SUVs under $25k
The best things come in small packages … and with small prices
It might be the budget end of the SUV market, but there’s no shortage of choice for those who are prepared to forfeit some luxuries (and in some cases a reputable brand) in favour of that priceless new-car scent. In many cases the rock-bottom variants lack most of your must-haves, and you won’t find ultra-popular Toyota or anything particularly premium playing in this arena, but there is still plenty to get excited about.
Like almost everything at this end of the market, the entry level Honda sacrifices some creature comforts, but it’s still easy to recommend for its sturdy Japanese build quality, excellent finish a rewarding drive and styling that you might think was unachievable in this price bracket.
SsangYong might not be the most familiar brand in Australia but that doesn’t mean the Tivoli isn’t worth a look. For the price, you get a surprising amount of kit, equally surprising off-road ability and, in this price bracket, its seven-year warranty is rivalled by only one other brand.
The charismatic and cheeky Jimny cannot brag the safety ratings of most other offerings in this arena but if you’re after something with bags of personality then there’s little else to compete with it. Your budget won’t quite stretch to the auto but you will get off-road ability that’s completely unmatched by anything else.
A budget of under $25,000 unfortunately won’t quite stretch to the superb 1.4-litre turbo engine in more expensive Vitaras, but the 1.6-litre non-turbo version still gets the likeable styling with lots of customization options, and generous cabin and boot space.
The only way into the Kona at this price is with the non-turbo 2.0-litre engine bolted to a six-speed automatic, not the pricier but sportier 1.6-litre turbo with seven-speed dual-clutch auto. But you still get one of the roomiest options in the segment coupled with a head-turning look and lots of Hyundai peace-of-mind.