10 Cheapest SUVs On The Market In 2018

Smart Buy / 36 Comments

You can pick up anyone of these for less than $21,000.

SUVs and crossovers are a booming segment, stealing sales from and killing hatchbacks and wagons alike. But in a world where every cent matters, it's worth knowing when you can score a sweet deal and when you can't. So if you're looking for an SUV, we've compiled the ten cheapest currently on sale as 2018 models – all of which undercut the $21,000 mark. Bear in mind that this list only focuses on 2018 models, and uses manufacturer pricing at the time of publication.


Kia Soul - $16,200

Kia's boxy crossover SUV is the cheapest SUV currently on sale in the United States. At $16,200, the entry level Kia Soul Base is the only Soul model to feature a 1.6-liter engine – developing 130 horsepower and 118 lb-ft of torque. It also features a limited color palette, and standard features are limited to just an AM/FM/MP3/SiriusXM Audio System, 6 speakers, Bluetooth, power windows, air conditioning, and manually adjustable, cloth upholstered seats. It's a fairly Spartan ordeal, but it's cheaper by nearly $2,000 than the next cheapest entry on this list.

Jeep Renegade – $18,445

Jeep's trendy compact crossover shares underpinnings with another on this list – the Fiat 500X – and is the smallest model available from the SUV-only brand. In its cheapest front-wheel drive Sport trim, it comes in at just $18,445, and is not entirely devoid of standard equipment. Bluetooth, a rear-view camera, and keyless entry are standard, though buyers need make do with a compact 5-inch version of the Uconnect media system. Power is derived from a 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine developing 160 horsepower and channeled to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.


Hyundai Kona - $19,000

Named after a city on the island of Hawaii, in its cheapest form, the Kona SE boasts front wheel drive – though all-wheel drive is available – and features cloth upholstery, manually adjustable seats, a 7-inch color touchscreen infotainment system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality, a rear view camera, manual air conditioning, and cruise control as standard. It makes the Kona one of the best value for money propositions at this price point, while a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine – 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque – manages the drive through a standard 6-speed automatic transmission.


Honda HR-V - $19,670

Though few will ever purchase it in poverty spec, the Honda HR-V cashes in as the fourth cheapest SUV on the market at just $19,670. In base LX trim, it's standard with front wheel drive and a 6-speed manual, though all-wheel drive and a CVT are available. The engine remains a fixed 1.8-liter 4 cylinder developing 141 hp and 127 lb-ft. Standard features on the base HR-V include a/c, power windows, cruise control, manually adjustable seats, and a 60/40 split second row that can fold to allow a maximum of 58.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Four speakers and Bluetooth connectivity are standard along with a 5-inch color LED screen.


Fiat 500X - $19,995

Fiat has for some time produced decent vehicles at a steady mid-range price point, with the 500 spearheading its line-up rather successfully. The crossover version – the Fiat 500X – is affordable too, at $19,995, but is more than just a 500 on stilts. It's based on a larger architecture, and shares underpinnings with the more affordable – in base trim – Jeep Renegade we mentioned earlier. In its base Pop trim, you get the same 1.4T MultiAir engine with 160 hp, but you get a few extra features that make it worth the price difference, such as the standard 7-inch Uconnect infotainment screen.


Ford EcoSport - $19,995

We've called the EcoSport the Fiesta's Awkward Cousin, and based on the same architecture it's the family member that grew a little bigger than anyone expected. But it's a relative bargain at a base MSRP of $1,995, with key features being the side opening tailgate – ideal for underground parking areas – and the 1.0-liter turbo three cylinder EcoBoost engine developing a potent 123 hp and 125 lb-ft while being able to tow up to 1400 pounds. The EcoSport is one of the taller budget options around, with good ground clearance and a commanding view of the road, making it a unique proposition in a world of barely lifted hatchbacks.


Mazda CX-3 - $20,110

What was I saying about barely lifted hatchbacks? The CX-3 is just that, offering more body cladding than genuine SUV credo. It's also a little pricey – for a list of cheapest SUVs – breaking through the $20k mark with a base MSRP of $20,110. But for the money you get plenty style, a 146-hp 2.0-liter engine, and claimed EPA figures of 34 mpg on the highway. Even in base Sport trim, it's decently kitted with a/c, power windows, cruise control, and a 7-inch full color infotainment display. But be warned, the CX-3 is small, with cargo volume behind the rear seats limited to just 12.4 cubic feet.


Mitsubishi Outlander Sport - $20,395

The 2017 model is still sold for under $20k, but being a 2017 model its precluded from this list. The 2018 Outlander Sport is only a little beyond the mental 20k barrier, but features items like a 7-inch touchscreen audio system, a rear-view camera, four speakers, Bluetooth compatibility, cruise control, automatic climate control, and cargo hooks in the load bay. In its cheapest form, the Outlander Sport is front-wheel driven by a 2.0-liter 4 cylinder motor outputting 148 hp and 145 lb-ft, sent through a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard.


Jeep Compass - $20,550

The latest generation Jeep Compass looks just like a miniature Grand Cherokee – so it's no wonder it carries a higher price-tag than the decidedly compact Renegade. Priced from $20,550 in base form, the Compass Sport FWD offers a 2.4-liter inline-4 developing 180 hp. Cloth upholstery is standard with manual seat adjustment, a/c, a sliding front arm rest, cruise control, and Uconnect 3 with a 5-inch display. In reality you'll likely want to opt for a slightly more expensive trim, or at least add a couple of options, but if the Renegade is just too small, then the extra cash for an entry-spec Compass is well worth the extra space and comfort it affords.


Chevrolet Trax - $21,000

Last on our list, and square on the $21,000 mark as a base MSRP, is the Chevrolet Trax. This compact SUV boasts a tall stance and some pretty impressive ride qualities, with excellent levels of refinement and a solid stance on the road. Power comes from a 1.4-liter turbo motor developing 138 hp, and in its cheapest incarnation driving the front wheels only - though all-wheel drive is available. In base LS specification, the Trax still offers the exceptional MyLink infotainment system, a rear-view camera, and 10 airbags, though visually it looks a little plain with only halogen headlights and 16-inch steel wheels.

Read more about Chevy Trax from our review.

The 2022 Jeep Compass gets a much needed update
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