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Best New SUVs on a $30,000 Budget


Buying a new SUV can be fraught in these times of high prices, high interest rates, and uncertain inventories, but you can still find plenty of great deals in the new SUV market. A budget of $30,000 likely affords more capability, safety, technology, and efficiency than you’d expect — and there’s even an electric vehicle among the choices.

Whether you’re looking for a compact SUV, something off-roady, or something perfect for hauling the family around town, there’s something for you on this list of 10 of the best SUVs you’ll find for less than $30,000. Note: Prices do not include destination fees, tax, title, or licensing.

1. 2023 Buick Encore GX — $25,900

2023 Buick Encore GX in blue.

Small but well-equipped for the money, the 2023 Buick Encore GX is also a smart choice for safety, earning an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick award. Despite the subcompact SUV footprint, the Encore GX is quiet, comfortable, and relatively spacious, with upscale style and good cargo space. See 2023 Buick Encore GX models for sale

2. 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV — $27,800

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV in silver.

An electric SUV for less than $30,000? The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV’s low starting price nets you 247 miles of range, zippy electric torque, and high-tech features, like a 10.2-inch center display, available Super Cruise semiautonomous driving, and standard wireless smartphone integration and charging. See 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV models for sale

3. 2023 Chevrolet Equinox — $26,600

2023 Chevrolet Equinox in red.

The 2023 Chevrolet Equinox is everything a young family is looking for and just about nothing else. It’s an excellent value for the right buyer. Lots of rear legroom, generous cargo space, and wireless smartphone integration make the Equinox an easy choice for the daily grind. See 2023 Chevrolet Equinox models for sale

4. 2023 Ford Bronco Sport — $29,215

2023 Ford Bronco Sport in grey.

All-wheel drive (AWD) is standard on the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport, owing to its similarity in appearance to the larger, more off-road-oriented Bronco, but the Escape-based Bronco Sport is more dialed-in for daily driving. Dog lovers will appreciate the Bronco Sport’s Dog Outfitter bundle, which adds a storable kennel, cargo mat, and seat covers. See 2023 Ford Bronco Sport models for sale

5. 2023 Honda HR-V — $23,800

2023 Honda HR-V in grey.

The 2023 Honda HR-V is the only Honda SUV that starts below $30,000 these days. That’s fine, however, as its spacious cabin (for its size), quality materials and build, efficient drivetrain, and abundant standard safety features make the HR-V all the SUV most of us really need. See 2023 Honda HR-V models for sale

6. 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe — $28,450

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe in grey.

An outstanding value across the lineup, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe comes with great standard equipment, luxurious upgrade paths, and plenty of space across its two rows of seating. The available features list highlights include wireless smartphone integration, remote self-parking assist, and a hands-free power tailgate. See 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe models for sale

7. 2023 Kia Sportage — $26,290

2023 Kia Sportage in grey.

The all-new 2023 Kia Sportage gets a sharp new design, an upgraded interior, and some extra size compared to the previous Sportage, now offering ample rear legroom and a large cargo area. A new X-Pro treatment enhances the Sportage’s off-road credibility, but the base Sportage LX comes with front-wheel drive, reserving AWD as a $2,000 option. See 2023 Kia Sportage models for sale 

8. 2023 Mazda CX-50 — $27,550

2023 Mazda CX 50 in grey.

Also all-new, the 2023 Mazda CX-50 sits slightly above the venerable CX-5 (which also costs less than $30,000) in Mazda’s lineup, with a new look, a wider interior, and a sophisticated AWD system. The U.S.-built CX-50 is aimed at more gravel- and dirt-road capability than the CX-5, with greater ground clearance and an off-road mode for its AWD system. See 2023 Mazda CX-50 models for sale

9. 2023 Subaru Outback — $28,395

2023 Subaru Outback in white.

Some might call it a wagon, but the 2023 Subaru Outback’s standard AWD, high ground clearance, and dirt-road-ready tuning make it a genre crosser, competing with midsize SUVs like the Honda Passport and Hyundai Santa Fe. It’s also fitted with EyeSight, Subaru’s suite of active driver assist technologies. See 2023 Subaru Outback models for sale

10. 2023 Toyota RAV4 — $27,975

2023 Toyota RAV4 in blue.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 needs no introduction for fans of the compact SUV, as it’s a perennial best-seller. The roomy cabin, strong standard safety features, practical cabin, and efficient standard drivetrain make the RAV4 a great value. For 2023, smartphone integration is now wireless, and there’s a larger touchscreen in most trims. See 2023 Toyota RAV4 models for sale

10 Best SUVs Under $30,000

  1. 2023 Buick Encore GX — $25,900
  2. 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV — $27,800
  3. 2023 Chevrolet Equinox — $26,600
  4. 2023 Ford Bronco Sport — $29,215
  5. 2023 Honda HR-V — $23,800
  6. 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe — $28,450
  7. 2023 Kia Sportage — $26,290
  8. 2023 Mazda CX-50 — $27,550
  9. 2023 Subaru Outback — $28,395
  10. 2023 Toyota RAV4 — $27,975

Nelson Ireson
Nelson Ireson
Nelson Ireson is an automotive writer and enthusiast whose 15-plus years of experience have seen him travel the globe, driving as many new cars as possible. His work has appeared throughout the print and online automotive world, including Car and Driver, Autoblog, and Motor Authority, among others. He writes for Autotrader from Long Beach, California.

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1 COMMENT
  1. Wow, there are two vehicles that mechanics say shouldn’t be on this list. The Chevy Equinox and Kia Sorento both have issues.

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