8 Best Crossover SUVs To Buy In U.S. (2021) Affordable And Fuel-Efficient

These Crossover SUVs are cheap yet look premium

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The demand for the best crossover SUVs has increased gently over the last few years in the US. Crossover SUVs are one of the best options for those who want to have the benefits of both an SUV and an everyday car. They provide more space and a prominent seating position while maintaining ride quality and the practicality of cars.

Anyway, if you are planning to buy a crossover SUV in 2021, then you have come to the right place as we have picked out some of the finest crossover SUVs for you.

Best Crossover SUVs 2021

Here is the list of best crossover SUVs in the U.S. They are affordable, fuel-efficient, spacious, and absolutely fun when it comes to driving. Anyway, let’s explore each one of them without any delay.

S.No.Best Crossover SUVsPrice
1.Toyota RAV4$26,150
2.Mazda CX5$25,370
3.Kia Sorento$29,390
4.Honda CRV$25,350
5.Hyundai Tucson$23,700
6.Subaru Outback$26,795
7.Ford Escape$24,885
8.Nissan Rogue$26,050

1. Toyota RAV4: Best Crossover SUV In Terms Of Mileage

2021 Toyota RAV4 fuel efficieny
Image: Toyota
Toyota RAV4Specifications
Starting Price$26,150
Engine Options2.5-liter Dynamic Force 4-cylinder hybrid
2.5-liter Dynamic Force 4-cylinder
Engine Specs2.5-liter hybrid- 216 BHP and 238 Nm of Torque
2.5-liter NA- 200 BHP and 249 Nm of Torque
Fuel Efficiency2.5-liter Hybrid – 40 MPG
2.5-liter NA – 30 MPG

The Toyota RAV4 is one of the very few crossover SUVs in this range that is available with a hybrid option. The hybrid powertrain allows it to provide a better fuel efficiency than most of its competitors in the market. Not only this, RAV4 is a performance-oriented car as well.

RAV4 is designed to perform in different terrains like mud, sand, snow, rock, and dirt. In addition, its torque-vectoring AWD powertrain makes driving fun and also enhances stability.

Speaking of appearance, the new RAV4 looks aesthetic with its sharp design, and the interior looks premium as well.

If you jump inside the cabin, then you get features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Alexa, JBL sound system, ventilated/ heated front seats, wireless charger, and much more.

In terms of safety, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick vehicle that leaves no room for any doubt.

Cons

The base model is equipped with limited features.

2. Mazda CX5

2021 Mazda cx5 best crossover SUV
Image: Mazda
2021 Mazda CX5Specifications
Starting Price$25,370
Engine OptionsSKYACTIV®-G 2.5 DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder
SKYACTIV®-G 2.5 Turbo DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder
Engine Specs2.5-liter NA Petrol- 184 BHP and 252 Nm
2.5-liter Turbo Petrol- 224 BHP and 420 Nm
Fuel Efficiency23 – 31 MPG (miles per gallon)

Mazda CX5 seems to be the best crossover SUV one can buy in this budget. The 2021 Mazda CX5 provides a perfect blend of safety, technology, and interior.

The cabin looks premium and comes decorated with Nappa leather and genuine wood. For an even better experience, you get a 10.25-inch full-color display, Android Auto and Apple Carplay connectivity, USB ports, Bluetooth, Bose speakers, and much more.

If you talk about performance then under the hood you get two engine options: one is a naturally aspirated(NA) engine and the other is a much more powerful turbo engine.

The 2.5-liter four-cylinder NA engine is capable of producing 184 BHP and 252 Nm of torque. On the other hand, the turbo variant could churn out around 224 BHP and 420 Nm of torque.

Both engines are capable of delivering the utmost performance and quality rides. However, if you have a flair for extra performance, then go for the turbo variant.

Anyway, what impressed us most is the build quality and safety features of the Mazda CX5. Apart from all the necessary safety features, Mazda CX5 is incorporated with i-Activesense safety technology to avoid collisions and accidents.

Furthermore, the 2020 Mazda CX5 was awarded a five-star NHTSA safety rating and IIHS Top Safety Picks+ which also makes it one of the safest crossover SUVs.

Cons

Although there isn’t much to complain about Mazda CX5, you might find it low on cargo space due to its compact design. After folding the second row, you get 59.6 cubic feet of space, which seems slightly less considering the segment.

