The car market today is perhaps more diverse than ever before. Buyers are pretty spoilt for choice, especially when it comes to trucks and SUVs. After all, virtually every automaker offers at least one truck in their lineup.
Fancy an off-roading beast, or perhaps a lavish 7-seater? These are the best budget-friendly pickup trucks and SUVs that will cost you no more than $30,000.
The Colorado is a midsize pickup truck that’s essentially a redesigned GMC Canyon. The two trucks share virtually all of the same underpinnings, as well as a similar sticker price.
The base model may feel a little underpowered, though. It comes fitted with an inline-four gas motor rated at a mere 200 horsepower. Still, it’s quite a good deal for as low as $27,700.
The Trailblazer was launched as an alternative to the Kia Seltos or the Mazda CX-30. This compact crossover SUV remains one of the best picks starting at under $25,000.
The starting price of $22,795 is pretty well justified. Buyers get high-tech features, a roomy and modern interior, and a good overall ride. We just hope Chevy offered more powerful engine options.
This could just be the best-looking Mazda that’s currently available on the market. At first sight, you may find it hard to believe that this beauty costs less than $30,000.
The sleek exterior design is perfectly matched by the upscale interior. The CX-30 is a joy to drive, although its 186-horsepower motor does feel underpowered at times. Nonetheless, this SUV is a good deal starting at $23,300.
Hyundai Santa Cruz
Hyundai has unarguably stepped up its game in the last years, and the latest Santa Cruz truck is a prime example. It’s essentially a Tucson redesigned as a pickup truck.
Buyers can pick one up for around $24,000. Expect great handling, an impressive towing capacity, and a not-so-great fuel economy.
The Tacoma is unarguably one of the best-priced trucks on the market today. They’re extremely durable and can tow either 6,500 or 6,800 pounds, depending on the drivetrain. Not to mention its 270-horsepower motor, which is powerful enough for a daily.
The best part? You can pick one of these bad boys up starting at $29,000, along with a warranty for either 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. That’s quite a good deal.
This is one of the cheapest new SUVs on our list. In fact, the sticker price can be as low as $23,800 for the base 2022 Kia Seltos.
The Seltos is far from perfect, though. An underpowered motor found in the base model, paired with rather poor fuel economy, is undoubtedly the biggest downside of the latest Seltos.
The Nissan Frontier is another solid pick under $30,000. This mid-size truck offers a modern interior, a quiet ride, and plenty of high-tech safety features. Pricing starts at $29,000 for the base model.
Those who care about off-road performance can opt for the Pro-4X variant. This version was recently awarded the Best Off-Road Truck title by TFLtruck.
Frankly speaking, there’s a reason why the Hyundai Tucson remains the automaker’s best-seller. It’s amazing value for money, considering that the 2022 Tucson starts at just $26,195 for the base model.
Buyers can expect futuristic styling inside and out, a high-quality interior finish, and a comfy and quiet ride.
The Ranger first hit the market as a compact truck back in the 80s. It was eventually revived as a mid-size truck in 2019, following a nearly decade-long hiatus.
Today, the latest Ranger is a great midsize pickup truck, especially considering its attractive price tag. The 2022 Ford Ranger starts at $29,335.
There are many reasons why the new Ford Maverick deserves your attention. For starters, its towing and payload capacities are similar, if not better, than most of its more expensive competitors. The 5.9-second sprint to 60 miles per hour sounds pretty exciting, too.
Buyers can pick up a brand new Maverick starting at a little under $22,000. It may just be one of the best deals in its price range if you can get your hands on one.
Jeep has surely stayed true to its roots, especially with the Cherokee. The latest version of the automaker’s flagship SUV still features best-in-class off-roading capabilities.
Features such as a locking differential, three different all-wheel-drive systems, or a terrain management system can all be found on the latest Cherokee. This compact SUV starts at roughly $26,000 for the base model.
The Toyota RAV4 revolutionized the car industry ever since its 1994 debut. It’s considered to be the world’s first crossover SUV. The nameplate has since earned a reputation for being affordable and extremely reliable.
The latest 2022 Toyota RAV4 starts at a little under $28,000 for the base model, fitted with a 2.5L flat-four and front-wheel-drive.
