Autotrader

March 18, 2020, 5:05 a.m. EDT

The best new compact SUVs priced under $30k

Get an SUV for less than the average new-car budget

By Eric Brandt


Ford
The Ford Escape

Compact crossover SUVs are very in-style right now, and it’s not hard to see why. A compact crossover combines the versatility of an SUV with the easy drivability of a compact car, and it also achieves similar fuel economy. Just about every car manufacturer offers at least one compact SUV in 2020, and today we’re going to take a look at some of the best ones you can buy with a budget that’s a little less than the average new-car transaction price.

Here are seven of the best new compact SUVs you can get on Autotrader for less than $30,000 in 2020.

2020 Chevrolet Equinox LT


Chevrolet
The Chevy Equinox

The Chevy Equinox is one of the more affordable SUVs in this segment, which means you can get a pretty nice one for less than $30,000. You can make your way up to the LT trim, which comes nicely equipped with satellite radio in one of our favorite infotainment systems, a power driver’s seat, a Wi-Fi hot spot and some nice driver-assistance tech, including lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection.

The LT trim is where the bigger 2.0-liter turbocharged engine becomes available in the Equinox, but opting for that engine will push you over the $30k mark.

2020 Ford Escape SE Sport Hybrid

The Ford Escape is all-new for 2020, and this redesigned SUV reintroduces the Escape Hybrid, which we haven’t seen since 2012. The Escape SE Sport Hybrid has a surprisingly sporty attitude for a hybrid, and it comes packed with a lot of standard features, including an 8-in SYNC 3 infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple (NAS:AAPL)   CarPlay, Waze, and Amazon (NAS:AMZN)  Alexa, automatic climate control, heated front seats and the Ford (NYS:F)   Co-Pilot360 suite of driver-assistance technology.


Ford
The Ford Escape

The interior is roomy and quiet, and we love how smoothly the hybrid drives while still keeping a spring in its step with impressive performance. It all adds up to a great value among hybrid compact SUVs. 

2020 Honda CR-V EX

The Honda CR-V is a tried-and-true compact crossover and has been a class leader since it was first introduced in the 1990s. This Honda (NYS:HMC)   still holds up its strong reputation in 2020 with the safety, reliability and value you’d expect.


Honda
The Honda CR-V

The EX trim is arguably the best value in the CR-V model range, with a 7-in infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, second-row USB ports, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and a power moonroof. You also get blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert on top of the standard Honda Sensing suite of safety tech, which makes this an SUV you can really trust. The CR-V is also one of the roomiest SUVs in this class, with tons of room for both passengers and cargo.

See: Which is better, a Corolla or a Civic? We compare the 2020 models

2020 Kia Sportage EX


Kia
Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage is a competitively priced compact SUV, and you might be surprised at how affordable the higher trims are. For less than $30,000, you can upgrade to the Sportage EX, which gives you the excellent 8-in UVO infotainment system, heated front seats, automatic climate control, push-button start, a smart power liftgate, lane keep assist, a driver attention monitor, automatic high beams, forward collision warning, brake assist, pedestrian detection and an upgraded exterior over the lower trims that includes 18-in alloy wheels. The Sportage has a comfortable ride and a quality interior that might surprise you at this price point.


2020 Mazda CX-5 Touring

The Mazda CX-5 has a design both inside and out that might make you think you’re in luxury SUV territory. This Mazda (OTC:MZDAY)   is arguably the sharpest-looking crossover on this list, and it also delivers athletic performance, which makes it the fun-to-drive choice for the enthusiast looking for a practical crossover.


Mazda
Mazda CX-5

The CX-5 to get at this price point is the Touring model. It includes a 7-in infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, automatic climate control and synthetic leather upholstery with suede inserts in the seats, which are heated in front. You can even add the Preferred Package for equipment and keep the price under $30k with a Bose 10-speaker premium audio system, a moonroof and a power liftgate.

Related: How to choose trim levels and options when buying a new car

2020 Subaru Forester Premium

The Subaru Forester is a more rugged choice in this segment, with standard all-wheel drive on every trim and some pretty serious off-road chops. The midrange Premium trim provides a great value at a price under $30,000 with features including a panoramic moonroof, a Wi-Fi hot spot, heated front seats and reclining rear seats — an uncommon feature in this class.

Also on MarketWatch: 8 affordable new cars that get at least 40 mpg

You also get stylish 17-in wheels and X-Mode with hill-descent control, which is a must for serious off-roaders. Standard on every trim of the Forester is EyeSight driver assist technology, which features adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, lane departure and sway warning, lead vehicle start alert and lane departure prevention.

2020 Toyota RAV4 LE Hybrid

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is the fuel economy leader in this class, with an incredible EPA rating of 41 miles per gallon in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, and that’s even with standard AWD. And amazing fuel efficiency isn’t the only reason to love the Toyota (NYS:TM)   RAV4 Hybrid. It’s also surprisingly fun to drive and has a roomy, upscale interior with above-average space in the cargo hold.


Toyota
The RAV4

Just a few standard features in the LE trim include a 7-in infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa and a Wi-Fi hot spot, automatic climate control and the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of driver assistance tech, which includes pedestrian detection, a pre-collision warning and braking system, automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, road sign recognition and lane trace assist, which reads lane markers and detects other vehicles. 

This story originally ran on Autotrader.com .

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