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The Best Mid-Size SUVs for 2016/2017

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Shopping for a mid-size SUV or crossover in 2017 doesn’t need to be confusing. You want something that’s comfortable, offers enough space for your needs, and doesn’t cost a fortune in gas. The question is, can you find an SUV that is all of these things for under $30,000?

We think so!

Here are 10 reliable mid-sized SUVs that offer a solid list of standard features for under $30,000. And while things start getting pricey the second you start climbing trim levels, most options can meet your needs even at the base model. If you do decide to move up a few trim levels, though, we’ve made sure to list the available models for each.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Sport

Reliable mid-sized SUVs
Reliable mid-sized SUVs

MSRP: Starts at $27,445

Engine and Towing Capacity: 3.6-liter V6, 2,000 lbs.

Fuel Economy: 7.8, 11.0 L/100km Highway, City

Standard Safety Features: Brake Stability Control and Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM), Hill Start Assist and All-Speed Traction Control, Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS)

Rearview Camera: Optional

Passenger Seating/Interior Space: 5 | 1934 Liters

Trims: Sport, Laredo, Laredo 75th Anniversary Edition, Limited, Limited 75th Anniversary Edition, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit and SRT

Highlights: There’s no question the Jeep Cherokee is synonymous with off-road capability. Be assured that reputation holds true, even as the SUV celebrates its 43rd birthday. Buyers will also enjoy the plethora of standard safety features; out of the 10 SUVs we list here, it offers the most by a landslide. It’s also one of the roomiest options of the bunch.

2016 Mazda CX-5 | GX

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MSRP: Starts at $22,995

Engine and Towing Capacity:  SKYACTIV-G 2.0 L 4-cylinder, 2,000 lbs.

Fuel Economy: 7.1, 8.9 L/100km Highway, City

Standard Safety Features: Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Launch Assist (HLA)

Rearview Camera: Not Available

Passenger Seating /Cargo Capacity: 5 | 1835 Liters

Trims: GX, GS, GT

Highlights: Mechanically speaking, the CX-5 hasn’t changed much since 2013, but that doesn’t mean it’s still not one of the best SUVs you can buy today. Performance wise, the CX-5 is known for its agile handling. The interior is both roomy and comfortable. In fact, it’s the second roomiest of the bunch. Larger families will enjoy the extra space and competitive fuel economy. Coming in at just under $23,000 it’s also the least expensive on the list.

Also Read: Mazda to Debut the 2017 CX-5 SUV at LA Auto Show

2017 Ford Escape | S

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MSRP: Starts at $25,099

Engine and Towing Capacity:  2.5L iVCT, 1,500 lbs

Fuel Economy: 7.8, 10.2 L/100km Highway, City

Standard Safety Features: Emergency Brake Assist System, SOS Post-Crash Alert System™, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Rearview Camera: Standard

Passenger Seating /Cargo Capacity: 5 seats | 1926 Liters

Trims: S, SE, and Titanium

Highlights: The 2017 Escape’s 2.5 L engine delivers 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, making it one of the punchiest SUVs in the group. Like the Grand Cherokee, there are a fair amount of safety features that come standard. Probably Ford’s biggest plus, though, is Sync 3, a high-tech infotainment system that comes standard on all models. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 911 Assist also come included, meaning you don’t have to spend extra money for top-of-the-line connectivity.

Also Read: 2017 Fords Will Come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

2016 Honda CR-V | LX-2WD

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MSRP: Starts at $26,290

Engine and Towing Capacity:  2.4 L, 1,500 lbs.

Fuel Economy: 6.9, 8.8 L/100km Highway, City

Standard Safety Features: Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control, Hill Start Assist

Rearview Camera: Standard

Passenger Seating/Interior Space: 5 | 2008 Liters

Trims: LX-2WD, LX, SE, EX, EX-L, Touring

Highlights: Third in overall space, the 2016 Honda CRV has ample room for even the leggiest passengers. The backseat folds down to make way for extra cargo, while standard features include heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a remote engine starter. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also come on the base model. For $26,000, the CR-V might just be the best bang for your buck.

2016 Hyundai Tucson 2.0L FWD

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MSRP: Starts at $24,799

Engine and Towing Capacity:  2.0L DOHC 4-cylinder, 1500 lbs.

Fuel Economy: 7.6, 10.1 L/100km Highway, City

Standard Safety Features: Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist, Downhill Brake Control and Hill-start Assist Control, Vehicle Stability Management with Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control System

Rearview Camera: Standard

Passenger Seating/Interior Space: 5 | 1752 Liters

Trims: 2.0L FWD, 2.0L Premium FWD, 2.0L Premium AWD, 1.6T Premium AWD, 2.0L Luxury AWD, 1.6T Ultimate AWD

Highlights: The 2017 Hyundai Tucson comes in at just under $25,000, making it a perfect option for buyers on a budget. Some standard highlights include projection headlights with LED accents, automatic headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights and heated front seats.

