If you're in the market for a new crossover, you've likely seen raving reviews for a slew of subcompact, compact, 2-row, 3-row, and hybrid crossover SUVs. The fierce competition on the market is great for you as the consumer because it keeps automakers on their toes, forcing them to add new features, refresh, and redesign their lineups. On the flip side, the saturated market makes it tough for the car buyer to choose, causing a case of analysis paralysis (i.e. you can't narrow down the options so you keep driving your old beater). U.S. News and World Report ranked the best new cars for the money based on a balance of quality and affordability. We've compiled the top crossovers from this list to help you make some moves.
1. Best Subcompact: 2020 Kia Soul
The 2020 Kia Soul is a subcompact crossover that checks nearly every box on the list of features you look for in a daily driver. Thanks to a redesign for 2020, the Soul gets sportier and more refined while still offering the unique benefits that make it stand out in the segment. These include its fun driving experience, generous cargo space, user-friendly tech, and one-of-kind styling.
The base engine is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that's good for 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. The top GT-Line Turbo trim comes with a 1.6-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine for 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. In addition to the capable engine options, the Soul provides its driver with responsive and precise steering and balanced handling. Best of all, you can get all these features for under $20K.
2020 Kia Soul Starting MSRP: $17,490
2. Best Compact: 2020 Honda CR-V
The compact crossover segment is saturated with excellent options like the Toyota RAV4, Chevy Equinox, Ford Escape, and Mazda CX-5. When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, however, it's hard to top the 2020 Honda CR-V. This compact crossover is one of the largest you can get among the segment with extremely competitive passenger and cargo space (an impressive 75.8 cubic feet of space behind the front seats).
In addition to practicality, the CR-V gives drivers a comfortable ride and solid acceleration courtesy of the 190-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. To top off the list of value propositions, the CR-V is very fuel-efficient, with an mpg of 28 city and 34 highway. A new hybrid model is coming this spring which means you'll be able to get even more value for years down the road.
2020 Honda CR-V Starting MSRP: $25,050
3. Best 2-Row: 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe
Anytime we get behind the wheel of a vehicle that feels more premium than its price tag suggests, we consider that a win. The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe falls into this category with upgraded exterior styling and new upscale interior materials that take this crossover up a notch from the last generation.
Two engine options include a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder base engine for 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque and a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo for 235 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. When it comes to in-car tech, Hyundai has some of the best in the biz which is evident in the Santa Fe's floating infotainment screen that melds function and simplicity for a user-friendly design.
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Starting MSRP: $26,125
4. Best 3-Row: 2020 Kia Sorento
An excellent three-row family SUV doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg and the proof is in the 2020 Kia Sorento. It might be in the final year of its current generation, but it's still worth a serious look. Although Kia's new 3-row Telluride has been getting all the buzz, it has a considerably higher starting MSRP of $31,890 and a lower mpg rating (20 city/26 highway compared to the Sorento's 22 city/29 highway) which means higher ownership costs.
The Sorento's quiet and refined driving experience, exceptional comfort, and cargo space of 73 cubic feet with seats folded flat won't disappoint the driver or passengers. Shoppers can choose from two engine options to power this 7-seater crossover including a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder for 185 horsepower and a 3.3-liter V6 for 290 horsepower. After a refresh in 2019, the Sorento's exterior styling is elevated to a more sophisticated and upscale level. All these benefits mean your dollar goes far when you choose the 2020 Sorento for your family.
2020 Kia Sorento Starting MSRP: $26,990
5. Best Hybrid: 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Despite a higher base price compared to the rest of the compact SUV segment, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is an excellent value thanks to its powerful engine, impressive fuel economy, and plentiful space in both its cabin and cargo area. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors combine to give this crossover a healthy 219 horsepower.
The hybrid has a leg up on the gas model, making the RAV4 Hybrid both quicker and quieter. The hybrid engine also saves you money in ownership costs with a generous mpg of 41 city and 38 highway. For 2020, the RAV4 Hybrid gives you more standard features like Android Auto, satellite radio, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Starting MSRP: $28,100