Our 5 Favorite SUVs and Crossovers Under $35K

A lot of drivers enjoy the versatility of a SUV. While some models are tough and rugged, others are designed to comfortably haul around families on an everyday basis. You’re often able to get the best of both worlds.

If you don’t want to spend big money, you’ll find several great options on today’s market. Here are our top five SUVs and crossovers under $35,000.

2018 Kia Niro

With the ability to return a combined 50 mpg, the 2018 Kia Niro is easily among the most efficient crossovers on the market. It’s a great choice for the drivers who’re looking to save money at the pump. Every buyer will benefit from a class-leading, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. While the Kira Niro’s smooth styling will initially catch your attention, the crossover’s everyday comfort will keep you happy for the long haul. Even tall family members can comfortably fit in the back. Although the base model is priced at an affordable $24,000, your best bet is to spend a few hundred dollars extra on the LX trim. You’ll be rewarded with smartphone integration, a backup camera, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen. Automatic emergency braking and smart cruise control are among the optional safety features.

The new Niro is powered by a gas-electric hybrid system, which develops 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. In terms of overall driving excitement, it’s definitely more engaging to drive than the Toyota Prius. A dual-clutch automatic transmission helps the Niro to feel very responsive during normal driving situations. Activating the Sport mode noticeably enhances performance while slightly reducing the hybrid’s fuel economy.

2018 Honda CR-V

For years, the Honda CR-V has remained one of America’s best-selling small crossovers. Affordability and a reputation for being reliable have helped keep the CR-V a step ahead of the competition. Expect that trend to continue in 2018. For good reason, it was chosen as MotorTrend’s SUV of the Year.

Families will love the CR-V’s remarkably roomy interior. There’s more than 40 inches of legroom in the rear. Rivals, such as the Ford Escape and the Toyota RAV4, also can’t match the CR-V’s cargo space. For around $25,000, the base model proves to be a good deal. Some of the notable features include a 160-watt sound system, a rear-view camera, and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Stepping up to the EX trim rewards you with a Honda Sensing safety package. Forward collision warning and Road Departure Mitigation are just a couple of the driver-assist technologies that come with the package.

Honda gives you two four-cylinder engines to choose from. The base engine develops 184 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. However, expect the available turbocharged engine to deliver greater passing power and better fuel economy. According to the EPA, the turbocharged CR-V will return 28 mpg in town and 34 mpg on the highway. Although the CR-V is not built to handle extremely rough terrain, an optional AWD system helps promote good traction in the snow.

2018 Mazda CX-5

If you’re looking for a sporty commuter vehicle, the 2018 Mazda CX-5 is destined to get your attention. A lot of people are drawn to the CX-5’s sleek exterior styling. However, this small crossover is just as sporty as it looks. All versions of the CX-5 come equipped with a 2.5-liter, SKYACTIV four-cylinder engine. Mazda tuned it to develop 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. There’s enough power on tap to inspire confidence when merging onto a busy freeway. With the arrival of cylinder deactivation, the CX-5 is now even better on gas. Fuel economy has increased to 25 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. In regard to handling, the nimble CX-5 outshines crossovers like the Nissan Rogue and the Hyundai Tucson.

An MSRP of $25,000 puts the Mazda CX-5 directly in line with the competition. Several nice features come standard. When driving around town at low speeds, Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support system can automatically bring you to a halt. Some of the other standard equipment consists of blind-spot monitoring, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, and twin USB ports. Featuring a 10-speaker Bose sound system, the range-topping Grand Touring model feels especially luxurious. From a standpoint of passenger room, the CX-5 is sized just right for small families.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA250

Despite being among the least expensive vehicles in Mercedes-Benz’s lineup, the GLA250 still brings a lot of luxury to the table. There are plenty of drivers who’ll like its attractive price tag. For $34,000, you’ll be able to drive it home from the dealership. Although more expensive trim packages are available, the base GLA doesn’t force you to make many sacrifices.

To make the GLA250 more appealing, Mercedes-Benz now includes a high-resolution infotainment display across the lineup. Some of the other standard niceties include automatic brake hold, a power tailgate, and a reversing camera. Because of its lack of passenger space, the GLA250 isn’t among the best vehicles for families. Its backseat is more suitable for young children opposed to adults.

Drivers enjoy being behind the wheel of the GLA250. On the road, it feels nimble and responsive. Rated to develop 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, the GLA250’s boosted four-cylinder engine delivers a gutsy performance, Although the GLA250 requires the use of premium unleaded fuel, you won’t have to fill up the tank often. Drivers can anticipate getting an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in urban areas and up to 33 mpg on the open road.

2018 Subaru Forester

The 2018 Subaru Forester is made for the drivers who’ll occasionally take an off-road adventure. Subaru’s standard Symmetrical AWD system and a high ground clearance enable the Forester to perform well on rugged trails. You can also take advantage of the Forester’s X-Mode feature, which promotes the maximum traction on slippery terrain. When you aren’t traveling off the beaten path, the Forester promises to deliver a smooth performance on the street. You can save fuel with the base four-cylinder engine, which can return up to 32 mpg when paired with an automatic CVT. However, choose the turbocharged four-cylinder engine to experience greater performance. Subaru rates it to produce 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A swift 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds means the Forester can easily outperform competitors such as the Toyota RAV4 and the Mitsubishi Outlander.

You can definitely make the 2018 Subaru Forester your primary family vehicle. There’s enough space for five passengers to travel in comfort. Active people will also like the Forester’s flexible cargo area. From hiking gear to biking equipment, a lot of extra stuff can fit inside. Most people will be more than happy with the crossover’s MSRP of $23,700. A touch-screen infotainment system, HD radio, and Bluetooth all come standard. If you don’t mind spending a little extra money, you can get Subaru’s EyeSight safety package. It comes with lane-keep assist, pre-collision braking, and adaptive cruise control. Buyers seeking a bit more flair on the outside should consider the new Black Edition appearance package. Special styling treatments help it to stand out from the crowd.

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