SUV shopping. The process seems simple enough, right? It should be just like finding any other type of vehicle. Well, we actually don’t think so. The SUV market has changed significantly since the late 90’s. The name of the game used to be “bigger is better.” Increased oil prices and a rocky economy are changing the way we think about transportation costs, however, most SUVs that were previously valued for their spaciousness are now considered expensive “gas guzzlers.” In response to these market changes, car companies have developed tons of hidden gems that combine the space of the 90’s SUV with the fuel economy of the 2010’s SUV.
We’ve spent quite a bit of time doing research to bring you the best possible options for a used SUV. As we’ve poured through SUV after SUV, we’ve noticed there are some excellent choices. And if you look for the right options and maybe even forfeit some features, you can land a great SUV for a very reasonable price.
We’ve compiled a list of SUVs that we feel are the best used SUVs available to consumers. Have a look, see what you think, and we’ve review a bit afterwards.
Our Recommendations for the Best Used SUVs
We figured we would start this off with one of our personal favorites. That’s not to say we’re biased. We strive to bring you the best, objective information possible. The Honda Pilot is just an awesome SUV. This is a perfect example of an SUV that is spacious, but also gets reasonable gas mileage compared to some of its competitors.
Compared to the smaller, Honda CR-V, the Pilot is large and blocky, therefore it provides an enormous amount of space inside. In fact, the Pilot can fit as many as eight people inside compared to five people in the CR-V. The gas mileage isn’t as great, but for those who need a solid, family-sized SUV, this is definitely one to consider.
We think the most appreciation that you’ll have for the Pilot will come during the winter months. The front-wheel drive is quite efficient in the snow. However, if need be, the Pilot also offers an on-demand, all-wheel drive option that will plow through anything you give it.
All in all, the Pilot is one of the top recommendations we have for used SUV choices.
The Toyota RAV4 is another mid-sized SUV that has impressed us quite a bit. The RAV4 offers a few different options, but for the purpose of this article, we’re going to discuss the smaller, leaner model. The 2.4-liter, four-cylinder RAV4 is an excellent choice. It’s efficient
and practical. It’s great on gas. You will have just as much success driving in the snow as you would with the larger V-6 option. However, if you opt for the four-cylinder, you’re almost guaranteed to come in under $10,000 when you buy used.
Unlike Honda’s Pilot, the RAV4 is the smaller, leaner, more efficient option for a Toyota SUV. We would recommend this SUV to students, young professionals, and small families. It’s an excellent mid-sized SUV, it has a lot to offer, and it’s definitely worth a look.
Some people can’t get past the body style of the Subaru, but those who can; you will find a great used SUV. Really, what negative remarks can you make about the Forester? They always rank the highest for safety. They have incredible handling, and that handling is showcased during the winter months. Additionally, they are incredibly fuel efficient, lean, and if you opt for the smaller engine, you’ll get all of those features without breaking the $10,000 threshold if you buy the Forester used.
The Forester is a perfect example of a mid-sized SUV that is lean and efficient, but it’s also spacious. It can carry up to five people very comfortably, but you’ll still have plenty of room to haul groceries, pets, sports equipment, etc.
I’m sure you could have guessed this one. Ford Explorers were pioneers in the modern, mid-sized SUV. They are sturdy, reliable, and they’re handsome. There is plenty of room for the family, and even more room for anything you might need to haul. The only real downside is the miles per gallon. They are not the most efficient SUVs. They never were, and unless you get a hybrid, they likely will never be.
It’s a trade-off, though. At the end of the day, a lot of Explorers can host up to seven people comfortably. It would be difficult to have all that room and not pay a little extra in gas. The Explorer is not only spacious enough for the family, but it’s also safe. The Explorer is like a tank. It will get around in just about anything, and it will protect you and your family in the event of a wreck. The Explorer has earned your consideration.
We’ve given you a few different SUVs to consider, but there are plenty out there that deserve a look. There is guaranteed to be an SUV on the market that suits your needs, you just need to know where to look. Also, it’s good to get into the habit of looking for SUVs with features like a smaller engine, or a manual transmission, etc. These are features that have proven time and time again to go for lower costs than their counterparts.
We wish you luck in your search for the best used SUV for you! Happy hunting!