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Some SUVs can do it all, with a comfortable cabin, a warranty, and a reasonable cost. These safe compact SUVs under $40,000 come from Honda, Hyundai, and Kia; check all those boxes. Any applicable safety systems and awards for each sport utility vehicle are also listed.

The Honda CR-V is a safe compact SUV under $40,000

Like many drivers, Edmunds found a lot to like about the 2023 Honda CR-V. It offers a smooth, comfortable ride with plenty of cargo space in the back. On top of that, Honda continues adding standard safety systems on all trim levels. All-wheel drive is available for those who might want it.

Honda included standard safety systems like forward automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warning. Lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control also come on all trim levels. All of these additions helped the CR-V land on the list of safe compact SUVs under $40,000.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2023 Honda CR-V its Top Safety Pick Plus award. It performed well on the updated crashworthiness tests and the new crash avoidance and mitigation tests. In addition, all trim levels of the CR-V received LED reflector headlights that earned high marks for both the high and low beams.

MSRP range: $28,410 – $39,100

Hyundai’s Tucson is another safe compact SUV under $40,000

This red 2023 Hyundai Tucson is safe compact SUVs under $45,000
A 2023 Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai

When it comes to the 2023 Hyundai Tucson, it checks all of the boxes for comfortable, new, and safe. That’s why it landed on the list of safe compact SUVs under $40,000. Inside, the Tucson’s cabin feels upscale, and the cargo space is quite large for its size. Hyundai redesigned the Tucson in 2022, and it only improved more this year.

This year, the Tucson gets many standard safety systems on all trim levels. Driver attention warning, forward collision mitigation, and lane-keeping assist are just a few. It also gets adaptive cruise control and rear seat reminder.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2023 Hyundai Tucson a five-star safety rating. This SUV also earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick Plus award.

MSRP range: $26,900 – $39,110

The Kia Sportage with LED projector lights earned high marks

People like the 2023 Kia Sportage for many reasons. The Sportage is comfortable and offers good ride quality. It also has one of the biggest cargo areas in the small SUV category. While this version is gasoline, Kia also offers a Sportage Hybrid and Sportage Plug-in Hybrid for those who might want more fuel economy.

Even the most affordable base trim of the Sportage gets plenty of standard safety features. These include driver attention warning, forward collision mitigation, and lane departure mitigation. Kia’s lane-keeping system and parking sensors are also helpful additions.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave two trim levels of the 2023 Kia Sportage its Top Safety Pick award, the SX Prestige and X-Pro Prestige. These two trims received the LED projector lights and earned higher scores. The LX, EX, X-Line, SX, and X-Pro’s LED reflector lights did not score high.

MSRP range: $26,290 – $37,090

The good news is that these safe compact SUVs under $40,000 are well-equipped on all trim levels. If the budget allows for a top-level trim, these have even better features and upgrades. For those who need to stay under $40,000, the CR-V, Sportage, and Tucson base trim levels are still loaded with features.


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