The Cheapest SUVs of 2021 All Have 1 Thing in Common

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Genevieve Fraser
Updated on Jun 27, 2022 · 3 min read
It's no secret that the demand for affordable SUVs has been steadily increasing over the past decade. With
gas prices on the rise
and quality cars becoming more expensive, many people are looking for reliable and inexpensive
new cars
But, did you know that the
top 10 cheapest SUVs
of 2021 all have one thing in common? They all come from automakers based in either Japan or South Korea.
Both of these countries are home to well-known brands like Nissan, Mazda, Honda, Subaru,
, Hyundai, and Kia whose automobiles are highly regarded by consumers in the United States and around the world.
So which SUVs are the most affordable?

The Cheapest SUVs of 2021

South Korean automaker Hyundai ranks among Kelley Blue Book’s most affordable SUVs.
According to
Kelley Blue Book
, these SUVs won’t break the bank:
  1. 2021 Hyundai Venue
  2. 2021 Nissan Kicks
  3. 2021 Mazda CX-3
  4. 2021 Toyota C-HR
  5. 2021 Hyundai Kona
  6. 2021 Subaru Crosstrek
  7. 2021 Mazda CX-30
  8. 2021 Honda HR-V
  9. 2021 Kia Seltos
  10. 2021 Subaru Forester

How come Japanese automakers make the majority of these SUVs?

Japanese automakers have a strong reputation for quality, durability, and reliability.
The Globe and Mail
reports that it was through attention to detail, keen focus, and consistency that Japan joined the ranks of popular automobile producers.
documents their production philosophy as an effort to achieve "the complete elimination of all waste in pursuit of the most efficient methods."
Two core principles underscore the Toyota Production System (TPS), jidoka and "Just-in-Time."
According to Toyota, the Japanese word jidoka means "automation with a human touch," which entails a swift halt in production if a problem arises–preventing issues down the line with defectiveness.
For Toyota, it also means precise, hand-crafted improvements to their equipment, with operations simplifying over time through kaizen –continuous improvement.
Just-in-Time refers to the notion that only items necessary for the subsequent process are made at each stage, in a "continuous flow."
With these values in practice,
is able to reduce its costs and produce high quality vehicles that impress consumers around the world.

American vs. Japanese-made cars: which brands give you better bang for your buck?

Value, when it comes to cars, is somewhat in the eye of the beholder. What people look for in a new car can vary greatly from one person to another, depending on what each person hopes to get out of their purchase.
Reliability is a reasonably universal marker that can be used to determine the value that consumers get out of vehicles.
On a
Consumer Reports
ranking of the most reliable car brands, Japanese automakers Mazda, Toyota, and Lexus took the top three spots, with Honda coming in fifth and Subaru, eighth.
Some American automakers do make the list: Buick ranks fourth, Ram was seventh, and Dodge 10th. Winner Mazda scores 83 points out of a possible 100, 13 points higher than the first American entry, Buick.
It’s clear that when it comes to reliability, Japan dominates the market when it comes to making quality vehicles that last. It’s a bonus that they also happen to offer affordability.
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