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10 Best-Looking SUVs Under $15k (with Photos)

1. 2014 Cadillac SRX Luxury

The Cadillac SRX is a compact crossover SUV that is probably not as popular as the competing brands. However, it’s good enough to be on the list of best-looking SUVs under 15k, if not on other terms, then on styling. 

The 2014 SRX certainly has the looks to attract attention, with its congruent line across the side that merges with the front bumper.

The 3.0-liter V6 engine with an output of 265 horsepower is the standard engine. It is paired with a 6-speed automatic, which is the standard transmission. Also standard is a front-wheel drive, whilst the all-wheel drive is optional.

The higher Performance and Premium Collection all-wheel-drive trims are also offered with a turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 with an output of 300 horsepower.

The base engine is good enough to give 8.2-second acceleration to 60 mph for the front-wheel-drive using the 3.0-liter engine, whilst the turbocharged 2.8-liter gives 7.6 seconds.

Fuel economy figures are on the thirsty side. The 3.0-liter scores 21 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, and 19 mpg with all-wheel drive.

Four trim levels are available.

The base SRX comes with 18-inch alloys, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an 8-speaker Bose audio system.

Next up is the Luxury Collection. It adds a panoramic sunroof, remote engine start, leather upholstery, and heated front seats.

The Performance Collection comes with xenon headlights, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, ventilated front seats, and tri-zone automatic climate control.

Standard safety features include airbags, stability control, and antilock disc brakes.

2. 2014 Kia Sorento

The Sorento is a basic compact SUV. It gets on our list of the best-looking SUVs under 15k for its simplicity and practicality. It is an enjoyable but unassuming ride.

The Sorento gets on our list of best-looking SUVs under 15k for its cute looks, especially the tiger grille.

The Kia Sorento comes with standard two rows, although three can be squeezed in, but can mainly accommodate small bodies like children.

Power for the Sorento comes from a standard 191-horsepower 2.5-liter engine, with a fuel economy of 24 mpg combined.

A 290-horsepower V6 engine and a hybrid are also available.

The Sorento is a standard front-wheel drive, whilst the all-wheel drive is available.

The Sorento is presented in four trims; the LX, EX, SX, and SX-L.

Some key features of the 2.5-liter powered base LX trim include Bluetooth, a USB port, and satellite radio.

There are also options like a panoramic sunroof, a rearview camera, keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, and automatic headlights.

Also read: Do Kias Hold Their Value? (7 Models Compared)

3. 2014 Nissan Rogue

The Nissan is a four-door compact crossover SUV that looks small from the outside but has ample interior space to comfortably accommodate passengers.

It is a good example of dynamite coming in small packages. Whilst small, many will certainly notice it due to how it has been sculpted. That is why it is one of the best-looking SUVs under 15k.

Three trims are offered, all powered by the same engine. These are S, SV, and SL.

Under its small hood is a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter engine. It is mated with a standard Continuously Variable Transmission in a standard front-wheel drive set up. 

All-wheel drive is optional.

Fuel economy of 28 mpg combined is the same whether in front or all-wheel drive.

Key among the features are LED running lights, cruise control, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel for the S trim. It is carried on 17-inch steel wheels.

The SV trim comes on 17-inch alloys and adds keyless entry/ignition, dual-zone climate control, and NissanConnect smartphone integration.

The SL comes with roof rails, leather upholstery, a 7-inch touch screen, and a 9-speaker Bose audio system.

Various options are also available. They add features such as lane departure warning, forward-collision warning, and blind-spot monitoring. A panoramic sunroof is also available on the SV trim.

Safety features include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, a rearview camera, and airbags.

Also read: 8 Best SUVs for Plowing (Used and New)

4. 2013 Audi Q5 Premium Plus

Audi’s can be an enigma. The styling looks simple and unsophisticated, yet they have so much presence wherever they go. Whichever Audi you can think of, you certainly cannot ignore them.

The list of the best-looking SUVs under 15k cannot be complete without an Audi.

That goes for the Audi Q5 compact crossover. It easily makes it onto our list of the best-looking SUVs under 15k.

The Audi Q5 is propelled by a 270-horsepower 3.2-liter V6 engine.

