From the moment SUVs began to surge in popularity in the late '90s and early 2000s, they have continued to bring in a lot of profit for automakers that manufacture them. These vehicles often offer the perfect compromise for families who want a large passenger capacity but don't care for minivans. Plus, many have off-roading capabilities due to four-wheel drive, so they're a fitting option for motorists interested in recreational driving. Now, with the introduction of more crossovers, consumers can also enjoy improved fuel efficiency with these vehicles. Even in the face of a gas price spike, drivers across the globe have continued to eagerly purchase SUVs.
Still, not all SUVs are created equal - especially in regard to cost. Some offer better fuel economy, fewer vehicle maintenance demands or just come with a lower upfront investment.
Kelley Blue Book recently ranked the Most Affordable SUVs for 2014 - all starting with a price lower than $22,000. So which models made the cut?
Jeep snagged the top two slots with the Patriot for $15,851 and the Compass for $18,392. The Nissan Juke, which costs $18,615, came in third, with the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport following closely behind at $18,832. While the Nissan Rogue Select, which sells for $19,581, was chosen for the No. 5 spot, the Dodge Journey nabbed No. 6, costing $19,778. Meanwhile, the Hyundai Tucson and Mazda CX-5 came in seventh and eighth place, costing $21,197 and $21,204, respectively. Rounding out the list were the Kia Sportage, which is just under the Kelley Blue Book max price at $21,213, and the Subaru XV Crosstrek, which sets consumers back $21,446.
Another thing that can save consumers a lot of money is strong gas mileage. Edmunds.com compiled a new list of the Top 11 Crossovers and SUVs With the Best Highway Fuel Economy for 2014 to give motorists insight into which models will require fewer trips to the pump. The rankings are based on the fuel economy of the powertrains that come with each vehicle and the Environmental Protection Agency's highway miles-per-gallon ratings.
Interestingly, some of the cars from Kelley Blue Book's list were chosen by Edmunds.com as well. For example, the Mazda CX-5 came in first, the Subaru XV Crosstrek snagged the second slot and the Nissan Rogue came in third. Even the ultra unique Nissan Juke came in fourth place for fuel efficiency.