in the market for a small SUV.
2019 Chevrolet Equinox: $24,995
Coming off a fresh redesign in 2018, the Chevy Equinox is a compact crossover that does a nice job of exemplifying the Chevy brand’s reputation. It’s safe, reliable and practical and it’s an overall great value no matter which model you go with. It has roomy, supportive seats, it’s great on gas and it has a good standard infotainment system with a short learning curve even if this is your first car with a screen in it. The Equinox also has a sharp, modern look that we think will age well.
2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: $24,690
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross was an all-new model for 2018 that revived the old Eclipse name in an unexpected way. Rather than a coupe, like the old Eclipse, the Eclipse Cross is an SUV that’s on the smaller side of the compact SUV segment and its smaller dimensions yield a particularly sporty aesthetic. Unfortunately, its smaller size means a smaller cargo area than most rivals, but if you’re willing to sacrifice a little practicality in favor of a sharp look, then its tight cargo space probably won’t bother you. This Mitsubishi /zigman2/quotes/202447683/composite MSBHY +0.50% also has a smooth and comfortable ride, meaning you get the sporty look combined with a comfy ride with little compromise.
2019 Hyundai Tucson: $24,445
The Hyundai /zigman2/quotes/204364212/composite HYMTF -2.39% Tucson has been one of our favorite compact crossovers ever since its current generation was introduced for 2016. The Tucson gets even better for 2019 with a face-lift updating its interior and exterior styling, a newly-available 2.4-liter engine, and a big tech upgrade with a standard 7-in infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +0.25% CarPlay plus forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking now coming standard. All of that standard kit plus a smooth, quiet ride and a strong reliability rating makes this Hyundai an excellent value.
2019 Jeep Compass: $23,590
Like the Eclipse Cross, the Jeep Compass is another SUV that is on the smaller side of the compact SUV segment. Yes, it’s small even for a compact, but it’s also the most affordable compact crossover of 2019. This Jeep exudes true Jeep character with an aesthetic that’s rugged, yet cute and real off-road chops when equipped with AWD, especially in the Trailhawk trim. A standard 7-in infotainment system is new for 2019 which further advances the Compass as a great value proposition in small SUVs.
This story originally ran on Autotrader.com .