With a carlike ride, an elevated seating position, and versatile cargo space, it’s easy to see why crossover SUVs are so popular. While they generally cost more than sedans and hatchbacks, there are still plenty of affordable SUV options on the market. This weekend, there are lots of Memorial Day SUV sales that can make your dream ride even more affordable.
2016 Buick Encore
The upscale and smooth-riding 2016 Buick Encore is available this Memorial Day for $179 per month for 39 months with $819 due at signing. Buick is also offering zero percent financing for five years plus $2,200 bonus cash if you prefer to buy.
The Encore’s rear seats are a little cramped for adults, which is typical for a subcompact SUV, but up front, there’s plenty of space and cabin materials are first-rate. With the rear seats folded down, the Encore can hold 48.4 cubic feet of cargo, which is about average for a subcompact SUV. Numerous storage areas throughout the cabin give you plenty of space to stow small items.
The Encore has a comfortable ride and poised handling, but isn’t particularly athletic. Under the hood, the Encore’s 138-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine is a little underpowered, so the new available 153-horsepower motor is the better choice if you'd prefer to have a little more muscle. However, low lease rates may not be available with the optional engine.
2016 Chevrolet Trax
All-new for 2015, the subcompact Chevy Trax is very maneuverable in tight spaces and its cabin technology is user-friendly. This Memorial Day, you can lease the Trax for $199 per month for 39 months with $1,619 due at signing.
Adults should be able to find a comfortable seating position in either row of the Trax, and up front, the infotainment system operates intuitively. Maximum cargo space measures 48.4 cubic feet, which is typical for the class, but the front passenger seat folds flat to accommodate long items, and there’s plenty of small-object storage space in the cabin.
On the road, the Trax handles with poise and its small size makes it quite nimble. The turbocharged 138-horsepower four-cylinder engine is loud and underpowered though. Competitors like the Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade, and Nissan Juke are more engaging to drive overall.
2016 Honda CR-V
Moving up in size to compact SUVs, the spacious and functional 2016 Honda CR-V is available for $219 per month for three years with approximately $2,000 - $2,500 due at signing, depending on where you live. If you don’t want to pay anything up front, Honda is offering lease rates of $280 - $290 per month. You can purchase a CR-V with 0.9 percent financing for three or 1.9 percent for up to five years, depending on your location.
The CR-V’s seating is spacious and comfortable in front and in back, and not much wind or road noise penetrates the attractive and well-built cabin. All the CR-V’s tech features are user-friendly, and maximum cargo space is excellent for a compact SUV, at 70.9 cubic feet.
The Honda CR-V’s 185-horsepower four-cylinder engine has enough strength to move the SUV without trouble, although some competitors like the Ford Escape and Volkswagen Tiguan offer more potent engine options. While the CR-V isn’t sporty, it has precise steering, poised handling, and a smooth ride.
2016 Kia Sportage
With the introduction of the all-new 2017 Kia Sportage, Kia is offering great deals on the outgoing 2016 Sportage. This Memorial Day, you can lease the 2016 Sportage for between $183 and $244 per month for two to three years with a couple thousand dollars due at signing, depending on where you live. You could also buy one with zero percent financing for 66 months.
On winding roads, the Sportage handles athletically, but its ride quality isn’t as smooth as most rivals’. Under the hood, the standard 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine has enough power for daily driving. Opting for the turbocharged 260-horsepower four-cylinder provides livelier acceleration, but low monthly lease rates aren’t available on the Sportage with this engine.
Inside, the Sportage has easy-to-use technology and attractive styling. Seating space is adequate, but some rivals, like the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester, have roomier cabins. Cargo space is also on the low end for the class, at 54.6 cubic feet behind the first row.
2016 Toyota RAV4
If you struggle to pack lightly, the Toyota RAV4’s large cargo area may come in handy. The RAV4 is available for $179 - $209 per month for three years with $1,999 - $3,208 up front, depending on your location. You could also purchase a RAV4 with zero percent financing for five years.
With the rear seat folded down, the RAV4 has 73.4 cubic feet of cargo space, which is one of the best figures in the class. The front seats are supportive and comfortable, while the back row has plenty of space for adults. The RAV4 is available with a variety of driver-assistance features, including a 360-degree camera system that helps with backing up and parking in tight spaces.
The only engine available with the RAV4 is a 176-horsepower four-cylinder, which produces adequate thrust for most situations. Highway passing is a little more difficult than it should be due to the six-speed automatic transmission’s hesitancy to downshift. On winding roads, the RAV4 offers poised handling and precise steering, but rivals like the Mazda CX-5 and Ford Escape are more athletic.
2016 Chevy Equinox
The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox is a top choice if space and interior refinement are higher priorities than an engaging drive. You can lease an Equinox this Memorial Day for $199 per month for two years with $3,279 due at signing.
Adults will be comfortable in both rows of the Equinox, and the cabin is attractively designed and built with soft-touch materials throughout. When both rows of seats are folded down, the Equinox has 63.7 cubic feet of storage space, which is less than the capacities of some of the aforementioned class leaders like the CR-V and RAV4. The second row slides and reclines, which helps with cargo versatility.
With numb steering and considerable body lean through corners, the Equinox isn’t as fun to drive as some rivals like the Mazda CX-5 or Ford Escape, but it does deliver a smooth and comfortable ride. Under the hood, the 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine could use more muscle to help the Equinox pass and merge easily on the highway. The available 301-horsepower V6 improves things, but you can’t lease the V6 Equinox at these low rates.
