Skip to main content

When you’re looking for an affordable vehicle, it can be hard to identify the most reliable SUV. But today’s market is loaded with crossovers and SUVs that fit both your lifestyle and budget. To help you decide which SUV is right for you, we found the best-rated, most reliable SUVs you can get for under $35,000, with help from Consumer Reports.

1. 2019 Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester has been a favorite among smaller SUVs for years. Subaru offers high safety ratings, as well as top rankings for reliability and consumer satisfaction. In fact, Consumer Reports rates it among the best SUVs under $35,000.

The 2019 Subaru Forester received Consumer Reports’ highest overall score (89) of all compact SUVs. A well-rounded vehicle, the Forester has standard AWD, a suite of advanced safety features, a spacious interior, and an average of 27 MPG combined for only $24,295.

2. 2019 Honda CR-V

Starting at $24,250, the new Honda CR-V is a luxurious, compact SUV with great interior space and a “feature-packed cabin,” reports Edmunds. Not only is it nice to look at, but the Honda CR-V has comfortable seating, high-quality finishes, and an impressive digital instrument panel.

As one of the most popular SUVs in the U.S., the CR-V has a notable average of 27 MPG. Drivers can easily stow away rear seating for more cargo space, and all new Hondas come standard with its long list of advanced safety features. Though its infotainment system is nothing to write home about, the AWD CR-V has one of the highest resale values and reliability ratings of any in its class.

3. 2019 Mazda CX-5

The latest CX-5 by Mazda is becoming a best-selling compact SUV. AWD versions have a starting price of under $30,000, and the Road Show by CNET rates it one of the best SUVs under $35,000. Though it has less in interior tech than competitors, it handles like a dream and is very comfortable.

Buyers get a variety of standard safety features with the Mazda CX-5, as well as voice-activated driving controls. With an average of 26 MPG combined, its acceleration and braking make it feel more like a sports car than an SUV. Mazda offers many trims and available options.

4. 2020 Kia Telluride

Though it’s a model year ahead of the others, the new Kia Telluride is already available. It already tops the midsize SUV rating chart, according to Consumer Ratings, which gives it an overall score of 90. Starting at just $31,690, Kia created an eight-passenger SUV that fits into most budgets.

The Kia Telluride offers a 5,000-lb towing capacity, smart key and cruise control features, and available all-wheel-drive. Second- and third-row seating can be easily folded down. The interior has an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system and six USB ports to charge devices.

5. 2019 Toyota RAV4

According to Finance Buzz, the new Toyota RAV4 has experienced a major redesign. Though the automaker has always been known for its reliable, affordable vehicles, it’s gone even further with this model lineup. Owners of the 2019 RAV4 will enjoy more interior space, better function, and more standard features.

With a fuel economy average rating of 27 MPG, its affordable starting price of $25,650 makes it a steal. According to Consumer Reports, the AWD RAV4 is quick to accelerate, handles nicely, and comes standard with Toyota’s suite of advanced safety and driver-assist technology.