We’ve scoured the crossover marketplace, looking at 2019 models, to determine which are the best SUVs for millennials. With a focus on practicality, innovation, safety, and styling with well-equipped pricing under $25,000, we’ve paired down our selections to fit this criteria.
Because if price was not a consideration, the Tesla Model X, an all-electric SUV, would be our choice. But with a starting price of $80,000, the Model X is out of reach for the vast majority.
Here are our five top SUV picks for millennials.
1. Subaru Crosstrek
The Crosstrek, with a starting price of about $23,000, is unique in its subcompact SUV class, coming with standard all-wheel drive. For 2019, Subaru introduced its first plugin hybrid model version in the Crosstrek.
This subcompact model won a Motor Trend comparison test among 2018 subcompact SUVs and represents a solid value.
2. Hyundai Kona
For those with a larger budget, the Kona EV, an all-electric model is offered. It increases the starting price to about $36,000 and has a range of 250 miles. Or for something in between, check out the refreshed, larger and more powerful Hyundai Tucson.
3. Nissan Kicks
You don’t have to go to Route 66 to get your kicks anymore. The Kicks is an all-new model for 2019, replacing the funky Nissan Juke as manufacturer’s subcompact offering. It’s a great value as it comes standard with key-less entry and push-button start.
However, with only 125 horsepower, the Kicks doesn’t have quite the acceleration the Crosstrek or Kona do.
4. Toyota CH-R
For 2018, the CH-R subcompact crossover gets a new base LE trim and a new range-topping Limited line. Even the base LE model comes standard with 17-inch allow wheels and Apple CarPlay.
The CH-R has polarizing looks and weak acceleration, but has features worth considering. Neither the Kicks or CH-R is offered with all-wheel drive – they’re front-wheel drive only.
5. Honda HR-V
We couldn’t omit a Honda from this best SUVs for millennials list. With an emphasis on practicality and reliability, the HR-V also offers good cargo space for the money.
For 2018, the HR-V adds Sport and Touring trims. However, in base form, features are more limited than the other choices and the EX trim with all-wheel drive can approach $30,000.
Why Millennials Prefer SUVs
Millennials like SUVs’ higher seating positions, which become ever more important to visibility as other vehicles and more people crowd the roads. SUVs also benefit from having more utility, improved safety features, and more cargo space than cars.
And with their improved fuel economy and practicality, smaller SUVs aren’t viewed as the rough, uncomfortable, gas hogging models of yesteryear.
One word of caution to younger buyers is to think 5 – 10 years out when purchasing a vehicle. What may be a great fit for you now, may not work as well if you have children or other life changes during your vehicle’s life span. That’s part of what makes SUVs with their more ample passenger and cargo room a solid choice.