When you think about the best SUV for the money, what comes to mind? The field is wide open, so you really have to narrow your parameters. You could go for the most affordable compact SUV or move up a bit to an attractively-priced midsize SUV. Maybe a crossover-type SUV is more to your liking, or you could hanker for a luxury SUV, a full-size ‘ute, or an ultimate luxury one. Chances are, however, the traits that keep coming back will be value, features, styling, performance, safety, fuel economy, and price – and not necessarily in that order.
We’ve selected a few candidates for Best SUV for the Money for your consideration.
- – In the budget (or under $20,000) price range, the 2010 Kia Sportage has to top the list of best SUV for the money. Available in LX and EX trims, in front-wheel or four-wheel drive, Sportage has a base manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $16,695. Lots of safety features, excellent visibility, and choice of two engines further add to Sportage’s appeal. Consumer Guide says: “Lots of standard equipment, decent road manners, good cargo versatility, and a generous warranty make Sportage worth a look.”
- – The distinctively designed and highly fuel-efficient 2010 Chevrolet Equinox is a midsize SUV that’s perfect for families on the go. Available in four trims, Equinox comes in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Base MSRPs begin at $22,615. Kelley Blue Book comments: “All-new for 2010, the second-generation Chevy Equinox is more attractive, more refined, more powerful, more fuel-efficient and more feature-filled than its predecessor. Overnight the Equinox has gone from outdated to outstanding.”
- – No list of Best SUV for the Money is complete without mentioning Honda, in this case, the 2010 8-passenger Honda Pilot. Quality, durability, functionality and comfort are just a few of Pilot’s hallmarks. With MSRPs beginning at $27,895 ($28,045 for 2011 model), Pilot provides a car-like driving experience, crisp and predictable handling, and a coveted smooth ride. Consumer Guide remarks: “Though trucky on the outside, Pilot is as car-like as any vehicle in this class. That’s a good thing, as this Best Buy crossover’s combination of performance, utility, and passenger accommodations make it worthy of a high place on your shopping list.”
- – With 2010 starting MSRPs of $33,830 to $55,430, the all-new 5-passenger midsize luxury Cadillac SRX crossover offers consumers the features they and utility they expect. High-tech available features include adaptive Xenon headlights, rearview camera, navigation system, 20-inch wheels and tires, rain-sensing wipers, double-sized glass sunroof, and genuine wood interior trim. Autoweek says: “The mission of the new model is simpler: Appeal to a mainstream audience of wealthy consumers who value image and some practical function.”
- – Need a full-size SUV that can haul plenty of people (up to nine) and cargo, but want a lot of SUV for the money? Check out the Chevrolet Suburban, available in two- and four-wheel drive, with MSRPs beginning at $40,635. Edmunds opines: “The 2010 Chevrolet Suburban is a compelling choice for those who need a traditional full-size SUV with massive passenger, cargo and towing capacities.”
Are there other choices for Best SUV for the Money? Sure there are, and we’d love to have you tell us your favorites.