Top 10 Small SUVs and Crossovers Under $20,000

Looking for a fun compact SUV or crossover on a budget? After analyzing more than 25 of the most popular small SUVs and crossovers on the market, here are 10 of our favorites under $20k. We made our choices based on price, design, features, performance, efficiency, safety, and more. From cute, to rugged, to practical; you’ll be surprised how much these crossovers under $20,000 can offer.

“Under $20,000” is determined based on Carsforsale.com listings across the country during the time the article was written. Pricing will vary based on location, mileage, condition, and a variety of other factors.  

10. 2016 Chevrolet Trax

One of Chevy’s newest creations is the Chevrolet Trax. This compact SUV, dubbed the “city-smart SUV,” comes in at an impressively low price point. With the 2017 Trax coming soon, you’ll easily be able to find 2016 versions for under $20,000. This vehicle boasts car-like fuel efficiency, great tech, and impressive use of interior space. Critics argue this SUV has bland styling and an unexciting base engine.

2016 Chevy Trax crossovers under $20,000

©General Motors

9. 2016 Jeep Renegade

The Jeep Renegade is also a newcomer to the compact SUV game. Of the crossovers under $20,000 on this list, the Renegade is one of the smallest. While interior space isn’t huge, the styling of this Jeep is fresh and engaging. The Renegade also has great interior quality and agile handling.

2016 Jeep Renegade

8. 2015 Chevrolet Equinox

The Chevy Equinox is a very straight-forward crossover, and we think that’s a good thing. It’s efficient, affordable, and spacious. What else do you need? With the redesigned 2016 Equinox now available, the 2015s are going to be even less expensive. While some interior details of the Equinox are less than luxurious, this crossover provides incredible value.

2015 Chevrolet Equinox

©General Motors

7. 2014 Honda CR-V

The wildly popular CR-V has dominated this market for a while. The 2014 CR-V offers a quiet cabin, great efficiency, and Honda reliability in a very affordable package. Safety is also a strong-point of the CR-V, with a 5-star rating from the NHTSA. While you may not stand out on the road, the 2014 CR-V is a very safe, practical choice under $20,000.

2014 Honda CR-V  crossovers under $20,000

6. 2015 Hyundai Tucson

If you want a respectable small SUV or crossover that drives and handles like a compact car, this is it. The 2015 Hyundai Tucson isn’t the most spacious crossover under $20,000, but it has a stylish interior and smooth, curvaceous exterior that is hard to beat for the price.

2015 Tucson

5. 2016 Honda HR-V

Don’t let the small exterior appearance of the 2016 Honda HR-V deceive you, there is a ton of cargo and passenger room inside this crossover. Even the 2016 HR-V can be found for under $20,000, especially as more used 2016 models become available every day. This crossover gets top-notch fuel efficiency, and has available AWD. Those seeking stellar performance may be disappointed with the HR-V, but it’s one of the most practical options in its class.

2016 Honda HR-V

4. 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek

The Subaru XV Crosstrek feels like a hatchback car, but has the capability of a small SUV. Every Crosstrek comes with AWD, making this little SUV perfect for those hoping to leave pavement or endure harsh winter commuting. While it isn’t the fastest in the class, the XV Crosstrek is extremely maneuverable. Also worth noting, these crossovers hold their value extremely well.

2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek

3. 2015 Ford Escape

If you’ve done much research on small SUVs and crossovers under $20,000, you’ve probably encountered the Ford Escape. This crossover is extremely popular, and for good reason. The 2015 Escape can be found for less than 20 grand. This small SUV does away with the boxy styling of old Escapes, embracing a sleek and modern crossover design. This vehicle is extremely well-rounded, and is best known for its sporty, sharp handling.

2015 Escape

2. 2014 Mazda CX-5

One of the safest and most fun-to-drive options on this list is the 2014 Mazda CX-5. This compact SUV has handsome styling cues and great fuel efficiency. While some dislike the navigation system used in the 2014 CX-5, it’s one of the top competitors in the market, especially for under $20k.

2014 Mazda CX-5 crossovers under $20,000

1. 2014 Subaru Forester

The 2014 Subaru Forester earns our spot as the top small SUV or Crossover under $20,000 by packing a ton of value into one vehicle. This crossover has something for everyone. The adventurous spirit, the daily commuter, and the concerned parent can all fall in love with this car. With the back-seat space and cargo room of a mid-size SUV, you’ll be surprised what you can fit in this “compact” SUV. On top of interior practicality, the Forester boasts great fuel economy and standard AWD. This vehicle is an over-achiever in the safety department, with top scores from the IIHS and NHTSA.

2014 Subaru Forester

While these are 10 of our favorite small SUVs and crossovers under $20,000, these are just the beginning. Be sure to visit Carsforsale.com to find the best deals on crossovers and SUVs for sale near you!