14. Full-Size Luxury SUV/Crossover: Lincoln Navigator
Five-year cost to own: $87,097. The most expensive SUV to own among the “cheapest” models in our list, the full-size truck-based Lincoln Navigator is the more-opulent alternative to the Ford Expedition with which it shares platforms and powertrains. Like that model it comes nicely powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 engine and is available in regular and elongated versions, with the latter adding extra rear seat room and cargo space.
13. Full-Size Luxury SUV/Crossover: Infiniti QX80
Five-year cost to own: $78,170. The third model from Nissan’s luxury division in our list, the big and bold Infiniti QX80 is as rugged as it is luxurious. Its standard V8 engine delivers energetic acceleration, with a maximum 8,500-pound tow rating. With myriad upscale features included, a sophisticated suspension helps give this behemoth better than expected ride and handling characteristics.
12. Midsize Luxury SUV/Crossover: Acura MDX
Five-year cost to own: $50,289. Coming in second place in its category by just a few bucks, the amenable Acura MDX crossover remains one of the more family-friendly upscale midsize crossovers with three rows of seats, top safety ratings, and a full range of amenities. Its V6 engine delivers sufficient acceleration, and the MDX is easygoing around town.
11. Midsize Luxury SUV/Crossover: Infiniti QX60
Five-year cost to own: $50,280. The comfortable and capable Infiniti QX60 was enhanced last year with an upgraded 3.5-liter V6 that generates nearly 300 horses. It can be loaded up with built-in Wi-Fi service and a slew of safety features that include both forward and backup collision intervention.
10. Compact Luxury SUV/Crossover: Infiniti QX30
Five-year cost to own: $40,188. Coming wrapped in curvy bodywork, the compact Infiniti QX30 crossover shares its chassis and turbocharged four-cylinder powertrain with the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250, which gives it underlying refinement, and it ups the ante with a rich-looking interior. It handles quickly and maintains a reasonable smooth ride.
9. Compact Luxury SUV/Crossover: Buick Encore
Five-year cost to own: $36,301. The Buick Encore may be too small for growing families and their belongings, but it’s ideal for singles and empty nesters. Built in South Korea, it’s arguably the most sophisticated little crossover in the U.S., with a nicely finished and whisper-quiet interior, a smooth ride, and otherwise amenable performance and feature availability.
8. Full-Size SUV/Crossover: Ford Expedition
Five-year cost to own: $59,633. The large and in charge truck-based Ford Expedition received a much-needed redesign for 2018 with improvements in nearly every respect. It packs a twin-turbocharged V6 engine that’s surprisingly powerful. It’s also less of a bull in a china shop to drive, thanks to extensive use of weight-saving aluminum.
7. Full-Size SUV/Crossover: Chevrolet Tahoe
Five-year cost to own: $57,132. The full-size Chevrolet Tahoe may be handful to drive, especially around town, but it pays purposeful owners back with generous interior room, a long list of standard and available amenities, and a beefy tow rating that maxes out at 8,600 lbs. when properly equipped.
6. Midsize SUV/Crossover: Mitsubishi Outlander
Five-year cost to own: $36,134. While not a particular standout, the midsize Mitsubishi Outlander crossover is cheap to own, performs well overall, and is a reasonably good value. It officially seats seven, though the cramped third-row is best left to the kids, and young ones at that. While a four-cylinder engine comes standard, the Outlander can be fitted with a V6 for added muscle.
5. Midsize SUV/Crossover: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Five-year cost to own: $34,690. While the two-door version is listed here as a compact model, the larger four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited qualifies as a midsize model. Again, this listing is for the current “JL” generation. As with its smaller sibling, it remains one the best off-roaders for the money, though its interior accommodations and road manners pale compared to more user-friendly midsize crossovers.
4. Compact SUV/Crossover: Jeep Wrangler
Five-year cost to own: $34,157. This is for the new-for-2019 “JL” version of the venerable Jeep Wrangler. It’s the second cheapest model in its size segment to own, but is second to none in terms of its off-road abilities and its stellar resale value. The latest iteration is much improved, but be warned that the Wrangler is still a rough-and-tumble ride compared to more-civilized compact crossovers.
3. Compact SUV/Crossover: Subaru Crosstrek
Five-year cost to own: $31,831. Essentially a Subaru Impreza wagon with a taller ground clearance and added SUV-like styling cues, the Crosstrek is sufficiently roomy inside and performs well overall. All wheel drive comes standard, which helps make it an even better value provided you live in a particularly snowy or rainy area and/or traverse loose gravel or dirt roads.
2. Subcompact SUV/Crossover: Mazda CX-3
Five-year cost to own: $32,472. Though not as frugal to own as the Honda HR-V, the pert and perky Mazda CX-3 is a lot more fun to drive, with what’s arguably the best handling in its segment for the money. Its four-cylinder engine is just energetic enough, though the CX-3 suffers from a lack of rear seat legroom and cargo space.
1. Subcompact SUV/Crossover: Honda HR-V
Five-year cost to own: $29,643. One of the nicer models among subcompact crossovers, the Honda HR-V is the cheapest-to-own SUV on the market according to Kelley Blue Book. It’s far from being sporty, but it drives well enough and is eminently practical, especially with second row seats that can fold flat or tumble forward to maximize the HR-V’s cargo carrying abilities.
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