1. Best
  2. What are the Most Affordable SUVs of 2021 & 2022

Jump to:

Jump to:

Overview

Much to the joy of auto enthusiasts, SUVs have become incredibly affordable in the last decade. Previously, you needed to spend a fortune if you wished to have an SUV in your possession, but thanks to the flourishing markets of subcompact and compact SUVs, they are more inexpensive than ever. 

But this flood of affordable SUVs has put the buyer in a tough spot. One has good mileage, while the other has more safety features. One has more passenger room, while the other has more refined driving dynamics. So, which one should you choose? 

If you find yourself in a similar situation, worry not. In this article, we have combined a list of the most affordable SUVs of 2021 & 2022, sorted according to base prices and types. Go through the models, and find out which one works the best for your preference.

Dodge Durango

Source: www.kia.com

Why We Picked It: The 2021 Kia Soul proves that the most affordable SUV doesn’t have to be boring. With an eye-catching exterior and a spacious cabin, this one is an ideal choice if you want the SUV experience within a small budget. Although it doesn’t come with all-wheel drive and the ground clearance is quite low, the affordable price point, the tech features, and the interesting ride quality compensate for its drawbacks.

Pros
Handsomely styled exterior
Cabin is spacious and well-equipped
Impressive driving demeanor
Cons
AWD not available
No standard safety features
Fuel economy could be better

2021 Kia Soul Specs

  • Engine- The base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 147 hp. The highest trim gets a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine which produces 201 hp. 
  • Cargo- The maximum storage area you can get is 62.1 cubic feet. 
  • Standard Safety Features- The base model doesn’t get any standard safety equipment, but a few are available from the second trim onwards.
  • Fuel economy- As per EPA estimates, the Kia Soul makes 25 mpg in city and 31 mpg on highway.
  • Towing capacity- It has a towing capacity of up to 2000 pounds.

2. 2022 Hyundai Venue

Class: Crossover SUV, Type: 2-row, Price: $20,245

Source: www.hyundaiusa.com

Why We Picked It: Another addition to the most affordable SUV list, the 2022 Hyundai Venue is a value-packed package. It’s a treat to drive this vehicle on urban roads, with adequate handling and a composed ride. The lackluster engine is a significant drawback, but if you can overlook that, you get a host of features for this price tag, along with a tastefully designed roomy cabin.

Pros
Economic plus value-packed
Surprisingly spacious
Lots of standard driver-assist tech
Cons
Noisy ride, especially at high speeds
Plenty of standard driver-assist features
AWD not available

2022 Hyundai Venue Specs

  • Engine- Under the hood, you get a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 121 hp. 
  • Cargo- The maximum cargo space is 31.9 cubic feet.
  • Standard Safety Features- Forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, automated emergency braking, and driver-attention monitor are part of its standard equipment list.
  • Fuel economy- It offers 29 mpg/ 33 mpg city/highway. 
  • Towing capacity- It had a towing capacity of 1780 pounds.

    3. 2022 Honda HR-V

    Class: Subcompact, Type: 2-row, Price: $23,095

    Source: automobiles.honda.com

    Why We Picked It: Buyers looking for the most affordable SUV from the house of Honda must check out this subcompact vehicle. The smallest model in the entire Honda lineup, this one boasts a practical design, thoughtful cabin, and offers hassle-free rides. While you can’t expect an exciting driving demeanor, it does the job for most people.

    Pros
    Cabin is nicely equipped
    Practical cargo area
    Good fuel economy
    Cons
    Engine isn't powerful enough
    Noisy rides
    No standard driver-assist features

    2022 Honda HR-V Specs

    • Engine- The 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder base engine generates 141 hp.
    • Cargo- The maximum cargo area is 58.8 cubic feet.
    • Standard Safety Features- It doesn’t offer any safety of driver-assist features as standard. 
    • Fuel economy- It offers 26 mpg in city and 31 mpg on highways.
    • Towing capacity- It has a towing capacity of 1500 pounds.

