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10 Best Cars Near $25K, And Subaru Crosstrek’s 2 Hidden Upgrades

Looking for the best affordable new cars for families? The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek, with its competitive pricing and refined features, is the best choice for some buyers. Explore your best options here, all within the affordable range of $25,000. 

Looking For Affordability

New car prices are up, and finding an affordable small SUV is not as easy now. But there are excellent choices around $25,000. Kelley Blue Book released its ten best new family cars near $25,000, and there are good picks for new car shoppers looking for an affordable vehicle. Nine new small SUVs are in demand and one car.

But which one is the best? 

You'll have to decide which one is best for you, but the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is a compelling choice. Before I explain why it's a top pick this year, let's look at the complete list here, starting with KBB's best choice. 

I'll then compare the Crosstrek to the other models, highlighting its unique features and advantages. This will help you make an informed decision. 

KBB says. "Also significantly updated for 2024, the Subaru Crosstrek is the most refined it has ever been, with a quiet interior and comfortable ride. But that doesn't come at the expense of the Crosstrek's aptitude in the great outdoors." 

As you can see, not all models are under the $25,000 manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), including dealer fees, but they are close. All are 2024 model-year vehicles. The Honda Civic Hatchback is the only non-SUV.

KBB's 10 Best Family Cars Around $25,000

  1. Hyundai Kona -$25,625
  2. Kia Seltos - $25,865
  3. Subaru Crosstrek - $26,540
  4. Honda HR-V - $25,950
  5. Toyota Corolla Cross - $25,210
  6. Mazda CX-30 - $26,415
  7. Honda Civic Hatchback - $26,045
  8. Chevrolet Trailblazer - $24,395
  9. Kia Soul - $21,565
  10. Volkswagen Taos - $25,420

Crosstrek Is More Than You Expect

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is ranked the third best by Kelley Blue Book. This is a significant achievement, as KBB is a trusted source for car rankings and reviews. Here is what KBB has to say about the remodeled Crosstrek. Keep reading why Crosstrek is more than you might expect.

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek starting price is $25,195 ($26,540 including $1,345 destination and delivery fees). 

KBB says you can get a new Crosstrek for around $25,398. Check my report on why Subaru models sell for less than MSRP here. 

KBB says, "The Crosstrek comes standard with all-wheel drive, a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and 8.7 inches of ground clearance. There's even a Wilderness trim level available with more ground clearance, its own wheel/tire combination, and additional body protection."

"The Crosstrek is roomy, with more than 100 cubic feet of space for people and 20 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second row. With the seats folded, the cargo volume is 54.7 cubic feet."

"While the Crosstrek has two engines, the base engine is the one you can get in this price range. It could be better, but the power is competitive in its segment. The fuel economy is very good. Even with the most off-road capability of any vehicle on this list, you get up to 34 mpg on the highway and a range of over 500 miles (estimated)." 

"These numbers are especially impressive, considering this is an AWD-only SUV. This Subaru comes standard with the EyeSight suite of safety features. The Crosstrek also boasts excellent resale value."

Crosstrek’s 2 Hidden Upgrades

KBB mentions that the Subaru Crosstrek is the most refined it has ever been. The two new refinements that are hidden and cannot be seen are:

  1. A quieter interior 
  2. A more comfortable ride

You can find out more about it in my report here

There's Still More 

KBB fails to mention that the 2.5-liter Boxer engine upgrade powers the Crosstrek Sport, Wilderness, and Limited trims. It has an additional 30 horsepower and gets an EPA-estimated 27/34 city/highway mpg and 29 combined mpg. They will be more expensive. 

Here is the 2024 Crosstrek pricing. 

The Crosstrek is available in Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trim levels. The base model starts at $26,540.

The 2024 Crosstrek Premium starts at $28,085, Sport ($30,935), and Limited ($32,440). The all-new Crosstrek Wilderness costs $33,540. It's important to note that these prices include destination and delivery fees ($1,345), which are standard across all models. 

This means that you're getting a lot of value for your money, with a range of high-quality features and a reliable, fuel-efficient engine. 

Kelly Blue Book does not mention the Crosstrek's X-Mode feature. 

For those new to Subaru, you may have questions about the Crosstrek's X-Mode feature. It's one of the small SUV's best features for all-weather and severe-weather driving. Check my report for complete details on how it works here.

It's Not Just For Off-Road Use

Many Subaru Crosstrek owners will take their vehicle off-road and use it for extreme off-pavement adventures. But even if you don't, X-Mode will help you in everyday driving. It's one of the small SUV's best features for all-weather and severe-weather driving, helping you to maintain control and stability in slippery conditions. 

This is a significant advantage over other small SUVs, and it's one of the reasons why the Crosstrek is such a popular choice. 

Crosstrek Has Another Desirable Upgrade

Crosstrek Sport, Wilderness, and Limited come with dual-function X-Mode.

Crosstrek's dual-function X-Mode has Snow/Dirt or Deep Snow/Mud settings for all-terrain and the most severe weather events. Then there's the Hill Descent Control feature for steep grades at speeds up to 12 mph.

Are you more apt to use your small SUV to escape the city?


For active customers and outdoor enthusiasts, the 2024 Crosstrek is the best choice. It's not just about affordability but also about versatility. All the other vehicles listed above will not take you further off the grid, but the Crosstrek will. It's designed for both city commuting and off-pavement use, making it a perfect fit for the most active lifestyles. 

Let us know what you think about the new Crosstrek. Click the red Add New Comment link below and let us know.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

Photo credit: Subaru


Mr Crosstrek Owner (not verified)    June 26, 2024 - 9:30PM

I’ve owned 4 Crosstreks. With your comment about 2024 being quieter: The Base and Premium models only come from Japan, which is fine. However at my first service appt for my 2024 Crosstrek Premium, the technician realized there was no under hood insulator pad. Just bare metal under the hood. The dealership asked me if I had removed it. Then they thought it was a manufacturing error. But Subaru Corporate confirmed that Base and Premium (which only have the 2.0 engine) do not have this insulator pad. The dealer then checked all Crosstrek models on their lot, and it was true. Only Indiana models have the insulator pad. It probably helps reduce engine noise.