Home Automotive AdviceMarket Advice & Buyer's Guides Best SUVs Under 30000: Features, Performance, And Reliability

Best SUVs Under 30000: Features, Performance, And Reliability

by Jordan Harris
How Much Is A Jeep

From the Lamborghini Urus to the Mercedes Benz Maybach, we’ve seen the most expensive SUVs be released yearly. You might think that the best SUVs under 30000 do not exist, but they do and are pretty good options. Whether you need a sporty, small urban cruiser or powerful 4×4s, you can still get them with your budget.

We’ve searched several brands and picked some of the best SUVs under 30000: the 2021 Jeep Wrangler, 2018 Acura RDX, and 2021 Nissan Rogue. These are all solid choices at this price range and offer everything you need in an SUV, including good safety and reliability with decent performance. 

SUVs are now trendy among people thanks to their spacious interior and excellent performance. Almost all car brands now have at least one SUV, and the good news is there is something for everyone.

15 Best SUVs Under 30000

Whether you want practicality, performance, or off-road ability, below are the best SUVs under 30000.

Best SUVs Under 30000: #1. 2021 Jeep Cherokee

Suppose you are looking for a top-quality off-road compact SUV. In that case, the 2021 Jeep Cherokee leads the list, and this is so because of its standard features, including a potent four-wheel-drive system, a terrain management system, and a locking differential. It is available in two trims: the base Latitude trim and the Latitude Plus trim.

This compact SUV has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a towing capacity of 4500 pounds. In addition, the 2012 Jeep Cherokee comes standard with excellent driver assistance features and a user-friendly infotainment system. If you decide to go for the Latitude Plus trim, you still won’t spend more than $30k, and this trim has better features such as heated front seats, satellite radio, and a heated steering wheel.

Best SUVs Under 30000: #2. 2021 Chevrolet Blazer

The 2021 Chevrolet Blazer has good handling, excellent fuel economy, and a strong engine. This sporty SUV has a towing capacity of about 4500 pounds and is a two-row mid-size SUV. It has an impressive reliability score, a user-friendly infotainment system, and many safety features. The front line offers extra comfort, and it’s easy to maintain. You can get this car for $28,800.

Best SUVs Under 30000: #3. 2021 Subaru Crosstrek

Few subcompact SUVs come with all-wheel drive. The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is one of those few, making it rather unique. Despite its small size, it has spacious cargo, and adults can sit down comfortably in either the front or back role.

This subcompact SUV offers a comfortable ride, has excellent fuel economy, and has an easy-to-use infotainment system. There is also a fully loaded version with extra features; you will get it below or around $30k.

Best SUVs Under 30000: #4. 2021 Mazda CX-3

When you are looking for an SUV that is fun to drive, the 2021 Mazda CX-3 is in this class. It has great handling, excellent acceleration, and fuel economy. The cabin is beautiful and has one of the best driver assistance features, such as a head-up display and adaptive cruise control. The front seats offer comfort, and the back seats are not bad. You can get this subcompact SUV for $20,640.

Best SUVs Under 30000: #5. 2020 Kia Niro

There are a few quality and top-performance hybrid and electric SUVs under $30k, and the 2020 Kia Niro is one of them. With the Niro, you can choose between standard hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and full-electric powertrains. Whichever one you pick, the Niro has excellent fuel economy, great acceleration, and an electric range of about 240 miles.

Although it is a small crossover, it has a spacious interior for both driver and passenger, and the cabin is beautiful. It comes with a user-friendly infotainment system and several tech features. You can get it for about $24,590.

Best SUVs Under 30000

Best SUVs Under 30000: #6. 2021 Buick Encore

The 2021 Buick Encore is a subcompact SUV that can accommodate up to 5 people. It has a beautiful cabin built with soft and superb materials, and the cargo is spacious for its class. It offers a smooth ride even on rough roads and highways, and its small size makes it easy to handle.

2021 Buick Encore comes standard with a large touch screen and cool infotainment tech features such as a Wi-Fi hot spot, which you won’t find in many SUVs of this class. It has an impressive reliability score, and you can get it for as low as $23,200.

Best SUVs Under 30000: #7. 2021 Honda HR-V

Like many subcompact SUVs, the 2021 Honda HR-V is easy to handle and has outstanding fuel economy. It has a better cargo space than other vehicles in its class, and there is enough space inside for passengers to sit and stretch their legs. The HR-V has an intuitive infotainment system, and when you purchase the Sport trim, you have access to a touch screen and a smartphone integration feature.

The EX trim offers standard driver assistance features such as collision warning, lane keeps assist, and adaptive cruise control. You can get the Honda HR-V for $21,020, and all the trims are below $30k.

