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The least expensive small SUVs to insure

Small sport-utility vehicles -- sometimes called crossovers -- hit all the right notes with many families.

Relatively roomy, relatively inexpensive and relatively stingy with gasoline, small SUVs also are among the cheapest vehicles to insure.

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In fact, small SUVs dominate Insure.com’s car insurance comparison study of 2014 models.   

It’s not just because they don’t cost a lot. The same 40-year-old driver would pay $200 more a year to insure a less expensive Mazda3 hatchback than a Mazda CX-5 SUV.

“It’s all about who buys them,” says Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for Insure.com. “Younger drivers might prefer the sportier car, and families need the room of a crossover. One of those groups files more insurance claims than the other.”

Nationwide average rates for models in the category can vary by more than $200 a year.

The segment’s best sellers are the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape; over a five-year car loan, a buyer would pay, on average, about $500 more to insure the Ford.

Below are small crossovers with a base sticker price starting under $25,000. We’ve listed nationwide average annual rates for the all-wheel-drive models below.

The cheapest small SUVs to insure

Ford Escape

  • 2014 Jeep Patriot Sport - $1,104
  • 2014 Honda CR-V LX - $1,115
  • 2014 Dodge Journey SE - $1,149
  • 2014 Ford Escape SE - $1,218
  • 2014 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium - $1,220
  • 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport - $1,249
  • 2014 Mazda CX-5 Sport - $1,255
  • 2014 Jeep Compass Limited - $1,258
  • 2014 Chevrolet Equinox LS -$1,260
  • 2014 Buick Encore AWD - $1,263
  • 2014 Kia Sorento LX - $1,265
  • 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan S 4Motion - $1,299
  • 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE - $1,329

Rates were not available when the survey was run for several best sellers that were new or redesigned for 2014, such as the Toyota RAV-4, Nissan Rogue and Jeep Cherokee.

Rates are derived from a study commissioned by Insure.com from Quadrant Information Services. Averages are based on a 40-year-old male who drives 12 miles to work, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive. The policy includes uninsured-motorist coverage. Rates were averaged across multiple ZIP codes and insurance companies.

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