Even though big SUVs and trucks are impressive to look at, more people than ever are looking to the compact crossover SUV market for the vehicles they drive.
These small crossovers replace the sedans we used to drive and give us more. We have more room inside, more ground clearance, more models with AWD, and more style than we ever had with sedans. If you’re thinking about your next vehicle and want to know what you should drive, consider one of these five crossovers that are affordable and popular right now.
Among compact crossover SUVs, the Kia Seltos is one of the most affordable models you can find. This vehicle starts at $23,665, making it an easy vehicle to fit into your budget. You’ll find the efficiency that we’ve admired in the Kia Soul but a healthy dose of SUV goodness in the build. You’ll find the benefits of AWD in this vehicle and know that you’ve got a crossover SUV that has what you desire.
- Good fuel economy
- Affordable AWD model
- Generous cargo space
- excellent features package
- Lots of plastic in the cabin
- NHTSA four-star safety rating
- Dual-clutch transmission could be much smoother
You’ll only need a few minutes behind the steering wheel of the Seltos to know that it’s the right compact crossover SUV to drive. Admire the handsome build enjoy the efficiency offered with either the 1.6-liter turbo or the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine. This SUV that can work well for a growing family, for singles with an active lifestyle, or for those who want a great vehicle for driving around town and driving on light trails.
Another newcomer to the compact crossover world, the Mazda CX-30 is stylish, filled with premium-level features, and gives you the driving experience you expect in a Mazda. You might look at the CX-30 and think of it as an overgrown hatchback, but once you’re behind the wheel, you’ll see it’s much more. For $23,425, you can enjoy the experience found inside this compact Mazda SUV.
- Excellent interior design
- Premium interior materials
- Excellent safety rating
- Driver assist tech isn’t as good as some competitors
- Steering requires frequent corrections
- Cramped rear seat
If you’ve loved the Mazda3 and want the crossover version, the CX-30 is ideal for your drive. This newer model is bigger than the CX-3, which it replaced. The engine is peppy and quick, giving you the Mazda feeling of “zoom-zoom” that you love when you’re out for a drive. Among these small SUVs, this might be the only one to achieve the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, which is certainly an important factor in your buying decision.
An old nameplate returns to the market to give us the smallest crossover SUV in the bowtie brand. The Chevrolet Trailblazer is small, aggressive, impressive, and efficient. You’ll love the quick return of power from either engine and the option of AWD if you want it. There’s a ton of tech, which is an area where Chevy seems to shine, and a comfortable cabin with good cargo room in the rear to make sure you can carry what you want to wherever you want to go. This SUV starts at $22,795.
- Attractive exterior design
- Spacious cabin for the size
- Available AWD
- Some competitors have more features
- Not as quick as the CX-30
- Ride and handling leave something to be desired
If you’re looking for a handsome SUV that brings sporty style to the mix, the Chevrolet Trailblazer does that for you. You’ll see lots of character in the build, the stance, and the feeling offered. While the handling isn’t precise enough to carve up the roads, you’ll admire the predictable way this SUV rides when you take it out for a drive.
The Honda HR-V is one of the most popular models in the subcompact crossover SUV class. This vehicle closely resembles its larger sibling, the CR-V, giving us an affordable, attractive, useful, and efficient model. The HR-V begins at $22,645, and it clearly has the looks we love from the larger SUV. Strangely, the design and versatility of the Honda HR-V are inspired by the Honda Fit, which is not sold in America. When you want an SUV that doesn’t cost a lot, this could be the right Honda for you.
- Versatile seats with the Magic Seat rear bench
- Ample legroom in all seats
- Good fuel economy
- Slow acceleration
- Cheap interior materials
- Spartan base model
Everyone can get comfortable inside the Honda HR-V, which has the roomiest rear seat in this class. You’ll love the versatility of the Magic Seats which fold and give you more cargo room when you need it. You won’t find aggressive acceleration or quick turning, but the Honda HR-V is predictable and easy to drive.
The most affordable subcompact SUV in the market is the Hyundai Venue. For $20,125, you can have the base model of the Venue and enjoy a small SUV with a lot of spunk. One note of warning, if you’re going to rely on the Venue for cross-country trips, stick to the right lane. This SUV isn’t as quick or strong as you might like when driving on mountain roads or highways. On the other hand, if you want to drive around town in a small vehicle that fits easily on the city streets, the Venue is an excellent choice.
- Appealing design
- Excellent tech at this price range
- Good fuel mileage
- Weak engine
- Shakes and rattles on the highway
- Cheap plastic bits in the cabin
You’re not paying a lot to drive the Hyundai Venue, but it does remind you of that fact every single time you take a drive. If you need an SUV that’s good for moving around in the city, this is an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you know you’re going to head out on the highway, look at one of the more expensive models and find some actual highway driving.
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