The compact SUV segment has been on fire for the last several years. Just about every automaker you can name has thrown its hat in the ring for compact, affordable and efficient crossovers that offer a nice blend of SUV versatility with small car maneuverability and fuel economy. For many drivers, a compact SUV is the Goldilocks vehicle — not too big, not too small, but just right.
Here are seven great compact SUVs you can get for less than $30,000 in 2019.
The Honda CR-V is a tried and true competitor in this segment and its current iteration is the best one ever. The CR-V delivers almost everything you could ask for in a compact SUV. It has a surprisingly huge cargo space plus plenty of passenger space, an upscale interior, comfortable ride quality and great fuel economy. The best CR-V you can get for less than $30k is probably an EX model with all-wheel drive. The EX trim adds the Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance tech, a stronger turbocharged engine, plus an upgraded infotainment system over the base model, which adds Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Find a Honda CR-V for sale
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
The Toyota RAV4 is all-new for 2019 and this compact crossover is better than ever. It has a cool new design, an impressive interior and the reliability you’ve come to expect from Toyota. We find the hybrid model especially attractive thanks to its amazing fuel economy rating of 41 miles per gallon in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, making it the most efficient SUV on our list. To get one with an out-the-door price of less than $30k, you’ll probably have to go with the base LE trim, but it’s well equipped with standard AWD, the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 safety tech suite, dual-zone automatic climate control and more. Find a Toyota RAV4 for sale
The Mazda CX-5 is the athlete of the group as it might be the most fun to drive SUV on our list. It has very agile handling and a newly available turbocharged engine for 2019 plus a new turbo-diesel option, but unfortunately, only the base engine can be had under the $30k mark. The CX-5 also has a seriously premium look and feel inside and out, which might surprise you at this price point. For less than $30k, you can get the midrange Touring trim and add AWD while still coming in under budget. The Touring trim has automatic LED headlights, leatherette seats, heated front seats, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, adaptive cruise control and more. Find a Mazda CX-5 for sale
The Chevrolet Equinox is a great crossover, but it’s also a dime a dozen. If you’re looking for something a little different, check out its mechanical twin, the GMC Terrain. It has roomy seats and an upscale interior plus a smooth ride, making it feel almost like a luxury SUV. The efficient base engine is the only one available for under $30k, but you can upgrade to the midrange SLE trim and get a 7-in infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, HID headlights, a traction select system, a nice 4.2-inch color driver information screen in the gauge cluster, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel adding to the premium feel. Find a GMC Terrain for sale
Looking for something a little more rugged and outdoorsy? The Subaru Forester is all-new for 2019 and in predictable Subaru fashion, it’s not afraid to get a little dirty. Standard AWD on every trim makes the Forester a great value for anyone who insists on having AWD or any off-road enthusiasts who need one SUV that’s good both on and off-road. With a budget of $30k, we recommend the Sport model, which adds a cool appearance package with orange accents inside and out, black wheels, and a blacked-out grille plus the SI-Drive engine management system, which lets you adjust your engine performance, standard EyeSight driver assist technology, 2-tone cloth seating, heated front seats and more. Find a Subaru Forester for sale
The Kia Sportage is one of the most competitively priced compact SUVs, which means you can get a really nice one for less than $30k. A few stand-out highlights that apply to every Sportage include a roomy, upscale cabin, a smooth ride with agile handling and one of the best infotainment systems in the business. For less than $30k, you can get a Sportage EX with AWD, which includes a 7-in UVO infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, leather seats which are heated in front, dual-zone automatic climate control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and more. Find a Kia Sportage for sale
Another compact crossover that’s great for the off-road enthusiast is the Jeep Cherokee. When equipped with 4-wheel drive, it has off-roading abilities that live up to its Jeep name. The sweet spot in value for the Jeep Cherokee if you’re looking to spend less than $30k is the Latitude Plus model with 4WD. The Latitude Plus trim gives you the excellent 7-in Uconnect 4 infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a turbocharged engine that’s new for 2019, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, and upgraded cloth/premium vinyl seats over the base model. Find a Jeep Cherokee for sale