Best used petrol SUVs

Read on for our top picks of the best petrol SUVs to suit a wide range of budgets including cheap petrol SUVs and more upmarket models

Sam Naylor
Feb 8, 2022

Petrol SUVs are hugely popular at the moment. When it comes to the main trends in the car industry over the past five years, two of the big ones would be that drivers are switching from diesel to petrol and from hatchbacks into SUVs.

These trends have been ongoing for long enough that there are plenty of second-hand cars that fit the bill for buyers looking for a petrol SUV. That's great news as this means that there is a huge amount of choice for you and the potential to pick up a bargain, too.

Getting a used car is a great way of saving money compared with going for a new one, and if you go for a relatively recent model then there’s hardly any more risk of reliability issues than with a new car - especially as some manufacturers, including Kia, offer seven years' warranty on their new cars. 

We’ve put together a list below of some of the best used petrol SUVs available on BuyaCar, from super-sized seven-seaters to small and easy-to-manoeuvre compact models.

Best petrol SUV

If you’re looking for a petrol SUV you’re going to want a model that has a quiet, smooth engine as this is the main advantage that petrol has over diesel in most cars. We’ve picked out models that have good petrol engines, and since fuel economy is still a major factor for many drivers, we’ve chosen cars that are relatively efficient too.

SUVs are defined by having a higher ride height and chunkier look than similarly-sized hatchbacks, but the lines are quite blurred. That means you’ll find some models below that are pretty similar to a hatchback but are marketed as an SUV, and others that are clearly designed with some kind of off-road ability in mind.

Not all SUVs have four-wheel drive, and in fact we reckon this technology isn’t worth it for the vast majority of drivers. It adds cost, complexity and weight, which reduces performance and worsens fuel economy for little tangible benefit.

If you live in an area with regular snow then a four-wheel-drive model might sound useful but winter tyres are more effective than four-wheel drive in this situation anyway - helping you to accelerate but also stop safely, something that four-wheel drive can't help with - so stick with two-wheel drive in most cases and you’ll save money.

Read on below for our picks of the best used petrol SUVs.

1. Skoda Kodiaq

Best for families

Our pick Skoda Kodiaq 1.5 TSI
Used deals from £20,995
Monthly finance from £0*

The Skoda Kodiaq is a fantastic SUV no matter how you look at it, but it’s especially great for larger families that need a seven-seater. There is a five-seat version but the seven-seater model is just a fantastic example of a practical SUV for carrying people.

The rearmost seats are relatively small, being well-suited to carrying kids, but adults can fit in easily enough if you move the middle row forward a bit - and they can be folded down, so you can make the most of the large boot space as well, if you’re not loaded up with passengers.

The Kodiaq shines because it’s good at just about everything. There’s lots of room inside, it’s comfortable, the 1.5-litre petrol engine is quiet and relatively efficient and there’s plenty of equipment. The technology onboard is impressive and easy to use, and it’s really simple to drive as well.

SKODA KODIAQ BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Citroen C3 Aircross

Best for comfort

Our pick Citroen C3 Aircross 1.2 PureTech
Used deals from £9,900
Monthly finance from £0*

The Citroen C3 Aircross has a distinctive look, as it’s softer and less aggressive than many modern SUVs. That reflects its overall feel, as it’s comfortable and easy to live with rather than sporty or aggressive, which makes it a perfect choice if you want something comfy with a high driving position.

It’s an inexpensive SUV which is best in petrol form, as the 1.2-litre petrol engine is punchy and enjoyable to use. It’s not much fun to drive as the gear shift is lumpy and the body rolls around corners quite a bit if you drive it fast, but for those who like to take it easy, the C3 Aircross is superb.

It has all the kit you need, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the interior is pleasant and looks interesting. It’s good value and there’s lots of room inside for passengers and luggage considering its small size, too.

CITROEN C3 AIRCROSS BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Renault Kadjar

Best for affordable practicality

Renault Kadjar front

Our pick Renault Kadjar 1.3 TCe
Used deals from £12,000
Monthly finance from £0*

The Renault Kadjar is a medium family SUV that’s really practical and great value. It has more than enough room for a typical family, with lots of passenger space and a big boot, plus it’s nice and comfortable on the road.

One of the reasons to choose a Kadjar is the excellent 1.3-litre petrol engine. It was introduced in 2019 so find a recent model with this engine if you can - they’re still pretty affordable and will only get better value as time goes on.

