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Cheap doesn’t always mean bad or small. Besides, cheap SUVs aren’t that cheap anymore. But that is partly due to the advanced tech, better materials, and more standard features. So if you’ve got around $20,000 to burn on a 2023 compact SUV, there are five you should look into before settling for a used model. 

2023 Chevrolet Trax compact SUV

2023 Chevrolet Trax
2023 Chevrolet Trax | GM

At $20,400, the Trax is an affordable SUV with Chevy Safety Assist standard in all trims. This gives you automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and assist, and forward collision assist. Power comes from a 1.2-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine with economy numbers of 28 mpg City and 32 mpg Highway. 

We expected to see better gas mileage with the Trax three-cylinder. However, it does feature 137 hp combined with 162 lb-ft of torque. That gets transferred to a six-speed automatic transmission. 

2023 Kia Soul

2023 Kia Soul
2023 Kia Soul | Kia

With improved horsepower at 147 hp, the Soul’s power betters the Trax with its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Updated tech includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, automatic emergency braking, and remote keyless entry. Fuel economy improves a bit over the Trax at 35 mpg Highway. For $19,890, you also get a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty, the best of our five compact SUVs shown here. 

2023 Hyundai Venue compact SUV

2023 Hyundai Venue
2023 Hyundai Venue | Hyundai

The U.S. is still waiting for the Venue refresh India got last year. For 2023, the Venue comes with a ton of standard safety and tech features. These include lane-keep assist, driver attention warning, forward-collision avoidance, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, high beam assist, and rear seat reminder. The Venue styling is quirky, which appeals to some while turning off others. But for the low starting price of $19,650, it’s worth making a comparison with the others listed here. 

2023 Nissan Kicks

2023 Nissan Kicks
2023 Nissan Kicks | Nissan

With its recent update, the Kicks has the freshest styling, plenty of tech, and a price of $20,440. For power, there’s a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 122 hp. Unfortunately, this is hooked to a continuously variable automatic transmission, or CVT. 

The Kicks ekes out 31 mpg City and 36 mpg Highway miles, says Nissan. Standard tech includes Hill Start Assist, Active Ride Control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, air conditioning, and high beam assist. We like the crazy styling the Kicks displays in Europe and Japan, but we guess this tamer look probably sells better in North America. 

2023 Subaru Impreza compact SUV

2023 Subaru Impreza
2023 Subaru Impreza | Subaru

Last but not least, the 2023 Impreza hatchback doubles as an SUV Crossover with a myriad of tech and options. For $20,295, it falls in line price-wise with the rest of our compact SUVs, yet includes all-wheel-drive for all trims. And at 152 hp, the boxer engine features the most power of the five featured here. Gas mileage is a bit lower, at 28 mpg City and 36 mpg Highway. Standard safety features are also on par with our five compact SUVs.


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