Best 2016 SUVs Under $30,000

2016 Honda HR-V, Best SUVs Under $30,000
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Much Versatility, Moderate Cost

You don’t have to blow your kids’ whole college fund to get into a new SUV. Plenty of great SUVs cost less than the average new car and still give you the cargo space, ride height, and all-wheel-drive traction you want in sport utility.

Small SUVs are all the rage, as they meet the needs of two large groups of buyers in America: empty-nesting baby boomers, who have gotten used to the utility of SUVs but no longer need a big car to carry multiple kids, and their millennial kids, who are increasingly living in cities and starting to have kids of their own. They want something smaller and more efficient than the big SUVs they grew up riding in with their parents. Many millennials starting families haven’t reached a point in life where they can afford today’s expensive and bulky large SUVs.

Base models of several midsize SUVs can sneak under the $30,000 threshold, for those who need a little more room and don’t expect as many creature comforts. As big as most so-called small SUVs are these days, trading a little size for some extra features makes sense to a lot of buyers.

We should note that today’s small SUVs are every bit as big as the midsize SUVs that boomers purchased in droves in the 1990s. (Industry insiders refer to this trend as “segment creep,” when existing models grow a little larger with every redesign until new smaller models replace them.)

Our list of the eight best SUVs under $30,000 includes a few midsize models, some traditional small SUVs that have grown big enough to be comfortable for families, and one of the new even-smaller subcompact SUVs