Best New Small SUV Under $30,000 Recommended by Consumer Reports SUV

Consumer Reports recommends many great cars to shoppers. However, the factor that matters the most for many drivers is cost. There are a lot of great small SUVs on the market right now under $30,000. They’ll provide owners with a good balance of features. Here’s a look at the 2023 Subaru Forester, the best small SUV under $30,000.

Here’s why the 2023 Subaru Forester is the best new small SUV

A white 2023 Subaru Forester parked outside a home, which is one of the best new small SUV under $30,000
2023 Subaru Forester | Subaru of America, Inc.

Like Consumer Reports wrote, the new Forester is the best small SUV because it’s affordable and delivers a great mix of features that drivers are looking for. The interior is spacious. The engine gets excellent fuel economy and offers a comfortable ride with ample space in the front and rear seats. This helps solidify it as a good option for families.

Like many other Subarus, the Forester also comes with all-wheel drive as standard, and this helps it do well in the winter and off-road. Subaru also gave the Forester a lot of standard features, including smart safety features such as forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Currently, Subaru prices the Forester at about $26,500, and the top trim can cost upwards of $36,500.

An overview of the 2023 Subaru Forester

The Forester is fairly similar to other Subarus in terms of what’s under the hood. It has a 2.5-liter flat-four-cylinder engine with a CVT. It generates 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. It’s currently the only engine option on the Forester. It has pros and cons, as it doesn’t make the Forester fun to drive, but it is very fuel efficient.

Cars with all-wheel drive tend to have a worse fuel economy than if they had front-wheel drive, but the Forester’s fuel economy is still great overall. It gets 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on highways, for 30 mpg combined. The standard Forester can tow up to 1,500 pounds, but if drivers upgrade to the Wilderness trim, then the Subaru SUV can tow up to 3,000 pounds.

Subaru gave the Forester a 6.5-inch touchscreen as standard, and drivers can upgrade that to an 8-inch touchscreen instead. It also has some standard convenience features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. This Subaru also has a lot of cargo capacity for the segment. There’s 28.9 cu-ft of cargo space with the seats up, and it maxes out at 74.2 cu-ft when the seats are folded down.

There are a few other great small SUVs on the market too

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The Toyota RAV4 Stole the Ford F-150’s Spot as the Best-Selling Vehicle

While the Forester may be the best small SUV option under $30,000, there are many other great options in the segment that shoppers may want to compare the Forester against. The Toyota RAV4, for example, is a very popular option with a good balance of features and specs. The RAV4 is also under $30,000, starting at about $27,500.

Toyota also released a brand-new small SUV recently, and it’s called the Corolla Cross. It’s technically a subcompact SUV, which helps it be much cheaper than compact SUVs like the Forester. The Corolla Cross currently starts at $22,500. Some other top models that shoppers may want to consider include the Nissan Rogue, the Kia Sportage, the Mazda CX-5, and the Hyundai Tucson.