    4. 2022 Subaru Crosstrek

    Class: Small, Type: 2-row, Price: $23,620

    Source: www.subaru.com

    Why We Picked It: Another worthy contender for the best affordable SUV category, the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek impresses car lovers with its adventurous image. Driving experience is more or less average, but it makes up for its flaws with its car-like ease of handling. However, Subaru doesn’t offer a lot in the standard safety feature department.

    Pros
    Designed for the outdoors
    Easy to maneuver
    Standard AWD
    Cons
    Lackluster base engine
    Design is somewhat impractical
    Cabin looks bland

    2022 Subaru Crosstrek Specs

    • Engine- The base 2-liter engine offers 152 hp, whereas the optional 2.5-liter engine generates 182 hp. 
    • Cargo- The maximum available cargo area is 55.3 cubic feet.
    • Standard Safety Features- EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is available as standard.
    • Fuel economy- The base engine offers 28/33 mpg on city and highway respectively.
    • Towing capacity- It has a towing capacity of 1500 pounds

    5. 2022 Kia Seltos

    Class: Subcompact, Type: 2-row, Price: $23,805

    Source: www.kia.com

    Why We Picked It: While discussing the best affordable SUVs, how could we miss out on the brand new Kia Seltos? This subcompact SUV comes with a surprisingly spacious interior, impressive mileage, and composed ride quality. The infotainment system is well-equipped to satisfy modern drivers. When it comes to safety, the vehicle gets ample driver-assist features as standard.

    Pros
    Spacious cabin
    Good fuel economy
    Multiple standard driver-assist features
    Cons
    Base engine is not powerful enough
    Ride quality feels harsh on uneven road conditions

    2022 Kia Seltos Specs

    • Engine- The 2-liter four-cylinder engine is capable of generating 146 hp, while the 1.6-liter turbo engine produces 175 hp. 
    • Cargo- The maximum cargo space is 62.8 cubic feet.
    • Standard Safety Features- Key offerings include lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and automated emergency braking.
    • Fuel economy- It offers 29 mpg in city and 35 mpg on highways.
    • Towing capacity- It has a towing capacity of 2948 pounds.

    6. 2021 Hyundai Tucson

    Class: Small, Type: 2-row, Price: $24,885

    Source: www.hyundaiusa.com

    Why We Picked It: While discussing the best affordable SUVs, how could we miss out on the brand new Kia Seltos? This subcompact SUV comes with a surprisingly spacious interior, impressive mileage, and composed ride quality. The infotainment system is well-equipped to satisfy modern drivers. When it comes to safety, the vehicle gets ample driver-assist features as standard.

    Pros
    Spacious cabin
    Good fuel economy
    Multiple standard driver-assist features
    Cons
    Base engine is not powerful enough
    Ride quality feels harsh on uneven road conditions

    Tech specs

    • Acceleration: 0-100 kph in 3.3 seconds
    • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
    • Power: 542 hp
    • Torque: 568 lb-ft
    • Weight: 5,470 lb

    7. 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

    Class: Small, Type: 2-row, Price: $24,890

    Source: www.mitsubishicars.com

    Why We Picked It: Characterized by its sporty and rugged body\, the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is yet another suitable pick for buyers looking for the best affordable SUV. Its interior has enough space for passengers, but the trimmings could be more refined. With this vehicle, you can expect comfortable, quiet rides.

    Pros
    Sporty appearance
    Ideal for highway driving
    Spacious boot area
    Cons
    Acceleration could be better
    Poor fuel economy

    2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Specs

    • Engine- The 1.5-liter inline 4 engine generates 152 hp. 
    • Cargo- The maximum cargo area is 79.7 cubic feet.
    • Standard Safety Features- Auto emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and lane-departure warning are some of the standard offerings.
    • Fuel economy- It offers 25/26 mpg for city and highway respectively.
    • Towing capacity- It can tow up to 1500 pounds.

