The Best Crossover SUVs Under $35,000

April 24, 2023
5 min read
The Best Crossover SUVs Under $35,000

America has spoken, and it wants crossover SUVs. Sport utility vehicles of all shapes and sizes have taken the car industry by storm, and for good reason: these dynamic cars pack space, comfort, and so much more.

Even better, some of the best SUVs you can buy won't cost you your first-born child. In fact, you can find surprising quantities of quality without spending more than $35,000 on a brand-new car. And if you're tech-savvy and looking for your next vehicle, you're in luck because many new cars feature some of the latest in automotive technology. Here are some of our favorites in that price rage.

While many of the vehicles typically start at under $35,000, they don't stay that low once you add options such as flashy paint and headwear overhead. But, like most other parts of life, there is still a little wiggle room to get exactly what you want.

Mazda CX-30

Mazda's newest crossover SUV, the CX-30, boasts a stylish and spacious interior. The exterior has clean and flowing lines for a sporty appearance that will feel perfect in any city or on any country road. On the technology front, the Mazda Connect infotainment interface is clunkier to use, but its features are well-equipped. Features like adaptive cruise, forward collision warning with auto braking, lane-departure warning and blind spot monitoring are all standard on this vehicle.

The Mazda CX-30's greatest strength is its ability to serve as a comfortable, easy vehicle for driving. Make sure the car is in Sport mode for peppier performance from the 2.5-liter I4, making 186 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. Combined with its responsive chassis, great handling and strong brakes, the car is fun to drive. It also offers a comfortable ride for regular around-town commuting.

Hyundai Kona

Although it might not be as flashy and attractive as some other SUVs, Hyundai’s new Kona is one of our favorites in the compact class. With its vibrant color palette and love-it-or-hate-it style, this car is sure to make a bolder statement than more conventionally styled crossovers in today's market.

But don't judge the Kona by its cover. It has a variety of convenience features inside and can even be turbocharged if you're feeling the need for speed. Hyundai makes a fully electric version of the beloved Kona, if EV life is more your speed.

Kia Telluride

One of the many strengths of the Kia Telluride is its low-profile greatness. The Telluride doesn't go out of its way to provoke "oohs" and "ahhs" by being flashy. It doesn't have crazy high horsepower or the innate ability to get down and dirty off-road. It's simply handsome without being too loud. It's well-built, well-equipped, comfortable as all hell, and, most importantly, affordable.

The Telluride is smaller than one might expect, given that it has three rows of seats. The midsize SUV is an excellent model that is easy to park, agile enough to navigate the busiest cities like Los Angeles, and has ample storage space for transporting your belongings.

Subaru Forester

Boxy and rugged, the Forester has always been a vehicle able to stand on its own. Subaru has bumped up the standard, included features for the 2020 model year in an effort to pile on even more value to an already popular package.

The current Forester loses its optional turbocharged engine and only offers a CVT transmission, but standard all-wheel drive remains as an attractive option for drivers in this class.

The Forester is just like any other Subaru: comfy, capable and, most importantly, good value for the money.

Volvo XC40

This Gothenburg-made SUV is our favorite, and its base price below $35,000 is very enticing. Even the most affordable XC40 model comes equipped with amenities that cost less than those offered by most other automakers. The cabin was spacious and comfortable, considering its small size. The Sensus infotainment system sure looks pretty, but we find its myriad menus and laggy response times a tad frustrating.

Volvo's new car subscription service has launched with the XC40, meaning you can get modeled Momentum and R-Design models starting at $700 a month. That cost includes car insurance and maintenance, making it an all-in-one service.

Volkswagen Atlas

Why live in 2020 when you could live in 2021? The 2021 VW Atlas, which will be available for sale this spring, borrows a majority of its updates from the slinkier two-row Cross Sport. It's definitely better in the looks department and the Atlas continues to provide a good value by offering above-average tech and solid build quality.

Of course, there are still downsides. While VW has democratized its tech across the lineup to some degree, all the cool stuff like Digital Cockpit is still locked behind higher, more expensive trims. It's a wise plan to purchase all-wheel drive for your new car even if you don't think it will be necessary.

Hyundai Palisade

The Palisade is a powerful vehicle for an affordable price. Well-equipped and very spacious, you can find the SEL model for just under $35,000 and be confident that you're getting plenty of bang for your buck.

The Palisade offers a range of trims with different options, from luxury to practicality. The cabin is expertly designed to help you enjoy the ride and minimize outside disturbances. Road noise disappears, while potholes and crummy roads rarely upset the Palisade. Cabin materials punch above their weight, technology is easy to use and passengers in the first and second rows will, at a minimum, find a place to plug their phones in with USB ports scattered about.

Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V is a well-designed crossover with inbuilt tech, including the Honda Sensing suite of advanced driver assistance systems and Apple CarPlay integration.

The turbo engine offers more than adequate power in the 1.5-liter engine, though sometimes it can be sluggish with the continuously variable transmission. If that's not enough thrift, there's a new hybrid variant on offer, too.

The interior is a huge upgrade from the CR-Vs of yore, with comfy leather seating and satin-finish wood-like accents. The digital instrument panel packs plenty of information into a small space while remaining legible.

When you’re looking at the styling of crossover vehicles on the market, it’s easy to get excited; they provide everything you need in a sleek and sexy package. Vehicles come nearly as equipped as our houses these days, and crossovers make that possible thanks to great design that allows for spacious features within a driveable vehicle. Our aim in this article was to help you find the best compact crossover for your needs. Now, go out and arrange to test drive your favorites, and make sure that you are safe before everything else…and enjoy.

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