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The Ten Best SUVs Under $25,000
The great thing about small SUVs is that they combine all of the good things about sedans (smooth, fun ride) and large SUVs (versatility) into an affordable and fuel efficient package.
This segment has really heated up in recent years and now nearly every automaker, from the luxury labels to the mass producers, has a small SUV in their lineup. The sheer number of choices can actually be a bit overwhelming.
Fortunately, our friends over at he venerable Kelley Blue Book picked their top 10 SUVs that have a starting price under $25,000. These are the best options out there for those of you looking for a car that is fun, attractive, fuel efficient, versatile and, most importantly, affordable. Click through to see what made the list.
MSRP: $24,200 - $29,690
Invoice: $23,232 - $28,502
Fuel Economy: 25 mpg city, 33 mpg highway
The compact Buick Encore offers some great luxury amenities, sharp looks and a surprising amount of room. Its 1.4L 4-cylinder engine doesn't sound like much, but it produces enough power to get you moving and operates at an efficient 33 mpg on the freeway. A starting sticker price of $24,200 makes this small SUV a very enticing option.
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MSRP: $22,995 - $37,130
Invoice: $22,075 - $35,645
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway
The Volkswagen Tiguan, which could be "the most affordable premium SUV on the market," according to KBB, boasts great driving dynamics and a refined interior. Getting that famed German engineering at a starting price of $22,995 is a tempting offer.
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MSRP: $22,295 - $30,695
Invoice: $21,715 - $28,913
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway
It's not the most fuel efficient or comfortable vehicle on the road, but the Jeep Wrangler is basically unmatched when it comes to affordable off-road prowess. This iconic SUV, loved for its boxy shape and prominent role in American military history, can be had for just $22,295.
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MSRP: $21,995 - $32,995
Invoice: $20,811 - $30,836
Fuel Economy: 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway
Boasting an absolutely stellar all-wheel drive system and an updated look for 2014, the Subaru Forester is one of the most versatile SUVs you can get for under $25,000. Its base 2.5L H-4 engine is great, producing 170 horsepower and achieving 29 mpg on the highway.
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MSRP: $24,700 - $29,700
Invoice: $23,728 - $28,182
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg city, 29 mpg highway
With sharp looks, a great interior and plenty of room for you and all your stuff, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a great option for an SUV under $25,000. It's available in AWD, too, making it great for snowy conditions.
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MSRP: $24,100 - $39,800
Invoice: $23,255 - $37,370
Fuel Economy: 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway
We agree with KBB's assertion that the Kia Sorento is the "Goldilocks of SUVs." It's big enough for 7 passengers, yet small enough to park and maneuver through traffic. It's also pretty fuel efficient for a three-row SUV, achieving 26 mpg on the highway.
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MSRP: $23,300 - $28,410
Invoice: $21,786 - $26,563
Fuel Economy: 24 mpg city, 31 mpg highway
Although the new design is polarizing, there's no question the Toyota RAV4 now stands out on the road. We like the sportier driving dynamics of the RAV4 in addition to its reputation for reliability. It's a pretty safe bet that a RAV4 is going to last a long time.
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MSRP: $22,700 - $30,850
Invoice: $21,395 - $28,769
Fuel Economy: 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway
The new design of the Ford Escape has proved to be wildly popular and its driving dynamics, interior and standard features are all near the top of the class. The fact that it starts at under $23,000 means that this is a heck of a deal, too. It's little wonder that so many people are buying them.
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MSRP: $21,195 - $28,870
Invoice: $20,589 - $28,039
Fuel Economy: 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway
Recently released for the 2013 model year, the Mazda CX-5, which has replaced the CX-7, is one of our favorite crossovers on the road right now. With great fuel economy, superb driving dynamics and attractive sheet metal, crossover buyers should absolutely give this car a test drive, especially since it starts at just $21,195.
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MSRP: $22,795 - $28,795
Invoice: $21,413 - $27,030
Fuel Economy: 23 mpg city, 31 mpg highway
The 2013 Honda CR-V is remarkably roomy and versatile, which is great for today's family on the go. It's great in adverse weather, fuel efficient and comes with lots of trunk space, making it one of the best crossovers around.
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