Think you need to spend over $50,000 in order to get a high-quality, dependable family SUV? Think again. There are many models out there that offer outstanding capabilities, plenty of comfort, and the dependability that you crave for $40,000 or less. There’s no need to overextend yourself, and you can still ride in ample comfort and style.
We’ve assembled our picks below of the best SUVs under $40,000.
Believe it or not, the Honda Pilot has been around for fifteen years, and remains one of the best-selling three-row SUVs in the U.S. Redesigned and improved for 2016, the Pilot ranked as the
fourth best 2017 midsize SUV by U.S. News and World Report. With Honda’s reputation for strong reliability and resale value, we would rank the Pilot higher.
You’ll find that the Pilot comes with a strong V6 engine with increased output now at 280 horsepower that offers not only strong acceleration, but also decent fuel economy (18-20 mpg in the city and 26-27 on the highway). It can seat seven to eight depending on your configuration, and the starting price is around $30,000.
Honda has added a slough of safety features including rear Cross Traffic Monitor and Honda’s LaneWatch passenger side mirror. Additional options include Road Departure Mitigation, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking System, and Adaptive Cruise Control. Note that adding accessories and upgrades can drive the price beyond the $40,000 mark, so shop with care.
With a starting price of roughly $30,000 the Mazda CX-9 is a strong contender in the segment. Car and Driver rated it 4.5 stars out of 5, and you’ll find that the 250-horsepower engine (depending on gas type) has plenty of get up and go. Like the Pilot, the CX-9 was also redesigned for 2016.
The CX-9 actually gets slightly better fuel economy in city driving than the Pilot (21 mpg), but roughly the same on the highway, thanks to the use of a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, rather than a larger V6. Note that even some of the higher trims offered, such as the Grand Touring and the Signature levels, are still priced under $40,000.
The Atlas took the top spot in US News and World Report’s midsize SUV rankings, surpassing both the Pilot and the CX-9. The base model is priced around $33,500, which makes it slightly more expensive than the other two models we’ve touched on, but still affordable. The Atlas was an all-new model in 2017.
However, note that higher trim levels, notably the SEL Premium trim, will kick the price well above $40,000. The base engine is a turbocharged 4-cylinder with 235 horsepower, but there is also an available V6 that puts out 276 horsepower.
These are just three of the options available to you when considering SUVs under $40,000. While the ones we’ve highlighted are the top contenders for your buying dollar, there are others out there to consider such as the Hyundai Santa Fe and all-new Chevrolet Traverse.