a white and black two toned 2018 kia soul in a showroom

The Most Affordable SUVs of 2018

As the crossover market grows ever more competitive, buyers have more numerous affordable SUV to choose from than ever before. These are the cheapest options.

1. 2018 Kia Soul (MSRP: $16,200)

The cheapest SUV on our list is also one of the smallest. It might not sit up as high as a Chevy Tahoe, but the 2018 Kia Soul crossover utilizes its boxy design well. The openness and high roofline of the cabin allow for ample cargo room, and windows surround basically the whole affair, offering commanding sightlines of the road and vehicle surroundings. That smaller size translates into great fuel economy. The Soul features 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

Even at its most expensive trim, the Exclaim (noted as "!"), the 2018 Kia Soul only costs a mere $23,000. At that price, buyers can expect such features as a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, leather seating, and a sport-influenced steering wheel.

2. 2018 Jeep Renegade (MSRP: $17,995)

The second cheapest SUV on our list comes from the off-road masters at Jeep. But if you're hoping to take the 2018 Jeep Renegade off the beaten path, you may be a little disappointed. As the least expensive offering from the automaker, it understandably doesn't have the same chops as the Wrangler or Grand Cherokee. That doesn't mean there isn't much to love here, however.

Compared to its competitors, the 2018 Renegade features an interior that feels surprisingly upscale thanks to choice materials. The interior is also spacious and roomy. Plus, every trim level is available in a four-wheel-drive option, allowing for greater driving stability.

3. 2018 Honda HR-V (MSRP: $19,670)

Though it may be a small crossover, the 2018 Honda HR-V is no slouch when it comes to cargo space. Behind the rear seats, it has 23.2 cubic feet of space, and with the back seats folded down, the dimensions expand to a class-leading 56 cubic feet of space. Fuel economy, one of Honda's strong suits, is also stellar for the HR-V. EPA ratings come in at 25 mpg for the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

Though it may look sporty, it is a little sluggish, however. It's perfect for zipping around town, but it's not going to win any races. That said, we'll take an adult-sized rear seating area and proven reliability over drag-race capabilities any day. Even more so at a sub-$20,000 price range.

4. 2018 Fiat 500X (MSRP: $19,995)

If you opt for the 2018 Fiat 500X, you'll be driving a vehicle unlike any other on the road. Its distinctive Italian styling sets is apart, not just from its competitor SUVs, but even European sedans. The only drawback to that quirky styling? The interior dimensions are some of the lowest in the crossover class. In fact, its rear cargo space is half the HR-V's at 12 cubic feet.

On the positive side, however, is the available four-wheel-drive powertrain. That offering is fairly unique in both this price point and this segment (save for the Jeep Renegade). Tech-focused drivers will also appreciate the intuitive infotainment system and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility.

5. 2018 Ford EcoSport (MSRP: $19,995)

The Ford EcoSport may be new to the U.S for 2018, but it has been selling well globally for a number of years. In fact, it's been available in Brazil since 2004. With "eco" as part of the name, you might expect a focus on fuel economy. While its 27 city and 29 highway mpg ratings are better than most SUVs, those numbers don't put it at the top of the class.

Its selling points are its smooth ride and short length, making it perfect for those small city parking spaces. The base model even comes with an included backup camera, USB ports for connectivity, and an entry-level version of the Ford Sync infotainment technology.

(Featured image via Facebook.)

Last Updated: March 30, 2018