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16 Best Family SUVs Under $32K

From brand new eight-passenger people movers to incredible high-tech hybrid values, here are the best family SUVs under $32,000 from the 2019 and 2020 crop of vehicles.

2020 kia telluridevia kia.com

2020 Kia Telluride LX

Kia’s brand new, hulking eight-passenger SUV just launched but it’s already among the best family SUVs. Even the base model comes standard with space, safety features (Lane Assist, Rear View Monitor with Parking Guidance), and nifty technology (five total USB ports and Smart Cruise Control that will slow you down when approaching a car up ahead) that will satisfy the entire family. You’ll enjoy every moment you spend inside the luxe cabin, whether it’s a trip around the corner for school drop off, carpooling with half the neighborhood kids, or around the country on an epic family road trip. It’s hard to believe that the remarkable Telluride is available for less than $32,000. Like these seven low-maintenance cars, a brand new Telluride won’t require many trips back to the dealer!

chevy traverse Lvia chevrolet.com

2019 Chevy Traverse L

Chevy’s midsize SUV delivers a stunning mix of new technology and classic comfort that won Parents + Edmunds Best Family Car of 2018 as well as earned a five-star overall safety rating from NHTSA. The standard base model Traverse (just under $32,000) offers a rear vision camera, LED daytime running lights, a tire pressure monitoring system, a total of six USB ports spread conveniently throughout the cabin, keyless open and ignition, a bright 7-inch Infotainment System with simple Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, and Teen Driving technology: When parents activate it for a teen driver, the system can provide speed warnings, top-speed limits, audio volume limits, and more.

toyota rav4via toyota.com

2019 Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid

The combination of tech, safety, and miles per gallon in a well-designed SUV for less than $30,000? The RAV4 delivers, offering a standard Smart Key System on front doors and the liftgate, integrated back up camera with projected path guidance while in reverse, and heated power rearview mirrors with blind spot warning indicators and a nifty fold-in feature when parked. The cherry on top of this SUV sundae is class-leading 40 combined MPG, and Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (it’ll let you know if you start to drift out of your lane). Even better, from a style standpoint, is that the eye-popping Blue Flame paint job is available standard on the 2019 RAV4’s XLE trim. You won’t need to stop at the gas station often in a RAV4 Hybrid, but here is another genius way to save on gas.

2020 kia sportagevia kia.com

2020 Kia Sportage EX

For young and/or small families, this modestly sized and priced crossover SUV from Kia is a great choice. Starting at just under $24,000, you can get into a Sportage getting a combined 26 MPG, 8-inch in-dash touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a rear-camera display, and a Lane Keeping Assist safety feature that will alert you when you drift into another lane without your turn signal on. If staying under $32,000 is your main goal, you can travel up the road three trim levels to the 2020 Sportage EX ($27,000) to get even more gadgets (rear USB ports, push-button start) and leatherette seating.

2019 subaru ascentvia subaru.com

2019 Subaru Ascent

“The 2019 Ascent is an excellent choice in the midsize three-row segment with plenty of Subaru styling and appeal alongside its well-done interior ergonomics,” according to a review on the men’s lifestyle site Gunaxin. For a larger SUV offering a third row of seating, the combined 25+ MPG is a nice return, especially when it comes with the dependability of a brand rated as a reliable family vehicle for decades. Gunaxin concludes that “the three-row market is hot right now and the 2019 Ascent is a good contender amongst a crowd of excellence. The Ascent is set apart from most others thanks to its Outback-Forester backbone, carrying the classy notes of the former and the credibility of purpose of the latter.” Then again, Subarus aren’t the only cars that last over 250,000 miles.

2019-Honda-Passport-Sportvia shop.honda.com

2019 Honda Passport Sport

With an MSRP of $31,990 the rugged new Passport just barely limbos beneath our Best Family SUV pricing bar. We’re glad it does though because the athletic, all-purpose midsize Honda SUV has clever seating configurations to help you put people and outdoor gear safely inside the cabin, and tidy underfloor storage compartments to ensure you can fit all of your family’s accouterments like helmets and backpacks. The 2019 Passport is a versatile all-terrain family SUV thanks in part to Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assistance tech as well as an Intelligent Traction Management system keeping everyone steady and secure regardless of the road conditions encountered on your adventures.

2019-Chevy-Equinox-LT-1.6L-Turbo-Dieselvia chevrolet.com

2019 Chevy Equinox LT 1.6L Turbo Diesel

Chevy’s Active Noise Cancellation technology blocks and absorbs road sounds, as well as dampening and eliminating vibrations, and powertrain noise are hidden to provide your family with a quiet interior cabin (which means you’ll be able to easily hear your toddler singing “Baby Shark”). The optional 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot will help make the kiddos happy as they stream their favorite shows and movies during your travels to these affordable family vacations in this best family SUV from Chevy.

2019-GMC-Acadia-SLvia gmc.com

2019 GMC Acadia SL

To help with gas consumption, the seven-passenger Acadia employs an auto stop/start function that will shut the vehicle down at complete stops and restarts fresh and ready to go on green (already a common feature in European cars). That’s some terrific automotive technology under the hood to pair with the in-cabin smarts of an available 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, and a standard 7″ Infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. What puts the 2019 Acadia among the best family SUVs is the potentially life-saving rear seat reminder (causing you to double check the second and third row of seats for children), an industry first front center airbag, and a rear vision camera system keeping everyone safe inside and out.

