These Are the 20 Best SUVs For Your Money in 2018

It’s not much of a stretch to say car buying is a scary, frustrating, and nerve-wracking experience. Between the car dealer scams and the expensive mistakes you can make, buying a car is anything but a day at the park. But it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help you. Your SUV shopping list starts here. These 20 cars are the best SUVs for your money.

We looked at the Car and Driver list of best new cars, and we’re going to tell you which SUVs are worth your hard-earned dollars. Brush up on your negotiating tactics, learn the salesman tricks you need to know about, and get ready to find your next favorite SUV.

1. Honda CR-V

2018 Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V | Honda

  • Starting MSRP: $24,150
  • MPG: 27 city/33 highway

Everyone knows Honda for its reliable, long-lasting vehicles. The CR-V is its signature SUV. The low entry price and good gas mileage make the CR-V sensible. Its handling and redesigned looks make it one of the most loved SUVs on the road, and one of the best SUVs for your money.

Next: The car taking aim at the CR-V.

2. Mazda CX-5

Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

  • Starting MSRP: $24,150
  • MPG: 24 city/30 highway

Fully equipped with Mazda’s fuel-efficient SkyActiv technology, the CX-5 ups the ante with its top-flight trim packages. One of the high-tech features is a holographic windshield display. It tells you your speed, upcoming road hazards, and the next turn you need to make. Considering the prices, the MPG numbers, and the features, this SUV is taking aim at the Honda CR-V.

Next: Entry-level luxury

3. Porsche Macan

2017 Porsche Macan | Porsche

Porsche Macan | Porsche

  • Starting MSRP: $47,800
  • MPG: 17 city/23 highway

JD Power lauds the Macan for its quality and design. Those are hallmarks of any Porsche car. The improved gas mileage on the Macan and its affordable luxury make it one the best SUVs for your money.

Next: A low price and a perfect car for teenage drivers.

4. Kia Soul

Promo shot of white 2017 Kia Soul

Kia Soul | Kia

  • Starting MSRP: $16,100
  • MPG: 25 city/30 highway

You won’t find a better price anywhere on this list, and that’s just one reason it’s a Car and Driver winner. A horsepower boost on some trim levels makes it fun to drive. Its price point is perfect for first-time car buyers, and it just happens to be one of the best cars for teenage drivers.

Next: Love or hate relationship

5. BMW X1


  • Starting MSRP: $33,900
  • MPG: 22 city/32 highway

With 228 horsepower, the X1 gives you a little bit of muscle for a car most people use as a family driver. The base model price isn’t outlandish, and for that price, you get a well-appointed car. Car and Driver loves the X1, but some owners can’t wait to trade it in.

Next: An American car makes the best SUVs list.

6. Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Grand Cherokee | Jeep

  • Starting MSRP: $30,695
  • MPG: 13 city/23 highway

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the quintessential American SUV, and it’s one of the best SUVs for your money. It comes standard with 10 airbags, and it has a number of trim levels for owners who demand the finest luxury. Speaking of luxury, the Grand Cherokee is one of the most popular cars in New York’s posh Upper East Side neighborhood.

Next: A car helping an automaker clean up its image.

7. Volkswagen Atlas

Volkswagen Atlas | Volkswagen

  • Starting MSRP: $30,750
  • MPG: 18 city/24 highway

If you only remember Volkswagen for its lies about its giant diesel engine deceit, then you need to take a look at the Atlas. It’s the largest car Volkswagen sells in North America, and it has room for seven adults. Despite the size, it’s relatively fuel-efficient for an SUV while still producing the kind of power German cars are known for.

Next: This might be the safest car on the road.

8. Audi Q7

Audi Q7 | Audi

  • Starting MSRP: $49,900
  • MPG: 19 city/25 highway

The Q7 has all the performance elements you want. It has German power — 252 horsepower from the base model engine. It has the size — up to 71 cubic feet of cargo space. But the reason the Q7 is one of the best SUVs for your money is its spotless safety record. It’s no stretch saying this Audi is the safest car on the road.

Next: A cousin of a car we’ve seen already.

9. Mazda CX-9

2018 Mazda CX-9

2018 Mazda CX-9 | Mazda

  • Starting MSRP: $32,130
  • MPG: 20 city/26 highway

If you’re hunting for a quality SUV, then Mazda’s CX series is probably the best group of SUVs for your money. We’ve already seen the CX-5 on this list. The CX-9 is the bigger version, but it doesn’t sacrifice anything its smaller cousin brings to the table. The price, the safety record, the size, and the MPG numbers make the CX-9 one of the best family cars out there.

Next: Let’s stick with the theme.

10. Mazda CX-3

2018 Mazda CX-3 | Mazda

  • Starting MSRP: $20,110
  • MPG: 28 city/33 highway

Based on price alone, the CX-3 is one of the best entry-level SUVs around. Factor in the gas mileage, the fun handling, and the fact it’s one of the safest SUVs on the road, and you get one of the best SUVs for your money.

