I wrote on this a few months ago — the paradigm switch from mid-sized sedans to crossover SUVs. Now that the smoke has cleared on the sales numbers from 2015, we know that for the first time in history, crossovers actually outsold the mid-sized sedan segment. While many people want to purchase an SUV, they often find the price to be hard to swallow. The gap between crossovers and sedans is widening, too.
Automakers are putting hefty rebates on the sedans to lower the price, while crossovers need very little in incentives, so just looking at window sticker prices can be very confusing and misleading. After much studying and many vehicle reviews, I have put together a list of the best crossover SUVs that you can buy for $25,000. Bear in mind, $25,000 is the actual transaction price you can get one for, net of factory rebates. Also, in my calculations, these are not ultra-loaded crossovers, but nicely equipped.
So without further ado, here are my top choices in no order:
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
Nice SUV that offers two 4-cylinder engines and ample room for five people, plus you get the famous 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty.
It has the cute factor for sure, but it rides and drives great, and is fun to drive. If you step up to the 4-wheel drive, it is very capable. GREAT MPG too.
Possibly my most recommended because of interior quietness, and the performance of the 1.6-liter Ecoboost engine. Ford has kept the incentives aggressive as well, so you get a lot of SUV for $25,000.
A favorite for years, RAV4 interior has improved of late, and Toyotas Entune electronic system is easy to use. Resale value on the RAV4 is exceptional.
I’ve been a fan since 2010. It feels larger than many on this list and will do a real 32-MPG highway. Truly, Equinox is one of the best buys on this list.
Honda quality is legendary, but the wow factor has been missing until recently. Great resale and some cutting edge technology makes this a must-see.
This SUV never gets the credit it deserves. It is one of the segment leaders in fuel economy thanks to Skyactiv technology. It comes in a manual trans too.
The all-wheel drive system in this vehicle is tops in the industry. Forester has exceptional safety ratings too. Long-term reliability is excellent.
The second-generation Rogue was drastically improved inside, outside, and the fuel economy is greatly improved, too. The Rogue Select is even less money.
Get a 3rd row seat and a fun SUV with a base price of under $23,000. Long-term quality is good. Short-term resale is not great, but a super buy upfront if you are not going to trade within the first five years.
Like the Santa Fe, you get an exceptional warranty and great styling. I like the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder really well. Sorento is a little larger than most on this list.
There are eleven good choices for you to look at and consider. Each one has pluses and minuses, and they will all drive differently from each other. Given this is a big decision; I recommend attending an auto show, and for sure driving the ones that you are most interested in.
It is important to watch incentives too, they move up and down all the time and can affect the level of equipment you can get for your $25,000 target price.