Finding a reliable and affordable SUV that is priced under $10,000 is a daunting task, but not impossible. You can definitely find the most affordable SUVs but they are mostly fairly used or pre-owned SUVs.
To make matters worse, most of those SUVs that are good at pulling a lot of weight and attractive to a lot of people usually have very tall miles on them when they’re under the $10,000 price tag.
Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) have become incredibly popular over the past two decades, and this trend is set to continue – especially as gasoline prices have fallen over the past two years.
Virtually every major car brand on the market has released an SUV, and their large cargo spaces, third-row seating in many models, and overall, more spacious interiors have made them favorites for many American commuters and families.
Of course, since SUVs are large, they usually come at a high price. However, there are many ways you can be smart about your SUV purchase and choose a great car that will serve you well for many years to come.
Are SUVs more expensive than other cars?
Compared to many other average cars, SUVs aren’t the easiest type of vehicle to buy on a budget, but there are some brand new SUVs of good quality – and come with some compromises – with prices ranging from $18,000 – $23,000.
A great way to get your dream SUV at an affordable price is to check out certified used vehicles. It won’t be 2020 models, but you can potentially snag something much more luxurious from brands like Audi, Cadillac, or Mercedes-Benz in the same price range.
If you are looking in the market for an affordable vehicle that doesn’t sacrifice space and comfort, a compact SUV might be the answer. As a rule, a compact SUV offers more space and versatility than a small car or compact car.
How reliable and economical are SUVs?
Many of today’s most Affordable SUVs are safe, have appealing standard features, and are extremely practical. In addition, many offer solid overall performance, good fuel economy, and the driving and driving dynamics of a smaller car.
Even so, there are many SUVs on the market today and some are better than others for various reasons. Ultimately, your decision will depend on your budget and priorities.
It is important that you do your homework and compares the options in the categories that are most important to compact crossover buyers.
Most Affordable SUVs
Below is a list of the Most Affordable SUVs available. their prices, mileage, and US ratings. That list has been narrowed down to SUVs that are under $ 10,000 that are fairly used cars.
- 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara – $2,913
- 2008 Kia Sorento – $4,073
- 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe – $4,609
- 2009 Chevrolet Equinox – $5,549
- 2010 Nissan Murano – $ 6,225
- BMW X3 2009 – $6,442
- Ford Edge 2009 – $7,105
- 2009 Ford Explorer – $ 7,147
- Cadillac SRX 2009 – $7,268
- Lexus RX 2009- $7,299
- GMC Envoy 2009 – $7,331
- 2010 Toyota RAV4 – $7,491
- 2011 Nissan Juke – $7,563
- 2009 Lincoln MKX – $7,845
- 2007 Volkswagen Touareg – $8,493
- 2011 Honda CR-V LX – $8,721
- 2008 Toyota Highlander – $8,594
- 2011 Kia Sportage – $9,154
- 2010 Toyota Venza – $9,274
- 2010 Acura RDX – $9,490
#1. 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara – $2,913
Rating: 8.8 / 10
Here we have the cheapest vehicle on our list, the Suzuki Grand Vitara. This compact SUV is known for its impressive off-road capabilities thanks to an all-wheel-drive, whereas most competitors only offer all-wheel drive.
The Grand Vitara grounds come at the expense of street manners, however, so it’s not as smooth and comfortable as your passengers expect. When you end up buying a Grand Vitara, you might be impressed with the long list of standard features.
#2. 2008 Kia Sorento – $4,073
Rating: 8.9 / 10
The 2008 Kia Sorento is another vehicle that shows how far the brand has come over the past decade. While this model year is a good choice for a reliable and affordable midsize SUV, it’s also inefficient and prone to a rough ride – two factors that Kia has since addressed.
Nevertheless, buyers can enjoy Sorento’s strong crash protection and powerful range of engines.
There are different powertrains and a number of optional features. Therefore, it can be helpful to narrow down your wish list before you start shopping.