    8. 2021 Buick Encore GX

    Class: Small, Type: 2-row, Price: $25,395

    Source: www.buick.com

    Why We Picked It: For buyers searching for the best affordable SUV 2021 offered to the market, the Buick Encore GX is one of the top choices. This one has been specifically designed to give a tough competition to upscale SUVs. With its semi-luxurious exterior, cabin, and impressive ride quality, this one comes at a surprisingly inexpensive price range.

    Pros
    Handsome styling
    Premium feel
    Value for money
    Cons
    Powertrain isn't sufficient
    Excessive use of plastic in the cabin

    2021 Buick Encore GX Specs

    • Engine- The 1.2-liter engine generates 137 hp, while the 1.3-liter engine is capable of 155 ponies.
    • Cargo- Its maximum cargo space amounts to 50 cubic feet.
    • Standard Safety Features- Auto emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist are available as standard.
    • Fuel economy- It offers 30/32 mpg city/highway.
    • Towing capacity- It can tow up to 1000 pounds.

    9. 2021 Subaru Outback

    Class: Midsize, Type: 2-row,  Price: $27,845

    Source: www.subaru.com

    Why We Picked It: If you’re looking for the best affordable midsize SUV, this adventure-focused model from Subaru is definitely worth it. Ideal for families and off-road enthusiasts, this one offers quite a lot of features within a budget-friendly price range. The ride quality is smooth, fuel economy is considerably good, and the cabin has upscale features for maximum comfort.

    Pros
    Best affordable SUV for snow
    Roomy cabin
    AWD comes as standard
    Cons
    The exterior styling could be more pronounced
    Slow acceleration

    2021 Subaru Outback Specs

    • Engine- The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 182 hp, while the 2.4-liter turbo engine produces 260 hp. 
    • Cargo- The maximum cargo space is 75.7 cubic feet.
    • Standard Safety Features- Forward collision warning, auto emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist are part of standard offerings.
    • Fuel economy- It offers 26/33 mpg city/highway.
    • Towing capacity- It has a maximum towing capacity of 3500 pounds.

    10. 2022 Volvo XC40

    Class: Luxury compact, Type: 2-row, Price: $36,195

    Source: www.volvocars.com

    Why We Picked It: Hands down, the 2022 Volvo XC40 is the best affordable luxury SUV. Iconic for its fashionable appeal, this compact vehicle has a lot more to offer than just good looks. It’s equipped with a semi-autonomous driving mode called Pilot Assist. The interior carries signs of smart designing, with ample storage space for keeping your necessities in place.

    Pros
    Handsome styling
    Elevated seating position
    Luxurious yet practical interior
    Cons
    Not-so-impressive fuel economy
    Infotainment department needs to be stronger

     2022 Volvo XC40 Specs

    • Engine- The 2-liter turbo engine T4 generates 184 hp, and the T5 generates 248 hp. 
    • Cargo- The cargo area can offer a maximum of 47.2 cubic feet.
    • Standard Safety Features- Lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, automated emergency braking, and pedestrian detection are part of its standard equipment list.
    • Fuel economy- It offers 22 mpg for city and 30 mpg for highways.
    • Towing capacity- It can tow up to 3500 pounds.

    Tips for Purchasing an Affordable SUV

    • Pay in cash: Don’t get us wrong– we are not telling you to drain out your savings to pay for an SUV. What we intend to say is, if you have the capacity to buy a vehicle with cash, then do it. The more you get involved with loans, the more you’ll have to shell out on interests. Auto loan eventually bumps up the total cost of your car, so if you’re looking for an affordable option and you do have some cash in hand, avoiding the loan or taking very little amount as loan would be a good decision. 
    • Get several loan offers: If you’re opting for a car loan, don’t settle for the first lender you get a quote from. Talk to multiple lenders, check online, compare prices, negotiate, and then come to a conclusion. If you maintain a good credit score and get pre-approved for the loan, there’s a high chance of getting an affordable rate of interest.
    • Focus on more than the monthly payment- The lender will try to push your repayment period to the maximum so that you have to pay small amounts every month. By offering a considerably low per month installment, they will try to lure you into buying other unnecessary stuff– things that increase the total cost of your purchase. So our tip is, don’t fall for the monthly payment amount. Take the loan for the shortest possible period, avoid any add-ons, and repay on time. 
    • Buy used- If affordability is your priority, buying a used SUV is always a great choice. You can browse through online marketplaces or local dealerships to get the best deal. When you buy a pre-owned vehicle, you save a ton of cash on loans and insurance premiums, and they offer great value. 
    • Take your time- Buying a vehicle should never be an impulse purchase, more so if you’re focused on getting an affordable SUV. Take your time to conduct research, check multiple options, consider the make and body type, look at safety ratings, and then finalize a model.
    • Skip the extended warranty- Your lender will try to coax you into buying an extended warranty for your SUV. There’s no need to buy right away. If needed, you can get it anytime later on. So don’t spend any extra cash behind extended warranties immediately while buying an SUV.

