Third-cheapest 2014 SUV: Nissan Juke
Base price: $19,980

The Juke's small dimensions put it somewhere between a station wagon and a compact SUV in terms of size, but the car has more than enough "oomph" to make up for its modest proportions.

"The Juke is one of those models that you don't expect will have lively performance, but that actually delivers a downright sporty ride," Clarke says. "It's lots of fun to drive."

Entry-level Jukes come standard with an impressive 188-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission. You can also add all-wheel drive for around $2,000.

Clarke adds that while the Juke has a "love-it-or-hate-it" exterior ( recently crowned the model as the most polarizing car of recent times), "I personally think it's cool looking."

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