Best SUVs Under $25,000

These vehicles offer good performance and are safe, reliable, and satisfying choices

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek

There are many subcompact and compact SUVs to choose from. Every brand plays in this popular market segment, and at first blush, many of the vehicles seem strikingly similar. But once you dig into the data to see how they perform and how much their owners like them, significant differences emerge. 

To help you make a smart, informed purchase decision, we present the 10 best SUVs under $25,000 based on their Overall Score. All are 2018 models and CR recommended. We based eligibility on their base price, but several of these could be optioned up to $30,000 and beyond. If your needs and budget are greater, check out our list of the best SUVs under $35,000.

Be aware that the Overall Scores change over time as new information, such as reliability data, becomes available. The model pages always reflect our latest ratings.

The SUVs featured below are ordered by Overall Score.

What Goes Into CR's Overall Score

Every car we test gets a score that takes into account four key factors: road tests, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety.

Road test: We run about 50 new cars and trucks each year through more than 50 tests at our 327-acre facility in Connecticut. Those tests include those for acceleration, braking, emergency handling, and fuel economy. We also evaluate controls, fit and finish, headlights, noise, ride, and safety systems.

Reliability: Every year we collect detailed information on CR member experiences with hundreds of thousands of cars. Information on 17 key trouble areas is presented online, alongside insights from members in their own words. We also use the data to calculate a predicted-reliability score for new vehicles on the market.

More on Buying a Car

Owner satisfaction: This is based on whether a survey respondent would buy the same car again, effectively measuring whether a car lived up to its owner’s expectations. Owners also rate their cars in other areas: driving experience, comfort, and value.

Safety: These ratings factor in crash-test data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. We give extra credit to vehicles that have certain advanced safety systems—which are shown to reduce crashes, injuries, and deaths—when they're offered as standard equipment across all trim levels.

Honda CR-V, Overall Score: 83