With inflation hitting us, a looming recession, and Russia being Russia, 2022 doesn’t seem like the ideal time to buy a higher-seated car. But what if you desire that SUV? How do you square that circle? It’s simple. Read on below to find the cheapest SUVs money can buy in 2022.
20. KIA Sorento ($29,950)
The Sorento has KIA’s advanced safety features and seats seven, but the third row feels cramped for adults. At a starting price of $29,950, you get a 191 horsepower, four-cylinder engine that has superb fuel economy for its class. You can upgrade to the 281-horsepower turbocharged engine available in the higher trims. The A-standard KIA Sorento can tow up to 3,500 pounds, which provides a compelling alternative to the subpar towing capabilities of the Tiguan. The Sorento has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and other driver assistance features. It is a safe car with good crash test results.
19. Honda CR-V ($28,045)
The Honda CR-V is a pricey car at $28,045. It is still among the top-selling SUVs, according to Kelly’s Blue Book. However, when you look at its competitors, Honda offers a selection of hybrid powertrains that increase fuel efficiency. The base engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter unit delivering 190 hp. The hybrid variant combines two electric motors and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to make 212 hp. The CR-V has ample cargo space that can fit ten carry-on suitcases. The base model has a 5.0-inch touchscreen, while all other models get a 7.0 touchscreen. However, the infotainment system is slow to respond. Honda issues an industry-beating 100,000-mile powertrain warranty for the CR-V. However, for $29,000, you can get the 2023 version that comes with extras.
18. Mazda CX-5 ($27,975)
Since the Mazda CX-5 launched, it has easily become Mazda’s go-to SUV. With a base price of $27,975, you get plenty of features, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi hotspot, dual climate control, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, rain-sensing wipers, and lane departure warning. Power comes from a 187 hp four-cylinder engine delivered to the front wheels. AWD is optional. With all the luxury bells and whistles, you can get the highest trim for $40,000. Driving a high-end CX-5 is akin to driving an Audi or a Benz. You will notice the refined ride, upscale interior, and pavement-punching accelerations higher up the trims.
17. Nissan Rogue Sport ($26,255)
The Nissan Rogue Sport is the answer to SUV practicality and a sedan ride. The Rogue Sport is a five-seater in three trim levels with an MSRP of $26,255. It is the second cheapest SUV Nissan sells and offers plenty of value. The Rogue Sport delivers 24 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway. Standard features are pedestrian detection, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and lane-keeping assist. The acceleration is modest but just enough for hurtling across the city.
16. Volkswagen Tiguan ($25,995)
The seven-seater Tiguan is on the pricier end of SUVs, costing around $25,995. According to Cars.com, Tiguan’s 184-hp base engine does not provide an engaging driving experience as we hoped. However, it has superb acceleration but less fuel efficiency. The interior has soft materials and a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen. Tiguan buyers will want to learn how to use the infotainment system, which isn’t intuitive. Standard features include an automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, heated front seats, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and pedestrian detection.
15. Mitsubishi Outlander ($25,795)
The Mitsubishi Outlander takes a huge price cut with improved performance – something only achievable by Mitsubishi Motors. The seven-seater SUV has a base 181 horsepower four-cylinder engine that won’t knock your socks off. However, for a few thousand dollars more than the $25,795 base price, you can get the Eclipse Cross that beats the Outlander on all fronts. Standard features include lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and Bluetooth connection. Luckily, the Outlander does not occupy the bottom rung of the cheapest Mitsubishis out there, so expect a richer interior and sharp handling.
14. KIA Sportage ($25,305)
The 2022 KIA Sportage, with a starting price of $25,305, is the taller cousin to the corporate Hyundai Tucson. The standard engine is a 181-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, but you can choose the zestier 237-horsepower turbocharged that is equipped in the SX Turbo trim. An 8.0-inch touchscreen is standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Built-in navigation is optional. The 2023 Sportage is already on the market and costs around $27,285, meaning you can get nice deals on the 2022 model.
13. Hyundai Tucson ($24,950)
By now, you know the importance of value to Hyundai Motors and Honda. Their value SUVs dominate this list. Tucson, in particular, is a unique entrant with available hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. According to Car and Driver, Hyundai Tucson is available in 10 trims. For the gas-powered Tucson retailing at $29,895, you get a 2.5-liter inline-four engine. However, the starting price is $24,950. Standard features include automatic transmission, FWD, 8.0-inch touchscreen, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and rear seat alert. Its upscale styling and cabin comfortably seats five with plenty of leg and headroom. The Tucson is the same length as the RAV 4 and almost the same size as the Honda CR-V, so you can be sure it will hold its own on the road.
12. Subaru Crosstrek ($24,920)
Cheap is pejorative when you consider the Subaru Crosstrek. In a connotative sense, it is cheap owing to its $24,920 price tag. The Subaru Crosstrek offers standard all-wheel drive available in five trims. The base engine, a 2.0-liter flat-four, is slightly underpowered, delivering only 152 hp. However, you can choose the other variants, including the 148 hp flat-four hybrid and the 182 hp 2.5-liter flat-four hybrid. Like most Subarus, the Crosstrek has a manual transmission that you can upgrade to CVT. The drawback is the cheap plastics in the interior; otherwise, it is a car ideal for off-road and city driving owing to its ground clearance. The estimated fuel economy for the gas-powered models is 25-30, while the hybrid has a 35 MPG combined.
11. Toyota CH-R ($24,820)
The larger cousin to the Corolla Cross, the CH-R, has an eye-catching and dynamic design. The five-seater is available in three trim levels with a base price of $24,820. The mean headlights and rising beltline give the CH-R its assertive demeanor. On the flip side, the engine is underpowered and delivers 144 hp, which is less than the Subaru Crosstrek’s horsepower. All-wheel drive is also not available. The 8.0-inch infotainment, safety features, and the reliability of the Toyota brand are the main reasons besides the style that make the CH-R appear on our list. Again, nothing fancy, but it has its highs in the form of pleasant handling.
