The Worst Compact SUV of 2023 Is Also the Most Affordable
Who says an SUV can’t have it all? These experts called one sport utility vehicle the worst compact SUV of 2023, but it is the cheapest option. While not everyone will agree the adjective is appropriate, two options from Mazda and Kia are good alternatives.
What is the worst compact SUV of 2023?
When U.S. News ranked compact SUVs for 2023, the 2023 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross landed in last place. What made it come in last place? The 2022 model didn’t impress, and Mitsubishi made minimal improvements for 2023. Some of the competition offers more cargo space and better cabin materials, but the Eclipse Cross has a few things going for it.
The Mitsubishi fits into many budgets with an MSRP range of $25,795 to $29,495. Most new cars start above $30,000, especially when it comes to SUVs. It also gets 25 mpg in the city and 26/26 mpg on the highway, which is pretty good fuel economy. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has 152 horsepower, which is suitable but not powerful by any means.
Mitsubishi’s all-wheel drive system, Super All-Wheel Control, is now standard across all trim levels. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Eclipse Cross a five-star safety rating.
What is a better alternative for the worst compact SUV of 2023?
The 2023 Kia Sportage has better features than a similar compact SUV. Kia’s base-level Sportage comes in at $25,990 and gets 23/25 mpg in the city and 28/32 mpg on the highway. It comes with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available.
J.D. Power gave the 2023 Sportage a predicted reliability score of 88 out of 100, which is considered a “great” score. That’s higher than the 2023 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross score, which was only 79 out of 100. The Kia warranty is also class-leading, with five years, or 60,000 miles, for the limited and 10 years, or 100,000 miles, for the powertrain warranty.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2023 Sportage its Top Safety Pick award. Not the worst compact SUV of 2023, but the Kia is a good alternative.
Mazda’s CX-5 is another better alternative
For the best alternative, the base model 2023 Mazda CX-5 only starts at $26,700. It has room for five and comes with all-wheel drive. Drivers report that the cabin is comfortable and quiet, with easy-to-use infotainment controls. The 2023 Mazda CX-5 has a predicted reliability score of 82 out of 100 from J.D. Power, which falls under the “great” category.
Mazda offers a three-year, 36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty for the 2023 CX-5. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety made the SUV a Top Safety Pick award winner for this year, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a five-star safety rating.
The worst compact SUV of 2023 isn’t all that bad, but better alternatives exist in the same segment. For less than $30,000, the 2023 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is a brand-new SUV with enough safety technology to be a budget-friendly option for drivers.