10 affordable small SUVs worth checking out

Going small doesn't mean giving up on creature comforts.

The Subaru Outback is extremely versatile, though underpowered.
The Subaru Outback is extremely versatile, though underpowered. –Subaru

Plenty of new compact and subcompact SUVs have small-car prices, but added versatility compared to a small car. This market segment is relatively young, but even in that time, many entrants have been improved, with high-quality interiors, the latest infotainment, and updated safety features.

Read on to learn which of these small SUVs could be the right fit for your budget.

2020 Hyundai Venue | MSRP: $17,350

As mentioned, the Hyundai Venue does not offer all-wheel drive and only has so-so acceleration from its 121-horsepower engine. But the Venue makes up for it with plenty of headroom, and solid cabin build quality. It also has good maneuverability and fuel economy as good as 35 miles per gallon on the highway. The Venue also has very easy-to-use technology, including the standard eight-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2021 Kia Seltos | MSRP: $21,990

Advertisement

The Kia Seltos is actually pretty upscale for a subcompact SUV. It has great interior quality, plenty of cargo space, and more second-row passenger space than you might expect. The base engine is so-so, but the more powerful engine complements the vehicle well. The Seltos also comes standard with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It is easy to use and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Kia Seltos provides a lot of cabin space for a vehicle its size. —Kia

2020 Jeep Renegade | MSRP: $22,375

The Jeep Renegade benefits from a tall, blocky design that provides plenty of headroom and a commanding driving position with ample visibility. The Renegade has a comfortable ride, and when properly equipped, great off-road abilities. The base trim is the Sport and comes standard with a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, and a five-inch infotainment screen. This can be updated for $775 to a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2020 Nissan Rogue Sport | MSRP: $23,240

The Nissan Rogue Sport provides a decent amount of cargo space for a vehicle its size, totaling 53.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. The Rogue Sport also comes standard with Nissan’s Safety Shield 360. This suite of safety technology includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic rear braking.

2020 Hyundai Kona | MSRP: $20,300

The Kona features a comfortable, refined, and high-tech cabin. It features a unique look and an infotainment system that is very easy to use and has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Kona comes standard with plenty of driver assistance features, including forward-collision avoidance, lane-keeping assist, and pedestrian detection.

The Hyundai Kona has futuristic styling and high-tech features. —Hyundai

2020 Kia Soul | MSRP: $17,490

Advertisement

Once again, the Kia Soul doesn’t offer all-wheel drive, but it is arguably one of the most useful, utilitarian vehicles out there today. It has over 62 cubic feet of cargo space and plenty of head and legroom for both rows thanks to its upright layout. The Soul blends form and function, as it also has futuristic styling, inside and out. It comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

2020 Mazda CX-30 | MSRP: $21,900

No, that is not a typo. The CX-30 slots above the CX-3 and below the CX-5 in the Mazda crossover lineup, and is intended to have the best attributes of its car lineup and its crossover lineup. It has 45.2 cubic feet of cargo space and a raised ride height, but also a refined ride and athletic handling. The standard engine makes 186 horsepower and returns as much as 33 miles per gallon on the highway.

The CX-30 provides a refined cabin and slightly more utility than its CX-3 counterpart. —Mazda

2020 Honda HR-V | MSRP: $20,820

The Honda HR-V’s upright design provides a commanding driving position and up to 58.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded. The HR-V’s cabin also has spacious second-row legroom, while the driver will enjoy its nimble handling and as much as 34 miles per gallon on the highway.

2020 Mazda CX-3 | MSRP: $20,640

The Mazda CX-3 is an athletic little subcompact SUV. It has responsive handling and composed road-going manners, as well as an upscale cabin with newly standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also standard for 2020 is Mazda’s i-Activesense suite of safety technology, including forward-collision avoidance, lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control. In all, the CX-3 is a pleasant, safe place to sit during any commute.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek | MSRP: $21,145

Advertisement

The Crosstrek has a lot going for it, including standard all-wheel drive, standard infotainment tech, and a host of standard safety technologies. Unfortunately, Subaru has only provided it with 152 horsepower, making it one of the slowest SUVs on the market today. The Crosstrek makes up for it with its built-in utility, including 8.7 inches of ground clearance and an interior that is designed to take a beating.

Jump To Comments
The Car Doctor
Am I being a car snob?
November 12, 2020 | 4:25 PM