Consumer Reports: Best SUVs Under $40,000 With Standard Safety Features

When it comes to reliable vehicles, Consumer Reports best SUVs under $40,000 make a good starting point. These vehicles have plenty of safety features standard, plus solid fuel economy and a reasonable price. These options from Subaru, Toyota, Kia, and Ford won’t let you down.

Consumer Reports best SUVs under $40,000: the Subaru Outback

The 2021 Subaru Outback is one of Consumer Reports best SUVs under $40,000
The 2021 Subaru Outback is one of Consumer Reports best SUVs under $40,000 | Subaru

Consumer Reports agrees with what Subaru Outback owners know. The 2021 Subaru Outback does it all and does it well. The Outback has the convenience of an SUV but is styled like a wagon. The 2.5L engine works, but the 2.4L turbo engine with 260 hp makes the vehicle even more fun. With 24 mpg overall, the Outback is ready for whatever you want to throw at it. In fact, it ranked first on the list of midsize SUVs. The Outback has forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB), but blind-spot warning (BSW) is optional. Starting off the list of Consumer Reports best SUVs, the Outback is setting the bar high.

Price Range: $26,795 – $39,945

Also one of Consumer Reports best SUVs, the Hyundai Palisade

The 2021 Hyundai Palisade is a three-row midsize SUV that seats up to eight passengers. It gets 291 hp from the 3.8L V6 but still manages to get 21 mpg overall. Consumer Reports found the cabin to be relatively quiet, and the “interior is filled with thoughtful details.” The Palisade gets compared to the Kia Telluride a lot for a good reason, mainly the seating situation. The Palisade offers FCW, AEB, and BSW is optional again.

Price Range: $32,675 – $47,900

Don’t forget the 2021 Toyota Highlander

The 2021 Toyota Highlander was redesigned in 2020 and is still reasonably fresh. Consumer Reports says the SUV retained its “comfortable ride and smooth powertrain while gaining marginally improved handling.” The 295 hp V6 gets 22 mph, but the 243 hp hybrid gets 35 mpg overall. The hybrid option makes the Highlander a better choice for many buyers. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included. Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 includes FCW and AEB, but BSW is optional. The Highlander is always on Consumer Reports best SUVs lists for both the gasoline and hybrid versions.

Price Range: $35,085 – $50,640

The 2021 Kia Telluride is one of Consumer Reports best SUVs

The 2021 Kia Telluride was highly rated on Consumer Reports’ best SUVs list. The predicted reliability and predicted owner satisfaction both came in at five out of five. In the road test, the SUV scored a 97 out of 100. It came in first on the list of midsize SUVs with three rows. CR found that the design of the Telluride was well-thought-out and took the drivers and passengers into consideration. The Telluride rides smoothly, and the V6 has a solid fuel economy of 21 mpg overall. The SUV has AEB but not at highway speeds, which seems like an oversight. It has LDW and LKA. Just don’t pay an extra $30,000 for it.

Price Range: $32,190 – $44,390

The 2021 Ford Edge is a solid pick


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The 2021 Ford Edge ranked reasonably high. This SUV came in second on the list of midsized SUVs and scored and 83/100 overall. The Ford Edge had an above-average predicted reliability score and an average score for predicted owner satisfaction. In addition, the 2021 Ford Edge has a lot of safety features standard. These include FCW, AEB, and BSW. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ranked all of the crash test ratings “good.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) scored almost all of the crash test five stars, with four stars in the rollover sections.

Price Range: $32,750 – $43,600

Depending on the trim level and options, some of these SUVs might go over $40,000. However, Consumer Reports best SUVs have a lot to offer any budget. Adding extra safety features increases resale value, plus it keeps everyone safe.