Reader Question: Best SUV Under $15k?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Vadim asks: What is the best SUV under $15,000? PS: I love it when Eric appears on the David Knight Show.

My reply: Under $15k? That is a  tough one. At least, assuming we are talking about new SUVs. That amount of money might just barely squeeze you into a small (subcompact) crossover SUV such as a Chevy Trax or Fiat 500 L . . . after a lot of haggling!

An SUV – i.e., a vehicle with truck-based underpinnings and a truck-type 4WD system with Low range gearing – will cost you considerably more.

If you are asking about used SUVs, the field opens up considerably. The question now is – do you want a crossover SUV or an SUV?

Crossovers are – generally – built on car “platforms,” and have car-type drivetrains; usually, transverse (sideways in the engine bay) engine and a FWD  transaxle (with an AWD system available). SUVs are built on truck-type platforms, often body-on-frame – with a longitudinally mounted (front to back)engine, separate transmission and axle in the rear, with the default drive being RWD; a 4WD system is usually available.

Crossovers are not as rugged as truck-based SUVs; they aren’t generally designed for serious work, or off-roading. They are mainly designed to be more versatile than the cars they are based on – and better (on road) in poor weather.

SUVs are what you want for work – and if you need to tow anything heavier than 5,000 lbs. or tackle severe terrain/conditions off paved roads.

There are more crossovers to choose from than SUVs, but excellent choices in both categories.

To narrow this down more, please let me know what size vehicle you’re interested in – and which attributes (e.g., on-road handling, or off-road capabilities) matter most to you. I’ll then give you some specific recommendations!

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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