10. Buick Encore ($24,600)
The 2023 Buick Encore is upon us, but we haven’t had enough of the 2022 model. The five-seater is available in only one model with a base price of $24,600. However, you may want to consider the Encore GX at $24,302. The Buick Encore balances luxury and mainstream SUV feel with an upscale interior and a lengthier body comparable to the Mazda CX-3. It is still easy to maneuver in tight spaces and corners despite being longer than the Hyundai Kona. You have one engine choice only – a 1.4-liter turbo four engine.
9. Volkswagen Taos ($24,190)
If you desire a car with good road manners, unlike the Subaru, you must get a Volkswagen Taos. The Taos base price is $24,190 and delivers precise handling. It is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 158 hp, which is enough to push the SUV. The standard trim is an eight-speed automatic mated to an FWD powertrain. If you choose the AWD option, you will have to switch to the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Sadly, for the price tag, you don’t get Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a slew of safety and driver assistance features reserved for the higher trims of the Taos. With a combined MPG of 31, you won’t have significant problems with the rising gas cost.
8. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross ($24,131)
The entry-level crossover SUV costs about $24,131, which is worth every penny. The 2022 model has a refreshed look but still offers the same space to seat five. The only downside is the hard plastics in the interior; overall, it is an engaging car to drive. The standard trim is equipped with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, automatic transmission, lane departure warning, HD Radio, and a host of other optional advanced driver assistance technologies.
7. KIA Seltos ($23,805)
At $23,805, you can get the base KIA Seltos. The KIA Seltos shares most of the powertrain components with the KIA Soul. However, the base Seltos has AWD, unlike the Soul, which has FWD. The engine choices were a 147 hp 2.0-liter inline-four engine and the other a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four making 175 hp. The estimated fuel efficiency is 27 MPG combined. The standard features list increases for the 2022 model, including blind spot warning and an automatic emergency braking system.
6. Toyota Corolla Cross ($23,780)
The Toyota Cross is feature-laden and slides between the larger RAV 4 and the smaller C-HR in Toyota’s SUV lineup. The Cross borrows its FWD drivetrain from the Corolla sedan and makes it available in three trims. The base model costs around $23,780. Toyota Corolla Cross has impressive acceleration owing to its 169 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a CVT. AWD is optional. For an entry-level crossover, the Cross outdoes itself with standard features like a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, adaptive cruise control, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, and Wi-Fi hotspot. The MPG is decent for the base model, which clocks in at 32.
5. Mazda CX-30 ($23,425)
The plush cabin and excellent driving dynamics make the Mazda CX-30 one of the best, if not the best, choices for subcompact SUVs. The CX-30 is available in 8 trim levels. The base trim, costing $23,425, has a 2.5-liter inline-four engine making 186 hp, but you can spend more on the powerful 250 hp turbocharged engine. AWD is standard. On the inside, you will notice its luxury and furnishings are similar to the Mazda 3. That is because it is a Mazda 3 put-on stilts with nice SUV armor. The drawback is that it isn’t as roomy as you think, but it has ample head and legroom for those sitting in the front row. The KIA Seltos beats the Mazda CX-30 in cargo space, fuel efficiency, and legroom. However, it is hard to beat if you want the complete SUV package with precise handling and swanky styling.
4. Chevrolet Trax ($22,595)
The Chevy Trax is Chevrolet’s least expensive small SUV. The five-seater available in two trim levels starts at $22,595. According to Motor1, the Trax is similar to the Trailblazer L trim discontinued for the 2022 model. The only difference is that power comes from a 155hp 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine, unlike the Trailblazer’s three-cylinder engine. The Trax isn’t the best value for money from where we sit. It is practical on the inside but with dated interior and cargo space. However, it tries to shine with its combined MPG of 27. The Hyundai Kona offers a more thrilling driving experience than the Chevrolet Trax.
3. Hyundai Kona ($21,895)
Hyundai refurbished the Kona’s low-rent cabin to an upmarket interior that matches the sporty body. The Hyundai Kona is available in 4 trims, with the base trim starting at $21,895. The Kona is still a pint-size SUV but larger than the Venue. With a combined MPG of 32, the Kona is fuel efficient. The most popular trim is the SE, powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 147 hp. The standard touchscreen has an 8.0-inch display, but you can upgrade to a 10.25-inch one on the higher trims.
2. Honda HR-V ($21,870)
Honda’s stylish HR-V is one of the bestselling small-size SUVs in America. The roomy subcompact has taut suspension giving it a refined buttery ride. The base price is $21,870. It has a 1.8-liter engine making 141 hp. The highest trim comes in just above the $30,000 mark. For the price tag, you get a Honda with peppy acceleration for its class, which relies on the 2.0-liter inline-four engine. Sadly, refined safety features like lane departure warning and the automatic emergency braking aren’t available for the base trim. You still get a larger display, a spacious cabin, and ample legroom for those in the rear seat.
1. Nissan Kicks ($20,716)
The Nissan Kicks follows a logical structure blending a higher riding chassis with front drive powertrains and nicely wrapped in a car exuding youthful vibes. It has a refined interior that matches its daring exterior look, and the base model starts at $20,716. Nissan has made Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard on the base model, but the most popular is the 1.6-liter inline-four engine SV trim costing around $23,145. Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and blind spot monitoring. The Nissan Kicks has lethargic acceleration but great fuel economy for city driving, averaging 31 MPG on the EPA scale.