Last Updated on June 5, 2023 by Victor A
Finding fast SUVs under 30k is a hard task since at this price range automakers focus on providing small compact SUVs that can be usable in cities, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t exceptions. And here’s where our fastest SUVs under 30k list can be useful for you.
Also, it’s important to understand that a fast SUV under 30k means that it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under 8.5 seconds.
If you want to find out about the fastest SUVs under $40,000 (40k) we have another article where we show you the TOP 10, however, for those who are interested in more SUVs under $50,000 (50k) we have another one.
1) 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid (227 hp, 0-60 mph in 6.9 sec)
The fastest SUV under 30k is the Kia Sportage Hybrid, which is the only hybrid vehicle on the list.
The Sportage Hybrid pairs a 1.6-liter inline-four turbocharged engine with an electric motor to produce 227 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque.
It can speed up from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which is quite impressive for an SUV below $30,000.
The Sportage Hybrid starts at an MSRP of $27,490, and it comes standard with AWD (all-wheel drive).
2) 2023 Hyundai Kona (195 hp, 0-60 mph in 7.3 sec)
The second spot on the list goes for the Hyundai Kona, which to get the best out of it, you’ll need to select the N Line trim.
The standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit comes with 147 hp, while the N line packs a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 195 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque.
This means that the Kona N Line can go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds.
Pricing for the standard Kona starts at $21,990, but you’ll need to spend $27,850 for the N Line, also it comes with FWD, but you can opt for AWD for an extra $1,500.
3) 2023 Volkswagen Taos (158 hp, 0-60 mph in 7.4 sec)
The Volkswagen Taos is the only European car on the list, which makes sense since most European brands focus on the premium market.
With a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder unit, the Taos comes with 158 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque.
The 0-60 mph acceleration of the Taos is rated at 7.4 seconds.
Its MSRP price starts at $24,155, and it comes standard with FWD, however by paying $27,790 you can get the 4MOTION AWD version.
4) 2023 Subaru Forester (182 hp, 0-60 mph in 7.5 sec)
Similar to the Kona, the Subaru Forester requires you to select a higher trim, which comes with a better engine.
The standard Forester uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 152 hp, and if you want the juicier 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine you’ll have to select the Sport trim, which also gets a power bump to 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque.
This compact SUV can go from 0-60 mph in 7.5, which makes it one of the fastest SUVs under 30k ($30,000).
Pricing for the standard starts at $26,645, while the Sport trim will set you back at $27,995, and all trims of the Forester include Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.
5) 2023 Ford Escape (181 hp, 0-60 mph in 7.7 sec)
The Ford Escape is a great compact SUV that combines great looks and an interesting EcoBoost engine.
This engine of the Escape is a 1.5-liter three-cylinder that produces 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque.
That’s enough to propel the SUV from 0 to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds.
While its price starts at $28,000, you need to know that it includes FWD, if you want to spec it with AWD it raises to $29,500.
6) 2023 Nissan Rogue (201 hp, 0-60 mph in 7.8 sec)
For those looking for more conventional looks, the Nissan Rogue is the perfect option, as it comes with a rugged design while maintaining the best usability for city driving.
It packs a 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that makes 201 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque.
Its 0-60 mph acceleration is rated at 7.8 seconds, definitely a fast SUV under 30k dollars.
The base Nissan Rogue S comes with a fair price of $27,760, and if you’re looking for the AWD version, you’ll have to pay $29,260.
7) 2023 Toyota RAV4 (203 hp, 0-60 mph in 8 sec)
The RAV4 is a best-seller in the US, and there are a few reasons for it, quality, reliability, and design.
The Toyota RAV4 uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque.
It can speed up from 0-60 mph in 8.0 seconds, which is not that bad for an SUV that costs under $30,000.
The RAV4 starts at an MSRP of $27,975, with FWD as standard like most SUVs in this list, and if you want the AWD version get ready to spend at least $29,375.
8) 2023 Kia Soul (147 hp, 0-60 mph in 8 sec)
The Kia Soul doesn’t pack that much power, but thanks to its reduced size and slightly-lower weight it achieves decent acceleration times.
Inside the Kia Soul we find a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque.
It has the same 0 to 60 mph acceleration time as the RAV4, 8 seconds.
The best thing about this SUV is its $19,890 pricing, which makes it the most affordable car on the list, however, it comes with a drawback, it’s only available with FWD.
9) 2023 Mazda CX-30 (191 hp, 0-60 mph in 8.1 sec)
The Mazda CX-30 comes with a lot of power, however, is not the fastest SUV, and that’s mainly because the Japanese automaker limits the high-accelerating CX-30 to the turbocharged trims, which costs over $30,000.
Nevertheless, the standard 2.5-liter naturally aspirated inline-four engine of the CX-30 is not bad at all, as it comes with 191 hp and 186 lb-ft.
As mentioned above, finding fast SUVs under 30k is hard, but this CX-30 proves that it’s possible since it has a 0-60 mph time of 8.1 seconds.
The CX-30 is a really interesting option since its $22,950 price is quite low compared with the rest, and it comes standard with AWD in all its trims.
10) 2023 Ford Bronco Sport (181 hp, 0-60 mph in 8.2 sec)
The last SUV on the list is the Ford Bronco Sport, which is also the costlier here. This SUV is a bit different from the others since it focuses more on off-roading than anything else.
Its 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine comes with 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque.
It can go from 0-60 mph in 8.2 seconds, it’s not the fastest SUV under 30k, but it manages to accelerate well.
The Bronco Sport will set you back at a starting price of $29,215, however, the best thing about this SUV is that it comes standard with a 4×4 system which makes it the best option for adventurous people.