Transmission is a standard 6-speed automatic, whilst the drive-train is the Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

Zero to 60 mph can be done in a reasonable 7.2 seconds, whilst fuel economy comes in at a combined 20 mpg.

One trim is available, but with three equipment groups, namely Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige.

The Premium features 18-inch alloys, tri-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, and a 10-speaker audio system.

Premium Plus comes with LED daytime running lights, heated front seats, xenon headlights, and a panoramic sunroof. A hard-drive-based navigation system is facilitated by the MMI Navigation package.

Lastly, the Prestige adds keyless ignition/entry, 19-inch wheels, and the 14-speaker Olufsen and Bang audio system.

Safety features include various airbags, and traction and stability control.

5. 2014 BMW X3 xDrive 35i

BMW X3

The BMW can never be faulted for looks, regardless of the model. It is just a mixture and complement of beauty at every level and from every angle, making it one of the best-looking SUVs under 15k.

It may be pricey and costly to run for some, but meant to be enjoyed whilst you can, and if you can.

The compact all-wheel-drive SUV is powered by either of two turbocharged engines. The smaller one is a 240-horsepower 2.0-liter for the BMW X3 xDrive 28i.

The other is the 300-horsepower 3.0-liter that powers the BMW xDrive 35i.

Both engines are mated with an 8-speed automatic with automatic stop-start technology for fuel economy. With a fuel economy of a combined 24 mpg.

The 2.0-liter engine can push the BMW X3 TO 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, 

The 3.0-liter does the zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. The fuel economy is 21 mpg combined.

Features on the zDrive28i include automatic headlights, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, and a 12-speaker audio system.

The xDrive35i adds a panoramic sunroof and adaptive bi-xenon headlights.

Additional features and equipment are added through various packages and options. The Premium package includes keyless entry/ignition, satellite radio, and a panoramic sunroof.

A Cold Weather package deals with heating, such as seats and the steering wheel.

The Technology package sorts out smartphone integration, navigation, and a heads-up display.

These are a few of the options.

Notable safety features include automatic brake drying, hill descent control, and the standard BMW Assist emergency communication system.

Also read: What’s a High Mileage for a BMW? The Truth…

6. 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is another special compact the Korean stable. It’s another that cannot be dropped from the list of the best SUVs.

The Sport version is our choice. It’s shorter, roomier, and of course, sportier than the bigger Santa Fe. Few would argue against the Santa Fe is one of the best-looking SUVs under 15k.

The Base trim is powered by a 190-horsepower 2.4-liter engine. Transmission is a 6-speed automatic in a standard front-wheel layout. All-wheel drive is optional. 

Fuel economy returns are 23 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, and 21 mpg with all-wheel drive. 

Standard features include LED headlights, keyless entry, cruise control, Bluetooth, and satellite radio.

Various options are also offered. The Popular Equipment Package adds heated front seats, a rearview camera, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Some key features of the Premium Equipment package include keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a blind spot monitoring system.

The Sport 2.0T trim comes with a more powerful 264-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. It returns fuel economy statistics of 22 mpg combined for front-wheel drive and 21 mpg for all-wheel drive. 

Acceleration to 60 mph is a rather slow 8.1 second for the Sport 2.0T.

Safety features include traction and stability control, antilock brakes, and the standard BlueLink for emergency assistance.

7. 2017 GMC Terrain SLE

The 2017 GMC Terrain compact SUV is powered by a standard 2.4-liter 182-horsepower engine. 

Its size and features put it above the entry-level compact SUVs, without invading the space of the mid-sizes. This puts it on our list of the best-looking SUVs under 15k.

The power is transmitted to the front wheels or optional all wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. A 301-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 is optional for all trims except the Terrain. 

Fuel economy for the 2.4-liter with front-wheel drive scores 26 mpg combined, while all-wheel-drive scores 23 mpg. It also does zero to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds.

The 3.6-liter V6 returns figures of 20 mpg and 19 mpg in similar circumstances.

The Terrain’s features are presented in three trims.

The standard SLE comes with a rearview camera, cruise control, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touch screen, and a 6-speaker audio system.