Best SUVs Under 30000: #8. 2021 GMC Terrain

One of the best features of the 2021 GMC Terrain is its spacious cabin with cool and soft materials. It has several tech features such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning, among others.

It comes standard with user-friendly infotainment and has connectivity systems like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. The 2021 GMC Terrain is sporty and comfortable, offers a smooth ride even on rough roads, and has excellent handling. It offers all-wheel drive, and fuel economy is outstanding. You can get this SUV for $25,000.

Best SUVs Under 30000: #9. 2021 Nissan Kicks

For a small crossover, the 2021 Nissan Kicks has a spacious cargo capacity of about 25.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats, and it provides enough space for passengers to stretch their legs. The driver and passenger seats are comfortable, and the great styling and the materials are excellent.

The standard features of the 2021 Nissan Kicks Include a user-friendly infotainment system, smartphone connectivity feature, and many driver assistance features. The Nissan has excellent fuel economy, offers a great ride, and is easy to handle. You can get this car for about $19,070.

Best SUVs Under 30000: #10. 2021 Subaru Forester

Most Subaru cars come with all-wheel drive, and the 2021 Subaru Forester is a confirmation of that. This compact SUV provides up to 9 inches of ground clearance, making it possible to handle some off-road duties. The forester has excellent fuel economy and spacious cargo. It also comes with an easy-to-use infotainment screen. You can get this car for $24,795.

Best SUVs Under 30000: #11. 2021 Hyundai Tucson

The Tucson is a compact SUV that offers an excellent ride and comfortable seats in the front and back. It has many sweet features, and the infotainment system is user-friendly. It comes in several trims, and you can get your hands on each of them below $30k except the range-topping Ultimate trim; that’s because it has extra features such as a hands-free power liftgate and heated front seats, satellite radio, and surround-view parking camera system.

Tucson offers a smooth ride even on rough roads and provides better warranties. You can get this car for $23,700.

Best SUVs Under 30000: #12. Mini Cooper Countryman

The Mini Cooper Countryman is more expensive than other SUVs on this list, but it’s worth the price. Its unique styling and top tech and infotainment features make it special. It has comfortable seats with soft and cool materials suitable for long rides. The steering is sharp, and the handling is as excellent as a sporty SUV.

It comes with a powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces about 300 horsepower. It also offers a plug-in hybrid powertrain. You can get this SUV for $29,100.

Best SUVs Under 30000: #13. 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

The Toyota RAV4 is the second hybrid and electric SUV on the list, providing considerable cargo space and liftover height. It’s a two-row SUV with many standard driver assistance features and a user-friendly infotainment system. Gas mileage is a vital feature of this vehicle, giving 48mpg in the city and 38mpg on the highway. You can get this SUV for $28,500.

Best SUVs Under 30000: #14. 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

Most compact SUVs have two rows, but the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan has three rows, which means it can accommodate seven passengers, making it rather sizeable. It has a spacious cargo and many connectivity features such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It comes standard with safety features such as forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring.

The 2021 VW Tiguan offers a smooth ride on any road surface and is easy to maintain. You can get this car for $22,245.

Best SUVs Under 30000: #15. 2021 Chevrolet Traverse

If you need a midsize SUV for moving people and cargo, then the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse should be on your list. It is a three-row vehicle that can accommodate up to 8 people at once and has enough space for passengers to move their heads and legs. It has an excellent fuel economy and comes with a V6 engine that provides enough horsepower.

The Traverse can tow up to 5000 pounds and provides a smooth and comfortable ride.

Types Of SUVs

SUVs are the most popular vehicle segment that every brand strives to create, and that’s why there are countless SUV models in the world. SUVs are available in various sizes, shapes, and trims, and there are categories and subcategories that you need to understand to guide your purchase.

Before going into that, you need to understand the difference between Crossovers and SUVs; they both originated from the same idea, but Crossovers are more suitable for road activities, more sporty, and more “wagon-like” than SUVs. SUVs are bigger, more comfortable, boxy, and more convenient for off-road duties.

Now, let’s dive into it. we have the

  • Compact SUVs
  • Mid-size SUVs
  • Full-size SUVs
  • Performance SUVs
  • Subcompact SUVs

Best SUVs Under 30000

Compact SUVs

The vehicles under this category have rugged looks and more capabilities for off- and on-road activities. It has a considerable interior room, modern and tech features, powerful engines, and a pocket-friendly price. Compact SUVs are available in family transport like Hyundai Tucson or off-roaders like the Jeep Wrangler.

Depending on what you need from an SUV, there is always a type, size, or brand.

Mid-size SUVs

To so many people, the mid-size SUV is what sums up the whole idea and philosophy of SUVs. This category is among the most popular and has legendary names such as Jeep Grand Cherokee, BMW X5, and Chevrolet Blazer. Different models are in this category, and users must choose between technology, designs, and features.

