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Inflation has made virtually every product and service more expensive. It’s getting increasingly difficult to properly gauge the true value of goods. Small SUV prices are up across the board, with some nameplates reaching record starting prices. How much should you expect to pay for a new small SUV in 2023?

Don’t expect to spend less than $28K on a new 2023 small SUV

A blue 2023 Honda CR-V crossover SUV parked near a lake.
2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

Some of the most popular small SUV nameplates on the market have starting prices above $26K. Factor in prices and fees, and the out-the-door price of most new small SUVs is much closer to $28,000. This is a fairly significant price increase from the price of the average small SUV just a few years ago.

The Toyota RAV4 is the most popular small SUV. The 2018 RAV4 had an MSRP of $24,510. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 starts at $27,575. In the next five years, a base model RAV4 could start at over $30K. Honda’s popular small SUV, the CR-V, already has a starting price above $30K following its redesign.

According to Edmunds, the 2023 Honda CR-V starts at a whopping $31,110. The age of new small SUVs with starting prices under $25K has come and gone. Most of the best small SUV nameplates are rapidly approaching a $30K starting price.

What’s the best cheap small SUV for 2023?

A white 2023 Mazda CX-5 small SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

The best cheap small SUV for 2023 is the 2023 Mazda CX-5. The CX-5 has an affordable starting price and standard features that scream value.

The 2023 Mazda CX-5 starts at $26,700. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, a feature that easily adds value to the small SUV nameplate. Aside from all-wheel drive, the CX-5 also comes with several standard features that set it apart from other models in its segment.

It is known for being incredibly refined for its price, hence its stellar value proposition. The small SUV comes standard with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and Mazda radar cruise control with stop-and-go.

The CX-5 is a quality small SUV that doesn’t break the bank. If you’re looking to save money, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 is easily one of the best options on the market.

What are the best cheap small SUVs on the market?

A red 2023 Hyundai Tucson small SUV is parked.
The 2023 Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai

Some of the best affordable small SUVs on the market include the 2023 Kia Sportage, 2023 Mazda CX-5, 2023 Hyundai Tucson, and the 2023 Subaru Forester are some of the best cheap small SUVs on the market.

The 2023 Mazda CX-5, 2023 Hyundai Tucson, and 2023 Kia Sportage are models to watch this year because they will battle it out in rankings. The RAV4 is solidified as one of the best affordable small SUVs on the market. Despite its starting price, the 2023 RAV4 is still one of the best options that money can buy.

Ultimately, there are still many great affordable small SUVs available for 2023, but there’s no doubt that small SUVs are gradually becoming pricier. The Honda CR-V has become one of the few non-luxury small SUVs to pass the $30K starting price threshold. The year 2023 may be one of the last few years when consumers can find small SUVs that cost under $30,000 after taxes.