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Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda have a highly successful lineup of SUVs. Some of them are at affordable price points, such as the Corolla Cross, RAV4, HR-V, and CR-V. However, the cheapest new Japanese isn’t a Toyota or Honda. It’s the 2023 Nissan Kicks.

2023 Nissan Kicks is the cheapest new Japanese SUV

Front angle view of white 2023 Nissan Kicks subcompact, cheapest new Japanese SUV, not Toyota or Honda
2023 Nissan Kicks | Nissan

With a starting price of $20,440 MSRP, the 2023 Nissan Kicks is the cheapest new Japanese SUV available in the United States. The next most affordable one is the 2023 Mazda CX-30 ($22,950 MSRP).

Here are the cheapest new Japanese SUVs:

  1. 2023 Nissan Kicks: $20,440 MSRP
  2. 2023 Mazda CX-30: $22,950 MSRP
  3. 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: $22,995 MSRP
  4. 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross: $23,060 MSRP
  5. 2023 Subaru Crosstrek: $23,645 MSRP
  6. 2023 Honda HR-V: $23,800 MSRP
  7. 2023 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: $25,795 MSRP
  8. 2023 Subaru Forester: $26,395 MSRP
  9. 2023 Mazda CX-5: $26,700 MSRP
  10. 2023 Nissan Rogue: $27,360 MSRP
  11. 2023 Toyota RAV4: $28,275 MSRP
  12. 2023 Honda CR-V: $28,410 MSRP

The six most affordable new Japanese SUVs are subcompacts, while the latter six models on the list are compact SUVs. While these Japanese models are financially accessible with starting prices below $30K, they are not the cheapest SUVs. That would be two South Korean models: the 2023 Hyundai Venue ($19,650 MSRP) and the 2023 Kia Soul ($19,890 MSRP).

Toyota and Honda are farther down the list of most affordable new Japanese SUVs. For subcompacts, the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross has a starting price of $23,060 MSRP, while the 2023 Honda HR-V starts at $23,800 MSRP. There’s also the 2023 Toyota RAV4 ($28,275 MSRP) and the 2023 Honda CR-V ($28,410 MSRP) compact SUVs. 

2023 Nissan Kicks has low ownership costs

Dashboard in 2023 Nissan Kicks subcompact, most affordable new Japanese SUV, not Toyota or Honda
2023 Nissan Kicks | Nissan

Along with being the cheapest new Japanese SUV, the 2023 Nissan Kicks has low ownership costs. For one, it’s very reliable. It earned a “great” dependability rating of 85/100 from J.D. Power. With the high reliability, the subcompact is less likely to have frequent and severe repairs for the engine, brakes, transmission, electrical system, and other issues. Over the long haul, owners probably won’t have to fork over as much money for repairs compared to most SUVs.

Another thing that helps keep the ownership costs low for the Kicks is its high fuel economy. It gets an estimated gas mileage of up to 31 city/36 highway mpg. While many SUVs are gas-guzzlers, the affordable Nissan subcompact is efficient, which translates to savings at the pump.

Wide range of standard features in the Kicks

The 2023 Nissan Kicks is also an excellent value choice with its wide range of standard features. All trims come standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, intermittent windshield wipers, power side-view mirrors, and automatic headlights. 

There are also a plethora of driving assistance features for enhanced safety. This includes high-beam assist, blind-spot warning, a rear-view monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, rear automatic braking, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and pedestrian detection.

If you desire a budget-friendly Japanese SUV, the most affordable choice isn’t a Toyota or Honda. The cheapest new Japanese SUV is the 2023 Nissan Kicks subcompact, which has a low purchase price and low ownership costs.


Only 2 New 2023 SUVs Cost Under $20,000 — Both South Korean