Avoid This Affordable Small SUV and Opt for These 2 Reliable Alternatives Instead

These days, automakers have to pack a lot in . However, a small budget SUV may not be worth it. Check out the two alternatives below with more features in a similar price range. All three options from Ford, Kia, and Mitsubishi have National Safety Group scores listed.

You can skip the 2023 Ford Escape if you want an affordable small SUV

A 2023 Ford Escape | Ford

Looking for affordable small SUVs, the 2023 Ford Escape had some positive attributes. Redesigned in 2020, the Escape looks less like an SUV these days and more like a lifted sedan. It has a few engine and powertrain choices and enough tech inside to satisfy some buyers.

made the 2023 Ford Escape a top-safety pick and gave it high marks in its tests. It also received a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While it still has a lot to offer, the Ford SUV still lags behind the competition. Other SUVs have more features for a similar price.

Base MSRP range: $27,500 – $39,460

Kia’s new Sportage Hybrid is a small budget SUV

Even though the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid is compact, it has plenty of room for people and cargo space. Some comforts that this small affordable SUV includes are automatic dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and automatic high beams. Kia recently revamped the Sportage Hybrid and it now gets better fuel economy than ever.

In terms of driver assistance functions, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking are standard. Systems such as blind spot warning and adaptive cruise control are available on higher trim levels but not the base.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety made the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid a winner, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn’t yet rated it.

Base MSRP range: $27,290 – $42,990

Don’t overlook the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander


The 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander probably gets overlooked on a regular basis for the most popular small SUVs, but a recent redesign is worth a second look. Based on the Nissan Rogue, the Outlander has a third-row seat that sets it apart from other compact options.

Mitsubishi offers many standard safety systems such as forward collision warning, blind spot warning and automatic emergency braking. Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Departure Alert are also standard on the 2023 Outlander.

It hasn’t yet rated the Outlander, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety made it a Top Safety Pick Plus winner. A new IIHS Automatic Emergency Braking test also yielded superior results.

Base MSRP range: $27,595 – $49,995

Just because you need an affordable small SUV doesn’t mean you don’t have good options. Kia and Mitsubishi have come up with the winning formula for packing high-end features into reasonably priced packages.

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