#3. 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe – $4,609
If you see Hyundai as a leader in value-driven quality, keep in mind that this generation of mid-size Santa Fe crossovers is part of the brand’s rise.
That said, the 2008 Santa Fe represented a solid improvement in the brand’s stature, but fell short of what we now know.
The interior was made of high-quality materials and was impressive for the time. Safety ratings were also very competitive. However, Hyundai had not yet found the balance between performance and handling that really helps make a vehicle comfortable to drive.
#4. 2009 Chevrolet Equinox – $5,549
Rating: 8.6 / 10
The 2009 model year was the last of this particular generation of Chevy Equinox Compact Crossover. So, keep this in mind when shopping. A step up to 2010 or beyond means a jump in prices and a significant decrease in reliability.
The five-passenger Equinox a decade ago featured modest performance with relatively low fuel consumption, as well as a cheap-looking cabin.
The price is right though, the interior is roomy for people and things, and all-wheel drive was an option.
#5. 2010 Nissan Murano – $6,225
Rating: 9.0 / 10
As early as 2010, the Nissan Murano was considered reasonably sporty for a medium-sized crossover. That’s because every Murano was equipped with a 265 hp V6 engine, which was complemented by surprisingly responsive handling.
Inside, many buyers (and professional auto critics) have been surprised to find an upscale and comfortable interior that is perfect for five passengers and more beautiful than most competitors’ cabins.
It’s not really up to us to decide whether or not the exterior design of the Murano has elegantly aged, but if it works for you, you might find a deal.
#6. BMW X3 2009 – $6,442
Rating: 8.9 / 10
Believe it or not, the main downside to the 2009 BMW X3 is that it may be too sporty. This is because the suspension of this luxurious compact SUV has been tuned to optimize the handling for driving pleasure, even though it has affected passenger comfort.
If you can live with that, you will truly enjoy this safe, reliable, and well-equipped luxury vehicle for a vehicle that is way below budget.
All-wheel drive and a six-cylinder engine with 260 hp are standard. So, it’s just a matter of finding a good one with the options you want.
#7. Ford Edge 2009 – $7,105
Rating: 8.9 / 10
When the 2009 Ford Edge was new, it was widely praised for its stylish exterior design, comfortable cabin, and pleasant ride quality. A V6 engine with 265 hp is standard.
If fuel economy is a priority, it pays to track down a front-wheel-drive Edge to shorten the trip to the gas station.
However, there are some drawbacks, such as mediocre cabin material quality and noticeable body tilt in some driving situations.
There’s nothing really edgy about the Edge 2009, but it could make a decent deal for used SUV buyers.
#8. 2009 Ford Explorer – $7,147
Rating: 8.7 / 10
Ford has sold many Explorers over the years, which means this is one of the easier candidates on this list to help track your local used market.
The Explorer is a no-fuss midsize SUV with decent performance and plenty of interior space. The 2009 model was available with a handful of powertrain combinations.
However, potential buyers should take into account that fuel economy is poor regardless of the engine.
#9. Cadillac SRX 2009 – $7,268
Rating: 8.8 / 10
2009 was a pretty good year for the Cadillac SRX, and this luxury midsize SUV still looks reasonably good after ten years.
The available V8 engine is fun, but the standard V6 has plenty of power and better fuel economy.
If you have kids, watch out for used examples that come with the optional third row to make the most of the spacious interior.
There is standard leather upholstery on the inside and plenty of space in the back for cargo.
#10. Lexus RX 2009 – $7,299
Rating: 9.2 / 10
The Lexus RX was the winner of our 2009 Best Luxury Crossover for the Money award and is a great choice for a reliable used SUV. It comes with some nice features like an electric tailgate and a sliding and adjustable rear row.
A V6 engine is standard in every RX starting this year. It is better suited for gentle driving than for sporty driving and offers average fuel consumption and comfortable handling.
The RX was also known for its pretty interior at the time. So, chances are the higher quality materials have held up better than some of its cheaper competitors over time.
