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CR’s 6 Best SUVs Under $30K, Says Subaru Crosstrek Is Far Above The Rest

Which are the best SUVs under $30,000 you can buy now? Updated Consumer Reports data says the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is the winner by a long shot. Check out the top six picks here.

How good is the redesigned 2024 Subaru Crosstrek compared with the best SUVs for under $30,000? An updated Consumer Reports ranking says the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is the best model and is far above number two. 

All six top SUVs offer good performance and are safe, reliable, and satisfying choices. But they are not created equal. Consumer Reports says, "Once we dug into the data to see how they perform and how much their owners like them, significant differences emerge."

2024 Subaru Crosstrek rear view

Photo credit: Tucson Subaru

Based on Consumer Reports ' Overall Scores, I've listed CR's best SUVs under $30,000, starting with the top pick. Explore my list of the best SUVs for under $40,000 here.

All are 2024 model-year vehicles recommended by Consumer Reports, with higher-scoring models listed first. 

  1. Subaru Crosstrek 87
  2. Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid 79
  3. Honda HR-V 74
  4. Toyota Corolla Cross 69
  5. Kia Seltos 68
  6. Mazda CX-30 67

What does Consumer Reports say about the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek?

"The Subaru Crosstrek is one of the most researched cars on, and for a good reason: It delivers an excellent ride, good fuel economy, standard all-wheel drive, and enough ground clearance for mild off-roading all in a reasonably sized and priced package."

  • Price Range:  $25,195 - $32,195
  • CR MPG:  Overall 29 mpg and City 20 / Highway 41 mpg
  • Ranked #1 of 13  Subcompact SUVs

CR also says, "The Crosstrek got an evolutionary redesign for 2024. It's still essentially a raised Impreza hatchback with a very comfortable ride and standard AWD. Acceleration from the standard 2.0-liter engine is leisurely, and we got 29 mpg overall in our tests. The optional 2.5-liter has more power and better acceleration." 

"Engine noise is pronounced when full power is needed, but the sound isn't a deal-breaker. Responsive handling, user-friendly controls, and a practical interior round out the package. Paddle shifters by the steering wheel allow convenient engine braking in mountainous environments." 

"The newly optional driver power seat with adjustable lumbar support is a major upgrade. BSW and RCTW are not available on the base trim but are optional or standard on all others."

Why Is The Subaru Crosstrek Ranked Far Ahead Of The Rest?

There are several reasons owners rank Crosstrek as the highest. 

  • Road test score is 82/100
  • Predicted Reliability score is 5/5
  • Predicted owner satisfaction score is 4/5
  • Comfort score 81/100
  • Driving experience score 79/100

There's More 

The Crosstrek gets high marks for:

  • Comfortable ride
  • Strong fuel economy
  • Short stopping distances
  • Standard all-wheel-drive
  • Airy outward visibility

What is the 2024 Crosstrek pricing?

For 2024, the Crosstrek will be available in Base, Premium, Sport, and Limited trim levels and has a starting price of $26,290 (the same MSRP as the 2023 Base model equipped with the Lineartronic CVT automatic transmission).

The 2024 Crosstrek Premium has a starting price of $27,440, Sport ($30,290), and Limited ($32,190). Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($1,225).

The all-new Crosstrek Wilderness costs $33,290, including dealer destination and delivery fees ($1,295).

What Else Puts The Crosstrek Head And Shoulders Above The Rest?

For active customers looking to get further off the grid away from civilization, the new 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is the small SUV you want.

Here are some things I think are critical for SUV shoppers to know that set it far apart from the competition.

  • Subaru 2.5-liter Boxer engine is available on Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trims
  • 8.7 Inches of ground clearance (9.3 on Wilderness)
  • Dual-function X-Mode provides settings that can optimize traction for varying conditions, including dirt, deep snow, and mud.
  • Standard roof rails for carrying additional gear uptop
  • LED fog lights
  • Wheel arch cladding and body protection
  • Subaru Starlink multimedia with standard 11.6-inch touchscreen

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, I would say check out the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek. It's different from every other compact SUV. According to Consumer Reports data, the Crosstrek scores higher than any other small SUV. 


How happy are you with your Subaru Crosstrek? Click the red Add New Comment link below and let us know.

Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this Subaru Crosstrek story. See you tomorrow for my latest Subaru Report.

Before you go, check out the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek | Review & Road Test

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News and Subaru 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 The Dirty Subaru website, Dirty Subaru blog, X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Tucson Subaru


John Z (not verified)    May 8, 2024 - 3:26PM

Just picked up a 2024 Crosstrek Limited (w/o moonroof) last week. The interior is quite good, especially for the price. Fits my 6'2'' frame with right knee room (so many manufacturers have huge center consoles that eat up that space). While this is my 3rd Subaru, I've had Mazdas, Subarus, and Toyotas since 2012, this is their best execution. Wish I could've gotten the upgraded stereo without the moonroof, yet can always upgrade speakers later. Hitting EPA mpg without even trying here in the hills of eastern US. It's smoother and quieter than 2021 Crosstrek Sport model I had before while retaining some playfulness in the twisty two-lanes. It's no WRX, yet if they would drop that turbo in here...that'd be fun...

Gary (not verified)    May 8, 2024 - 3:49PM

I have leased my Crosstrek Wilderness for 7 months now, with 8,000 miles accumulated. I can't say enough great things about this vehicle. I have a 60/40 hwy to city driving mix and routinely clear 30 MPG. It took me a bit of time to get used to the seats but now that I am acclimated to them, they are much more comfortable. Great car and I am very happy with it thus far!