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CR’s 6 Best SUVs Under $30K - Subaru Forester Is Now 1st, Crosstrek 3rd

The 2022 Subaru Forester and 2022 Crosstrek are still rated among the six best SUVs under $30,000 by Consumer Reports. Check out why they both score among the top affordable models.


What are the best SUVs under $30,000? According to Consumer Reports (by subscription), the 2022 Subaru Forester and 2022 Subaru Crosstrek are now the number one and third-best overall SUV, respectively, in their latest ratings.

Why are the Subaru Forester and Crosstrek ranked so high by Consumer Reports? They are CR's top choices because they offer good performance and are safe, reliable, fuel-efficient, and satisfying. Forester and Crosstrek come standard with all-wheel-drive, 8.7-inches of ground clearance, and X-Mode for improved severe weather traction.

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek
photo credit: Schumacher Subaru

In order of ranking from best to last, CR says the 2022 Subaru Forester is the best under $30,000, with a score of 90 points. The 2022 Hyundai Tucson is next with a score of 89, followed by the 2022 Crosstrek (86), Honda CR-V (84), Ford Bronco Sport (82), and Mazda CX-5 (82).

Consumer Reports ranks Forester the best compact SUV for its "roomy interior, excellent visibility, commendable fuel economy, simple controls, a comfortable ride, and responsive handling." CR achieved 28 mpg overall, which is among the best in class.

The 2022 Forester is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. A CVT automatic is the only transmission offered. Is there a downside to the Forester? CR says, "acceleration isn't exhilarating, and the engine's noise isn't the most pleasant."

What is the price of the 2022 Forester?

The 2022 Forester comes in six trim levels; The Base Forester starts at $27,070, Premium ($30,070), Sport ($31,640), Limited ($33,750), new Wilderness ($34,695), and Touring ($37,170). Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($1,175).

What is the 2022 Forester fuel mileage?

The refreshed 2022 Subaru Forester compact SUV comes with standard all-wheel drive and gets an EPA estimated 29 combined mpg and 26/33 city/highway mpg. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine powers the Forester.

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek scores third overall with a score of 86. Consumer Reports ranks Crosstrek third-best overall because it's an "appealing option for buyers who want a small, versatile SUV. It delivers good fuel economy; 29 mpg from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable transmission."

Is there a downside to the Crosstrek? CR says, "The Crosstrek isn't very quick, though, and when drivers mash the throttle to accelerate, the engine gets loud. A more powerful 2.5-liter is a newly available option. There's also a plug-in hybrid version, but while its 33 mpg overall fuel economy is quite good, the high purchase price hurts its value."

What is the price of the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek?

The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek comes in five trim levels for customers. The base trim is priced from $24,320, Premium ($25,470), Sport ($28,670), Limited ($30,170) and Crosstrek Hybrid ($37,520). Prices include destination and delivery fees that increase ($1,175).

What is the Crosstrek fuel mileage?

The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek with the new 2.5-liter Boxer engine comes with 30 more horsepower and gets an EPA estimated fuel mileage of 27/34 city/highway mpg and 29 combined mpg. The 2022 Crosstrek with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine gets an EPA estimated 28/33 mpg and 30 combined mpg.

The 2022 Subaru Forester is the number one compact SUV under $30,000 in the latest Consumer Reports rankings. The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek is the number three overall affordable SUV. CR says they are still among the six best 2022 model year SUVs under $30,000 in their latest ratings.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: main image Schumacher Subaru