The Taos is one of the latest additions to the Volkswagen lineup. It initially debuted in China for the 2018 model year. It’s available in the US since 2020.
This subcompact crossover SUV boasts a pretty roomy cabin, complete with high-tech features available as extra options. Pricing for the 2022 VW Taos begins at $24,500.
Ram 1500 Classic
We all knew a Ram simply had to make it on this list. After all, Ram trucks are renowned for their reliability, performance, and overall providing solid value given their price tag.
The Classic trim of the 2022 Ram 1500 starts at roughly $29,000. It’s a decent pick within that budget, as long as you can look past the slightly dated design inside and out.
The Rogue is arguably one of the sleekest SUVs on this list. This is largely due to the fact that it was redesigned for the 2021 model year, hence it still looks extremely modern today.
The 2022 Nissan Rogue can be purchased for as low as $27,275. Buyers looking for the most upscale version can opt for the Platinum trim level which features a slightly nicer interior finish.
Mini Cooper Countryman
You may be surprised to find out that a brand new Countryman costs less than $30,000. Actually, this subcompact SUV starts at $29,100, so it barely fits in the under-30k price range.
The Countryman may be priced steeper than most of its competitors, though it also features upscale equipment and a smooth ride. It is built by BMW, after all.
Kia has, much like Hyundai, really stepped up their game in the last years. The 2022 Niro is a small crossover that’s renowned for its excellent fuel economy.
The 2022 Kia Niro starts at a little under $26,000 for the base model. The Korean manufacturer offers a warranty for either 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. Hybrid and electric variants feature an extended 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.
Toyota Corolla Cross
The Corolla Cross proudly wears the same nameplate as the sedan, which is widely considered to be one of the most reliable vehicles of all time. The same can be said about its SUV counterpart!
Buyers can pick up a brand new 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross starting at around $23,400. They come equipped with lots of safety features as standard, hence there aren’t too many optional upgrades to choose from.
This SUV is the go-to choice for buyers looking for a spacious SUV. The latest Outlander starts at under $28,000 and comes with plenty of safety features. The ride is smooth and quite agile, too.
While the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander can fit up to 7 occupants, passengers in the third row may complain about the lack of space. The fuel economy isn’t exactly the best, despite quite an underpowered engine.
The Crosstrek is more than just another SUV, it’s also a statement. It seems that most automakers forgot what SUVs were all about- durability, off-road performance, and being comfortable enough to drive every day.
The Crosstrek is a great reminder of what a capable crossover SUV should be. Pricing starts at around $23,500, making it a great deal too.
If you’re looking for a sporty, budget-friendly SUV, the 2022 Hyundai Kona might just be the perfect pick. The Kona is agile, fun to drive, and some of the optional engine variants are relatively quick too.
The base model starts at around $22,400, though most buyers opt for the SEL AWD trim level, powered by a 2-liter flat-four, which begins at $25,700.
This is yet another great reminder of what a capable SUV can be like. The latest Subaru Outback features impressive ground clearance, and off-roading capabilities that match those of larger SUVs. An all-wheel-drive drivetrain is available as a standard feature, too.
The 2022 Subaru Outback starts at around $28,000. Buyers can pick from 8 different trim levels.
Hyundai Santa Fe
Buyers are pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to the Hyundai Santa Fe. There are 10 different trim levels to choose from, two types of drivetrains, and even an optional hybrid variant.
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe starts at around $28,500 for the base model. Sadly, third-row seating is not an option for any trim level.
Buick Encore GX
The Encore GX has got to be one of the greatest SUVs in its price range. This compact Buick looks like an upscale vehicle, and it feels like one too. The ride is quiet and extremely comfortable.
The 2022 Buick Encore GX starts at just $25,400. Sadly, the automaker only offers a small three-cylinder motor under the hood.
The GMC Canyon may not be the most exciting pickup truck on the market today. It is, however, quite a solid pick in its price range. It’s difficult to find a similar compact truck under $30 000, that’s for sure.
The lack of modern safety features may drive some buyers away, though a Canyon will do great as a workhorse. Pricing starts at less than $27,000.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
An impressive array of standard features is what drives money buyers to pick up the new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. These include a rearview camera, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and more.
