Best cheap small SUVs are just that – reasonably-priced, compact sport utilities that provide more than just basic transportation. Consumers in the market for such SUVs already know that there is a wide variety to choose from – and they’re not all bargains when it comes to price. You do get what you pay for, but why pay more than you need to? With that in mind, here are some suggestions for Best Cheap Small SUVs that you may wish to consider:

  • Subaru ForesterRedesigned in 2009 and named Motor Trend’s 2009 Sport Utility of the Year, the Subaru Forester continues in 2010 as a reasonably-priced alternative to Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Base starting manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP) ranges from $20,295 to $28,495. The compact crossover SUV features standard all-wheel drive (AWD), choice of two engines, plenty of cargo room, excellent climate and audio controls, spacious third row seating, and a smooth and quiet ride. Consumer Guide says “It’s noisier and less refined than those rivals, and its interior ambience is a step behind that of other recently redesigned crossovers. Still, this Recommended pick offers good fuel economy and lots of features for the money, with the 2.5X and 2.5X Premium being the strongest values.”
  • Ford EscapeAfter two consecutive years of redesign and overhaul of powertrains in an effort to make the Ford Escape more competitive in the hotly-contested compact SUV marketplace, the 2010 Escape provides new available features not found on competitors. These include an integrated blind spot side view mirror, My Key programmable system, Active Assist Parallel Parking aid, a rear view camera and SYNC system featuring traffic, navigation, and direction. Kelley Blue Book comments: “If you’re looking for traditional SUV features, such as high ground clearance and a high seating position, but you want it in a smaller, more fuel-efficient package, the 2010 Ford Escape makes a good choice.” Base price starts at $21,020 to $27,375.
  • Hyundai Tucson Previously languishing amid a sea of competitors, the 2010 Hyundai Tucson receives a much-needed makeover that includes more power, style, and nearly best-in-class fuel economy. It’s also one of the cheaper SUVs in the compact market, with MSRPs starting at just under $19,000 ($18,995 to $25,845). Truck Trend opines: “Regardless of whether the Tucson is the class leader in driving dynamics…what’s important here is that the Hyundai now has the power, fuel economy and interior amenities to do battle with competitors from Honda, Chevy, Toyota, and others.”
  • Kia SportageWith base MSRPs beginning at $16,995 to $23,495, the 2010 Kia Sportage is a terrific value within the compact SUV class. Edmunds says, “In road tests and reviews, our editors have found the Kia Sportage to be a competent SUV overall. It has earned high marks for its long list of standard safety gear, impressive warranty, comfortable interior, sporty handling and strong value. The main drawback to the Sportage is its powertrain. Even with the V6, acceleration is no more than adequate.” Still, Sportage has a stylish interior that is roomier than most of its competitors. It offers responsive driving dynamics and distinctive exterior styling – at thousands less than offerings from competitors. Since the 2010 model is unchanged from last year, consumers can find even better bargains on used Sportage models.

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