12 Best SUVs To Buy if You Hate To Spend Money on Maintenance

Hate costly maintenance? These SUVs are verifiably dependable.
Updated April 11, 2024
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Americans love to drive SUVs. But if you are shopping for one, remember that the cost of an SUV — or any vehicle — equals more than just the sticker price.

It’s important to consider costs such as gas, car insurance, and maintenance.

Maintenance can be particularly expensive. Recently, CarMax and RepairPal teamed up to issue a list of the most reliable SUVs. 

If you want to lower your financial stress during your SUV search, check out some of these low-maintenance models.

Toyota Venza

Courtesy of Toyota Toyota Venza

The Toyota Venza earns a rating of 4.5 out of 5 in reliability.

One of the reasons may be that the estimated annual cost for repairs and maintenance comes in at $395, which is below the average of $521 for a midsize SUV.

The Venza has a manufacturer’s starting retail price (MSRP) of $34,620 before adding features or upgrades. And its five-star safety rating may lower your car insurance costs.

Infiniti QX50

Courtesy of Infiniti Infiniti QX50

Check out an Infiniti QX50 if you’re looking for a luxury compact SUV that’s also affordable when it comes to maintenance.

The probability that you’ll have a major repair is only 4%. That compares to an average of 8% for other luxury compact SUVs. That could mean you won’t have to dip into your emergency fund for a major repair.

The vehicle is more expensive than other SUVs due to its luxury brand, but you can still get one with a starting price of $40,300.

Kia Soul

Courtesy of Kia Kia Soul

The Kia Soul has a 4.5 rating out of 5 when it comes to maintenance, but there are some issues to consider.

Owners have to take their vehicles in for repair an average of 0.6 times per year, which is slightly higher than the 0.5 times per year of other subcompact SUVs.

The good news is that the price is on the low end for SUVs, with a base model MSRP of $19,890.

Jeep Renegade

Courtesy of Jeep Jeep Renegade

The Jeep Renegade could be a great option if you need a vehicle you can occasionally take off-road.

The average annual cost of repairs and maintenance is $414 — compared to a $444 average for other subcompacts — according to RepairPal, which gave the vehicle a 4.5 rating out of 5.

You can pick up a Renegade at a starting price of $28,345.

Toyota RAV4

Courtesy of Toyota Toyota Rav4

One of the great things about the Toyota RAV4 is its low maintenance costs. The SUV has an annual repair cost of $386 per year. That compares to $489 for other vehicles in the same segment.

You can pick up a RAV4 with a base-model MSRP of $28,275.

Mercedes-Benz GLC300

Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz A Mercedes-Benz GLC300

The Mercedes-Benz GLC300 gets high marks in reliability, which could help you keep maintenance costs low.

The probability of a major repair on the SUV is only 2%, which is much less than the 10% expected for other luxury midsize SUVs.

But the lack of maintenance and repair costs doesn’t come cheaply: The GLC300’s MSRP base price is $49,100.

Mazda CX-5

Courtesy of Mazda Mazda CX-5

Mazda’s CX-5 earns a 4.5 rating out of 5 from RepairPal for reliability.

You can expect an annual average of 0.6 frequency of visits for unscheduled repairs, which compares to 1.1 visits per year for the midsize SUV market as a whole.

The cost of a Mazda CX-5 is also in line with other SUVs in the segment, with a base price of $29,300.

Mercedes-Benz GLA250

Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz A Mercedes-Benz GLA250

Another Mercedes that made the list was the Mercedes-Benz GLA250. The SUV earns high marks in annual maintenance and repair costs for the luxury compact SUV segment.

You can expect to pay $456 in annual maintenance costs on average. That compares to $653 for the segment as a whole.

The MSRP on a base-model Mercedes-Benz GLA250 is on the higher side compared to other SUVs on this list, coming in at $37,500.

Subaru Crosstrek

Courtesy of Subaru subaru crosstrek

Expect the Subaru Crosstrek to cost $378 in annual repairs and maintenance. That compares to $489 for other compact SUVs.

The Crosstrek is also affordable, with a base price of $24,995.

Cadillac XT5

Courtesy of Cadillac Cadillac XT5

A big advantage to owning a Cadillac XT5 is that unscheduled repairs don’t pop up often.

The average Cadillac owner brings this vehicle in for unscheduled service 0.2 times per year on average. That compares to 1.5 times for other luxury midsize SUVs.

The XT5 has an MSRP of $43,895 for its base model.

Nissan Rogue Sport

Courtesy of Nissan Nissan rogue sport

It is unlikely that you will spend much time waiting in the repair shop if you purchase a Nissan Rogue Sport.

The SUV is in the shop for repair and maintenance 0.2 times per year on average. That compares to an average of 0.9 times for other compact SUVs.

The SUV has a starting MSRP of $24,960 before upgrades and changes.

Honda HR-V

Courtesy of Honda Honda HR-V

The Honda HR-V is the only vehicle on this list to earn a 5 out of 5 rating from RepairPal. The average cost for repairs and maintenance comes in at $326, which is well below the $444 average for subcompact SUVs.

Owners are in the shop an average of 0.2 times per year for repairs and maintenance. That compares to 0.5 times for other compact SUV owners.

Pick up a Honda HR-V for $24,100 as a base price. And since you might find yourself driving this trusty vehicle a lot, consider picking up a high-quality gas credit card to earn rewards.

Bottom line

Romvy/Adobe Happy couple on roadtrip

When you shop for an SUV, it’s important to know what the ongoing maintenance cost of each model is likely to be.

Knowing this information can help you find a vehicle that will help you keep a lid on maintenance costs so you can get ahead financially.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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