If you are an individual that prioritizes comfort, you can go for a model like Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport; if you’re looking for something sportier, the Toyota 4Runner will provide you with the functions you need with its rugged engines and powerful tires.

Full-size SUVs

Luxury sedans of the past few years are what people call full-size SUVs today. They are big, spacious, and provide comfort. Almost all of them are available in all-wheel drive systems, but they are most suitable for road activities. Chevrolet Suburban, Ford Expedition (especially if you’re looking at the best year for Ford Expedition), Lincoln Navigator, and BMW X7 are some of the big names in this category.

Performance SUVs

Generally, the SUVs are primarily off-road vehicles equipped with lazy engines. However, as time went on, manufacturers began to produce ones with powerful engines, and they created some kind of competition for sports cars.

SUV vehicles such as Jeep Trackhawk, BMW X5 M, Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, and Mercedes GLC 63 AMG are very powerful and are super-fast like some popular sports cars. Put simply; performance SUVs combine comfort and performance.

Reliable SUVs Under 30000

There is no way there will be a list of reliable SUVs that Mazda products won’t be there; the brand makes many reliable SUVs under $30k. For instance, the 2021 Mazda CX-5 has an 83 overall score and a 5 out of 5 reliability score. To make it all interesting, you can get it for about $25,500, and it comes with up to a 10.25-inch touch screen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Compatibility.

If the 2021 Mazda CX-5 doesn’t suit your style, the 2021 Mazda CX-30 is another top pick and is very reliable. It got a 75 overall score, or you can go for the 2021 Mazda CX-3, which got a 73 overall score. Also, they both got a 5 out of reliability score, and the Mazda CX-30 goes for #22,100 while the 2021 Mazda CX-3 is available for $20,800.

If you are not a fan of Mazda, you can go for another brand, such as the 2021 Kia Sportage; it got a 5 out of 5 reliability score from both RepairPal and consumer reports. The 2021 Hyundai Kona also puts reliability first, and the 2021 model costs about $21,000 and is available in different trim levels, all of which are for less than $30k.

The present model of the Hyundai Kona will go for $28 250. This SUV got a 76 overall score and a 5 out of 5 reliability score.

Fastest SUVs Under 30000

It has been a misconception over the years that users have to pay for speed, especially with SUVs. However, the list below is about to nullify that claim and prove that you don’t need to break the bank to acquire a fast SUV.

1. The 2021 Jeep Cherokee

You can get this SUV for a sweet price of around $26,290. Not only is the price dear but the performance also is outstanding. It got a 7 out of 10 rating for performance simply because of its off-road capabilities and four-wheel drive that covers various terrains. It comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes up to 180 horsepower.

2. 2021 Toyota RAV4

If you want an affordable and fast SUV, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 is another pick. You will only spend about $26,000 to get this cruiser. It comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces up to 203 horsepower and can cover various terrains. This SUV has a spacious and comfortable interior, the fuel economy is excellent, and it gets 28mpg in the city and 35mpg on the highway.

3. 2014 Audi SQ5

If you prefer an older model to save money and get the maximum speed, you should go for the 2014 Audi SQ5. Car enthusiasts describe this vehicle as quick, razor-sharp, and has good handling. It comes standard with a supercharged engine that produces 354 horsepower. Although it is an old model, you will get the latest tech features and comfortable seats. You can get this SUV for about $19,000.

4. 2021 Mazda CX-5

In the category of sporty SUV, the 2021 Mazda CX-5 has the highest rating; it got an 8.5 out of 10 performance score and 8.6 out of 10 overall scores. You can get this vehicle for as low as $25,270, and it comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces about 187 horsepower. This SUV provides a comfortable ride and outstanding fuel economy.

Best SUVs Under 30000

5. Hyundai Tucson

This SUV has a top speed of 120mph, will reach 60mph from 0 in 8.8 seconds, and has a powerful engine that produces up to 187 horsepower. It’s available in numerous trim levels; it offers five seats that accommodate ten passengers and provides a great ride. You can get this car for $29,545.

6. Hyundai Kona

This is another fast SUV you can get below $30k, it has a top speed of 120mph, and it will cruise to 60mph from 0 in 7.9 seconds. It has an engine with 136 horsepower, and the exterior design is top-notch. It has five seats that accommodate ten people and is available in 5 trim levels. Its starting price is $25 845.

7. Volkswagen Taos

You can get the Volkswagen Taos for around $22,995. It is a family SUV with a top speed of 125mph and will reach 60mph from 0 in 7.4 seconds. It’s available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the interior is spacious, and the design is pretty sharp.