2019-Kia-Sorento-LX-V6via kia.com

2019 Kia Sorento LX V6

A third row is now standard in the ’19 model of Kia‘s glamorous and best family SUV, the sequel to the vehicle J.D. Power deemed the highest ranking in initial quality. For less than $32,000 you can splurge on the LX with a beefy 290-horsepower V6 engine capable of making your family sit up and take notice as you cruise to your next destination. With this trim comes a rear-camera display and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto on a 7″ touchscreen display, as well as blind spot and rear cross traffic collision warnings alerting you if a pedestrian or vehicle is approaching the back of your Sorento, making this best family SUV as safe as it is luxurious. A small but important design element of the Kia Sorento is the position and angle of the door cup holders. They are more intuitively designed than in any other SUV on the market, making quenching your thirst during road trips that much easier.

2019-Volkswagen-Tiguan-SE-with-4Motionvia vw.com

2019 Volkswagen Tiguan SE with 4Motion

Attractively priced and awfully attractive (especially in the Habanero Orange Metallic!), the Tiguan SE with 4Motion is so far below $32,000 that you can add a handy and easy to clean MuddyBuddy Trunk Liner, an optional third row of seats, and your choice of Case Racks with either a bike holder or kayak holder or ski/snowboard attachment, and STILL be roughly $1,500 below our Best Family SUVs threshold. That’s a tremendous value for an eight-speed automatic VW that comes standard with a supremely confident six year/72,000 mile warranty. These 16 family SUVs won’t break the bank but here’s why cars are more expensive than ever.

2019-Mazda-CX-5-Grand-Touringvia mazdausa.com

2019 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

The Sport trim is priced below $25,000, but we fancy the slightly pricer Grand Touring edition of the 2019 Mazda CX-5 because of the handy power liftgate with programmable height adjustment feature that will help us effortlessly get the groceries in and out of the spacious trunk. Also included in this elevated iteration of the five-passenger best family SUV from Mazda is a brilliantly crisp 10-speaker Bose audio sound system, push-button start, heated side mirrors, rearview camera, leather-trimmed seats, power driver and passenger seats, and a power sliding glass moonroof to see the stars above while getting 31 MPG on your memorable family road trips to the best destinations in each state.

2019-Honda-Pilot-LXshop.honda.com

2019 Honda Pilot LX

Spacious seating for up to eight, all-wheel drive, and a mighty 280-horsepower V-6 engine make the 2019 Honda Pilot a top choice SUV for families of all shapes and sizes. And then you add the multi-angle rearview camera and standard Honda Sensing suite of safety features and driver assistance technology, plus a base price below $32,000, and you realize that the cool comfort of a Pilot is within most families’ reach. Learn what owning a Pilot says about your personality.

2019-Ford-Flex-SEvia ford.com

2019 Ford Flex SE

The 3.5L V6 Ford Flex idles at the intersection of bold unique style and cool comfort, thanks to a striking boxy body shape providing clean lines and considerable leg, hip, and headroom for family members of almost any size. A whopping 10 cupholders are scattered about the massive cabin, and with easy fold-down seats, the 2019 Flex transforms from seven-passenger people mover to an impressive 83-cubic-foot cargo carrier with maximum efficiency. Should you buy a new SUV or look for a used family car?

2019-Nissan-Rogue-SV-Hybridvia nissanusa.com

2019 Nissan Rogue SV Hybrid

Another Intelligent AWD hybrid SUV for under $30,000 proves how far the automotive eco-technology has come in a short amount of time. The 2019 SV Hybrid Nissan Rogue features a smart engine stop/start when idling to help further save on gas and emissions, and underfloor storage to help save your sanity by conveniently stashing away your kids’ toys and belongs to at least make your family SUV look tidy. Interior tech like Nissan’s Intelligent Key with push button ignition, three power outlets, mood lighting, hands-free texting assistant that will read out your messages, and full smartphone functionality through the 7-inch touch-screen display will have you driving your children into the future in this best hybrid family SUV from Nissan.

2019-Hyundai-Santa-Fe-Limitedvia hyundaiusa.com

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited

Base models begin at just $24,000 but by taking advantage of generous retail bonus cash families can easily slide into the more glamorous Limited trim iteration of the attractive 2019 Hyundai SUV. With this near-top of the line Santa Fe, you will enjoy getting 25 combined MPG while your kids enjoy staring up at the sky through the panoramic sunroof. Parent’s will also thank their lucky stars for the life-saving technology built into this best family SUV, with features like Rear Occupant Alert reminding you to check your backseats for children, lane-keeping assistance, and warning systems to help drivers be aware of pedestrians, blind spots, and potential rear cross-traffic collisions.

2019-Dodge-Journey-SEvia dodge.com

2019 Dodge Journey SE

A remarkable highway driving range of 500 miles means you’ll keep going and going with three rows of happy campers—wherever the Journey takes you. And with a starting sticker price of under $24,000, you’ll have plenty of spending cash if you want to upgrade to the V6 engine or add Dodge’s towing package (and maybe put a down payment on a new boat or ATV, too!) You can always make the pricing on these affordable family cars even more affordable by selling or trading in your old vehicle to offset the cost, but what exactly happens to your car when you trade it in?

Jeff Bogle
Jeff Bogle is an Iris Award-winning photographer, avid traveler, and English football fanatic who regularly covers travel, culture, cars, health, business, the environment, and more for Reader's Digest. Jeff has also written for Parents Magazine, Esquire, PBS, and Good Housekeeping, among other publications. He is the proud dad of teen daughters. You can follow his adventures on Instagram and Twitter @OWTK.