Australians buy more SUVs than any other vehicle type. Given the popularity, it’s no surprise that there are almost 20 major brands currently manufacturing SUVs for the Australian market.
We have a lot of options to choose from. In this guide, we are going to talk about 9 of the best. The SUVs in this list, are the SUVs we believe provide the best value for money in Australia.
1. Hyundai Kona
The Hyundai Kona, specifically its 2020 and 2021 models can be best described as a ‘reliable SUV. The Kona doesn’t give you anything over the top, but it gives you the right amount of everything.
The latest model of the Kona comes with a 2.0L four-cylinder petrol engine, with 109kW output and 6.8L/100KM fuel economy. It’s well-rounded, performant and a phenomenal compact SUV.
The cabin experience is comfortable and there’s an 8-inch touchscreen display to keep you busy, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The front seats are heated, and this car is just full of surprises.
You can also choose a higher-end variant of the Kona to ramp up the infotainment system to a 10.25-inch touchscreen and an 8-speaker Bose sound system. On top of that, you get 374 litres of boot space which is very good considering that the Kona falls under the small SUV category.
The base model 2022 Kona starts from $26k AUD, so it’s a very good value for money if you’re eyeing a small SUV.
2. Mazda CX-5
The Mazda CX-5 is the 2nd best-selling SUV in Australia. If you’re looking to find a balance between luxury and value-for-money, then nothing beats the Mazda CX-5.
In terms of interior and exterior, you’ll hardly find an SUV that looks better than the CX-5. You get a very aggressive and sporty exterior, which always stands out no matter where you go.
The best aspect of the CX-5 is its strong tech features. The 2021 model includes a remote start, 10.25-inch colour screen, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, dual climate control, fully autonomous safety features, electrically powered boot, and so much more. If you’re one of those users who judge value by tech and convenience, then the Mazda CX-5 is your go-to SUV.
The Mazda is also known for its powerful performance specs, and CX-5 is no different. There’s a 2.5L four-cylinder engine that gives you 140kW of output and 252Nm torque. The only downside is that the 7.5L/100km fuel economy, which is considerably higher than most other SUVs around this price range. 2022 model prices start from just over $32,000.
In the range of large family SUVs, Toyota Kluger gives you a long list of premium features within an acceptable price range. It’s a 7-seater SUV, which means that it’s the perfect solution for large families.
The most stand-out feature in the Toyota Kluger is its driving experience. It drives comfortably in all terrains. Off-road driving has always been a large selling point for the Kluger.
On the latest models, there’s also an off-road driving mode that lets the car automatically adjust its suspension and gearbox. So, whether you’re driving in the city, the highway, farmlands, or the mountain road, the Kluger will always give you a balanced and comfortable driving experience.
The Kluger also offers a hybrid variant that gives you a fuel economy of 5.6L/100km. Even on the standard petrol engine, you get a fuel economy of 8.9L/100km which is standard for large 7-seater SUVs.
The only downside of the Toyota Kluger is that the infotainment system is a bit dated, and the cabin design feels a bit bland. But overall, if you consider performance, driving experience, and fuel economy, the Toyota Kluger is a great value for money option.
4. Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 is the highest-selling SUV in Australia, and there’s a good reason for it. It’s one of the most well-rounded mid-sized SUVs you’ll find out there within the $30-$40K range.
The RAV4 has almost everything. A dynamic exterior, a spacious interior, 8" colour touchscreen infotainment, a 6-speaker sound system, satellite navigation, Blind Spot Monitor, front and rear parking sensors, panoramic view monitor, anti-lock braking system, and the list goes on.
In terms of performance, it comes with a 2.0l petrol engine and a 2.5L hybrid option. The standard petrol engine gives you a fuel economy of 6.5l/100km, while the hybrid provides 4.8l/100km.
Overall, the Toyota RAV4 doesn’t have any specific feature that screams out, but it provides a balanced specs sheet without compromising on any section. The 2022 RAV4 starts at around $34k, which is a great value for money given its well-rounded features.
5. Skoda Kamiq
For some users, value for money means an affordable buying price and low fuel consumption. The Skoda Kamiq offers both. In our review of the 2021 Skoda Kamiq, we said that “outstanding value is what sets the Kamiq apart from other SUVs”.
You notice this value when you look at the performance specs of the Kamiq. It comes with a 1L turbo-petrol engine with an output of 85kw. It might sound like a low-performing engine, but you’re getting 200Nm of torque. On top of that, you’re getting a fuel economy of 5L/100km.
