Car News: The 5 Best SUVs for Under $40K

The automotive experts at Edmunds have put SUVs of all shapes, sizes, and prices to the test. After rigorous evaluations, they have compiled a list of the top five SUVs that offer a great combination of features, value, and affordability. Whether you’re looking for spacious seating and cargo areas, a comfortable ride, or the latest technology features, these SUVs have you covered. And the best part? They won’t break the bank with a budget cap of $40,000. Let’s dive into the details of each SUV on the list.

2024 MAZDA CX-50

The Mazda CX-50 earns its spot on this list with its driving refinement and upscale cabin. Step inside, and you’ll feel like you’re sitting in a luxury-badged model. The design is top-notch, and the seats are supportive in both rows. While the CX-50 may ride a bit more firmly over bumps compared to other SUVs, it makes up for it with stable handling and an enjoyable driving experience. All-wheel drive and driver assist features come standard on every trim, ensuring your safety on the road. The CX-50 is powered by a 186-horsepower four-cylinder engine, with an optional turbo four-cylinder available for extra power. Starting MSRP: $31,675.

Mazda CX-50


The Kia Sorento is an excellent choice for budget-conscious shoppers in need of a seven-passenger SUV. While its third-row seating area may be smaller than larger models, it is still suitable for occasional use, especially for kids. Most Sorento trim levels come well-equipped with convenient features and advanced technology. You have the option of a fuel-conscious, non-turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a punchier turbo-four, depending on your preference. The Sorento Hybrid is also available for those seeking higher fuel economy. Starting MSRP: $31,415.

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Kia Sorento


The Honda CR-V is the epitome of a well-rounded small SUV. It offers a smooth and comfortable ride, excellent outward visibility, and ample cargo space. Fuel economy is another standout feature, with the base turbocharged four-cylinder engine getting up to an EPA-estimated 30 mpg combined. If you’re looking for even better efficiency, there’s a hybrid powertrain option that gets up to 40 mpg combined. The CR-V’s recent redesign has also brought an attractive and functional interior, with the midgrade EX-L trim offering upscale features like leather upholstery and a power liftgate. Starting MSRP: $30,825.

Honda CR-V


The Subaru Outback is perfect for SUV shoppers seeking a vehicle that can handle occasional off-road adventures. With standard all-wheel drive and generous ground clearance, the Outback offers above-average capability on dirt roads and rocky trails. Its wagon-like shape also makes it easier to load recreational gear or cargo on the roof. While the standard four-cylinder engine may not offer the fastest acceleration, it does reward you with a respectable EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined. If you’re looking for more power, there’s a turbocharged four-cylinder option available. Starting MSRP: $30,190.

Subaru Outback


The Hyundai Palisade is the most expensive SUV on this list, but even the base version is equipped with an impressive array of tech features and driving aids. From a large 12.3-inch center touchscreen to USB ports in both the first and second rows, the Palisade offers convenience and connectivity. It comes with a 291-horsepower V6 engine that delivers acceptable acceleration and fuel economy. Despite its size, the Palisade remains relaxing to drive and easy to maneuver. The third-row seating provides ample space for adults, a rarity among midsize SUVs. Starting MSRP: $37,735.

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Hyundai Palisade


Q: Are these SUVs available in different trims?
A: Yes, each SUV offers various trim levels with different features and options. Check with your local dealership or visit the manufacturer’s website for more information.

Q: Can I customize these SUVs with additional features?
A: Yes, many of these SUVs offer optional packages and standalone options to further personalize your vehicle. Speak to a dealership representative for more details.

Q: Are these SUVs reliable?
A: All the SUVs mentioned have a reputation for reliability. However, we recommend researching specific models and reading customer reviews to get a better idea of long-term reliability.


If you’re in the market for a new SUV and have a budget of under $40,000, these five options from Mazda, Kia, Honda, Subaru, and Hyundai are worth considering. Each SUV offers a unique combination of features, comfort, and versatility, ensuring you get the most out of your purchase. Whether you prioritize driving refinement, spacious seating, or off-road capability, there’s an SUV on this list tailored to your needs. Visit your local dealership for a test drive and experience these impressive SUVs firsthand.

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