When choosing a used car, some aspects are more important than the others. You must get a newer model, which is reliable and with low mileage (advantage). If you get a completely opposite car, old and with high mileage, you will spend most of the time at mechanic! With SUVs, the situation is even more severe, due to expensive repairs and spare parts. Luckily, we will present the best used SUV for all of you. The price will reach $30K, bit for that you will get a great car with plenty of life in it.
1. 2016 Honda CR-V ($30,000)
It looks impossible, but for this budget, you can get an SUV made in 2016. CR-V model is still one of most popular cars on the market due to a reason. It is affordable, comfortable and it offers great features. The version to consider is 2.4L, 185HP, petrol-powered unit, with AWD. You will get 25 mpg, which is outstanding. Inside, you get the latest gadgets and most room in the class.
CVT suspension and advanced infotainment system are great additions you can expect. However, using the system in question may be more complicated than you would expect. A 2008 model can be found for less than $8,000, making it one of the best used cars under $10,000.
2. 2015 Subaru Forester ($28,000)
Subaru Forester is more than just a reliable car. In general, almost all Subaru models are reliable. Finding Forester with 2.5L, and 170HP engine is easy, but we would recommend you 2.0L, 4-cylinder turbo model with 250HP and 6-speed manual. CVT transmission is available as well. Even AWD versions will achieve 26 mpg, which is the best result in the class.
Spacious interior, with superb cargo space and ultimate driving position, are just some of the things you can expect. Additionally, this car offers a smooth ride, great comfort, and high driving position. There is plenty of space in the rear seats as well.
3. 2015 Buick Encore ($25,000)
Buick Encore is a small SUV, but it is an appealing model. With the 1.4L, turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine and automatic transmission, this car combines the functionality of a city car and practicality of the SUV. 138HP are sufficient if you know that this is a lightweight vehicle. In addition, front wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions are available.
Interior is small and compact. It is decent for the price and it looks even more expensive. Interesting additions include heated steering wheel and cooling seats. It isn’t common to get these features with a car of this price range. Quiet ride and easy parking are additional advantages as well.
4. 2013 Toyota Highlander ($30,000)
Buying a Toyota Highlander means that you will become the owner of the best used SUV. Engines include 3.5L, V6, 2.7L and 3.5L hybrid. You can expect around 18 mpg from petrol-powered versions and around 27 mpg from a hybrid. However, it would be a wise decision to get 3.5L engine without the electric motor, due to more affordable maintenance.
It is also possible to choose between FWD and AWL and 5 or 6 gears automatic transmission. In either version, Highlander is a real off-road car that can be used in a city. It is reliable, well-made and it is a definitely desirable model.
5. 2013 Toyota 4Runner ($30,000)
If you are lucky and patient, you can get 4Runner in a great condition. This car comes with 4WD, which is partially activated (when you need it) and it is powered by amazing 4.0L, V6 with 260HP. Fuel economy is above the average, so is the reliability, therefore this vehicle has to be recommended. Off-road capabilities are also on the high level, so if you are looking for an SUV that can actually go off road, this model is for you.
Driving position is high and the ride is very comfortable. There is space enough for 7 passengers, but those in the third row won’t get a lot of comforts. Interior is loaded with a large screen, controls on the steering wheel and a variety of sensors and cameras. It can be used for heavy-duty applications without an issue.
6. 2012 Lexus RX 350 ($28,500)
For the price of a brand new sedan, you can get Lexus SUV! The desired model is RX 350 thanks to a great ride, comfort, and durability. Almost all cars made by this manufacturer are known for high-quality and exceptional durability, so we highly recommend this model. The interior is one of the best here and most of the materials used are high-quality.
It is powered by V6, 3.5L with 270HP and automatic transmission. The front wheel drive means cheaper maintenance and it will do 18/25 mpg. It is possible to find an all-wheel drive version, with the same engine and identical fuel consumption, but they are usually a bit more expensive.
7. 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ($30,000)
Mercedes M-Class is a car you can afford and can get within mentioned budget. Also, you should buy one. It is the best used small SUV made by the prestigious brand, with the latest gadgets and with impressive safety rating (has a score of 9/10 stars). The most expensive version you can afford will have AWD and 5.5L engine, producing 380HP. The cheapest is V6 with 286HP and rear wheel only. There is an AMG version, but the price for a used car is above $30K.
With the desired model, the one you can afford will come with leather steering wheel, great wheels, keyless entry, remote trunk opening and plenty of additional features. Try to get a version with HID headlights and keyless engine start. These were optional extras, but they are very popular and desirable.
8. 2011 Acura MDX ($30,000)
Acura MDX is a wise choice here. It has 3.5 stars related to the reliability and it is a very functional vehicle. In general, this may be one most reliable used SUVs you can buy. Inside you get plenty of gadgets and equipment, paired with high-quality materials and above-average design. Power tailgate, moonroof, Bluetooth and power windows are standard, but there are a lot of additional features you will get.
