Best used SUVs

Tall and practical with a rugged design - and great value too. These are the best used SUVs

John Evans
Nov 7, 2017

Sitting high above other cars, enjoying great visibility and a heightened sense of safety, you can see why people like sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

Add the cars’ easy driving qualities, high comfort levels and, some models at least, impressive economy and it’s no wonder sales are going through the roof with most car makers now having at least a couple of SUVs in their line-up.

New, they’re more expensive than comparable hatchbacks and family cars but their growing number means that used SUVs are getting cheaper by the day, meaning that if you couldn't stretch to an SUV last time you looked, you cmay well be able to now.

You can find your ideal SUV among all of those on sale or scroll down for our pick of the best.

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Best used SUV for all-round value

Nissan Qashqai

Typical example Nissan Qashqai 1.2 DiG-T Acenta  Age 2014 / 40,000 miles
Price £10,500  Representative finance payments £155 per month

The current version of the Nissan Qashqai went on sale in 2013 and some of the early models now cost around £10,000, with monthly finance payments that are close to £150.

It's a no-fuss family car, thanks to reasonable interior space, good fuel economy and light controls that make the car easy to drive. Even cheaper is the previous-generation Qashqai, with blockier headlights, which lack the pointy corners of the later car. These models are still practical and comfortable but are a bit noisier and less spacious.

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Best used SUV for large families

Land Rover Discovery Sport

Typical example Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0 Td4 SE, 7-seat  Age 2015 / 25,000 miles
Price £24,990  Representative finance payments £350 per month

Land Rover's most affordable car is all that most families will need, thanks to the option of seven seats, comfortable ride and ruggedness, which will all make mincemeat of the school run.

As most cars will spend their lives on tarmac, some Discovery Sport models are available with two-wheel drive only, which reduces the weight of the car and improves fuel economy, although four-wheel drive is available if you need the extra grip that it provides when accelerating.

It’s one of the few seven-seat SUVs available at this money, another being the excellent Kia Sorento. If you want a bit more style, check out the Range Rover Evoque, which uses the same mechanical parts as the Discovery Sport.

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Best used SUV for performance

Porsche Macan

Typical example Porsche Macan S diesel auto
Year 2015  Mileage 62,000 miles  Price £38,200

Even when it's almost three years old, the Porsche Macan still costs more than some brand new rivals, which says everything about demand for the car and its quality.

It's the SUV that feels most like a car to drive, despite being perched on tall suspension, which has the effect of making vehicles lean more in corners, where they also feel less nimble. That's minimised in the macan, which responds sharply when you turn the steering wheel, while remaining flat. It's also surprisingly comfortable over bumps. 

The quality of the interior is what you would expect from Porsche and it doesn't skimp on equipment, having features such as a digital radio, parking sensors, two colour displays and trailer stability control for safe towing.

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Best used SUV for fuel economy

Peugeot 3008

Typical example Peugeot 3008 1.6 Blue HDI GT Line  Age 2017 / 8,000 miles
Price £26,500  Representative finance payments £400 per month

The current 3008 was only launched last year but has made big in-roads into SUV buyers’ affections. Stylish looks inside and out, safe and predictable handling and the option of a clever traction system called Grip Control, which can improve grip in slippery conditions are among its key attractions.

One of its biggest, though, is some versions’ impressive economy. For example, our featured 1.6 diesel with engine stop and start can return up to 70.6mpg. The 3008 is not all about frugal living, though. The digital dashboard (a screen behind the steering wheel and one in the middle of the dashboard) looks hi-tech and the information display can be customised. The interior is roomy, too, with plenty of rear head and legroom.

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Best used SUV for reliability

Lexus RX

Typical example Lexus RX450h F-Sport CVT  Age 2015 / 20000 miles
Price £32,000  Representative finance payments £440 per month

As a hybrid SUV, the Lexus RX is economical in town, but that's not its strongest selling point. Because the big SUV is one of the most reliable cars that you can buy.

The previous-generation car was replaced in 2015 but it still makes an excellent choice of used car because it was top of the table in the 2016 Auto Express Driver Power survey - one of Britain's biggest consumer car polls. Even though it's no longer sold, this version still has impressive comfort, qietness and build quality.

It's easy to tell which model you're looking at, thanks to the enormous grille that covers the front of the new car, stretching from the bonnet to the botom of the car. The eaarlier models just have a small grille above the number plate.

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