Here Are the 10 Cheapest New SUVs You Can Buy Right Now

Automakers have been rushing to fill their lineups with SUVs, and the subcompact SUV class has grown considerably as a result. Even though most subcompact SUVs don’t have much more passenger space than your typical subcompact car, they do have the higher seating position, more rugged look and available all-wheel drive that many shoppers want at a relatively affordable price. 

Related: Here Are the 10 Cheapest New Cars You Can Buy Right Now

So perhaps it’s not surprising that all 10 of the models in our cheap SUV list are subcompacts. They’re ordered by base price, from least to most expensive, and all prices include the SUV’s destination charge, but not any cash incentives that may be available. Prices and EPA combined fuel economy estimates are for front-wheel-drive versions of all the SUVs except the Kia Seltos, which comes with all-wheel drive on its base LX trim level. All prices also include an automatic transmission. 

Affordable subcompacts like the Nissan Kicks and Hyundai Venue look like other subcompact SUVs and are marketed as such, but they don’t offer all-wheel drive, which was a must-have available feature needed to make our list. Adding all-wheel drive to most of the SUVs below costs around $1,500, but it’s an extra $4,500 for the Trailblazer because AWD isn’t available on the base trim level. 

Cheapest New SUVs (With Automatic Transmission)

1. 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer L: $19,995

2. 2020 Ford EcoSport S: $21,240

3. 2020 Hyundai Kona SE: $21,440

4. 2020 Mazda CX-3 Sport: $21,740

5. 2020 Honda HR-V LX: $21,940

6. 2020 Chevrolet Trax LS: $22,295

7. 2020 Mazda CX-30 Base: $23,000

8. 2021 Kia Seltos LX: $23,110

9. 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES: $23,790

10. 2020 Jeep Renegade Sport: $23,870

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer L

Price: $19,995, including $995 destination charge
Combined fuel economy: 29 mpg

With a starting price a touch under $20,000, the all-new 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer subcompact SUV is the cheapest new SUV you can buy today and by a considerable margin. The base L trim level is powered by a 137-horsepower, turbocharged 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that works with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Despite its comparatively low price, the Trailblazer comes standard with useful tech features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity and important active safety features like automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist.

2020 Ford EcoSport S

Price: $21,240, including $1,245 destination charge

Combined fuel economy: 28 mpg

Front-wheel-drive versions of Ford’s smallest SUV are powered by a 123-hp, turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that teams with a six-speed automatic. The base S trim has a Wi-Fi hot spot with a data trial for on-the-go connectivity, but it lacks standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and doesn’t include many active safety features. The EcoSport’s snug backseat isn’t unusual in this class, but its bumpy ride, lack of engine refinement and old-school rear swing gate are negatives in this increasingly competitive segment.

2020 Hyundai Kona SE

Price: $21,440, including $1,140 destination charge

Combined fuel economy: 30 mpg

Now in its third year, the Hyundai Kona blends distinctive exterior design, carlike maneuverability and easy-to-use cabin controls. The 147-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that powers the base SE trim doesn’t have a lot of reserve power, but it works with a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission; the pair is good for an EPA-estimated 30 mpg combined with front-wheel drive. The Kona’s standard 7-inch touchscreen multimedia system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and standard active safety features include automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist and a driver-drowsiness monitor.

2020 Mazda CX-3 Sport

Price: $21,740, including $1,100 destination charge

Combined fuel economy: 31 mpg

With its low, hatchback-like shape, the Mazda CX-3 blurs the line between SUV and car more than most subcompact SUVs. It’s powered by a standard 148-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that works with a six-speed automatic, and front-drive versions are EPA-rated 31 mpg combined. The CX-3 doesn’t have much passenger or cargo space, but it’s well-equipped for the class with standard adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, automatic air conditioning and a head-up display. The CX-3’s interior quality and overall attention to detail are also highlights.

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2020 Honda HR-V LX

Price: $21,940, including $1,120 destination charge

Combined fuel economy: 30 mpg

In a class where most models shortchange passengers especially those in the backseat the Honda HR-V is refreshingly different. Featuring a comfortable, roomy interior, the HR-V also has impressive versatility thanks to its multiposition second-row Magic Seat. All HR-Vs are powered by a 141-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that works with a continuously variable automatic transmission. The combo delivers good estimated gas mileage of 30 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, but power is modest overall. The HR-V offers important safety features like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning, but they aren’t available for the base LX trim.

2020 Chevrolet Trax LS

Price: $22,295, including $995 destination charge

Combined fuel economy: 28 mpg

In addition to the newer Trailblazer, Chevrolet also sells the Trax subcompact SUV. The Trax is a little smaller than the Trailblazer, and it doesn’t have as much maximum cargo space. Power comes from a turbocharged four-cylinder instead of a turbo three-cylinder like the Trailblazer, and the Trax’s engine works with a conventional automatic transmission. Even though the Trax costs significantly more than the Trailblazer, it comes with fewer active safety features that are limited to higher trims.

2020 Mazda CX-30 Base

Price: $23,000, including $1,100 destination charge

Combined fuel economy: 28 mpg

Mazda’s CX-3 stretches the definition of a subcompact SUV, but the all-new Mazda CX-30, with its raised stance, looks more the part. It’s powered by a 186-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that works with a six-speed automatic transmission, and standard active safety features include automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability and lane keep assist. Base trims also come with premium features like LED headlights and taillights, an 8.8-inch multimedia screen and push-button start, but not Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which is optional.

2021 Kia Seltos LX

Price: $23,110, including $1,120 destination charge

Combined fuel economy: 29 mpg

The all-new Kia Seltos is the only SUV on this list that makes AWD standard on the base trim; the next-higher S trim has standard FWD and optional AWD. The Seltos LX is powered by a 146-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that works with a continuously variable automatic transmission. The SUV’s long list of standard features includes 17-inch alloy wheels, an 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Bluetooth streaming audio and cruise control. However, active safety features like automatic emergency braking and blind spot warning are only offered on higher trim levels.

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES

Price: $23,790, including $1,195 destination charge

Combined fuel economy: 27 mpg

Dating back to 2011, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was one of the early subcompact SUVs, and it’s still one of the most affordable. Mitsubishi has updated the Outlander Sport over the years, but the SUV’s dated interior is showing its age. The Outlander Sport’s steering is numb and its ride quality can be choppy, too. The SUV has its strong points, like good visibility and highway stability, but, as we noted in our review, “it suffers from some significant problems that hold it back in the competitive subcompact SUV class.”

2020 Jeep Renegade Sport 

Price: $23,870, including $1,495 destination charge

Combined fuel economy: 25 mpg

The Jeep Renegade wears signature design elements of the American off-road brand, like round headlights and a seven-slot grille, but it hails from Italy and shares its platform with a Fiat model. Jeep isn’t alone: The Ford EcoSport comes from India, and the Chevrolets from South Korea and Mexico. The base Renegade Sport is powered by a 180-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder that works with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Standard convenience features include push-button start, cruise control and Bluetooth streaming audio. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and important active safety features cost extra.

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