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New vehicle prices have risen to nearly $50K. It can be tough to find an affordable new SUV. Here are two SUV models that provide incredible value for under $35,000.

The Toyota Corolla Cross provides great value for the money

Toyota’s Corolla Cross is a crossover version of the popular Toyota Corolla. The Corolla nameplate has been in production since 1966. It’s known for being safe and affordable.

Today, SUVs have become the most popular vehicles in America. Models like the Toyota RAV4 have led the charge for the popularization of the modern small SUV. The Corolla Cross exists between Toyota’s sedan and small SUV as a subcompact SUV. Subcompact SUVs make great sedan alternatives for drivers that desire a more spacious cabin and more cargo space.

The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross starts at $23,060. It uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to make 169 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. The Corolla Cross gets 31 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway.

Corolla Cross models are available in three configurations: the L, LE, and XLE. Kelley Blue Book praises its available all-wheel drive and gas mileage. There’s even a hybrid version of the Corolla Cross on its way to America. Toyota’s new subcompact SUV finally allows the automaker to really compete in its segment.

The Subaru Forester is a great small SUV for long-term use

A study by concluded that the average new vehicle ownership period is just 8.4 years. So, many new vehicles outlast the average new vehicle ownership period. A well-maintained Subaru Forester small SUV can easily last for over 200,000 miles or 14 years of ownership.

If you’re looking for a small SUV that can stand the test of time, the Forester is one of the most dependable models on the market. Its reliability is one of its key characteristics.

The 2023 Subaru Forester starts at $26,395. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to make 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. The Forester achieves 26 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway. Four vehicles are CNBC’s top auto picks for 2023 between $25,000 and $35,000: the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Maverick Hybrid, Nissan Leaf, and Subaru Forester.

What makes a good affordable SUV?

A blue 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross is driving on the road.
The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross | Toyota

A good affordable SUV has a strong value proposition. Affordable SUVs that can last for at least the new vehicle ownership period (8.4 years) without having any major mechanical issues are ideal.

Consumers on tight budgets want the most from their new SUV. The Corolla Cross is best for drivers that want a sedan alternative that shares many qualities with the Toyota Corolla. The Forester is best for small families that aren’t afraid to take the road less traveled. Great new SUVs that provide incredible value don’t have to break the bank to provide enjoyable and long ownership periods.