By Eric Brandt
The SUV market in 2020 consists of a mix of stalwarts with trusted names that go back decades and a few all-new players on the scene. Whether you want something small or big, two rows or three rows, hybrid or conventional, a $40,000 budget can go a long way when shopping for a new SUV.
Here are eight of the best new SUVs you can find on Autotrader for under $40,000 in 2020.
Chevrolet Traverse LT — $35,400
The Chevy Traverse is one of the most family-friendly minivan alternatives on the market with a very spacious interior. It has a ton of cargo room and, more important, third-row seating that actually has decent legroom and is easy to access. Many midsize 3-row crossovers are awfully tight in the third row, but you won’t hear any complaints from the way-back passengers in a Traverse. The midrange LT trim has desirable features, such as second-row captain’s chairs, an 8-in infotainment system, a power lift gate, modern safety tech including blind-spot monitoring and more.
Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring — $35,950
The hybrid version of the popular Honda CR-V is an all-new addition to Honda’s /zigman2/quotes/207173990/composite HMC +2.93% U.S. lineup, and it’s made an impressive debut. The acceleration is quick, the ride is smooth, and as expected, the fuel economy is fantastic, achieving up to 40 miles per gallon in city driving. It also comes with the many virtues of the non-hybrid CR-V, such as having one of the biggest cabins in the compact crossover segment and upscale materials throughout the interior. The range-topping Touring trim comes in under the $40K mark and comes loaded with navigation, a hands-free power lift gate, wireless charging, leather seating, a heated steering wheel and more.
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Hyundai Santa Fe Limited — $35,875
The Hyundai /zigman2/quotes/204364212/composite HYMTF -14.28% Santa Fe is one of our favorite midsize 2-row crossovers for many reasons — one of the biggest of which is its bang for the buck. You can go all the way up to the Limited trim while still staying well under the $40K mark and get premium features such as leather seats that are heated and ventilated in front, heated second-row seats, a head-up display, a surround-view camera and much more. The 8-in UVO infotainment system with built-in navigation is one of the most user-friendly systems on the market. Plus, the Limited trim adds 12-speaker Infinity premium audio. Get a luxurious SUV without the luxury brand price tag with the Santa Fe Limited.
Jeep Wrangler Sahara — $38,700
If you’re looking to do some serious off-roading, the capabilities of the legendary Jeep Wrangler are unmatched. With the Sahara trim, you’ll get a nice balance of a well-appointed SUV that’s great for everyday driving and still boasts the off-road performance you’d expect from a Wrangler. With its spacious 4-door body, the Wrangler Sahara makes a good family SUV and comes with features such as bigger wheels and brakes than the lower trims and tons of modern technology, such as a 7-in Uconnect infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +0.70% CarPlay, three USB ports and dual-zone automatic climate control. On the road or off, the Wrangler is up for anything you can throw at it.
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Kia Telluride EX — $37,090
With an all-new model for 2020, the Kia Telluride has received a lot of well-earned praise, including a spot on our own 12 Best Cars of 2020 list. It’s a near-perfect family SUV with its roomy, premium cabin, three generous rows of seats, a large cargo area to boot, plenty of safety features and unique exterior design. It’s also a great value, especially if you upgrade to the EX trim, which adds a huge 10.25-in infotainment system with navigation, wireless charging, leather seating (which is heated and ventilated in front), highway driving assist and the Driver Talk system, which is an intercom that lets the driver talk to the passengers through the speakers. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better 3-row SUV for the money than a Telluride EX. The Kia Telluride is on our list of the best cars for 2020.
Mazda CX-5 Signature — $37,055
The Mazda /zigman2/quotes/206326885/composite MZDAY +6.36% CX-5 Signature is a compact crossover with luxurious aspirations. As long as you don’t care what badge is on the grille, this deserves serious consideration for luxury SUV shoppers. The Signature model has Nappa leather seating that is heated and ventilated in front, heated rear seats, a surround-view parking camera, an 8-in infotainment system with 10-speaker Bose premium audio and much more. You also get standard all-wheel drive and an excellent turbocharged engine. This punchy engine combined with the agile handling of the CX-5 makes this crossover a blast to drive.
Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid — $35,145
A price starting in the mid-$30K range might seem a little steep for a small Subaru /zigman2/quotes/200526066/composite FUJHY +0.84% crossover, but that price can come down quite a bit depending on the incentives on plug-in hybrids in your state. The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is the first-ever plug-in hybrid Subaru and it’s a great effort that retains the Crosstrek’s awesome off-roading capabilities. With standard AWD, charming character and impressive efficiency, it’s both a good Subaru and a good hybrid. It also comes well appointed with leather seating, push-button start, automatic climate control and a full suite of standard driver assistance technology.
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Toyota Highlander Hybrid — $38,200
The Toyota Highlander is all-new for 2020 and has earned a spot on our 12 Best Cars of 2020 list. This family-friendly 3-row crossover is better than ever with a new look inside and out, a nice interior and a hybrid variant that returns outstanding fuel economy. The hybrid powertrain strikes a perfect balance of excellent efficiency and respectable performance. With fuel economy numbers in the mid-30s for both the city and the highway, the Highlander Hybrid is a midsize SUV that’s more efficient than a lot of non-hybrid compact SUVs. It has a nice smooth ride and the safety and predicted reliability scores you’d expect from a Toyota /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM +1.67% , making it an all-around excellent family vehicle.
This story originally ran on Autotrader.com.