Best small SUV/cross for 30k?


Hi ya’ll,

Looking for a small SUV or crossover around 30k. Safety features and AWD are priority (would also like a sunroof). Will finance this one and we are in DFW area of Texas.
Looking at Kona, Sportage and Seltos, Encore GX, Trailblazer. Have a 60 day locked loan so need something sometime soon-ish.
Wondering if anyone has any strong opinions… good or bad- appreciate advice of what to stay away from as well as purchase.
Thanks for all you do to help :slight_smile:

corolla cross AWD


I have Toyota deals close to Texas at msrp. Message me if interested


Ohhhh…. Thank you :pray: didn’t even consider that.

Just got my wife a new Mazda CX-5 and it’s a fantastic small SUV


What’d that deal look like? Have been looking at the CX-5 and CX-50 to replace my Mazda6.

1 Like

It was a cash deal at MSRP on an incoming unit. Similar spec in CX50 form was $2k more. I prefer the look of the cx50 but my wife prefers the look of more money in our account so we went CX5 lol


Fair enough. Thanks for the response!

Don’t even think about these. The resale value will be super ugly.

NTM apples to apples (same equipment) you’ll pay way more than on a Kona or Seltos.


Okay, makes sense. Thank you, that is very helpful.

Crosstrek Limited. Has a sunroof, amazing safety features, leather interior. MSRP is 29.5k on 2023’s and a sunroof is $1k

Holds its value a lot better than most the vehicles on your list


Great idea- just not sure I can find one locally. One on transit to a dealership close by but it’s a manual transmission. Does seem like it will hold its value too.
I’ll keep looking.

Why AWD in DFW?

1 Like

Try expanding your search & ask if the dealer accepts VIP pricing on in-stock / in-transit units

You can obtain VIP pricing through a $500 donation to the ASPCA. In times past it got you a discount of Invoice -2%, but it seems like that discount has been scaled back to invoice. My calcs have invoice at about 94.5% of MSRP, but that’s obviously unconfirmed. Saves a bit of $ tho

1 Like

I get so many customers that are brainwashed that they need awd these days. It’s basically a scam to charge people another $3000 for their vehicles as very few people truly need it.

Funny thinking back to all the people rejecting my FWD sienna deals earlier this year at $1-2k over msrp, they’re now paying 5-10k over


Great question. Last few winters ice storms have been a major problem. This car will be for a new adult driver and safety is the priority. We are far north DFW closer to Oklahoma so we get a lot more ice than the city.
Well and because it’s on my hubbys list of must have for her. I’ll make it a nice yo have and see if that helps the search.
Thanks for the advice!

Good idea! I have a supplier/affiliate discount for a lot of brands through my work but I don’t think I have one for Subaru. I have a 4 hour car ride today I’m going to see if I can’t find something on its way somewhere close for the Crosstrek. There are local in stock Mazda CX-5s we could look at. The Corolla Cross I’m going to do into too.
At least I have research to do for the trip!

While AWD doesn’t hurt, proper tires are far more impactful on safety in the winter so I wouldn’t obsess over having it. That being said, I agree with others here that buying a Crosstrek is the best choice in this category (if you can find one). CX-5 is a solid option, too.


I was looking at this or the honda civic hatchback. I think both at 25k roughly with destination fees.
You don’t need AWD if you are looking for a basic city car? I wanted something nicer, but not looking to spend more than 30k for now. will finance/cash.

Do most of these cars come with basic backup camera? what about park assist?

Also, any plug-in hybrids, like Kia or others where I can use federal credit?

Pretty sure backup cameras are required by law. In any case Honda made them standard on all models many years ago.

Park assist meaning sensors that beep if you get too close to something?

You’ll have to look at a summary review such as on Edmunds to see what options come with what trim.

1 Like