Affordable mid-size SUVs represent the backbone of the people mover business, and with good reason. These versatile vehicles are not only capable of stuffing five to seven passengers inside their spacious environs, but they can also haul a significant amount of gear, tow a decent-sized trailer, and get reasonable fuel mileage to boot.
You don't have to spend a lot of money to pick up an affordable mid-size SUV - especially if you stick with the base model. Let's take a quick look at the entry-level editions of 10 affordable mid-size SUVs.
10 Affordable Mid-Size SUVs - 01 - 2013 Toyota RAV4
The 2013 Toyota RAV4 has been a dominant force on the affordable mid-size sedan scene for over a decade, thanks largely to its ability to be everything to everyone. The base Toyota RAV4 comes with power windows and door locks, air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, 17-inch steelies, tinted windows, and a CD player. Five passenger seating is also standard, and under the hood the RAV4 delivers 176 horsepower from a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine. Fuel efficiency for the entry-level front-wheel drive RAV4 is listed at 24-mpg city and 31-mpg highway, and total cargo space checks in at a whopping 73.3 cubic feet.
10 Affordable Mid-Size SUVs - 02 - 2013 Ford Edge
The 2013 Ford Edge offers five passenger seating and 69 cubic feet of cargo space in its base form. Air conditioning, cruise control, a second row of accommodations that can actually recline, a trip computer, and a CD player are also standard with the least-expensive Ford Edge model. Power for the starter Edge is quite good, as the vehicle's 3.5-liter V-6 generates 285 horses, shifted via a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive, the Ford Edge provides fuel efficiency figures of 19-mpg in stop and go driving and 27-mpg on the highway.
10 Affordable Mid-Size SUVs - 03 - 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee has been given refreshed styling inside and out, and it continues to offer rugged good looks combined with an above-average passenger compartment. The Jeep Grand Cherokee's entry-level Laredo trim comes with cruise control, power windows and door locks, keyless entry and ignition, a touchscreen entertainment system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and 17-inch rims, giving it one of the nicer starting points in its class. Under the hood, the Grand Cherokee's 3.6-liter V-6 engine pushes out 290 horsepower and provides fuel mileage of 17-mpg around town and 25-mpg on the highway. Five passengers can fit inside the Jeep, and with the rear row folded forward it can also handle up to 68.3 cubic feet of cargo.
10 Affordable Mid-Size SUVs - 04 - 2014 Mazda CX-9
The 2014 Mazda CX-9 is notable for its stellar handling in a class of vehicles not typically thought of as engaging to drive, and this is true even for the base model of the mid-size SUV. The Mazda CX-9 is also capable of swallowing as many as seven passengers across three rows, and its 101 cubic feet of available cargo space are near the top of its segment. Three zones of automatic climate control are standard with the Mazda, as are 18-inch rims, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a touchscreen audio system. Motivation for the SUV is derived front a 3.7-liter, 273 horsepower V-6, and fuel mileage checks in at 17-mpg in city driving and 24-mpg during highway cruising.
10 Affordable Mid-Size SUVs - 05 - 2014 Kia Sorento
The 2013 Kia Sportage packs on a good deal of gear for a low initial purchase price, including Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player, tilt steering, power windows and door locks, air conditioning, heated mirrors, keyless entry, and 17-inch rims. The entry-level LX trim of the Kia Sportage is also outfitted with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that offers up 175 horsepower as well as fuel efficiency figures of 21-mpg in city driving and 29-mpg on the highway. Five passengers fill the base Sportage to capacity, and with the back seat out of the picture the SUV can swallow 72.5 cubic feet of luggage.
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10 Affordable Mid-Size SUVs - 06 - 2014 Chevrolet Equinox
The 2014 Chevrolet Equinox is one of the most efficient affordable mid-size SUVs on the market, with its entry-level 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine returning 22-mpg around town and 32-mpg on the highway. It also provides a respectable 182 horsepower. Inside, the Chevrolet Equinox can accommodate either five passengers or 63.7 cubic feet of cargo, and the base model also comes with 17-inch rims, keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, the OnStar telematics system, a reclining and sliding second row seat, and partial power adjustments for the driver's seat, as well as a plug for your iPod or MP3 player.
10 Affordable Mid-Size SUVs - 07 - 2014 Dodge Durango
The 2014 Dodge Durango is one of the bigger mid-size SUVs in the affordable camp, and as a result it offers seven passenger seating across three rows as standard equipment. The Dodge Durango is also large enough inside to haul as much as 84.5 cubic feet of cargo, and if that's not enough it can additionally haul 6,200 lbs of trailer weight. A 3.6-liter V-6 engine that is tuned to provide 290 horsepower comes free of charge with the entry-level Durango, and this engine posts fuel mileage figures of 17-mpg in stop and go driving and 24-mpg on the highway.
10 Affordable Mid-Size SUVs - 08 - 2014 Nissan Pathfinder
The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder - like the Durango - checks in at the larger end of the mid-size SUV spectrum, with its seven passenger seating capacity and the ability to haul 79.8 cubic feet of cargo. The Nissan Pathfinder also benefits from a standard six-cylinder engine, a 3.5-liter mill that churns out 260 horses, and a continuously-variable automatic transmission is on hand to squeeze fuel mileage of 20-mpg city and 26-mpg highway out of this particular motor. Standard with the Pathfinder are items such as 18-inch rims, three zones of automatic climate control, tinted windows, sliding and reclining second row seats, cruise control, a CD player, and keyless entry.
10 Affordable Mid-Size SUVs - 09 - 2014 Honda CR-V
The 2014 Honda CR-V is another affordable mid-size SUV class leader, with its famed reliability and durability giving it the edge over certain competitors. The Honda CR-V is also immensely practical with its five passenger seating as well as its total cargo capacity of 70.9 cubic feet (with the rear row folded forward). Unlike many of its rivals, the Honda CR-V features a rearview camera as well as Internet radio as standard equipment, and the base version of the SUV also comes with power windows and door locks, 16-inch steel wheels, cruise control, keyless entry, and a CD player. A 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine pulls duty between the Honda's front fenders, where it makes 185 horsepower and provides fuel mileage of 23-mpg in city driving and 31-mpg during highway cruising.
10 Affordable Mid-Size SUVs - 10 - 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander
Redesigned for the current model year, the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander now offers better fuel economy than ever before, showing as high was 31-mpg on the highway for the base model (as well as 25-mpg around town). The vehicle's 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine also offers 166 horsepower and is mated to a continuously-variable automatic transmission, with the latter going a long way towards explaining the Mitsubishi Outlander's improved efficiency. The entry-level ES trim includes foglights, power windows and door locks, automatic climate control, a CD player, a sliding and reclining second row seat, and tinted windows. It's also worth mentioning that the Outlander delivers seven passenger capacity as well as 63.3 cubic feet of total cargo space with the rear two rows out of the picture.