8. Mazda CX-30

This is the most beautiful SUV on the list, it is reliable and agile, and it’s one of the most spacious vehicles for road trips. Mazda designed this SUV to meet the users’ needs, beautiful exterior, and spacious interior with modern materials. It has a top speed of 166mph, reaching 60mph in 7.8 seconds. It comes with an engine that produces 186 horsepower, and the starting price is $23,721.

9. Toyota Corolla Cross

With an engine that produces 197 horsepower, the Toyota Corolla Cross has a top speed of 117mph, reaching 60mph from 0 in 8.1 seconds. It’s a family SUV with the space you need and different tech features. You can get this vehicle for $23,410.

10. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

It has a top speed of 127mph and cruises to 60mph in 9.7 seconds. It has an engine that produces 148 horsepower. You can get this SUV for $26,190.

SUVs under $30k: 10 options to consider

  1. The world’s love for SUVs continues to grow, and there are many options available.
  2. The lower end of the marketplace is the most competitive and exciting.
  3. The Ford Bronco Sport is one of the most exciting vehicles on the list.
  4. The Hyundai Tucson is a great family hauler that comes with a 4×4 system.
  5. The Buick Encore GX is stylishly designed, economical, and perfect for city driving.
  6. The Mazda CX50 is an excellent choice for those who want an SUV that covers all the bases.
  7. The Jeep Renegade is a great blend of skills at a great price, perfect for city and off-road driving.
  8. The Kia Soul is the cheapest car on the list and offers great value for money.
  9. The Chevrolet Trailblazer (fun fact, go check out our explainer on the Trailblazer bolt pattern) is a decent all-rounder that can tackle light trails.
  10. The Honda CRV and Subaru Crosstrek both offer exceptional value and are great options for those who want a reliable SUV.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some popular FAQs:

What Is The Best SUV

It’s difficult to pick only one SUV as the best among several SUVs. Also, what determines the best SUV for person A may not be the factors that determine it for person B. The 2021 Nissan Rogue will make the list for its 8.5 overall scores if we are talking about the best SUVs. The Volvo XC90, BMW X4 XDrive, BMW X3, Lexus RX, Porsche Macan T, Audi Q5 Sportback, Ford Puma, and Mercedes Benz GLE 350 will also make the list.

What Is The Best SUV For 2022

If you are looking for the best SUV in 2022, they include Land Rover Defender, SEAT Terraco, MG ZS EV, Ford Puma, Kia Sportage, Skoda Karoq, BMW X5, and Renault Captur. All these SUVs are among the best in 2022; you should also understand that each brand produces its SUVs, which are available in different brands and sizes.

What Is The Best Used Midsize SUV To Buy

Among the best-used mid-size SUV are the 2010-2014 Subaru Outback. It is a five-passenger vehicle with an unbeatable reliability track record, a spacious interior for a comfortable ride, and a powerful engine. The 2008-2013 Toyota Highlander is another mid-size SUV you can go for. This vehicle has three rows and is one of the best family SUVs. It is roomy and safe with a 3.5-liter engine producing 270 horsepower. Another used mid-size SUV is the 2007-2013 Acura MDX; this SUV offers dependability, practicality, safety, and a comfortable ride for both the driver and passengers. It has three rows that accommodate seven people and comes standard with a 3.7-liter engine producing 300 horsepower. Another vehicle in this category is the 2016-2020 Kia Sorento; the style and sophistication are out of this world, especially if you purchase a higher trim level.

What Is The Best Sporty SUV

If you are looking for a sporty SUV, the Jaguar F-Pace SVR should be a good pick for you. It’s a vehicle you can use for office and school duties. It comes with a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine that provides all the speed and power necessary. The Range Rover Sport SVR is another option you can go for, it comes with a V8 diesel engine that provides all the speed and power, and the vehicle provides comfort while driving. The Porsche Macan GTS will also serve all the purposes you want; with its 434-horsepower V6 turbocharged engine, you will get all the speed and drama you want in a sports car. It is fast, agile, and reliable.

What Is The Best 4 Cylinder SUV

Among the best 4-cylinder SUVs is the 2021 Audi Q5, with an overall performance score of 8 out of 10; this SUV is fun to drive and provides excellent handling. It comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 261 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. It gets 23mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway. Another option is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC; it comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 255 horsepower and a nine-speed automatic transmission. The 2021 Mazda CX-30 is another top-rated 4-cylinder SUV. With a performance score of 8.1 out of 10 and 25mpg in the city and 33mpg on the highway, it’s a good buy for anyone. It comes standard with a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 227 horsepower.


Most people think having an SUV means breaking the bank and sacrificing legs and neck, but that’s not true. You can own a fast, reliable, and best SUV under 30000; this article has proved that. Recheck the list and choose the one that suits your specification and needs.

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