Safe New SUVs Under $25,000 Recommended by Consumer Reports

Looking for a new car that fits your budget but doesn’t skimp out on safety features? A few budget-friendly SUVs on this Consumer Reports list, like the Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Kona, meet all the requirements.

The Hyundai Kona ranked on the list of safe new SUVs

Consumer Reports ranked the Safe New SUVs
Consumer Reports ranked the Safe New SUVs | Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Consumer Reports that the 2021 Hyundai Kona comes with forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking for the city. Hyundai has been stepping the game up lately with all of the added features for cars and SUVs. Blindspot warning (BSW) isn’t available on the base trim. However, the Hyundai Kona SEL trim is still under $25,000 and blind-spot warning is included. With that trim, you also get rear cross-traffic warning (RCTW). For the front-wheel-drive option, the price comes out to $24,485 with the destination fee included.

Is the 2021 Mazda CX-30 a safe new SUV?

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 is based on the popular Mazda3 sedan. Both vehicles use a 2.5L four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic transmission. The SUV comes with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking for both the city and the highway. CR says the acceleration feels a bit slow, but the 28 miles per gallon makes up for the acceleration.

The infotainment system isn’t the easiest to navigate, but the interior feels high-end, even if it is slightly small. FCW and automatic emergency braking (AEB) are standard on the 2.5 S trim that starts at $22,050. There is an all-wheel-drive S model that starts at $23,500. With the $1,175 destination charge, both are under $25,000. If you want BSW and RCTW, the Select trim offers both for just around $25,225.

Consumer Reports recommends a smaller new SUV, the Kia Sportage

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The 2021 Kia Sportage is a smaller SUV option but one that has a few standard safety features. Both FCW and city AEB with pedestrian detection are included with the base LX trim. Even though the Sportage is labeled as smaller, CR says the inside has a lot of headroom. The LX trim starts at $24,090 and has a $1,175 destination charge. With all of those, the price is only $25,265. If you want the upgraded BSW option, it can be added for $2,100 on the LX, which puts you at $27,365.

A safe option by Chevy, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox

The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox comes standard with FCW and AEB. The GM MyLink infotainment system comes with Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity, which is nice to have. All trim levels offer Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). The front-wheel-drive option starts at $23,800 and has a $1,195 for a total of $24,995. BSW is only available on the higher-up LT trim, which starts at $29,000, and even at that point, it is still an option.

Consumer Reports likes the final iteration of the Mazda CX-3

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The 2021 Mazda CX-3 comes with FCW, BSW, city AEB with pedestrian detection, and highway AEB. The mini-SUV gets 28 miles per gallon overall and is quite compact. Consumer Reports notes that it is only 168 inches long, which fits most parking spaces better than some smaller cars. The 2.0L four-cylinder engine is the only one available for all trim levels.

The infotainment system is a bit confusing, with a one-knob situation controlling all of the features. All of the safety features mentioned are standard. The CX-3 starts at $22,190 before the $1,175 destination fee, which still leaves you below the $25,000 threshold. The CX-3 is taking a break for 2022, but it might be back. We shall see.

While some of these safe new SUVs might go over $25,000 with added features, most of the options will stay within budget. If safety is your number one priority, you can always add on extra features or go up a trim level.