Best used SUVs and crossovers

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

James Mills
Aug 7, 2018

You might know them as jeeps, 4x4s, SUVs or off-roaders but these cars all have one thing in common: they are terrific at taking care of family life.

Sitting high above hatchbacks and estates, a sport utility vehicle (SUV) or crossover affords a commanding view of the world, giving owners a heightened sense of safety. Some seat five; others throw in a third row of seats to carry seven. There should be space for gadgets and gizmos, books and bottles, and considerate touches such as USB charging points and ventilation controls for those in the back.

They may not be as economical as some other family cars, or feel as precise to drive, but the best SUVs will smooth out Britain’s crumbling roads as though by magic.

The choice of used models is plentiful and prices can be surprisingly affordable. All you need to be aware of are potentially higher running costs: fuel bills, cost of tyres and routine servicing can be higher than, say, an estate car. Click below for all available deals or scroll down for our pick of the best.

 

The best used SUVs and crossovers available now

Nissan Qashqai

Best used SUV for a value for money all-rounder

Our pick Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi Acenta
Latest Nissan Qashqai deals from £8,000
Finance from £137 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 not the best car in its class, but to many motorists it’s the equivalent of a comfort blanket, taking care of all their needs at a price they can afford. The interior is well made, some versions come packed with technology - including electronic driving aids - back seat legroom is impressive but the boot is on the small side for a family SUV.

It’s smooth and stable, with pretty good fuel economy but the lower-powered, 1.5-litre diesel engine can feel a bit feeble at times, such as when the Qashqai is loaded up for a family holiday.
Nissan Qashqai buying guide

 

Land Rover Discovery Sport

Best used SUV for seven seats in a compact package

Our pick Discovery Sport HSE 7-seat SD4 190
Latest Land Rover Discovery Sport deals from £21,999
Finance from £326 per month

Forget about the ‘Sport’ label on the Discovery Sport; it’s Land Rover’s way of playing tricks on your mind. This is not a sporty car in any sense. But it is a terrific family car.

The ace up its sleeve is that it is compact enough to be easy to manoeuvre in a multi-storey car park, but inside boasts seven seats. (Just don’t expect adults to thank you for spending hours in the rearmost row).

Some models are available with two-wheel drive only, which reduces the weight of the car and improves fuel economy, but the majority come with four-wheel drive if you need the extra grip, such as for towing or tackling muddy farm tracks. It isn’t the most affordable car of its type, but holds its value well, making finance more affordable than you might think.

 

Skoda Yeti

Best used SUV for standing out of the crowd

Our pick Skoda Yeti SE 1.2 TSI
Latest Skoda Yeti deals from £4,780
Finance from £82 per month

With a name like Yeti, you know that Skoda’s SUV is going to be one of the more quirky before you’ve even set eyes on it. And sure enough, it looks like nothing else on the road, with a bluff nose and boxy passenger compartment that isn’t exactly cut out for the catwalk.

But look beyond the obvious and you’ll find a practical car that’s surprisingly sprightly to drive. The rear seats, for example, slide on rails; the backrests tilt to help passengers get comfortable; they fold down in 40/20/40 configuration – perfect for loading some woodwork or plumbing materials through the space in the middle; and can even be removed, giving space to make a van driver envious.

The tried and truest 2-litre diesel is the by far the most popular engine, and some models feature four-wheel drive, but if you don’t do many miles in a year, try a 1.2 TSI petrol instead.
Skoda Yeti buying guide

 

Volvo XC90

Best used SUV for safety and space

Our pick Volvo XC90 Momentum D5
Latest Volvo XC90 deals from £18,990
Finance from £345 per month

There are no prizes for guessing that the caring Swedes build some of the safest cars. But did you know that since records of vehicle fatalities began, nobody inside a Volvo XC90 has ever been killed in Britain - at the time of publication, at least?

So if you want your loved ones to be as safe as possible – and who doesn’t – then the Volvo XC90 is for you. A quick exploration of the interior suggests it was designed by someone who has children - lots of children. It is packed with practical touches.

It’s not as expensive as some may imagine. Although we highly rate the latest model (shown above), sold since 2015, there are still some relatively recent examples of the last generation model, which are substantially cheaper.
Volvo XC90 buying guide

 

Range Rover Evoque

Best used SUV for getting envious looks from the neighbours

Our pick Range Rover Evoque Dynamic 3-door SD4 190
Latest Range Rover Evoque deals from £16,999
Finance from £241 per month

Buy an SUV and the neighbours can’t help but notice that your life is going swimmingly. And when it comes to getting envious looks from those next door, few cars will have people peering past the curtains quite like the Range Rover Evoque.