3. Kia Sorento

2021 Kia Sorento
Kia SorentoSpecifications
Starting Price$29,390
Engine Options2.5-liter 4-cylinder Naturally Aspirated Petrol
2.5-liter 4-cylinder Turbocharged
Engine Specs2.5-liter NA- 188 BHP and 245 Nm Torque
2.5-liter Turbo- 277 BHP and 421 Nm Torque
Fuel Efficiency2.5-liter NA- 26 MPG
2.5-liter Turbo- 25 MPG

Kia Sorento provides ample space, a comfortable interior, and it’s quite rich in features. There’s plenty of head and legroom for both front and second-row passengers. However, the third row is quite congested, and we say it’s suitable for kids only.

The infotainment system consists of a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Bose speakers, Bluetooth, USB ports, and more.

Coming onto the performance, it’s available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options. The NA petrol engine is adequate for daily driving, however, the turbo variant churns out an insane amount of power.

In terms of safety, it’s equipped with Kia Drive Wise Driver Assist Technology and provides sufficient safety features.

Furthermore, whether it be outer appearance or inner presence, it’s one of the best-looking crossover SUVs. If you need extra space and a modern-looking car then Kia Sorento is an ideal choice.

Cons

It’s not as sporty as its rivals when it comes to off-roading capabilities. Secondly, the third row is quite congested for adult passengers.

4. Honda CRV: Undisputed Best Seller

Honda CRV best crossover SUV
Honda CRVSpecifications
Starting Price$25,350
Engine Options1.5-liter 4-cylinder Turbocharged
2.0-liter 4 cylinder hybrid engine
Engine Specs1.5-liter Turbo- 187 BHP and 242 Nm of Torque
2.0-liter Hybrid- 209 BHP and 242 Nm of Torque
Fuel Efficiency1.5-liter- 30 MPG
2.0-liter 38 MPG

Honda CRV has been one of the best-selling crossover SUVs in the U.S. for the past decade. This crossover SUV from the Japanese automaker possesses excellent build quality, handling, safety, performance, and comfort.

The seats are comfortable and there is enough headspace and legroom on the second row. If we talk about the cargo space, then after folding the second-row seats, you can get up to 75 cubic feet of space, which is quite impressive.

The Honda CRV looks sporty and appealing to the eyes. Inside the cabin, you will notice the premium leather finish and the application of high-quality materials. In addition, features like Apple Carplay, Android Auto, wireless charger, heated steering and seats, 7-inch display, among others, add to its luxurious appeal.

On a safety point, there’s a long list of features: to name a few, there’s Honda Sensing Suite, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Keep Assist.

5. Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai Tucson
Image: Hyundai
Hyundai TucsonSpecifications
Starting Price$23,700
Engine Options2.0-liter 4 cylinder DOHC 16-valve with D-CVVT
2.4-liter 4 cylinder DOHC 16-valve with D-CVVT
Engine Specs2.0-liter- 159 BHP and 203 Nm of Torque
2.4-liter- 178 BHP and 237 Nm of Torque
Fuel Efficiency25 MPG

Hyundai Tucson is one of the most affordable yet stylish crossover SUVs. Its engine is smooth and refined, has good driving dynamics, packed with smart features, and the top of the line is its five-star NHTSA safety rating.

Tucson is also ranked number one in initial quality among compact SUVs by J.D. Power. Initial Quality simply defines the quality of the vehicle, which is evaluated by considering the problems faced by the owner in the first 90 days of ownership.

On the performance front, the 2.0-liter engine is moderate on highways whereas the 2.4-liter variant seems much more dominant with better power output.

Furthermore, features such as Android Auto, Apple Carplay, 7-inch color touchscreen display, Lane Keep Assist, and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist are offered as standard across all variants.

Cons

Low Mileage and the base variant is not as punchy as its competitors.

6. Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback
Subaru OutbackSpecifications
Starting Price$26,795
Engine Options2.5-liter NA Subaru Boxer 4-cylinder
2.4-liter turbocharged Subaru Boxer 4-cylinder
Engine Specs2.5-liter NA- 179 BHP and 238 Nm of Torque
2.4-liter Turbo- 256 BHP and 375 Nm of Torque
Fuel Efficiency2.5-liter NA- 29 MPG
2.4-liter Turbo 26 MPG

Subaru has been the most trusted brand for the past six years, according to Kelly Blue Book. If we talk about Subaru Outback, then as per the report of Experian, about 97% percent of Subaru Outback SUVs sold in the past 10 years are still on the road.

There’s a long list of such achievements. Anyway, Subaru Outback offers plenty of room inside the cabin, cargo space, high ground clearance, a number of standard features, paramount safety, and decent engine options.

