Best 7 SUVs Under $30,000: Safe, Reliable & Affordable for Families

By on April 8, 2014

A lot of prospective car-buyers shy away from brand new cars because they think they’re all far too expensive to even consider.

But the truth is, there are plenty of 2014 vehicles out there that offer luxurious features along with an affordable sticker price (made even more affordable if the dealer has financing options).

To prove it, here’s a look at the top 2014 SUVs on the market that come with a price tag under $30,000.

We always love hearing your comments in the comments section, so after you’ve read through, if you know of an SUV that didn’t make the cut but should have, please let us know!

Best 7 Brand New SUVs for Under $30K

#7 Nissan Rogue

Rogue 2

The Nissan Rogue features a four-cylinder engine, which may not sound like much, but it gives this compact SUV the power it needs to get wherever it needs to go.

And matching that with the standard CVT (continuously variable transmission), allows the Nissan Rogue to offer incredible gas mileage, which Nissan says ought to be at 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

When it comes to safety, the Nissan Rogue features five air bags (driver, passenger, side head, rear head and side), all-wheel ABS, all-wheel disc brakes, turn signals imprinted on side mirrors, headlamps with automated leveling, traction control, child locks and electronic stability control.

The Nissan Rogue is a powerful little SUV that offers great gas mileage and enough safety features that this can easily transition from personal-use to family-use without worry.

And it looks great.

MSRP: $29,940


  1. Master Rod

    October 23, 2014 at 2:33 am

    Just going for looks eh!? You know not of what you write. You forgot the Volkswagen Tiguan. The construction is solid, not tinny, like the trash you just wrote about. Dependable, durable, fuel efficient, clean contemporary lines, roomy, comfortable, stable at high speeds pretty much describes my wife’s Tiguan.

    Master Rod

    • Brian

      April 10, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      TIGUAN??? THOSE BREAK DOWN MORE THAN ANY SUV! You’re ignorance is bliss ay?

  2. Bill H

    December 2, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Don’t buy an SUV after reading this article, either. Stupid, stupid, stupid, you morons are destroying the planet.

    Have a nice day now! 🙂

    • Michael

      February 3, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      Please do some research before you make a fool out of yourself.

      The Nissan Rogue gets 33mpg, the Mazda CX-5 gets 35mpg, the Ford Escape gets 32mpg, the Buick Encore gets 33mpg, and the Honda CR-V gets 34mpg. These MPG numbers are nearly identical to those of larger midsize and full size passenger cars because all the SUVs listed are crossovers based on car platforms.

      And if I so wanted to go out and get one of those truck-based SUVs that gets poor gas mileage such as a Chevy Suburban or a Ford Expedition, it is my right to do so if I have the money to pay for it and if you don’t like it then that’s too bad.

    • Bob R

      February 7, 2015 at 10:11 pm

      what a smart man you are. Smart Smart Smart – Hope you picked up the sarcasm!!

    • BigDumbWhiteGuy

      February 8, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      Ignore morons like Bill H. Buy a truck. Burn as much fuel as you can. While Bill conserves you get to burn. Have more fun – and let Bill ride a bike.

    • David Boccabello

      February 18, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      Bill my brother…please don’t believe the liars that claim man can destroy the planet. Our earth takes care of itself and nothing we do will ever change that. I drive a 15mpg Cadillac Escalade and love it. America has enough oil underground to last a thousand years if not more. Have faith that our Creator gave us a great planet to take care of and I think we are doing pretty good with a few tweeks needed here and there.

      • Mike

        April 9, 2015 at 6:27 pm

        David, I hope you are kidding. That attitude is scary.

      • jon Adams

        June 23, 2015 at 4:21 pm

        I think the decision should be made on the numer of people in your family and what suit them the best, whether its cost or mpg. Its all about them, not myself. If that wasnt the case i woud be shoppin for the mustang with the most factory built horsepower lol

  3. William

    December 5, 2014 at 3:12 am

    Just purchased an almost new kia Sorrento. 2014 with 23000 mi. On it. So far find it quite comfy and good gas milage.

    • Calvin Grimalkin

      May 5, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      We bought a new 2011 Kia Sorento in the summer of 2010, and the milage is great.

      at a steady 55 mph, it gets 31 mpg. at 70, it gets 27 mpg. It has 100 more horsepower than our old Explorer had, and gets almost 10 more mpg than the Ford.

      We have put almost 70,000 miles on it so far, and no problems at all.

  4. Chuck

    December 16, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    I have a CX-5. How it can rank so high is a surprise. It is very very noisy on the road. Has no gauges only warning lights. A tach which is useless. Gas mileage does not meet the specs. The interior panel lights are nil. In other words, it is a lousy buy and I admit my mistake. Contacted company about road noise. Turns out it is a model problem. All are noisy. No attempt to silence the cabin. Trading ASAP.

  5. whodat

    January 6, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    I love my Subaru Crosstrek XV Hybrid. I looked at most of these and choose that over most of these. The CX-5 was the closest in appeal. The rogue was nice too but too much when you started to add stuff I wanted. The fully loaded Crosstrek XV Hybrid, cost was fully loaded under 30K.

