Have you ever considered buying a four-wheel-drive SUV because of the recent winter weather? If so, you’re not alone. However, if you’re wondering how much it will cost to buy a 4WD SUV, it’s probably cheaper than you think. One new Ford and two Jeeps are under $30,000 each.
2022 Jeep Compass
Topping US News’ “10 Cheapest 4-Wheel Drive SUVs” list and one of three in the sub-$30,000 range is the 2022 Jeep Compass. It features comfortable seats, an easy-to-use infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Jeep’s Active Drive 4X4 system. This last feature senses rear-wheel slippage and automatically engages based on the mode selected (Auto, Snow, Sport, or Sand/Mud), and was described by a US News reviewer as “excellent off-road capability.” provides what we call
The 2022 Jeep Compass ranks high among affordable 4WD SUVs, but sits near the bottom when compared to other small SUVs. Compass has been updated with styling and suspension upgrades for his 2022, but his 177-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine “feels sluggish in most driving situations,” lowering the class’ average fuel economy. is below Other drawbacks are substandard cargo capacity and “mundane driving dynamics”, especially on bad roads.
2023 Ford Bronco Sport
The compact 2023 Ford Bronco Sport received the highest US News score among the three cheapest 4WD SUVs on the list and ranked near the top of all other small SUVs. However, the Bronco Sport lost out to the Compass for the cheapest 4WD SUV title due to its $430 higher price tag. But it’s worth the increase.
The standard 181-horsepower turbocharged 3-cylinder engine is fine for crawling around malls, but the 250-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine available in higher trim levels means the situation calls for more power. And even if you do, it won’t let you hang up. Fuel economy, of course, is better with the base engine, but neither option offers numbers worth bragging about. Connected, its basic interior design is not for everyone. But this 4WD SUV of his is good in that it works well.
2023 Jeep Renegade
The 2023 Jeep Renegade ranks in the bottom half of the subcompact SUV class, thanks to a modest cabin, noisier engine, and low fuel consumption. But for a cheap 4WD SUV, it’s “superb off-road chop” puts him in third place. The base model Renegade boasts the same Active Drive 4WD system as the Compass, but the affordable upgrade features Active Drive with a ‘4-Low Mode’ that can tackle challenging off-road obstacles row is added.
US News called the 2023 Renegade “true off-road capable,” praising its standard features and user-friendly technology. However, his 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine at 177 hp lacks the power needed for overtaking acceleration and has below average fuel economy for its class. But the Renegade offers agile handling with quick steering ratios that make maneuvering through tight parking spaces and off-road obstacles a breeze.
Which cheap 4WD SUV is the best?
All three inexpensive 4WD SUVs on this list are good choices for everyday drivers who see logging roads from time to time. But with his budget up to $32,000, he’s got two more compelling options.
The first model starts at $31,995 and is the 2023 Jeep Wrangler. With legendary off-road performance and his 3.6-liter V6 of 285 horsepower. The second option is the 2022 Ford Bronco, starting at $31,300. The 300 horsepower turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine delivers exciting off-road performance.