In 2013, Americans have a thing for small SUVs. Maybe it's the flexile storage space, the higher ceilings, or elevated seating positions all wrapped up in a manageably sized package that makes them more appealing to some then the standard sedan. And since most car shoppers aren't made of money, the cheaper the price, the better. So let's look at the cheapest SUV's and cherry pick the best.
The Cheaper the Better - Best Priced 2013 SUVs
So here are your lowest priced SUV options and there's a bit for everyone, even an SUV with a third row, though the extra seating will cost you. So whether you need the extra trunk space, AWD for those rough dirt roads, or just to haul more kids, our top ten SUVs for a family on a budget is perfect:
Jeep Patriot $15,995 Base MSRP Cheapest SUV
Dodge Journey $18,995 Base MSRP Available Seating for 7
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport $19,170 Base MSRP Top Safety Pick+
Hyundai Tucson $20,595 Base MSRP
Subaru Forester $21,295 Base MSRP Top Safety Pick+
Jeep Compass $18,495 Base MSRP
Kia Sportage $19,000 Base MSRP
Nissan Rogue $20,310 Base MSRP
Mazda CX-5 $21,195 Base MSRP Best Class MPG
Ford Escape $22,700 Base MSRP
Top Options to Consider for a Small SUV
For pure budget SUV, it's hard to beat the Jeep Patriot. The only SUV under $16,000 starting MSRP, it offers plenty of space for a family on a budget. However this budget Jeep runs long on storage space, it runs light on traditional Jeep standards like four wheel drive, which will add at least an extra $2,000 to the price of the vehicle. The Liberty is still a very affordable by 4x4 standards but worth mentioning. The Kia Sportage is also a good option when it comes to buying an SUV under 20000.
When it comes to the cheapest SUV for seating seven, the Dodge Journey holds a surprising number one. The base MSRP on a 2013 Journey is only $18,995, but for an extra $1,250, buyers can upgrade even their base trim Journey to the flexible seating group. The addition adds split 50/50 third row seats the Journey's standard 5 seat layout and converts it into one of the best SUVs for 2013 in terms affordable seating.
In terms of safety, the redesigned 2014 Subaru Forester is tops of this class with the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport following a close second. While the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) just started testing for its new front small overlap test, small SUV's were among the groups put through the test. And while the IIHS still awards Tope Safety Pick's based on its old tests, only vehicles that past the new test are given a Top Safety Pick+ award.
So far, only these two passed with an Acceptable rating for an offset front crash, and only the '14 Forester passed with a score of Good. More importantly, several models including several Top Safety Picks faired Poorly for the new test. Since many families highly value safety when shopping for cheap new cars, both the '14 Forester and '13 Outlander Sport should be on your shopping short list to consider.