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Thursday, August 22, 2019

The 10 Least Expensive Compact SUVs to Own

1. Kia Niro

3-Year Ownership Cost: $29,461

MSRP: $24,485

Engine: 1.6-liter inline-4; permanent magnet synchronous AC motor

EPA Combined: 50 mpg

The Niro is the only hybrid vehicle on this list, which is the reason it's the least expensive to own over the course of three years. Its gas-electric powertrain delivers a stunning 50 mpg combined on the EPA test, almost twice as much as several of the vehicles shown here. The dollars it saves in gas make up for the fact that its MSRP is midpack. It's also good-looking and pleasant enough to drive that it will make you forget you're pinching pennies at the gas pump—which got it elected to our 2019 Editors' Choice list.

Kia - Car and Driver

2. Nissan Rogue Sport S

3-Year Ownership Cost: $30,079

MSRP: $23,385

Engine: 2.0-liter inline-4

EPA Combined: 28 mpg

The Rogue Sport is a stylish and comfortable compact SUV with class-competitive passenger and cargo room. Despite its name, it's not in the least sporty to drive. (The "Sport" badge distinguishes it from its larger Rogue sibling.) Still, its strong fuel economy and an asking price on the low side notched it into second place in this cheap-to-own guide.

Michael Simari - Car and Driver

3. Jeep Compass Sport

3-Year Ownership Cost: $30,592

MSRP: $23,590

Engine: 2.4-liter inline-4

EPA Combined: 26 mpg

The Compass occupies a narrow slot in the Jeep lineup between the subcompact Renegade and the slightly larger Cherokee. And while some Jeeps can get quite expensive—especially when loaded with options—sticking with an unadorned, base-model Compass keeps ownership costs toward the low end of the compact-SUV class.

Chris Amos - Car and Driver

4. Hyundai Tucson SE

3-Year Ownership Cost: $31,448

MSRP: $24,445

Engine: 2.0-liter inline-4

EPA Combined: 26 mpg

The compact Tucson is a handsome and well-equipped choice with strong enough attributes to win an Editors' Choice berth. Besides its reasonable ownership cost, the base model is blessed with a lot of standard tech, including a touchscreen infotainment system (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability), plus lane-keeping assist and automated emergency braking. The base 2.0-liter engine delivers adequate performance and fuel economy, and the Tucson's road manners are confident and capable.


5. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross ES

3-Year Ownership Cost: $31,531

MSRP: $24,690

Engine: turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-4

EPA Combined: 27 mpg

The Eclipse Cross's most appealing trait is its styling. Inside and out, it looks and feels like a more expensive vehicle than it is. Its sharply sloped roofline and crisply rendered sheetmetal look fresh and sporty, and its interior is well-built, with good-quality materials. While it looks racy, it's an easy driver with a soft ride and a reasonably peppy engine that delivers solid fuel economy.

Chris Doane Automotive - Car and Driver

6. Chevrolet Equinox L

3-Year Ownership Cost: $31,689

MSRP: $24,995

Engine: turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-4

EPA Combined: 28 mpg

The Equinox occupies the middle ground in this group in almost every way. Like most of the vehicles in this class, the Equinox offers plenty of passenger room and adequate cargo space to go along with its raised seating position. And like virtually every compact sport ute, it's also very carlike to drive. Its interior is handsomely designed, though the base model is a little short on standard equipment compared with some of its peers. Its acceleration is passable, but its EPA combined fuel economy is respectable, at 28 mpg.


7. Kia Sportage LX

3-Year Ownership Cost: $31,798

MSRP: $24,795

Engine: 2.4-liter inline-4

EPA Combined: 26 mpg

The Sportage looks intriguing to some, a bit odd to others, but there's no denying it's a good value. It feels athletic to drive, has a well-crafted interior for the price point, and comes with one of the best warranties in the business—character strengths that made it an Editors' Choice pick. We found that its standard engine is plenty adequate for most driving situations, and it delivers roughly average fuel economy for a vehicle in this class.


8. Subaru Forester

3-Year Ownership Cost: $31,825

MSRP: $25,270

Engine: 2.5 liter flat-4

EPA Combined: 29 mpg

The Forester is the only compact SUV on this list with all-wheel drive standard, which some buyers will find an important plus. Foresters we've driven are comfortable and easy to live with, and the base model delivers excellent fuel economy—the best in this group this side of the Kia Niro hybrid. And even base models are equipped with several key safety features, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automated emergency braking. No wonder it's also an Editors' Choice winner..

Chris Doane Automotive - Car and Driver

9. Mazda CX-5

3-Year Ownership Cost: $32,089

MSRP: $25,395

Engine: 2.5-liter inline-4

EPA Combined: 28 mpg

The CX-5 is a perennial Car and Driver favorite—and 10Best winner—for its fun-to-drive personality, impeccable styling, and upscale interior fittings. And it turns out that it's also reasonably inexpensive to own over three years as well. It is short on storage space, and its infotainment system could use updating, but we can just about guarantee that its drawbacks will be far outweighed by its positives once you climb behind the wheel.

10. Honda CR-V LX

3-Year Ownership Cost: $32,239

MSRP: $25,545

Engine: 2.4-liter inline-4

EPA Combined: 28 mpg

The CR-V sells like crazy, and with good reason: it offers many plusses but few minuses. By any measure, it is a top-tier compact SUV. It's handsome and roomy, offers generous cargo space, is well-built, and drives well. Its base engine delivers strong fuel economy. Its only negative is a fussy infotainment system. That nearly straight-A report card is how the CR-V earned a spot on our Editors' Choice list for 2019.


By: Car and Driver

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