Skip to main content

There are plenty of SUVs on the market, but not all of the options are sound financial decisions. Many factors were included when Kelley Blue Book calculated the midsize SUVs that cost less than $25,000 out of pocket. How exactly does someone calculate the cost of a sport utility vehicle over five years? Keep reading to find the method.

The Subaru Outback is an SUV that costs less than $25,000 out of pocket

Kelley Blue Book did the math, and the 2023 Subaru Outback adds up. Below are the numbers that add up to make the Outback a good buy. The cost of fuel is estimated by the price to fill up over 15,000 miles annually, and maintenance is oil changes and other items to keep your midsize SUV running.

Insurance is the average cost of insuring the vehicle in your state (with collision and liability), and repairs are based on a no-deductable extended warranty. That number and the rest will differ from person to person. Subaru’s 2023 Outback starts at $28,395 and goes up to $39,695.

State Fees$2,737
Total Out of Pocket Expenses$21,519
Depreciation (Loss in Value)$12,028
Five-Year Cost to Own$33,547
2023 Subaru Outback fees | Kelley Blue Book

Financing, state fees (sales tax, license, registration), and depreciation were also factored in. At the end of the day, the 2023 Subaru Outback had a five-year cost-to-own amount of $33,547, the best in its class. Total out-of-pocket expenses came to $21,519.

Mitsubishi’s Outlander is another SUV that costs less than $25,000 out of pocket

When it came to the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander, the five-year cost-to-own worked out to $38,245. Over the five years, the total out-of-pocket expenses were only $22,345, and depreciation came in at $15,900. That’s still a great deal for a brand-new midsize SUV.

State Fees$2,663
Total Out of Pocket Expenses$22,345
Depreciation (Loss in Value)$15,900
Five-Year Cost to Own$38,245
2023 Mitsubishi Outlander fees | Kelley Blue Book

Even if two vehicles have similar starting prices, it doesn’t mean the cost to own will be identical. These calculations give a reasonable estimate of what a midsize SUV might cost the average buyer. Priced between $23,595 and $39,995, the Outlander is worth a second look.

Check out the Hyundai Palisade as another good option

SUVs that cost less than $25,000 out of pocket include this Hyundai Palisade
A 2023 Hyundai Palisade | Hyundai

On the short list of SUVs that cost less than $25,000 out of pocket, the 2023 Hyundai Palisade is here to round out the entrants. It has a low estimated maintenance cost, and repairs tend to be less expensive. Kelley Blue Book did find that the Palisade used more gas than the other two midsize SUVs on the list.

State Fees$3,182
Total Out of Pocket Expenses$24,844
Depreciation (Loss in Value)$13,936
Five-Year Cost to Own$38,780
2023 Hyundai Palisade fees | Kelley Blue Book

The 2023 Hyundai Palisade is priced between $32,250 and $49,200. With the total out-of-pocket expenses coming in at $24,844, it slides in just under budget. The five-year cost-to-own was $38,780, which is still pretty reasonable for a brand-new vehicle.

While this math isn’t exact for everyone, it does offer a good place to start. Just because two vehicles have a similar MSRP does not mean the cost-to-own will be the same. These three midsize SUVs cost less than $25,000 out of pocket, but no promises on those insurance costs if you have a lot of tickets.


The Best Used SUVs Under $20,000 That Can Go 200,000 Miles