#11. GMC Envoy 2009 – $7,331
The 2009 GMC Envoy, a midsize SUV that was discontinued after that model year. While the Envoy met our criteria for price and reliability, it wasn’t particularly popular when new.
Engine performance is decent, but whether you find an Envoy with a V6 or a V8, you will likely get tired of the terrible fuel economy soon.
Plus, it has sloppy handling that has done a disservice over time. Be especially careful when looking for a used envoy for a family vehicle as this generation – even in the context of their contemporaries – has received terrible safety ratings.
#12. 2010 Toyota RAV4 – $7,491
Rating: 9.0 / 10
Toyota’s RAV4 is a great choice for a straightforward, rounded, simple, yet powerful compact SUV. He’s been popular for a long time.
The 2010 RAV4 offers the high safety and reliability ratings that used car buyers have come to expect from Toyota. Further advantages are comfortable seating in the first two rows, an optional third row, and an available V6 engine.
#13. 2011 Nissan Juke – $7,563
Rating: 8.7 / 10
The Nissan Juke deserved a lot of attention in its first year, though not all for the right reasons. It’s energetic with a 188 hp turbo engine, has excellent safety ratings, and goes out of its way to please you. However, the styling had as many critics as it had fans.
Despite Nissan’s attempts to make the Juke sound more practical than its competitors, its tight back seat and small cargo space are definitely downsides.
However, if you expect it to be as spacious and comfortable as other subcompact or compact crossovers, you might be surprised.
#14. 2009 Lincoln MKX – $7,845
Rating: 8.7 / 10
This wasn’t Lincoln’s best era, but the midsize MKX is a significant improvement over the aforementioned Navigator. While it only accommodates five passengers, it has excellent safety scores.
Every 2009 MKX gets a V6 engine with 265 hp, which achieves reasonable fuel consumption for the time. A four-wheel drive is an option. This is definitely one of the cheaper ways to get into a used luxury SUV for well under $ 10,000.
#15. 2007 Volkswagen Touareg – $8,493
Rating: 8.5 / 10
The Volkswagen Touareg was the brand’s first SUV. The company recently completed its 14-year tenure, relinquishing its place at the top of the brand hierarchy to more modern, rounded models like the Atlas and Tiguan.
The high price and upscale design of the Touareg alienated the brand’s core customers, although it was highly valued by experienced automobile critics for its powerful range of engines and the classy cabin that were developed alongside the Audi Q7 and the Porsche Cayenne.
The Touareg seats five passengers and is likely one of the better-equipped models on this list, though it’s older too.
#16. 2011 Honda CR-V LX – $8,721
Rating: 8.7 / 10
In 2008 there was a wide range of compact SUVs. While the RAV4 barely surpassed the CR-V due to its impact on the SUV genre overall, the CR-V is undoubtedly a worthy competitor. It might be a better choice depending on your goals.
The 2008 CR-V is reliable and consistent. When you take a test drive, you’ll find the handling is stable, smooth, and predictable.
While this may not be the SUV that picks up your next back forest adventure, it will undoubtedly make carting the family from point A to B an enjoyable experience.
#17. 2008 Toyota Highlander – $8,594
Rating: 8.8 / 10
The Toyota Highlander was completely redesigned for 2008. Because of that, this model year is our pick to portray the epitome of the brand’s three-row midsize SUV.
The new generation received a standard V6 engine and was equipped with standard safety equipment for the time.
Of course, some of the Highlander’s competitors were fancier or more fun, but that’s pretty much always the case. The Toyota Highlander holds out because it’s good in the back, even if you go back in time to save your hard-earned cash.
#18. 2011 Kia Sportage – $9,154
Rating: 8.8 / 10
If you’re looking for a Kia Sportage, you’ll likely want to endure one from 2011 or later as this year marks a complete makeover.
They’ll get pretty close to our budget of $10,000, but it’s one of the well-rounded compact SUVs that met our criteria for reliability and pricing.
It’s also spacious inside and was offered a choice of two efficient four-cylinder engines. The interior was known for its too firm seating and its mediocre material quality.
