Sport-utility vehicles, particularly car-based crossover models, are the biggest things going among new vehicles these days, handily beating out both midsize and small car segments and even pickup trucks in terms of sales volume. It’s easy to see why.
For starters, being little more than tall-roofed wagons, crossover SUVs perform much like passenger cars. But they sit higher off the ground, which not only gives drivers a more commanding view of the road ahead and makes getting in and out of them easier than comparably sized cars. Most offer the security of available all-wheel drive (AWD), though the standard front-drive configuration should suffice for most drivers. They’re also roomier than same-sized sedans, with cargo holds that are both larger than a typical sedan’s trunk, and are easier to load and unload without having to stoop over.
Unfortunately, SUVs tend to cost more than same-sized passenger cars, and can get downright expensive in higher trim levels when stocked with a full array of amenities. But even those on a strict budget can afford to get some skin in the game. We searched pricing sources and came up with a list of the 10 most affordable crossover SUVs in the U.S., which we’re featuring in the accompanying slide show. Most are subcompact models having base prices (including the mandatory destination charge) at around $22,000 or less, with the cheapest of the bunch going for as little as $17,000. Except where noted, all prices are for 2018 front-drive base models.