    Get the detailed roadmap to how to buy a car.

    What is the best affordable Suv to buy according to each type?

    Find below the most affordable SUVs listed according to class/ type.

    Affordable Subcompact SUV

    • Kia Soul

    Affordable Small SUV

    • Subaru Crosstrek

    Affordable Midsize SUV

    • Subaru Outback

    Affordable Large SUV

    • Nissan Armada

    Affordable Luxury SUV

    • Volvo XC-40

    Affordable 3 Row Suv

    • Volkswagen Tiguan

    For more 3-row options, check out the best 3-row SUVs of 2021 and 2022.

    Affordable Electric Suv

    • Mazda MX-30

    Affordable Hybrid Suv

    • Kia Niro

    What is the cheapest and most reliable SUV?

    When you’re on the lookout for the best affordable SUV, you also have to make sure that it’s safe for you and your family. Finances are vital for sure, but so is safety. So don’t make a decision only based on the price point, consider other factors as well, such as the reliability rating, safety rating, mileage, and so on.

    This chart will help you find the cheapest and most reliable SUV that meets your budget and requirements.

    SUV Model Reliability rating (JD Power)Safety rating (NHTSA)Base Price MPG (Combined)
    Affordable Crossover SUV2022 Hyundai Venue 79/1004-star$20,24531 
    Affordable Subcompact SUV 2021 Kia Soul83/1004-star $18,76527
    Affordable Small/Compact SUV2022 Subaru Crosstrek82/1005-star$23,62030
    Affordable Midsize SUV2021 Subaru Outback77/1005-star$27,84529
    Affordable Large SUV2022 Nissan Armada NANA$50,49516
    Affordable Luxury Suv2022 Volvo XC-4078/1005-star$36,19525
    Affordable Electric Suv2022 Mazda MX-30NA NA$34,69592
    Affordable Hybrid Suv2022 Kia Niro NA 4-star$25,90550

    Which Suv is least expensive to buy?

    Starting from $18,765, the Kia Soul is the least expensive SUV of 2021, with a high JD Power reliability rating of 83/100.

    Which 7 seater is most affordable according to price-quality ratio?

    Honda Odyssey is the most affordable 7-seater according to price-quality ratio.

    What is the best affordable SUV with good gas mileage?

    Among electric vehicles, the best affordable SUV with good gas mileage is Mazda MX-30, and among general SUVs, it’s Hyundai Venue.

    Conclusion

    Thanks to the rising demand for SUVs, they do not cost a fortune these days. In this article, we have covered the top most affordable SUVs that meet the quality requirements and are also easy on your pocket. If you’re searching for a sports utility vehicle within a low budget or a specific price range, this guide will be extremely helpful to provide you with the necessary direction.

    FAQs

    1. What is the best rated 4x4 Suv that is most affordable?

    Jeep Wrangler is the best rated and most affordable 4×4 SUV.

    2. Which is the best SUV for a low budget?

    Hyundai Venue, Kia Soul, and Subaru Crosstrek are some of the best SUVs for a low budget. 

    3. What is the most reliable SUV for the money?

    The Kia Soul is the most reliable SUV for the money.

    4. What is the best affordable SUV with good gas mileage?

    The electrified Mazda MX-30 is the best affordable SUV with good gas mileage.