There is a trade-off, however. The low roof that gives the Evoque its striking stance means the rear seats feel a little cramped – more like a coupe than a tall SUV. But in other ways this helps, by keeping the car’s weight low and making it feel surprisingly sporty on a nice stretch of road.

Unusually, there’s a choice of three- and five-door models. It means this is one used SUV that could just as well be a stylish car, full stop, as it could be a family holdall.
Range Rover Evoque buying guide

 

Dacia Duster

Best used SUV for budget motoring

Our pick Dacia Duster Ambiance dCi 110 4x4
Latest Dacia Duster deals from £6,277
Finance from £119 per month

Britain is rapidly warming to Romanians – especially the cars. Dacia is effectively where Skoda was 15 years ago, offering outstanding value for money to drivers. However, its cars, notably the Duster, are far from dated. Even when new, the Duster was calculated to be Britain’s most affordable car to buy and run over three years. Think of the bargain it becomes after a couple of years, especially as it has just been replaced by a new model, which tends to push the price down further.

The Duster uses Renault engines, and the diesel is a hard-worker that returns more than 50mpg in real-world driving. There’s a choice of two- and four-wheel drive versions, and with the latter you get a car that’s ideal for tackling winter weather, wet grass fields of slippery slipways. The fit and finish of the interior is not the last word in style but it’s hard-wearing and there’s enough space for a family of five, while the big, 475-litre boot will happily carry the pet pooch and plenty more besides.
Dacia Duster buying guide

  

Kia Sportage

Best used SUV for a long warranty

Our pick Kia Sportage 2 1.7 CRDi
Latest Kia Sportage deals (current model) from £11,999
Finance from £174 per month

Buy a three-year old Sportage and you’ll still have four years remaining on its warranty. Bearing in mind a car is probably the most expensive thing any of us will pay for, other than our home, having that peace of mind (thanks to every new Kia’s seven year warranty, that transfers to the next owner) is a serious selling point.

The Sportage is a good-looking car but proves to be more than just a pretty face. Its interior is spacious, the dashboard is sensibly laid out and the boot is large. The tricky bit will come deciding which model to go for. The 1.7 diesel engine has sufficient performance for daily driving duties, but those who need four-wheel drive will have to pick the larger, 2-litre version. Also brush up on the trim levels, as the standard ‘1’ is a little miserly, whereas the ‘2’ comes with parking sensors at the back, a glass sunroof and part-leather seats.

 

Peugeot 3008

Best used SUV for fuel economy

Our pick Peugeot 3008 1.6 Blue HDI Allure
Latest Peugeot 3008 deals (2017 onwards) from £12,000
Finance from £178 per month

The current 3008 was only launched last year but has helped make Peugeots more desirable, replacing the last model that – let’s be honest - looked like a porpoise.

Stylish looks inside and out, comfortable and predictable performance, and the option of a clever traction system called Grip Control, which can improve traction in slippery conditions are among its key attractions. Some versions return impressive fuel economy too. For example, the 1.6 diesel with engine stop and start can return more than 50mpg in real-world driving.

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 high-tech and the information display can be customised. The interior is roomy, too, with plenty of rear head and legroom. In short, it marks a return to form for the French car maker.
Peugeot 3008 buying guide

 

Lexus RX

Best used SUV for reliability

Our pick Lexus RX450h Advance
Latest Lexus RX deals (previous model) from £24,250
Finance from £358 per month

As a hybrid SUV, with a petrol engine that’s helped along by an electric motor, 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.

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 bottom of the car. The earlier models just have a small grille above the number plate. It has impressive comfort, quietness and build quality. And Lexus dealers are regularly praised by owners.

 

Porsche Macan

Best used SUV for a sporty drive

Our pick Porsche Macan S diesel
Latest Porsche Macan deals from £34,000
Finance from £466 per month

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 means owners don’t lose lots of money through the dreaded D-word – depreciation.

It's the SUV that feels most like a car to drive, responding sharply when you turn the steering wheel, while remaining flat. It's also surprisingly comfortable over bumps. And the range of engines means those feeling flush and travel seriously fast.

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.
Porsche Macan buying guide

 

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