Also Read: Cars of the Future: Light and More Fuel-Efficient

2016 Kia Sportage | LX

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MSRP: Starts at $24,895

Engine and Towing Capacity:  2.4L 4-cyl, 2,000 lbs

Fuel Economy: 8.3, 11.4 L/100km Highway, City

Standard Safety Features: Downhill brake control (DBC), Impact-Sensing Door Unlock, Hill Assist Control (HAC), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)

Rearview Camera: Standard

Passenger Seating/Interior Space: 5 | 1546 Liters

Trims: LX, EX, SX

Highlights: Kia doesn’t skimp out on the Sportage LX. In terms of safety features, the Sportage is certainly well equipped. Owners will also enjoy heated front seats, 17” allow wheels and projection fog lights. It may have the least amount of cargo capacity of the bunch, but it’s certainly one of the most fun picks to drive. Experts agree: The Sportage’s handling is top of the line.

Watch our review of the 2017 Kia Sportage here!

Also Read: A Trim-by-Trim Review of the Kia Sportage

2017 Nissan Rogue | S

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MSRP: Starts at $25,248

Engine and Maximum Towing Capacity:  2.5L 4-cyl, 1000 lbs

Fuel Economy: 7.0, 9.2 L/100km Highway, City

Standard Safety Features: Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS)

Rearview Camera: Standard

Passenger Seating/Interior Space: 5 | 1982 Liters

Trims: S, SV, SL Platinum

Highlights: If you prioritize comfortability, the Rogue might be worth considering. It offers Best-in-Class front seat comfort and maintains coziness even over the roughest terrain. It’s not one of the strongest towers, though, and in certain areas, visibility can be difficult. However, with lots of cargo capacity and Bluetooth compatibility, it’s definitely a viable option at a reasonable price.

Also Read: 5 Reasons Why We Love the Nissan Rogue

2017 Subaru Forester | 2.5i

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MSRP: Starts at $25,995

Engine and Towing Capacity:  2.5L 4-cyl., 1,500 lbs.

Fuel Economy: 7.4, 9.2 L/100km Highway, City

Standard Safety Features: Traction Control System and Vehicle Dynamics Control system (VDC)

Rearview Camera: Standard

Passenger Seating/Interior Space: 5 | 2115 Liters

Trims: 2.5i, 2.5i Convenience, 2.5i Touring, 2.5i Limited, 2.0XT Touring, 2.0XT Limited

Highlights: The Subaru Forester has always been a fan favorite. As the roomiest option on our list, owners enjoy a versatile ride and a great fuel economy overall. The base model comes all-wheel-drive, a huge plus for Alberta drivers.

2017 Toyota RAV4 | FWD LE

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MSRP: Starts at $27,395

Engine and Towing Capacity:  2.5L, 4-cyl, 1,500 lbs.

Fuel Economy: 8.0, 10.3 L/100km Highway, City

Standard Safety Features: Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection

Rearview Camera: Standard

Passenger Seating/Interior Space: 5 | 2078 Liters

Trims: FWD LE, AWD LE, FWD XLE, AWD XLE, Hybrid LE+, AWD SE, AWD Limited, Hybrid SE, Hybrid Limited

Highlights: The 2017 RAV4 is a little pricier than most, however, buyers will be impressed with what their extra dollars get them. The safety features are advanced, as is the 6.1” touchscreen display. Steering wheel controls and SIRI Eyes Free are included, as are heated front bucket seats and air conditioning.

Also Read: 4 Reasons Why Buying a Toyota in 2016 is a Great Idea

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan

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MSRP: Starts at $25,990

Engine and Towing Capacity:  2.0L 4-cyl, 2,200 lbs.

Fuel Economy: 9.6, 11.7 L/100km Highway, City

Standard Safety Features: Stability Control

Rearview Camera: Standard

Passenger Seating/Interior Space: 5 | 1589 Liters

Trims: Trendline, Wolfsburg Edition

Highlights: The Volkswagen offers what lots of other crossovers often lack – a comfortable, high-quality interior. The materials are soft to the touch and the level of quality is noticeable immediately. The drive is quiet, even at faster speeds. Finally, what the Tiguan lacks in overall cargo capacity it makes up for in legroom.

Watch our review of the 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan here!


If you’re shopping for an SUV or crossover in the new year, this is a good place to start. And remember, you don’t need to break the bank to get a reliable ride. Here’s a helpful chart of our favorites, broken down by price and cargo capacity.

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