You don’t need to break the bank to get into an SUV. You can still get a stylish, efficient option for less than the dreaded $50,000 marker. Without sacrificing on the perks and luxury features, you can save big money by choosing one of these affordable models. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when purchasing an SUV and 10 of the best SUVs you can buy for under $50,000 in 2021.
Why An SUV?
There’s more to an SUV, or Sport Utility Vehicle, than the look. SUVs feature similar suspension to trucks, making them sit higher off the ground than a regular car. They generally also have extra space for passengers or cargo compared to a traditional sedan, as well as four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive options.
SUVs were originally designed as utility vehicles, usually in a military setting. Engineers created them to carry supplies through rough terrain, though their rugged features have also made them incredibly popular for personal use. Today, SUVs have become some of the most popular personal vehicles, along with their little brother, the crossover. For those wondering, a crossover has many of the same features as an SUV, such as four-wheel drive and extra cargo space, but it is built on a regular car platform, as opposed to the truck platform of an SUV. This makes crossovers less rugged and practical, but more efficient and comfortable.
10 Best SUVs For Less Than $50,000
While originally a niche product, SUVs have taken over the auto industry. That means there are many options out there, even at more affordable price points. If you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, here are 10 of the best SUVs you can buy for less than $50,000.
1. Subaru Forester: $24,795 +
The best value on the list, the Subaru Forester is for someone who likes adventure. It features all-wheel drive and roof racks built in, making it the perfect option for someone who wants to head out into the woods for canoeing, mountain biking, or skiing. Models range from the base Forester which gives you the same horsepower, towing capacity, efficiency as any other, to the Forester Touring, which give you all of Subaru’s luxury features while still coming in at under $35,000.
2. Jeep Wrangler: $28,900 +
For the true adventurer, the Jeep Wrangler has everything you could ask for. The Wrangler has the look, but it also has the features to back it up. Though its 18/23 mpg comes in on the lower end of the range, it makes up for it with four-wheel drive, a six-speed manual transmission, and a hefty towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. For the two-door model, Jeep offers a price tag that comes in at under $30,000, but the Rubicon model still comes in well under $50,000 and combines the Jeep utility with luxury features.
3. Volkswagen Atlas: $31,555 +
The Volkswagen Atlas does it all. It’s just as comfortable running errands through suburban streets as it is adventuring off-road. It fits three full rows of passengers and has tons of storage space for everything from luggage and camping gear to groceries and shopping bags. Plus, it gets excellent gas mileage at 22/26 mpg thanks to its 3.6L V6 engine with eight-speed automatic transmission. The best quality for under $50k, go with the SEL Premium trim with 4Motion control.
4. Ford Explorer: $32,925 +
A classic mid-sized SUV, the Ford Explorer can offer up to 365 horsepower while still getting 19/27 mpg. The XLT trim still gives you all the essential features and options while still maintaining an affordable price tag. Ford’s amazing interior technology system, coupled with the Explorer’s rugged design and ample storage space, makes it a great option for those looking to bridge the gap between the weekday and the weekend.
5. Toyota 4Runner: $36,765 +
The Toyota 4Runner gives you the style and utility of the Toyota Land Cruiser without the big price tag. The 4Runner is a much more affordable option, yet still features a huge extended cabin to bring family and friends along with you on your next adventure. Its 16/19 mpg and 270 horsepower are nothing to scoff at either. For the most exciting trim still under $50k, check out the Venture Special Edition.
6. Jaguar E-Pace: $39,950 +
If you’re still looking for a luxury SUV without bridging that $50k barrier, look no further than the Jaguar E-Pace. Though compact enough to seem like a crossover, the E-Pace is still built on a truck chassis. While still featuring ample storage/passenger space, the E-Pace gets excellent mileage at 21/28 mpg and boasts 296 horsepower. For an exciting, nimble ride with the utility of an SUV and the luxuries of a sedan, the E-Pace is an excellent option.
7. BMW X3: $43,000 +
For those looking for the most comfortable ride possible, the BMW X3 lands somewhere between a mid-sized SUV and a crossover, with 248 horsepower and 25/29 mpg. With the xDrive30e model, you’ve even got a luxury hybrid option that still comes in at under $50,000 without sacrificing BMW’s technological features like park distance control, BMW Assist eCall for emergencies, and much more.
8. Audi Q5: $43,000 +
As HiConsumption pointed out, the Audi Q5 is the best of both worlds. It’s got top-of-the-line style, efficiency, and utility. 261 horsepower. 23/28 mpg. A 2.0-liter turbocharged TFSI engine. If you want the best options possible while keeping the price under $50,000, go with the Premius Plus trim, which gives you 9″ 5-double-arm design wheels, Audi active lane assist and Adaptive cruise control with Traffic Jam assist, and Audi virtual cockpit plus.
9. Alfa Romeo Stelvio: $43,010 +
An SUV with Italian style, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is like nothing else on the road. You get 280 horsepower and 22/28 mpg in a sleek and stylish package that still offers the storage space, handling, and all-wheel drive you want out of an SUV. For the best luxury under $50k, go with the Stelvio Ti.
10. Mercedes-Benz GLC: $43,200 +
Once again, a luxury SUV doesn’t have to cost you over $50,000, and nothing says luxury like Mercedes-Benz. The GLC gives you Mercedes-Benz style, power, and luxury at an attainable price. With 255 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds, the GLC is exciting every time you get behind the wheel—while still offering the space and utility of an SUV. The GLC 300 4MATIC trim gives you Mercedes-Benz’s all-wheel drive system while still remaining under $50,000.
So if you want a high-quality SUV while staying on a budget, don’t despair. There are many amazing options out there that still offer all the features and luxuries you could want. With a little research, you can find the perfect SUV for you without straying from your price range.