The 1.3-litre engine is shared with posher models such as the Mercedes A-Class and it’s easy to see why: it’s very quiet and smooth but still allows good performance. There are two versions, but even the lower-power variant has more than enough punch to be enjoyable and relaxing to drive.

RENAULT KADJAR BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Suzuki Vitara

Best for low budgets

Our pick Suzuki Vitara 1.4 Boosterjet
Used deals from £12,571
Monthly finance from £0*

The Suzuki Vitara is a great choice of petrol SUV if you’re on a tighter budget. This small SUV is practical enough to be usable as a family car, though it’s not quite as spacious as some of the others on this list.

The 1.4-litre ‘Boosterjet’ model is our pick - it makes more sense in a car full of people and luggage than the 1.0-litre engine also offered in this car.

It matches the rest of the driving experience, which is excellent - the Vitara is fun to drive and comfortable even on potholed roads, so if you don’t mind the slightly cheap-looking interior, the Suzuki is a great choice of SUV that you might not have considered before.

SUZUKI VITARA BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Mitsubishi Outlander

Best for commuting

Our pick Mitsubishi Outlander 2.0 PHEV
Used deals from £15,995
Monthly finance from £0*

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) was a huge success when it launched, because it was one of the only plug-in hybrid SUVs you could buy at the time, being able to run on battery power alone if you charge the battery before setting off. This meant company car drivers were keen to make the most of the huge tax benefits it brought with it.

It uses a petrol engine and an electric motor, and you can drive it on electric power alone for a short trip if you plug in and charge up the battery first. This means it’s perfect for those with a short commute, as you can cut out petrol costs completely from that type of driving if you charge regularly, yet still have a petrol engine for longer trips.

The Outlander sold so well that there are plenty available for sale and at good prices. The package itself is more convincing than the rest of the car as it’s not very good to drive and the interior is dull - but it’s very spacious and practical.

MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER PHEV BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Toyota RAV4

Best for fuel economy

Our pick Toyota RAV4 2.5 VVT-i Hybrid
Used deals from £18,290
Monthly finance from £0*

If you are interested in a hybrid petrol SUV but don’t have the means to be able to plug in at home then a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is an excellent choice. This comes with a caveat, though - the current model, which has a more square shape, is head and shoulders above previous-generation models.

While the older cars were dull to drive and the interior was just as uninspiring, the newer car is a revolution. The interior is roomy and interesting, it’s both comfortable and good to drive and the hybrid system is superb at keeping fuel economy high, no matter how you drive.

The Toyota hybrid setup is tried and tested and in our experience it’s as good, if not better than, a diesel when it comes to fuel economy. It’s also punchy enough to be relaxing and when the electric motor is engaged and the engine’s off, it’s ultra-quiet inside.

TOYOTA RAV4 BUYERS' GUIDE

7. BMW X3

Best for luxury

Our pick BMW X3 xDrive M40i
Used deals from £36,000
Monthly finance from £0*

If you’re looking for a petrol SUV that’s more upmarket and luxurious than the models we’ve listed above, consider the BMW X3. It's similar in size to the Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC, and although it costs from around £45,000 when new there are huge savings to be had when buying used.

The BMW X3 borrows its tech from the rest of the BMW range including the larger X5. This includes the 'xDrive' four-wheel drive setup which is useful for slippery conditions, including some mild off-roading.

The 2.0-litre xDrive20i model is the most economical apart from the plug-in hybrid xDrive30e model, but we think the most fun is to be had with the 3.0-litre M40i model. It's very quick for such a heavy SUV, and with some careful driving 30mpg should be possible.

BMW X3 BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Volvo XC60

Best for upmarket practicality

Our pick Volvo XC60 T5
Used deals from £26,480
Monthly finance from £0*

The Volvo XC60 is a great example of an upmarket SUV that has most of the luxury features and a fantastic modern-looking interior that’s packed with tech. The current XC60 is the best yet and the T5 petrol model is quiet and powerful.

There’s loads of room inside, both for passengers and luggage, and the XC60’s comfortable seats and impressive cabin design mean it feels expensive, despite reasonable used prices at the moment.

It’s comfortable for the most part, though sporty R-Design models have a firmer ride than Momentum and Inscription models. There’s enough kit on all models that you don’t have to worry about the entry-level model lacking equipment. There is even an XC60 T8, which is a plug-in hybrid, though it’s more expensive to buy than the T5 version, so only makes sense for those who want to charge regularly and make the most of the car's electric range or those after a rapid XC60.

VOLVO XC60 BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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