The SLE trim adds automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an 8-way power seat. The Convenience Package adds heated front seats and remote start.

Key safety features include a rearview camera, airbags, antilock brakes, and traction and stability control.

Option l or standard are collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and the OnStar emergency communication system.

8. 2017 Infiniti QX50 

The Infiniti’s coupe-like styling makes it a different kind of SUV.

That makes it stand out, and be one of the best-looking SUVs under 15k.

The sedan-based Infiniti is powered by a 325-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 engine, mated with a 7-speed automatic.

The fuel economy is 20 mpg combined.

The Infiniti comes in two trims, a rear, and an all-wheel drive.

The Infiniti is not only good-looking but also comes packed with luxury features and technologies.

Standard features include keyless ignition, a sunroof, heated leather seats. 

A Premium package adds automatic climate control and an 11-speaker Bose audio system.

Safety is catered for by the Technology package that includes lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and forward-collision warning. 

The Q50 is also enjoyable to drive, with above-average handling.

Interior space is adequate and friendly, capable of seating big bodies comfortably.

Get one for yourself and enjoy the drive or ride. 

Also read: Are Infiniti Good Cars? Which Models Should You Avoid?

9. 2013 Nissan Juke

The Juke is small and loud. You will notice it, and either like or dislike its unique styling. We do like it, and feel that it deserves a seat on the list of best-looking SUVs under 15k. If you are looking for something big, it’s not.

It is your run-around see-me compact SUV.

The Juke is presented in four trims, which are the base S, SV, SL, and Nismo.

The 2103 Juke comes with a 1.6-liter engine with an output of 188 horsepower. The engine is used on the lower trims. The Nismo gets the same engine but is tuned to produce 197 horsepower.

A Continuously Variable Transmission is standard on the Strim, whilst the other gets a 6-speed manual or the CVT.

The Juke is as beautiful inside as it is on the outside. However, you should not expect acres of space. It is made for smaller bodies!

All trims come with a standard front-wheel drive, whilst all-wheel drive with the CT is available.

Speed for the standard front-wheel-drive Juke is 7.3 seconds to reach 60 mph, whilst tNismo with a manual transmission does the same in 8.1 seconds.

The fuel consumption rating is a combined 29 mpg for the front-wheel-drive with a CVT. 

Standard features for the S trim include 17-inch alloys, keyless entry, Bluetooth, and air conditioning.

The SV trim comes adds automatic climate control, satellite radio, and a sunroof.

He SL adds automatic headlights and heated front seats.

The top Nismo is sport-tuned and rides on 18-inch alloys.

Safety features include stability and traction control, front-seat and side curtain airbags, and antilock brakes.

The Juke is a pleasure to drive with its firm suspension and balanced steering.

10. 2014 Ford Escape

The compact Escape is based on the Focus, and it shows in the beautiful styling. The looks are good enough to make the 2014 Ford Escape one of the best-looking SUVs under 15k.

Three trim levels and three engines are offered.

The four-wheel-drive base S trim is powered by a 2.5-liter 168-horsepower engine. 

The SE and Titanium trims get a turbocharged 1.6-liter 178-horsepower, with a front or all-wheel-drive drive train layout. 

A third engine is the 2.0-liter turbocharged with an output of 240 horsepower, optional for the SE and Titanium trims.

Transmission is a standard 6-speed. 

The 2.0-liter engine on an all-wheel-drive Escape accelerates to 60 mph in 7 seconds. Its fuel economy with front-wheel drive is estimated at 25 mpg combined, whilst for the same conditions, the 1.6-liter returns 26 mpg combined.

Major features on the entry-level S trim include cruise control, air conditioning, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 6-speaker audio system, and an optional remote start.

The SE trim adds automatic headlights, keyless entry, and satellite radio.

The SE optional packages add an 8-inch touch screen, a 9-speaker audio system, a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and dual-zone climate control.

The top Titanium trim comes with lower-trim packages as standard and adds a Sony 10-speaker sound system. An optional Titanium Technology package comes with xenon headlights, blind-spot monitoring, and rain-sensing wipers.

Safety includes antilock brakes, airbags, and traction and stability control.

We hope your own choice makes our list.

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