For the mentioned amount of cash, you can get AWD version with 300HP, from 3.7L, V6. The fuel consumption is 16/21 mpg which isn’t bad. Automatic transmission is preferable as well. This applies to the PKG trim version, while Entertainment PKG versions exceed $30,000. Basic model can be found much cheaper and it is usually around $20K. It has the same engine and transmission, but the optional extras are not available. And yes, it is also all-wheel drive car.
9. 2011 Saab 9-4X ($20,000)
Looking for the best used SUVs under $20,000? The Saab in question is a model that is a wise investment. First, you will get a rare model which will probably be appreciated. Then, you will get a reliable model which will be useful and won’t cost you plenty of money to maintain. Exterior and interior are outstanding and quite different than most other cars of the segment. We liked the sporty headlights and famous Saab grill at the front.
Fuel consumption will vary and depend on a model you have chosen. You can get 15/18 mpg from an all-wheel drive version or 21/25 mpg from the front-wheel model. The engines available produce between 265HP and 300HP. However, the least powerful powerplant isn’t sufficient for providing desirable performances, so it is a much better choice to get a more powerful version.
10. 2010 Volkswagen Touareg ($23,000)
Touareg is the best used luxury SUV on a budget. For this amount of money, you can buy either new hatchback or a well-made SUV. We liked this model thanks to the AWD capability, fuel consumption and a great handling, which is even better than most, more expensive SUVs have to offer. The model you should consider is 3.0L, V6, diesel powered engine, with 225HP and fuel consumption of 18/25 mpg. It is reliable and it is AWD version. You can also get V6 with 280HP, but the fuel consumption is higher.
Beside great ride, this SUV offers great interior. It is well-made and it comes with many tech features to play with. Nevertheless, it is the best used SUV made by the well-known brand, with affordable maintenance, and with superb reliability. Keep in mind that this vehicle cost $44,000 brand new!
11. 2010 Ford Expedition ($9,000)
One of the best used SUVs under $10,000 is Ford Expedition. It is a massive car, with superb comfort, even better practicality and plenty of power. An interesting fact is that it is agile and while driving it, you will feel like you are driving a compact car rather than massive SUV. The engine is 5.7L, V8 and it delivers 310HP to all wheels. It isn’t economical, with 14/20 mpg, but it can tow anything you like and it provides impressive performances.
Although you can get one for $9,000, units in a better condition may reach twice as that. But, thanks to affordable spare parts and maintenance, even investing in restoring it won’t be so bad.
12. 2009 Audi Q7 ($27,000)
Perhaps this car looks expensive, considering that it is 8 years old, but it was a great model back at the time and it still has a lot to offer. All-wheel drive models are better, thanks to better functionality. It is reasonably comfortable and safe vehicle but isn’t very fun to drive.
You would be able to get a model with V8, 4.2L and 350HP, but the fuel consumption is 13/18 mpg. A more economical version is a diesel 3.0L, V6 with 225HP and 17/25 mpg. In both cases, we are talking about prestige trim and plenty of additional equipment. We prefer this model compared to several of its rivals, from the same year due to 4-star reliability.
13. 2009 Volvo XC90 ($12,000)
Volvo XC90 made during 2009 is an extremely reliable car, which we like. It isn’t especially good looking, but it isn’t the ugliest car either. There is plenty of space inside, ride feels smooth and safety is far above the average. It may be one of the safest cars on the list! The best version to choose is 3.2L, V6 with 235HP. Although it offers 14/20 mpg, it is powerful enough to easily move this large SUV.
Off-road capabilities are slightly better than other cars in the class offer, but they are not impressive. What is impressive is the cargo space and room inside a cabin. Transporting anything you like is possible, while also driving your family.
14. 2009 BMW X5 ($20,000)
This model is the best for all of you who want to stand out from the crowd. It looks sporty and driving it is a pleasure. You can choose a popular 3.0L turbo diesel with 285HP, but this car is heavy, so it is a much better option 4.8L, V8 with 350HP. Paired with 6-gear automatic transmission and XDrive (all-wheel drive), this car is the one you can love.
The fuel consumption is 14/19 mpg and you can expect average about 15 mpg. The top speed is 130 mph, but it is limited. It is possible to remove the limit and reach 150 mph without a big deal. Keep in mind that this car was sold at a price of $66,000 when it was new!
15. 2009 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 ($25,000)
If you are looking for a used car that is extremely large and extremely durable, while fuel economy is irrelevant, you should consider Chevrolet Suburban 2500. It is the best used SUV with room for 9 people inside, massive engine with 6.0L, V8, and 352HP and all-wheel drive. Rear-wheel drive is available, but we prefer AWD models.
6 gears automatic transmission is a great alternative to make. It makes driving this car easy and simple. Obviously, there is no need in mentioning the precise fuel consumption. It is irrelevant with the engine of 6.0L. Inside, you get controls on the steering wheel, wireless connectivity, CD player, 6 speakers and many other features. We said that there is room for 9 people, but versions with 7 or 8 seats are available as well.
If you are looking for the best used SUV that will serve you for many years to come, these 15 models are highly recommended. They are cars of the newer generation, they are safe and reliable. In other words, you will drive them for years without investing additional money into them.