If you’re looking for a slightly more powerful engine, you can also choose the 1.5L variant, which also offers an outstanding fuel economy of 5.6l/100km. In terms of the interior, you get all the latest bells and whistles such as keyless entry, electric tailgate, and an 8" infotainment screen.
The Kamiq won’t give you an outstanding adrenaline-infused driving experience, but it’s very well suited for your daily average driving. The 2021 Skoda Kamiq starts from around $26K AUD.
6. MG ZS
To some users, it might sound like an unfamiliar name, but the MG ZS crossover SUV is actually one of the top 10 selling SUVs in Australia. It offers very affordable pricing and balanced features to support your everyday transportation needs. The MG ZS also has very low maintenance costs in Australia compared to the other giant brands.
The 2021 MG ZS comes with a 1.5L petrol engine with a fuel economy of 7.1L/100km. You can also choose a 1.0L variant with a fuel economy of 6.5L/100km.
The best aspect of the MG ZS is its attention to detail. Inside the cabin, you’re never reminded that you’re sitting in a mid-range car. The tactile chrome bezel finishes around the air vents, a BMW-inspired dashboard design, and a mixture of cloth and leather upholstery really create that premium cabin feeling that you’d expect from higher-end cars.
There’s also a high-resolution 8" touch screen with a Yamaha 3D sound system. The pricing of the MG ZS starts from around $23K AUD. So, it’s a very affordable option, with a great range of advanced features.
7. Honda CR-V
The Honda CR-V is all about performance and space. You can choose between a 5 and 7-seater option. There’s plenty of storage space inside the cabin, as well as ample space in the rear seats.
Honda has always emphasized using high-end materials and delivering a premium finish, and this is also evident on the CR-V. It has a wide range of advanced tech features such as smart keyless entry with push-button start, satellite navigation, electric park brakes, and much more. You also get a 10’’ touchscreen infotainment system with voice command compatibility.
In terms of performance, the 2021 CR-V comes with a 1.5L engine. It gives you a power output of 140kW, 240Nm torque, and a fuel economy of 7.31/100km. The 2021 Honda CR-V starts from around $35K Aud. If you’re a fan of strong performance and tech, then the CR-V will offer you great value for money.
8. Kia Sportage
If you haven't checked out the 2022 Kia Sportage yet, you should! Longer, better-equipped and more advanced than the 2021 version, it's one of the more aspirational SUVs in a highly competitive market.
Sporty, vibrant lines result in a striking exterior that makes a bold statement. The interior is spacious and carefully executed. A suite of autonomous safety features is included with the base-spec S.
All variants with an automatic gearbox benefit from an electric parking brake. Higher specs enjoy options such as front parking sensors, dual climate control, keyless start, LED headlights and an automatic gesture tailgate.
The S variant houses a perfectly adequate 8.0" touchscreen (an inch bigger than the 2021 offering). At the top of the range, drivers can benefit from two 10.25" screens - one at the centre of the dash and one for the driver. Although there are a few quirks when it comes to which spec gets what, tech is something Kia shines at.
The manufacturer is also no slouch when it comes to engine choices. Drivers can choose from a 2.0l petrol (115kW/192Nm), a 1.6l petrol turbo (132kW/265Nm) and a 2.0l turbo diesel (137kW/416Nm). Reviewers rave about the turbo diesel's speed and handling. All variants are available in all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
Prices for the 2022 Kia Sportage start at around $32,445 for an AWD S variant.
Sporting a fresh, engaging exterior for 2022, the Mitsubishi Outlander has undergone some significant style changes compared with its appearance in 2021. The updated exterior gives the Outlander more on-road presence. Inside, greater use of high-end materials gives the Outlander an attractive, high-quality ambience that's enormously appealing.
Tech and features are good (but not exceptional). Currently, there's only one engine available in the Outlander. This is a 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol option (125kW/245Nm). It's paired with a CVT transmission and an electric parking brake. Two-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive variants are available.
Some reviewers feel the Outlander lacks power and isn't the most exciting of drives. If you prefer speed, a diesel Sportage or a Mazda CX-% may be a better choice.
A 2022 base-spec Mitsubishi Outlander will cost you around $34,490.
It’s hard to boil the busiest car category down to a mere 9 vehicles. And it goes without saying there are great cars that didn’t make this list. If you’d like to learn more about other cars in Australia’s car market then follow us. We’ll keep you informed about standout vehicles.