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Are you searching for your next new car? Midsize SUVs are very popular, and many are affordable. It can be challenging to decide which model is best in such a crowded segment. However, if money is the most significant factor, we can help with that. According to Consumer Reports, only two midsize SUVs start under $30,000, but one is a far better option. Only the 2022 Subaru Outback and 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe start under $30,000.

What is the cheapest midsize SUV?

Front angle view of Shimmering Silver 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV)
Shimmering Silver 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV | Hyundai

Out of 11 total midsize SUVs, two are far cheaper than the others. However, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe is the cheapest of them all. With a starting price of $27,200, the Santa Fe is shockingly affordable. Even for its most expensive trim level, the Hyundai SUV only costs $46,010. As a result, no matter which trim level you choose, you’ll get one of the most affordable midsize SUVs.

Consumer Reports ranked the Hyundai Santa Fe eighth overall despite a low starting price. Starting nearly $10,000 lower than models like the Ford Edge, Honda Passport, and Jeep Grand Cherokee is great, but at what cost? CR doesn’t like the Santa Fe’s underpowered base engine, uncomfortable and stiff ride, or gear selector. Additionally, the midsize SUV has low predicted reliability, which earned it just a 58 out of 100 from the experts.

Consumer Reports’ best midsize SUV starts under $30,000

A 2022 Subaru Outback, the best and cheapest midsize SUV from Consumer Reports.
2022 Subaru Outback | Subaru

Only one other midsize SUV starts under $30,000 for 2022. It’s the Subaru Outback, which also happens to be Consumer Reports’ top-ranked model. Overall, it received a score of 85, but an even better road test score with an outstanding 91. Best of all, a base model is only $27,645, which is barely more than the Santa Fe.

There isn’t much to dislike about the Outback. CR knocked it for having some wonky controls and a slow responding infotainment screen. However, in many other ways, it dominates the segment. CR noted its excellent ride, smooth-shifting transmission, comfortable seats and driving position, integrated crossbars, and high visibility as positives. Additionally, the predicted reliability and owner satisfaction is above average based on previous model years.

How much do midsize SUVs cost?

In the midsize SUV segment, many models start around $33,000. Not only is that more than the base Hyundai and Subaru offerings, but so are the higher trim levels. For example, a top-tier Ford Bronco is $68,500, and a Jeep Wrangler is $77,095. That’s nearly double the most expensive version of the 2022 Subaru Outback. You get the most bang for your buck with either the Santa Fe or Outback in terms of value. However, one model is clearly a better choice.

2022 Subaru Outback TrimPrice2022 Hyundai Santa Fe TrimPrice
Onyx Edition XT$36,270Limited$40,655
Limited XT$39,120
Touring XT$41,070
These prices include destination, shipping, and other fees usually added after purchase. From Car and Driver.

2 midsize SUVs start under $30,000

Finding a brand new car under $30,000 is rare in every class of vehicles these days. Fortunately, the popular and crowded midsize SUV segment has a few offerings in that price range. Both models have pros and cons, but one is better than the other. The 2022 Subaru Outback is the best midsize SUV available, according to Consumer Reports. Along with the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe, they’re the only midsize SUVs you can buy for under $30,000. Every other model starts above that mark and often goes far higher with premium trim levels.