2016 GMC Terrain
There’s adult-friendly space in both rows of the Terrain, and cabin aesthetics and build quality are first-rate. Up front, the infotainment system is user-friendly. Cargo space isn’t a strong point for the Terrain though, as its maximum 63.9 cubic feet is on the lower end among compact SUVs.
The Terrain rides smoothly overall, but in corners, it can feel heavy and cumbersome. The base 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine feels a little underpowered when the Terrain is filled with people and gear. Upgrading to the available 301-horsepower V6 is the way to go for better muscle, but low lease rates aren’t available with this engine.
2016 Hyundai Tucson
The redesigned 2016 Hyundai Tucson offers a comfortable ride and plenty of modern technology. It’s available for $199 - $209 per month for two to three years with $2,499 - $2,999 due at signing this Memorial Day, depending on where you live. For buyers, Hyundai is offering 0.9 percent financing for up to five years.
Driver-assistance features like lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection are newly available with the Tucson for 2016. Seating is very comfortable and spacious in both rows. Maximum cargo space measures 61.9 cubic feet, a low figure for a compact SUV, as rivals like the CR-V, RAV4, and Subaru Forester have 70 cubic feet or more.
Unlike older Tucson models, the redesigned 2016 model boasts a very comfortable and quiet ride. Through corners, the Tucson feels composed, although there are more athletic compact SUVs like the CX-5 and Escape. A 164-horsepower four-cylinder engine adequately moves the Tucson, while the available 175-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder delivers more punch.
2016 Nissan Rogue
With a high-class cabin and lots of room, the 2016 Nissan Rogue also belongs on your shopping list. You can lease it this month for $179 - $189 per month for three years with $2,599 - $2,999 due at signing in most regions. If you live in the northwest, you can lease a Rogue with no money down and pay $269 per month. Buyers can bring home the Rogue with zero percent financing for five years.
Handsome styling and premium materials give the Rogue’s cabin an upscale vibe. It’s one of the few compact SUVs that is available with a third-row seat, although it only has enough space for kids. The spacious second-row seats can slide up to 9 inches fore and aft, which makes it easy to climb into the back row. With the second- and third-row seats folded down, the Rogue offers 70 cubic feet of cargo space, which is excellent for the class.
On the road, the Rogue has a smooth ride and stable handling, but its steering is numb, and several competing compact SUVs are more nimble overall. Under the hood, the Rogue gets adequate power from its 170-horsepower four-cylinder engine, but it can feel weak on the highway and be loud when strained.
2016 Hyundai Santa Fe
With the refreshed 2017 Santa Fe hitting the market, Hyundai is offering good deals on the outgoing 2016 model. It’s available for $269 per month for three years with $2,449 due at signing this Memorial Day. Or, you can purchase the Santa Fe with 0.9 percent financing for five years.
Around turns, the Santa Fe handles well for a midsize SUV, and the brakes are strong. The ride can be a little rough over some surfaces though. Passing other vehicles on the highway is a breeze with the three-row Santa Fe’s 290-horsepower V6 engine under the hood. It also provides lively acceleration from a stop.
The Santa Fe has a serene and spacious cabin. Adults can sit comfortably in the first two rows, but the third row can only accommodate children, which is typical for the class. Cargo space behind the first row of seats measures approximately 80 cubic feet, which is a little low for a three-row SUV. Material quality inside is high, and the Santa Fe’s infotainment system is easy to use.
2016 Nissan Pathfinder
The upscale and fuel-efficient 2016 Nissan Pathfinder is available for lease this Memorial Day at $269 - $299 per month for three years with $2,499 - $2,799 due at signing, depending on where you live. Or, you can buy one with zero percent financing for three years plus $500 bonus cash.
Under the hood, the Pathfinder’s 260-horsepower V6 engine has plenty of power for all common situations, and gas mileage is great for a midsize SUV, at 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. On winding roads, the Pathfinder doesn’t have sporty moves, but it handles corners with composure, and the ride is smooth even over rough surfaces.
Premium materials, spacious seating, and an aesthetically pleasing design make the Pathfinder’s interior a great place to spend time. The third row is best left to kids, but that’s typical for the class, and access is made easy by the sliding second-row seat. With the back two rows folded down, the Pathfinder can hold 79.8 cubic feet of cargo, which is a competitive figure for the class.
2016 GMC Acadia
The 2016 Acadia has a roomy and comfortable interior, as well as a smooth ride, but the redesigned 2017 model may be worth waiting for if the latest technology is a priority. In order to clear out the 2016 Acadia, GMC is offering a cheap lease rate this month. It’s available for as little as $289 per month for 39 months with $3,699 due at signing . You could also purchase one with zero percent financing for five years plus $1,250 bonus cash.
The Acadia’s 281-horsepower V6 engine has sufficient strength in most situations, but it could use some more punch when the Acadia is filled with passengers and cargo. On the road, the 2016 Acadia feels more like a car than a large SUV, with a comfortable ride and poised handling.
The Acadia has adult-friendly space in all three rows, and the sliding second-row seat makes accessing the third row easy. With the rear seats folded down, the 2016 Acadia packs 116.1 cubic feet of cargo space, an excellent figure for a large crossover. In addition to all the space, the cabin’s handsome styling and plentiful soft-touch surfaces make upper trims of the Acadia feel almost like a Cadillac inside.