2021 Crossover SUVs under $20,000

When it comes to the price, no other crossover or SUV class can match the subcompact segment. Well, as you can guess, these small vehicles are not capable of making too much power. So, if you are looking for driving excitement, look elsewhere, and save more money for additional expenses. Not only that mini SUVs cost less, but these models will also save fuel. Again, more room will cost you at least $5,000 more.

So, which are the cheapest models in the subcompact segment? Let’s find out.

2021 Crossovers under $20,000

2021 Nissan Kicks – $18,900

Juke’s successor continued where this cute little crossover left. The first thing you will notice is the styling. If that draws your attention, then you will definitely end up buying the 2021 Nissan Kicks, since it costs under $19,000. Plus, you are getting the product by one of the most reliable brands in the automotive market. The upcoming overhaul of the lineup will not affect the 2021 Kicks. The small crossover might get the big update after all other siblings, probably for the 2022 season.

So, what will you get for $18,900? The base package – S. Cruise control, Bluetooth, and air conditioning system are standard. Under the hood is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with only 122 hp. On the other hand, 2021 Nissan Kicks is a budget-saver, remember. The engine is returning 33 mpg combined, reaching 36 mpg on the highway. Unfortunately, an all-wheel drive is not an option. It seems the redesign after the 2021 season will add this option for the Kicks.

2021 Chevy Trax – $18,800

You will always find good deals at GM. Basically, the price of the subcompact SUV is over $21,000. But, General Motors sales make the offer drop under $19,000. This is one of the reasons why Trax dominated in the subcompact crossover market in 2019. With 116,000 sales, it was the only model from the class that found more than 100k homes. Honda HR-V was pretty close, and the Buick Encore is a premium vehicle.

So, we expect the same from the 2021 Chevy Trax. The price, styling, and agility will draw attention. Compared to the first model from our list, the Trax will offer an AWD. But, it will make it cost over $20,000, which is not a tier we are talking about. The base package includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, while the wheel dimension is 16-inches. A 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine is turbocharged and produces 140 hp and 150 lb-ft.

2021 Ford EcoSport – $19,995

The 2021 Ford EcoSport enters the list thanks to an old marketing trick. It is more likely that buyers will purchase an item at $19,995 than for $20,000. However, the EcoSport is about to be replaced, so we can see this as a discount. The S model uses a 1.0-liter inline-three engine that sends power to front wheels. Turbocharged, it can deliver 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. With the power output similar to Nissan Kicks, we would expect a lot more than 28 mpg combined. Optionally, you can select a larger engine, but it will increase the cost more than $5, making the 2021 Ford EcoSport ineligible for this list.

The standard offer is not too exciting. However, a few items stand out. For example, we like the Roll Stability Control system, as well as the SYNC infotainment. Of course, higher trims will improve everything on the 2021 Ford EcoSport. But, this might be the last dance for the subcompact crossover, since the new Ford Puma might replace it soon.

2021 Kia Soul – $17,490

Until this season, the Soul was the cheapest offer in the market. Now, there is another the least expensive model. Still, the 2021 Kia Soul will draw a lot of attention because of many options that cost extra but don’t make overall price breach $20,000. The all-new crossover was redesigned for the current season, so we won’t see too many changes in the 2021 YM, especially in the low-end segment.

The base offer, the 2021 Kia Soul LX, includes a 2.0-liter engine capable of delivering 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is also good, having in mind the crossover produces extra power. With a CVT gearbox, you can reach 30 mpg combined, and the upgrade will cost you $1,500. A six-speed manual is a default option. So, there is enough room for a few more upgrades, such as remote start ($425), crossbars ($250), sports pedals ($100), etc.

2020 Kia Soul X-Line

2021 Hyundai Venue – $17,350 SE, $19,250 SEL

It costs less, but the new Hyundai’s model is still unproven. So, we cannot rank it higher than other vehicles we already recommended. Still, the biggest reason why buyers are going to take the 2021 Hyundai Venue is its price. Also, the first model will show all the pros and cons until the version for next season arrives.

Compared to the rest of the list, there are two trim levels available on this crossover that will cost under $20,000. The standard offer is the 2021 Hyundai Venue SE with an 8-inch display and support for both the most popular smartphone pairing services. Like the Kia Soul, a six-speed manual gearbox is standard.