To be a bit more specific, Subaru Outback has a ride height of 8.7 inches and cargo space of more than 75 cubic feet which is one of the highest in its segment.

One feature that sets the Subaru Outback apart is that, unlike its rivals, AWD powertrain is offered as standard in all trims. Along with AWD powertrain, Driver Assist technology, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, and LED steering responsive headlights are among the standard features.

In short, Subaru Outback is capable of being an excellent machine for both city driving and highway cruising.

Cons

The base variant interior seems to be of average quality. Unlike the higher trims, the seat covers are made up of black cloth which does not look of premium quality.

7. Ford Escape

ford escape compact SUV
Ford EscapeSpecifications
Starting Price$24,885
Engine Options2.5-liter iVCT 4-cylinder Hybrid
1.5-liter Turbo Ecoboost 3-cylinder
2.0-liter Turbo Ecoboost 4-cylinder
Engine Specs2.5-liter Hybrid- 163 BHP and 210 Nm of Torque
1.5-liter Turbo- 178 BHP and 257 Nm of Torque
2.0-liter Turbo- 246 BHP and 379 Nm of Torque
Fuel Efficiency2.5-liter Hybrid- 40 MPG
1.5-liter Turbo- 30 MPG
2.0-liter Turbo- 26 MPG

The list would be incomplete without the presence of Ford Escape. The 2021 Ford Escape is designed for both decent as well as adventurous drivers.

It’s available in three engine options, including both hybrid and turbo variants. The turbo variant offers blistering performance; however, it compromises mileage. On the other hand, the hybrid version is quite fuel-efficient and provides a smooth power delivery.

Anyway, the ride quality of all variants ensures a fun and enjoyable driving experience. For even better stability and handling, you can choose between different driving modes.

Moving inside, the seats are comfortable, and the cabin is spacious. For entertainment, SYNC 3 powered display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, along with a six-speaker system, is incorporated as standard.

Furthermore, Ford Escape has been awarded a five-star NHTSA safety rating and is also an IIHS Top Safety Pick crossover SUV.

Cons

The infotainment system in the standard variant could have been better.

8. Nissan Rogue

Nissan Rogue best crossover suvs
Image: Nissan
Nissan RogueSpecifications
Starting Price$26,050
Engine Options2.5-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) 4-cylinder engine
Engine Specs2.5-liter NA- 179 BHP and 245 Nm of Torque
Fuel Efficiency2.5-liter NA- 30 MPG

Nissan Rogue is one of the most popular and best-selling crossover SUVs in America. It’s built meticulously and provides a balanced combination of power, comfort, and features. The engine is one of the most refined in its segment.

The comfort level and the room inside the cabin are something that will impress you for sure. Nissan Rogue has 36.5 cu ft of cargo space with rear seats upright. In terms of drivetrain, it’s available in both front-wheel as well as all-wheel-drive configurations. Also, the crossover SUV is awarded 2021 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ which ensures the safety standards of the car.

Apart from this, some of the highlighting features include 3 high-tech displays, Bluetooth connectivity, standard Nissan Safety Shield 360, and much more.

Cons

Unlike the rest of the cars in this list, it’s available in only one engine option.

Which Is The Best Crossover SUV Under $30,000?

Anyway, these were some of the best crossover SUVs one can buy for under $30,000. The aforementioned cars are fuel-efficient, hybrid, performance-oriented, and spacious SUVs, and based on your requirements you can choose anyone.

However, if we have to pick then it would be either Honda CRV or Mazda CX5.

Do tell us which one you think is best and why.

What is the most luxurious SUV?

Whether it be the outer appearance or the interior, Mazda CX5 is one of the most premium-looking cars here. In addition, it’s equipped with multiple features and a 10.3-inch screen which is one of the widest in its segment.

What is the smoothest riding crossover SUV?

All of the above crossover SUVs provide an excellent riding experience which makes it really difficult to pick one. However, we believe both Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue have the most refined engines that contribute to providing a smooth ride.

Are crossover better than SUVs?

It totally depends on the taste of a person and the application. If you like off-roading and prefer a more dominant riding position then we believe SUV would be a better option. However, as we said earlier crossover is a kind of hybrid SUV with subtle mixes of sedan qualities. A crossover SUV might provide better stability and control on normal roads than a conventional or full-size SUV.

Shaheer Anwar

Shaheer Anwar

Shaheer Anwar is an automotive enthusiast and writes about the latest trends happening in the industry. He covers topics related to electric and hybrid vehicles.

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