#19. 2010 Toyota Venza – $9,274
Rating: 9.0 / 10
In 2010, the Toyota Venza was named the winner of our Best Midsize Crossover for the Money Award. While it held up its value better than many of the other models in this slideshow, it’s worth a look if you’re looking to get near the high end of our $ 10,000 budget.
The Venza is a boring vehicle, although a 268hp V6 is available versus the stock four-cylinder, its practicality makes up for a lot. It’s spacious and quiet to drive, and there are many features in the basic equipment.
20. 2010 Acura RDX – $9,490
Rating: 9.0 / 10
The 2010 Acura RDX is one of the best-used luxury compact crossovers on the market. While its average retail price is close to our cap of $10,000, it’s well worth it.
Every 2010 RDX is equipped with a 240-horsepower, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine that offers sufficient power while being relatively economical in terms of fuel consumption.
Front-wheel and all-wheel-drive models are available. Either way, you get decent handling and a smooth ride. The main disadvantage of the RDX is that the quality of the interior materials had some cost-cutting measures.
Tips on Buying an Affordable SUV
Regardless of which SUV or crossover vehicle you buy, there are some proven ways to get an even better price on the model of your choice of these most affordable SUVs.
Pay cash: I have to put this tip first as it is by far the easiest way to get a better deal on a car. Cash is king and the best form of negotiation. Many people believe that paying cash for a car is beyond their reach.
However, if you’re just saving a few hundred more dollars a month, or making a little extra cash on the side, you are well on your way to saving enough money to pay for a car upfront.
Get multiple loan offers: If you absolutely cannot pay cash for a car, it is best to obtain multiple quotes for a loan. Before going to a dealer, check with your local bank or search online where you can compare different financing offers. This way you have bargaining power when you go to a dealership.
Focus on paying more than one month: People are focusing far too much on their monthly payments and this plays into the hand of the car dealer: they will try to peg you down on a lower monthly payment when in fact they are charging you more for the vehicle, spread over a longer period Loan period.
The best way to lower your monthly payment without paying more, in the long run, is to make a larger down payment, get the lowest possible interest rate, and negotiate a lower price.
Buy second hand: Buying a used car that is only a few years old is one of the best ways to get more auto for your money. Vehicles lose up to 20% or more of their value in the first year.
When you buy a used late model car, you can dodge the depreciation and pay for the car yourself, not the smell of the new car.
Take your time: When you know you are in the market for an SUV, it is important that you take your time. The worst time to buy a car is when you need a car ASAP – you are in a more vulnerable negotiating position.
It is far better to look for options and prices in your area, test a few models, and then buy the car when you have saved enough money and are confident in your decision.
Skip the extended warranty: Car dealerships make a lot of money with guarantees. You do not need to purchase an extended warranty. It would be cheaper to put a small amount of money away for car problems every month and finance it yourself.
Go away if it doesn’t feel right: You can take all of the above and think you’re ready to buy a car, but go to buy it and feel like something just doesn’t feel right.
Whether it’s a pushy salesman or you don’t necessarily love the car on a test drive, it’s important to listen to those gut feelings. There are tons and tons of SUVs to choose from, so don’t rush!
All in all, when buying any of these Most Affordable SUVs, it is important that you do your homework and not rush the decision.
As mentioned above, cash and buying a used car are the easiest ways to put a lot of money into an SUV and make sure it is affordable for your family.
However, you can also look for the best times to do a lot with an SUV – usually at the end of each month or at the end of the year as dealers try to run out of last year’s models.
Find out about a fair price in advance on automotive locations like Edmonds and Kelly’s Blue Book and get into the dealership with those numbers and lots of knowledge.
Meanwhile, find out about the fair trade-in value or resale value of your current car if you plan to use it for purchase.
Overall, with enough planning and thought, you should be well on your way to purchasing an affordable SUV, whether you are getting a compact SUV for storing gear on a road trip or a large luxury vehicle for your growing family.
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