There is no doubt that cost is the number one decision maker when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. As prices continue to climb, affordable choices are getting harder to find, so we dug through what’s available to find the least expensive SUVs in the most popular classes.
These prices are current as of January 2024, using available manufacturer suggested retail prices for 2024 models wherever possible. The prices include destination fees, but not dealer markups or incentives.
Cheapest small SUV: 2024 Hyundai Venue
Not surprisingly, the most affordable SUVs are the smallest. There’s a whole host of subcompact SUVs out there, with some of the first introduced being the Nissan Juke, Mini Countryman and Kia Soul. In the beginning, these micro utes were marketed to empty nesters and first-time buyers, but nowadays they represent an alternative to the conventional sedan and have been increasing market share ever since.
Profit margins in this class are narrow and popularity is high, which means the entrants are competitively priced. The top choices in the class are only a couple thousand dollars more than the most affordable alternatives below, so it may make sense to consider our favorites that include the Mazda CX-30, Volkswagen Taos and Chevrolet Trax.
2024 Hyundai Venue: $21,135
The Hyundai Venue debuted in 2020 and earned praise for its overall value. You get a ton of features for the money as well as a very generous warranty. Holding it back is its rather weak engine and very tiny proportions.
Cheapest midsize SUV: 2024 Chevrolet Equinox
Compact SUVs have the broadest appeal thanks to a very diverse group. It seems as though there’s a great pick for nearly every taste, whether you’re seeking something sporty, rugged or luxurious. They’re a great pick for small families with one child and/or a dog. The class is led by vehicles that include the Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage and Mazda CX-50, which are still within reach of most shoppers’ budgets.
2024 Chevrolet Equinox: $27,995
The Equinox debuted back in 2005 and this current third-generation was last redesigned in 2018, though a new one is right around the corner for the 2025 model year. While the current 2024 model may be showing its age, it still deserves your consideration for its comfortable ride quality, confident cornering and roomy passenger space. The Equinox’s cargo space is on the small side and interior materials are rather downmarket though, and the most affordable model will likely have to be special ordered.
Cheapest 3rd row SUV: 2024 Mitsubishi Outlander
Three-row SUVs are the go-to choice for growing families. If you have two or three kids, the third row comes in handy when they have friends on a road trip or on the morning carpool. In many ways, these SUVs have replaced the minivan and deliver better driving dynamics and off-road capabilities. The class has been dominated by the Kia Telluride in recent years, but it costs about $7,000 more than the most affordable SUV in the class.
2024 Mitsubishi Outlander: $30,015
Mitsubishi has been out of the picture for a while, but recent partnerships may signal a recovery of sorts. The Outlander has been in production since 2003, and the current model was introduced in 2022. It shares some of its platform with the Nissan Rogue, and we like it for its smooth ride, comfortable seats and lengthy warranty, but it could do with more power.
Cheapest large SUV: 2024 Nissan Armada
Full-size SUVs also have three rows of seats and are quite a bit larger than the midsize class. Capabilities are the name of the game here as these SUVs have greater towing and hauling limits and often are available in off-road versions. Comfort and refinement often take a hit, though, as these are generally based on pickup truck platforms.
2024 Nissan Armada: $57,730
The Armada has been in the U.S. for two decades and the current second-generation model was last redesigned in 2017. It gets high marks for its interior quality and potent power but is hamstrung by its thirsty engine, limited third-row space and outdated technology. You can certainly do better, but not at this price.
Cheapest electric SUV: 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric
This honor previously belonged to the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, but now that Chevy’s killed the Bolt, Hyundai claims the top spot with its just-redesigned Kona Electric. The jump is no small increase either, as the Bolt EUV’s agreeable price of just under $29,000 is a whole heck of a lot cheaper than the Kona Electric’s $34,010 sticker, and the Kona sadly misses out on the federal government EV tax credit. And in case you were curious, the cheapest Tesla Model Y (at the time of this article’s publishing) comes in at $45,630.
2024 Hyundai Kona Electric: $34,010
Note that the Kona Electric is front-wheel-drive-only. If you want the type of traction provided by all-wheel drive, you’ll have to shop elsewhere. The whole Kona line (both gas and electric) is totally new for 2024, which makes this cheap EV an even more attractive buy this year because you’re getting Hyundai’s latest tech interfaces and driver assistance features. It’s also much bigger than the previous generation, so there’s a lot of bang for your buck to be had. That said, here are a couple alternatives (both of which offer optional all-wheel drive) that are also on sale for a solid price.