The 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross starts at a little less than $25,000. Sadly, every single trim level offered seems pretty underpowered. This is still a good pick if you’re not looking for a high-performance machine, though.
As a petrolhead, you can either love or hate the Jeep Wrangler. Whatever the answer may be, there’s no denying that it remains one of the world’s best off-roaders that’s also comfortable enough to be used daily.
The 2022 Jeep Wrangler does manage to fall in the under-30k price range. The starting price for the base model is $29,725, to be precise.
Ford offers a whopping 10 trim levels to choose from for the latest Ford Escape crossover. Buyers can also pick from different engine versions, both standard and hybrids.
If you can get past a low-quality interior finish with lots of plastic, then this might just be the ideal choice for a budget-friendly crossover. Pricing of the 2022 Ford Escape starts at around $27,200.
Ford Bronco Sport
The Bronco Sport is the little brother of the regular Ford Bronco. As a result, it’s better on gas and more agile than its bigger alternative. Its cheaper, too!
In fact, the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport starts at $28,900, which is around a thousand dollars less than the regular Bronco. Despite its smaller size, the Bronco Sport still has plenty of room!
The Nissan Kicks is perhaps the cheapest new vehicle in its class. The starting price for a brand new Kicks is just $19,700, and a pretty decked-out unit will still set you back less than $25,000.
The Kicks is suitable for the daily commute around the city. Don’t expect anything too crazy in terms of performance, though. The 2022 Kicks peaks at just 122 horsepower.
The mighty Forester is a nameplate that’s been a part of the Subaru lineup for over two decades. It was first launched in 1997 and quickly rose to fame for its off-roading capabilities, performance, and very few compromises.
Though not as spartan as the original Forester, the latest version of the SUV remains renowned for its off-roading capabilities. Pricing starts at $26,300, with AWD as standard. An optional off-road trim is perfect for buyers who crave even more from their Forester.
You’ll feel as if you are in a luxury vehicle the second you step in a new GMC Terrain. The high-quality interior is stylish, complete with plenty of high-tech features. The ride inside the roomy cabin is quiet and very smooth, too.
Believe it or not, the 2022 GMC Terrain can be picked up for as little as $25,000 for the base model.
Interestingly, the Volkswagen Tiguan can seat up to 7 occupants as standard. What’s even more interesting is the fact that buyers can remove the third-row seats as an extra option, rather than adding them.
It would cost you at least $25,250 to drive off the lot in a brand new 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan.
When driving the new Chevrolet Blazer, you may just forget that you’re behind the wheel of a budget-friendly midsize SUV. The handling is surprisingly responsive, and some of the more powerful optional engine variants are quite dynamic.
The starting price of a new Chevy Blazer is around $29,000 before extra options. Unlike many competitors, it only has two rows of seats though.
The Acadia is a bit similar to the previously mentioned GMC Terrain. Both vehicles look and feel a lot more expensive than they really are. In reality, the Acadia starts at a few hundred dollars below the $30,000 mark.
The latest 2022 GMC Acadia comes packed with high-tech features, including a responsive infotainment system controlled by an 8-inch touchscreen. Buyers can pick between two different engine options.
This may just be the most practical subcompact SUV available on the market today. The roomy cabin has enough space to comfortably accommodate adults in all 5 seats.
The car itself is surprisingly agile and easy to park, all thanks to its small size. A 2021 HR-V will cost you at least $21,000 before extra options.
Right off the bat, the Hyundai Venue is a great deal. This small SUV is available for as low as $18,750. It’s quite fun to drive due to its small size. The 2021 Venue is good on gas, too.
Buyers who prioritize cargo space may want to stay away from the Hyundai Venue. It is quite cramped, even for a subcompact SUV.
Don’t let the name fool you. The Kia Soul does not really have a soul. If anything, it’s a pretty bland and unexciting vehicle. However, that may just be what some buyers are looking for.
The 2021 Kia Soul starts at less than $18,000, making it one of the cheapest SUVs on our list. It may not be particularly pretty, agile, or high-performance, but it will get you from point A to point B safely.