Next: Car buyers were waiting for this 2018 model.

11. BMW X3

2016 BMW X3


  • Starting MSRP: $42,650
  • MPG: 21 city/28 highway

The 2017 X3s sat on dealer lots, and it was one of the worst-selling cars of 2017. That’s because BMW buyers were waiting for the 2018 version. Like the other German SUVs we’ve encountered so far, this one produces plenty of power (248 horsepower) from an 8-speed transmission. The well-appointed interior makes this a luxury SUV that is worth the price.

Next: Better than a bland minivan any day of the week.

12. Dodge Durango

Shot of gray Dodge Durango

2017 Dodge Durango | Dodge

  • Starting MSRP: $29,995
  • MPG: 13 city/19 highway

Car and Driver rates this as one of the best SUVs for your money, extolling its brawny power while still being distinct from a truck. If you’re in the market for a car this size, then the Durango is a big improvement from your standard bland minivan.

Next: You don’t want to buy this car used.

13. Subaru Crosstrek

2017 Subaru Crosstrek | Subaru

Subaru Crosstrek | Subaru

  • Starting MSRP: $21,795
  • MPG: 25 city/31 highway

Safety is the calling card of Subaru, and the carmaker has a loyal customer base because of it. Safety, loyalty, and longevity make Subarus coveted cars, and the Crosstrek is one you don’t want to buy used. Why? Because it holds its value so well, there’s hardly a difference between the new and used prices.

Next: Now you can drive like a rich person.

14. Audi Q5

Audi Q5 | Audi

  • Starting MSRP: $41,500
  • MPG: 23 city/27 highway

Car and Driver likes that the Audi Q5 is comfortable, quiet, and well-styled. All things considered, it’s moderately priced and one of the best SUVs for your money. You know who really loves the Q5? Rich people. Its mix of luxury and performance makes it a favorite of big earners.

Next: One of the best SUVs for pure driving enjoyment.

15. Mercedes-Benz GLC class

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé | Mercedes-Benz

  • Starting MSRP: $40,050
  • MPG: 20 city/26 highway

Mercedes-Benz’s GLC class of SUVs takes the GLC sedan and elevates it off the ground, more or less. The GLC SUVs drive just like their lower-to-the-ground cousin, according to Car and Driver, and they have all the safety features you’d expect from an SUV.

Next: This model is perfect for any type of family.

16. Volvo XC60

2018 Volvo XC60 | Volvo

  • Starting MSRP: $41,500
  • MPG: 21 city/27 highway

Volvos are Swedish born, so you know they’re good in the snow. The XC60 doesn’t skimp on the safety features, but it also doesn’t sacrifice any of its luxury in the process. It’s one of the best SUVs for your money, and it’s great for families with human or dog babies.

Next: Going off-road is no problem for this car.

17. Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Jeep

  • Starting MSRP: $23,995
  • MPG: 17 city/24 highway

The Jeep Wrangler stretches the definition of what an SUV is. Considering you can buy Wranglers bigger than the 2-door model, we’ll allow it on this list. What this one lacks in terms of creature comforts, it more than makes up for with drivability. Everything about the 2018 Wrangler is better than previous models, and it remains one of the best off-road vehicles around.

Next: A sexy SUV? You’d better believe it.

18. Volvo XC90

Fron three quarter view of white Volvo XC90 outside a garage

Volvo XC90 | Volvo

  • Starting MSRP: $46,900
  • MPG: 21 city/28 highway

Remember what we said about the Volvo XC60 a minute ago? Well, it all applies to the XC90. The creature comforts and unparalleled safety make this one of the best SUVs for your money. The bold styling gives it a sexy look most SUVs can’t match.

Next: The looks of a tank with the power to match.

19. Chevrolet Suburban

2018 Chevrolet Suburban

Chevrolet Suburban | General Motors

  • Starting MSRP: $50,200
  • MPG: 15 city/22 highway

We’ll forgive you if you think the Suburban looks like more like a tank than a car. After all, if you’re driving one of these SUVs with room for nine people, you’re probably the general of your own small army. It definitely has the power of a tank — it’s one of the most powerful Chevy models ever. The Suburban is definitely one the best SUVs for your money. It’s actually worth good money years after you drive it off the lot.

Next: Good looking and fun to drive? No wonder it’s one of the best SUVs for your money.

20. Chevrolet Traverse

2018 Chevrolet Traverse | Chevrolet

  • Starting MSRP: $29,930
  • MPG: 17 city/26 highway

Looking for a little bit more ‘sport’ in your sports utility vehicle? Look no further. With the size of a minivan but without the bland looks, the Traverse is fun to drive. Plus, you can feel good about supporting the United States if you buy this car. It’s more than 85% American made.

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