12 Best Used SUVs Under $5,000

There are plenty of car owners who are fully satisfied with their used cars. It means that you, as a new buyer can get a decent used car. Keep in mind that the accent is on USED car not AB-USED! In other terms, a car should be well-maintained and with low mileage. All SUVs are generally expensive, so a new one may be outside the reach for you. In those situations, you should consider used SUVs. Believe or not, you have a lot of cars at your disposal with great characteristics. All of them are here and one of them is the best used SUV under $5,000 just for you.

1. 2002 Land Rover Discovery

best used suv under $5,000

Even for less than $3,000, you can find a decent Land Rover Discovery. It will be made in 2001 or 2002, with low mileage and with a few optional extras. You can expect leather, sunroof, moonroof, allow wheels and etc. V8 engines and all-wheel drive are preferable and they are actually capable of real off-roading.

We liked this car and it is simply the best used SUV under $5,000 due to the fact it looks cool and stylish. Keep in mind that it is a future classic. Besides the looks, it is also a vehicle which can take you anywhere.

2. 2002 Toyota RAV4

It may be difficult to find a low-mileage Toyota RAV4, but it is possible. Aim for the 2002-year model. They are more affordable and likely to be with low mileage. Most of them are powered by 2.4L engines, with all-wheel drive and automatic transmissions. The design is still attractive, despite the years.

The vehicle is reliable, economical and drives as a small sporty car. Besides the cramped interior, RAV4 doesn’t have any drawbacks. You will reach the full potential in city drives, where high driver’s position makes a difference. Addition: If you add $2,000 more, you can get a third generation RAV4.

3. 2002 Volvo XC90

The first generation of XC90 is one of the best. It was a pioneer in the segment and known as the safest family car. In a matter of fact, it is still safe and refined. T6 petrol engine seems like a great choice, but we will advise you to choose D5. It has 5 cylinders and it is economical while offering plenty of torque.

Most of XC90 have been used as family cars, so check the interior for damages and etc. When it comes to engines and suspension they are incredibly reliable. In addition, this SUV has 7 seats, making it practical.

4. 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe

2002 Chevrolet Tahoe is appreciated for the engines it has. 4.8L, V8 produces 275HP and it is known for reliability. All of them will do more than 200,000 miles without a single malfunction. As such, it is one of preferable used SUVs you can have today. All-wheel drive is decent and ride is comfortable.

The transmission you are likely to find is 4-gear automatic. It is obsolete but still satisfactory. 13/16mpg maybe an issue for some owners, but this car has 8.700 pounds towing capacity, so it must burn plenty of fuel.

5. 2001 Dodge Durango

What if you need a simple car for an everyday drive and occasional off-roading? Dodge Durango is then just right. The v8 with 235HP comes with plenty of torque and a towing capacity of 4.100 pounds.

Fuel economy is 12/18mpg, just to add. Inside, you get more space than most people actually need, while the exterior is one of a kind. It isn’t possible to find a similar car!

6. 2001 Jeep Wrangler SE

Why is Wrangler a wise choice? Simply because it has a design which will always look modern. We can even say that it is a timeless car. The version we mentioned here you can find for less than $4,000 with 100,000 miles on it. The all-wheel drive, 3-gear transmission, and 14/17mpg consumption are guaranteed.

The best tip we can give you is to purchase parts (headlights, bumpers, seats, road bars and etc.) from newer models and replace them, making your Wrangler look newer. This actually works and can bring you a profit once you sell it.

7. 2000 Nissan X-Trail

Expect to find a low-mileage Nissan X-Trail of the first generation for less than $5,000. The engine you can expect to find is 140HP, 2.0L. Front-wheel drive is more likely as well. Suspension and transmissions will probably last up to 200,000 miles without a bigger issue. However, these cars must be properly maintained, so always look for a vehicle with a service book.

A bit harder would be to get a 2.2L diesel version with all-wheel drive, but it is possible. Models with 70,000 miles on the clock are not rare and they should be targeted first. The car is comfortable, looks great and reliable. Checking out 2002 and newer models is possible as well, but don’t expect to find one within our budget.

8. 1999 Honda CR-V

All Hondas are reliable, and CR-V is no different. The 146HP engine isn’t powerful and with the 4-gear automatic transmission isn’t capable of providing much, but with a 5-speed manual, this becomes a fun to drive a car. CRV always has been treated as a teenager’s car. It has everything you may need, but nothing more.

Fuel economy is 19/23mpg, decent even by today’s standards. This car is suitable for drivers who are looking for reliable, cheap and economical all-wheel drive, designed for minor off-roading

9. 1999 Lexus RX300

First of all, RX300 is a city SUV. It isn’t capable for off-roading. But, as a comfortable and reliable vehicle, it is the best used SUV under $5,000 with additional features and comfortable ride. The design is different than other SUVs had at the time, so we can say that it looks modern even today.

3.0L, with 220HP, V6 is the one to seek. All-wheel drive was an option for these cars. 4-gear transmission, automatic does the job, but don’t expect too much. Fuel economy is 17/22mpg. As most Lexus cars, reliability shouldn’t be taken into account. All of them are incredibly reliable and durable. The main concern is the price when fixing a car. Expect high bills for that.

10. 1999 GMC Yukon

GMC Yukon produced in 1999 is a movie icon. It was presented in many different blockbusters and it is usually treated as a heavy-duty vehicle, crashing through anything. In reality, the car you will be able to afford will have 255HP, all-wheel drive, and 4-gear automatic transmission. Still, it is capable of moving across any terrain.

With 7.000 pounds of towing capacity, a lot of features and comfortable ride, we must say that Yukon is one of the best SUVs of all times. It even has ‘‘dangerous’’ looks which can still be compared to newer cars.

11. 1999 Ford Expedition

This is the best used SUV under $5,000 with space for 9 people in a cabin. The third row of seats can be removed, meaning that a cargo space will be bigger than in most other cars. Chances are high you will find a V8 with 240HP. It is reasonably powerful and reliable.

The comfort of the drive is the main advantage of this vehicle. It is smooth and relaxing, regardless of how many people are in the cabin. The towing capacity is 8.000 pounds. Tip: Make sure to demand third row of a seat if they were removed from a car when you buy used Expedition.

12. 1998 Subaru Forester

Maybe new models of Subaru Forester look more appealing, but they will probably be unavailable for the budget you have. The models between 1997 and 2001 can be found. Expect 2.5L petrol engine which is far from fuel efficient. On the other hand, we have the chance to purchase the best used SUV under $5,000 ever made. It is tough and a full-size SUV. You won’t be able to find a challenge too big for it.

Inside space is something which must be mentioned. We must add the fact that tuned models should be left out. There are many things wrong with them and they usually cost more expensive. In a case, the previous owner imported something from Japan, ask for proof and proper documentation.


The best used SUV under $5,000 on the list is the one that can meet all your expectations. If you need off-roading vehicle, Land Rover is just perfect; if you need a city car, Toyota RAV4 is suitable. Anyway, if you want something else, there is an SUV for everyone.