Pick the 2021 Hyundai Venue SEL and you will get a few drive modes, as well as an automatic transmission. The good thing – you are still under $20,000. The package also adds automatic climate controls and more disc brakes. A 1.6-liter engine is capable to produce 120 hp and 115 lb-ft of torque, returning 27/35 mpg when a manual transmission is a power router. Automatic CVT improves the mileage in the city drive (30 mpg), but it is less efficient on the highway (34 mpg).


There are also a few models that went over $20,000 mark, but we decided to put them on the list. Frequent discounts and special offers could help them make it to the same class as the abovementioned models. On the other hand, you can pay slightly higher if these models bring some upgrades important to your preferences when buying a vehicle.

2021 Hyundai Kona – $20,300

It is well-known for its electric version, but this time we are recommending the 2021 Hyundai Kona, which costs just above $20,000. So, any kind of discount could lead to a vehicle that can enter our list. Whatsoever, the base Kona is equipped with a 2.0-liter engine and creates 147 hp. The gas mileage is 30 mpg. You won’t get an all-wheel drive at a good price. Plus, this system consumes the same amount of fuel on the highway.

The SE model comes equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and a 7-inch display. Keyless entry is also standard. The highlight of the 2021 Hyundai Kona is its safety package, which comes with lane-keep assist feature even for the base trim. There are plenty of upgrade options for the subcompact crossover, but all of them are moving Kona away from $20k.


2021 Honda HR-V – $20,800

If you have another $1,000 to spend for the ride, then go after the 2021 Honda HR-V. The crossover is new and buyers are happy with everything about it. The extra money will bring more exciting upgrades, but we stick to the base LX trim which costs only $20,800. Magic Seat feature is included and 17-inch wheels are the exterior highlight. Inside, you will get a Bluetooth pairing. The downside – Apple CarPlay and Android Auto become available on Sport trim.

The 2021 Honda HR-V will come with a single engine choice. A 1.8-liter unit is paired with a CVT and sends power to front wheels. Fuel economy is above 31 mpg combined and the motor generates 141 hp and 127 lb-ft. None of these numbers is the class-leading, but the combination of driving impression and reliability will make the HR-V so special.

2021 Mazda CX-3 – $20,600

The 2021 Mazda CX-3 is one of the best-looking models in the list. It is produced in Japan. So, if the carmaker decides to move the production to the US, its price will drop from $20,600. The company made a few great moves for the current crossover, adding cool features to the standard offer. Now, you will get Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, automatic air conditioning, and cruise control.

Under the hood of the 2021 Mazda CX-3 is a 2.0-liter powerplant. Thanks to the SkyActiv technology, engineers made it one of the most efficient vehicles in the class. So, even paid over $20,000, the crossover will save your money and make more budget-friendly than other vehicles here. Plus, the power output is also among the best in this list with 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. A hybrid CX-30 is slightly more expensive. But, like for the 2021 Mazda CX-3, the US production could make it affordable.

2021 Toyota C-HR – $21,300

Now, this is a serious investment over the barrier we set. But, the Japanese carmaker is a leader in all other segment and there are a lot of reasons for that. So, it could be a bargain if you wait for the good offer and catch the 2021 Toyota C-HR for $20,000. The LE model will deliver similar outputs like the Mazda CX-3. However, Toyota’s 2.0 displacement consumes more fuel – 29 mpg combined.

LED headlights are something you cannot get with other models. So, it makes this offer very interesting. Plus, the 2021 Toyota C-HR comes with automatic climate control and an advanced safety system. The infotainment system is finally offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the Japanese carmaker immediately included these services into the base LE package. The center of the infotainment system is an 8-inch touchscreen display, which makes the whole interior look more premium.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek – $22,000

The reason why we included the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek to this report is its incredible engine. Yes, it costs more than 10% over than limit, but it is all about the exclusive offer. The flat-four unit provides the driving impression you won’t find in the entire class, even on the more expensive, and even premium models. It is also one of the most powerful crossovers on our list with 152 hp coming from 2.0-liter displacement. And yes – Subaru is using only an AWD. So, with a 2WD, the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek would cost a lot cheaper.

Besides the exceptional engine, this model also comes with 17-inch wheels and tilt/telescopic steering column. It is not behind the competition, with all the smartphone services ready for pairing. The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is slightly larger than other subcompact SUVs, with an overall length of 176 inches. Also, the crossover can be a cool option for the off-road drive, since its ground clearance is nearly 9 inches.