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Top 5 Best SUV Under $25K - 2010 edition

Updated on March 14, 2011

One of the reason people are getting SUV than car is the SUV size. SUV provides bigger car space for a family. The following is the list of top 5 highest rated under $25K SUV for 2010 model:


(click column header to sort results)
Lowest MSRP  
Review Rating  
AWD / 4WD Option  
Length (in)  
Width (in)  
Height (in)  
Fuel Tank (gal)  
Fuel Economy (mpg)  
Max Towing (lbs)  
Cargo Capacity (Cu ft)  
Horsepower (HP)  
Speed 0-60mph (s)  
Honda CRV
Honda Element
Kia Sportage
Mazda CX-7
Toyota RAV4
SUVs Comparison
honda crv
honda crv

1. 2010 Honda CRV

Ever since the 2007 model was introduced, Honda CRV has become one of the favorite compact crossover SUVs. CRV was first introduced by Japanese company Honda since 1997. Another improvement on 2010 model is additional power (180HP vs 166HP) and better millage economy for this SUV. This should help with its traditionally sluggish power performance. The 2010 Honda CR-V is a crossover SUV can be categorized between compact and midsize. Several option models available for CRV such as LX, EX, EX-L and EX-L with Navigation trim levels. Most of the models can be equipped with front- or all-wheel drive. The LX model comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, air-conditioning (ac), cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver seat height adjustment, 40/20/40 sliding and reclining rear seats, a retractable front center tray table and a four-speaker stereo with CD/MP3 player and auxiliary audio jack. Bluetooth and a USB audio port are added to the options list.

Advantages of Honda CRV are:

  • It provides spacious passenger and cargo areas
  • It also provides straightforward interior controls
  • Very nifty family-friendly features
  • It has agile handling
  • It has an outstanding crashworthiness.

Disadvantages are:

  • There is no optional engine upgrade such as V6 engine
  • A bit noisier than other SUVs
  • There is lack manual transmission mode.

Personal note: I have 2006 model, I still like my CRV. Very good on fuel economy compare to other SUV. Still need more power for acceleration.

Honda Element
Honda Element

2. 2010 Honda Element

To no one surprise another Honda SUV is landed in this Top 5 list. Element was introduced by Honda since 2002. The 2010 Honda Element remains a good choice for individual in need of a compact crossover with a versatile interior design. The Honda Element version 2010 is a compact crossover SUV available in three trim levels: LX, EX and SC. The Element LX and EX are available in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations, while the sport-tuned SC is front-wheel drive only. The base LX comes with 16-inch steel wheels, moisture-resistant seats, a urethane utility floor, folding and removable rear seats, a height-adjustable driver seat, air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control , a tilt steering wheel, keyless entry and a four-speaker CD audio system. For 2010, the Honda Element has a new the Dog Friendly package that features an enclosed kennel with a cushioned bed and water bowl as well as a collapsible ramp for dog easy access.


  • Spacious cabin,
  • easy cargo loading due to specialized rear doors
  • removable rear seats,
  • good crash-test scores.


  • Seats only four,
  • awkward rear ingress and egress
  • Not so great fuel economy

Kia Sportage
Kia Sportage

3. 2010 Kia Sportage

This is one of the cheapest SUV in this Top 5. Compare to other SUV in this list, this SUV is less refined and mostly outclass to its competitors. This KIA SUV is introduced since 1993. The 2010 Kia Sportage remains a solid choice for buyers in search of an affordable compact crossover. The 2010 Sportage is a compact crossover SUV that's offered in LX and EX trim levels. Both models are offered with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.

The entry-level LX comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, rear privacy glass, and a flip-up rear window that opens independently of the liftgate. The interior features air-conditioning (except on four-cylinder base models), full power accessories, cloth upholstery, cruise control and a six-speaker CD/MP3 stereo with satellite radio capability and auxiliary audio/USB input jacks.


  • Convenient interior,
  • Cheap compared to competition
  • The best powertrain warranty


  • Both engines lack vigor
  • Bad fuel economy

Mazda CX 7
Mazda CX 7

4. 2010 Mazda CX-7

Although CX-7 is just being introduced on 2007 by Mazda; it has attracted many new car buyers & enthusiasts. Thanks to a sharp design and nimble powertrain, the 2010 Mazda CX-7 brings some much-needed fun to an otherwise practical but mostly bland segment. The 2010 Mazda CX-7 is a midsize five-passenger crossover SUV available in four trim levels i SV, i Sport, s Touring and s Grand Touring.

The well-equipped base i SV trim includes 17-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a six-way manually adjustable driver seat, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel and a four-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack. The i Sport adds privacy-tint rear glass, a leather-wrapped steering wheel/gearshift knob and Bluetooth connectivity.

Also included For 2010, the Mazda CX-7 gets a refresh that brings a new SV trim level, a new base engine, higher fuel economy for the turbocharged engine, a revamped interior and a new face that shows off Mazda's bigger, happier grille.


  • Muscular handling
  • Great Power from the turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Great quality build
  • marvelous design
  • excellent safety ratings.


  • Lack of interior space
  • Less smooth handling
  • Bad fuel economy

Toyota Rav4
Toyota Rav4

5. 2010 Toyota RAV4

RAV4 is another popular SUV is made by Toyota since 1994. The 2010 Toyota RAV4 is a top pick for a small-to-midsize crossover SUV, especially if you want a V6 or a usable kid-size third-row seat. It is also spacious, comfortable and easy to drive. The 2010 Toyota RAV4 is a midsize crossover SUV. There are three trim levels available: base, Sport and Limited. Each one is available with front- or all-wheel drive and an option of either a four-cylinder or V6 engine. Not much has change from 2009 model, only a slight interior change has occurred for 2010 model.

The base RAV4 comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, a limited-slip differential (front-drive models), air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver seat height adjustment and a six-speaker stereo with CD player and auxiliary audio jack. The base V6 4WD adds 17-inch alloy wheels, though they are optional on other base models.


  • Superb power and fuel economy from optional V6,
  • large cargo space with flat load floor,
  • Spacious second-row seating,
  • Very good ride and handling,
  • solid build quality
  • Great crash test scores


  • Interior design looks cheap
  • Side-hinged rear gate impedes curbside loading
  • Tight space for taller driver


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    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      8 years ago from Central Oregon

      Very well put together Hub, and this is something people really need. I tweeted it and Liked it on fb!


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