What are Australia’s cheapest SUVs?
When we answered this question in 2016, Australia sold twice as many crossovers as today – and for $5K less.
But after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, and ongoing problems with the supply of new cars and parts through 2022, this is the reality we now face.
New cars are getting expensive, no doubt about it.
With that in mind, if you’re looking for more space than a hatch, we’ve rounded up the most affordable light and small crossover SUVs on the market if you’re up to the dollar bucks required for a midsize SUV. Can’t grow. .
Hyundai Venue – From $24,990
The Hyundai Venue is the smallest, most affordable SUV in the Hyundai lineup.
Launched in Australia in 2019, it effectively filled the void left by the discontinued Accent light car.
Location keeps things simple in terms of variations. There’s a choice of one engine – a 1.6-litre four-cylinder – and three trim levels, available with a six-speed auto on all three, or a cheaper six-speed manual offering base and mid-spec models. All versions drive the front wheels.
However, only the entry-level Venue and mid-range Active fall under our $30K cap at $24,990 and $29,394, respectively.
Hyundai Kona – From $29,490
The Hyundai Kona is the second smallest SUV offered by the Korean automaker.
The choice in the range is vast, from affordable 2.0-litre petrol power to high-performance turbo models, to top-end fully electric variants.
The Hyundai Kona lineup is mostly front-drive, with all-wheel drive reserved for the punchy N-Line variants but not the full-fat N models with their sub-6-second 0-100km/h capabilities.
Only the base-spec Kona meets our price range though, coming in at $29,490. It gets a 2.0-litre Atkinson petrol engine, mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that drives only the front wheels.
Kia Stonic – From $24,690
Since its launch in 2021, the compact Kia Stonic SUV has proven popular, with around 8000 sold in its first year on the Australian market.
If there’s a reason this newcomer seems familiar, though, it’s because it’s because of this. Based on the relatively smaller Kia Rio, the Stonic bears a striking resemblance to its sibling.
But the designers have made a real effort to make this car more than a high-riding version of the hatch – and for a crossover, its looks aren’t quite as divisive as some rivals.
Starting at a low price of $20,000, the Kia Stonic is powered by a choice of 1.4-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder and 1.0-litre turbo petrol three-cylinder engines. All examples are front-wheel drive, from the entry-end Kia Stonic S to the Kia Stonic GT-Line flagship.
Four of them meet the $30K standard – the S and Sport grades are each offered with both manual and automatic transmission options. The manual S starts at $24,690 while the Auto Sport is about $4K faster at $28,190.
Mazda CX-3 – From $27,251
There are three variants of the popular Mazda CX-3 below the $30,000 mark: the entry-level Neo Sport in both manual and automatic transmission styles and the 2WD manual petrol version of the Maxx Sport.
Each of them is powered by a 110kW/195Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that drinks 6.6L/100km on the combined cycle.
It’s basically a Mazda2 on stilts so space is at a premium, but an upscale interior design sets it apart from other cheap compact SUVs.
Suzuki Agnes – From $23,490
The Suzuki Ignis is one of the most affordable small SUVs in Australia, if you can call it that.
While it may appear as a larger than usual hatchback, the Ignis has a boxy, retro look and is classified as a ‘light SUV’.
Every Ignis drives only its front wheels and there’s only one engine available – a 1.2-litre petrol four-cylinder that consumes no more than 4.9 litres/100km on the combined cycle. The Ignis comes with either a five-speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic.
Prices start at $23,490 for the GL manual, $24,490 for the GL auto and $26,490 for the GLX (auto only).
Australia’s cheapest SUVs: 5 crossovers under $30,000 (and variants available!)
|Hyundai Venue Active||$29,394.10|
|Kia Stonic S Manual||$24,690|
|Kia Stonic S Automatic||$25,690|
|Kia Stonic Sport Manual||$26,690|
|Kia Stonic Sport Automatic||$28,190|
|Mazda CX-3 Neo Sport Manual||$27,251|
|Mazda CX-3 Neo Sport Automatic||$29,335|
|Mazda CX-3 Maxx Sport||$29,335|
|Suzuki Ignis GL Manual||$23,490|
|Suzuki Agnes GL Automatic||$24,490|
|Suzuki Ignis GLX||$26,490|