Top SUV features in a fun, compact size.

Best Compact SUVs under $20K | CarMax

Are you looking for a fun-to-drive, versatile vehicle that prioritizes space, passenger visibility, and utility? Look no further than a compact SUV. These well-designed vehicles offer a bit of everything—and that makes them popular with just about everyone. Compact SUVs can also be easy to drive thanks to a taller ride height, and the higher entry and exit point will please your passengers as well. Add the convenience of a hatchback, and you'll see why compact SUVs are such a crowd-pleaser.

To help you on your search, we've compiled a list of the 10 best compact SUVs under $20,000, based on CarMax pricing and sales data from May 1, 2020 through October 31, 2020.1 Please be aware that certain model years and upper trim configurations may bring the prices of some of these vehicles over $20,000.

  1. Nissan Rogue
    10 Best Compact SUVs Under $20k Ranked: Nissan Rogue | CarMax
  2. Ford Escape
    10 Best Compact SUVs Under $20k Ranked: Ford Escape | CarMax
  3. Honda CR-V
    10 Best Compact SUVs Under $20k Ranked: Honda CR-V | CarMax
  4. Jeep Compass
    10 Best Compact SUVs Under $20k Ranked: Jeep Compass Sport | CarMax
  5. GMC Terrain
    10 Best Compact SUVs Under $20k Ranked: GMC Terrain | CarMax
  6. Hyundai Tucson
    10 Best Compact SUVs Under $20k Ranked: Hyundai Tucson | CarMax
  7. Buick Encore
    10 Best Compact SUVs Under $20k Ranked: Buick Encore | CarMax
  8. Subaru Forester
    10 Best Compact SUVs Under $20k Ranked: Subaru Forester | CarMax
  9. Mazda CX-5
    10 Best Compact SUVs Under $20k Ranked: Mazda Cx-5 | CarMax
  10. Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
    10 Best Compact SUVs Under $20k Ranked: Hyundai Santa Fe Sport | CarMax

As you research your options, you'll find that many compact SUVs come with convenient standard features and driver-assistance technology. The 2017 Nissan Rogue, for example, offers base-model features like a five-inch display, a rearview camera and available driver-assistance features like adaptive cruise control. Meanwhile, the Ford Escape (from 2017 onward) features standard equipment such as the Sync® 3 interface with smartphone integration, and a rearview camera. The 2017 Honda CR-V boasts standard features like a five-inch display, USB connectivity, and more.

Moving down our list, the Jeep Compass features standard equipment for 2017that includes a five-inch display and a six-speaker sound system. For the 2017 GMC Terrain, the base model SL is equipped with OnStar® functionality, which, when activated, includes features like roadside assistance, stolen vehicle assist, and an available Wi-Fi hotspot.2 A seven-inch touchscreen and six-speaker sound system are also standard on 2017 Terrains. And both the Hyundai Tucson and the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport come standard with a five-inch touchscreen, six-speaker sound system, and rearview camera on models from 2017 onward.

For the Subaru Forester, the name of the game is off-road capability. The Forester comes with standard all-wheel drive, which makes it a great choice if you're going to be doing some light off-roading or just want added confidence in wintry weather.

All of these compact SUVs provide access to a host of standard features, advanced connectivity, and plenty of space for you and your passengers—all with an average price under $20,000. Get ready to roll in a used compact SUV that's capable and fun to drive.

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1Based on CarMax average prices between May 1, 2020 and October 31, 2020. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features, and trim packages. Prices do not include tax, title, tags, and any applicable fees.
2OnStar features require activation and most require a paid OnStar plan to use. Wi-Fi hotspot functionality may also require an additional data plan. Limitations and restrictions apply. See onstar.com for more information.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.

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