  6. Kuz

    January 23, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Subaru Forester not on the top of the list???
    It has everything the Rogue has and more including the best AWD in the market…

    • amanda

      January 29, 2015 at 1:48 am

      Under $30k

      • Michael

        February 3, 2015 at 9:16 pm

        The Subaru Forester is well under $30k

        • adam

          April 13, 2015 at 10:06 pm

          outback and forester both start under 30 mpg and have continuous all wheel drive with 33 and 32 highway respectively. This list is very shortsighted if they can miss those two vehicles. NONE of the choices listed has anything LIKE symmetrical all wheel drive and best in class safety ratings to boot. Kept waiting for the Subarus to pop up at the top positions and nowhere to be found…..FAIL!

  7. Sagesteve

    January 27, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    SUV’s ARE NOT SAFE!!!! The reason? The center of gravity is too high. Look in the papers and you’ll see mostly rollovers in the accident sections of the paper or on the front pages for deaths.

    • Michael

      February 3, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      That’s only really true of traditional truck-based SUVs. The SUVs listed are car-based crossovers. While there is still an elevated risk of a rollover, the CG is a lot lower than the truck-based SUVs. I have taken my 2014 Jeep Cherokee (why isn’t that one on here by the way, its a much better car than the Ford Escape, that’s for sure) through some turns going a little faster than I should have and the car stayed planted on the road.

    • adam

      April 13, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      Subaru uses a boxer engine design with horizontally opposed pistons and a flat engine block that sits tight to the ground. Highly unlikely to roll over even compared to other cross over suv’s. Also not everyone lives where 6 inches of clearance will suffice.

  8. driver45030

    January 28, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    my new 2014 jeep Cherokee out performed all those and I test drove em all b for I bought my cherokeee

    • John

      February 3, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      I too chose the Cherokee and love it, the Mazda is however wonderful in it’s own rite! The Cherokee feels safer although not quite as good mileage but I love the heated seats and steering wheel.

    • Michael

      February 3, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      The 2014 Cherokee is a wonderful car. I love mine.

    • mark d

      March 31, 2015 at 9:00 am

      I choose the 2014 Grand Cherokee. Both for style and performance. Best off road for the money. priced just under 30K

  9. Larry Johnson

    January 29, 2015 at 2:13 am

    Rode in my brother’s new Jeep yesterday. Had all the bells and whistles. First time experience. It was awesome. I will definitely be looking into buying a similar one hopefully one day soon

  10. BJ

    January 31, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    I’m a huge Toyota fan and especially love the Venza. It looks good, performs well and is reasonably well priced. The body style has remained the same except for minor changes since it was introduced in 2009. Maintenance costs are low and nothing ever breaks. I am a high mileage driver and am now on my fifth Venza.

    • RB

      February 15, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      We love our Ford Taurus X and didn’t have to buy five to find a superior vehicle.

    • Lee

      June 2, 2015 at 12:56 am

      I agree on the Venza. We have an ’09 and it has served us better than any US made car we have ever owned. I have been driving and owning cars for over 50 years. That is a lot of experience to look back on. Only one problem with Toyota: they are discontinuing making the Venza after the ’15 version is complete. No more in ’16. A real shame.

  11. Steve Johnson

    February 5, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    If you want noisy SUVs purchase these – they shift all the time, have lots of road noise, etc……I purchased an older Audi Q5 for much less and have much more quality than these new SUVs and is very very quite. Wonderful sound, better ride and actual performance – also have Suburban – not in the same class as the SUVs – but is a workhorse

  12. Shanya

    February 10, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    I Love My Ford Escape!

  13. Bob Auman

    February 11, 2015 at 4:17 am

    Just started looking at small SUV’s and was surprised a couple were missing that I liked. The Toyota RAV4 seemed good and the Subaru Forrester. I think they both are under $30k base price.

  14. BigFordTruck6.2

    February 12, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Go ahead and buy your little hybrids. I have an F150 with a 6.2 in it. I know what to do with your share of gas.

  15. Mark

    February 12, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Traditional body on frame SUVs still have their fans, my buddy picked up a Toyota Sequoia last year for his growing family. The Sequoia claimed a city mpg of 13 but he rarely got more than 10. Another friend went with the popular Infiniti Q 56 with a claimed 14 city mpg, he described this as highly optimistic. Both vehicles were subject to numerous recalls, the Toyota had electrical problems while the Infiniti suffered from poor fit. Why the need for these behemoths? Personal choice I guess.
    The Toyota driver went in a completely different direction, electric, bought a Volt and all i hear about is how much he loves it and saving the planet etc. The Infiniti driver went Diesel with a new Cherokee. He claims to have doubled his mileage and we can thank Fiat for the impressive quality of these new Grand Cherokees. Looking at the Toyota and the Nissan/Infiniti it appears the day of the traditional body on frame fuel guzzler SUV has passed us by, but, it does seem counter intuitive that G.M. can’t build enough Suburbans and Escalades to meet demand.

    • Reverberocket

      May 8, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      “thank Fiat for the impressive quality of these new Grand Cherokees.” Funniest thing I’ve heard in quite some time.

  16. saul t nuts

    May 6, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    HAHA… no way will i ever buy another hyundai. mazda is trash with wheels. you will find that out around 80,000 miles. ill give ford a little credit still wont buy one because the price outweighs the value. buick forget it last one i had exploded into flames. honda too pricey for what you get.
    i read the VW tiguan comenter above. sure nice car may be solid build, but i hope you have deep pockets when it breaks. VW does not allow the use of aftermarket reman. parts if your vehicle is still under warranty. and if VW finds out you used those parts kiss the warranty goodbye. ALL of it!!

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