Best cheap SUVs for sale

Tall, spacious and rugged at prices you won't believe: our pick of the best cheap used SUVs available now

Simon Ostler John Evans
Apr 15, 2021

Hunting for an SUV as your next car? You're not alone. There are so many reasons why high-riding SUVs and smaller 'crossovers' have become such a popular choice for drivers from all kinds of backgrounds. They offer an imposing high driving position that inspires confidence when you're behind the wheel, alongside the space and practicality of a hatchback, making them ideal as family cars.

But there is one stumbling block when it comes to SUVs and crossovers; they tend to be rather expensive compared with the hatchbacks upon which many of them are based. Thankfully, this becomes less of a problem if you're getting a used car - especially if you're opting for PCP finance, as how much the car is worth at the end of the contract plays just as big a part in your monthly payments as the initial cost. So, as we've highlighted below, some SUVs can prove to be much cheaper than you might expect.

If you are looking for a cheap SUV, there is a decent selection to work with including a number of high-quality options from more upmarket manufacturers including Volkswagen and BMW. There's a couple of the UK's bestselling SUVs here, too, and we're willing to bet the fact they are such good value is one reason for why they're so popular. Better still, the fact they're popular means there's plenty of choice when looking at used models.

There's a huge selection of options beyond the ones we've picked out here, though, so if you're keen to take a deeper look at all the used SUVs available on BuyaCar, you can hit the search button above to find something to suit your needs. Meanwhile, if you're looking to establish how much you can afford to borrow, click on the button below to start the finance process.

Best cheap SUVs

1. Suzuki Vitara

Best cheap SUV for value for money

Our pick Suzuki Vitara 1.6 SZ5 Allgrip
Used deals from £8,450
Monthly finance from £136*

This latest version of the Suzuki Vitara is good value as a new car because it leaves out expensive luxuries that often make little difference, apart from inflating the price - such as squidgy dashboards and having the most high-tech options - in favour of a hard-wearing and spacious interior and providing an enjoyable drive.

It's not been made on the cheap though, and that's clear when you feel the car's stability over bumps and through corners, with the suspension keeping bouncing and leaning in check, which contributes towards the Vitara offering a surprisingly sporty drive for a car of this type. It's still perfectly comfortable, though.

You can have it in cheaper two-wheel drive form, but the four-wheel drive version badged 'Allgrip' is only available in high-specification SZ5 trim. This brings more comfort and equipment, including a panoramic sunroof, and older models are still affordable.


2. Mazda CX-5

Best cheap SUV for all-round competence

Our pick Mazda CX-5 2.2d Sport
Used deals from £9,790
Monthly finance from £205*

This is the first-generation CX-5 (the second-generation model was launched in 2017), which is still an exceptionally good choice of family car, with plenty of space for adults in the front and back, plus a big boot.

But the CX-5 really impresses in the way that it drives. You can almost forget the height and bulk; its sharp cornering and decent grip put you in mind of a small and nimble hatchback, while it also remains steady on rough roads. Despite this, you still get the benefit of sitting higher up than in a standard hatchback.

It's a fairly safe choice for diesel buyers too, as all CX-5s should meet the latest Euro 6 emissions regulations, though it's always worth double-checking to be sure. You can expect real-world fuel economy of almost 45mpg from the 2.2-litre diesel engine, which is a pretty good figure for a car of this type and age.


3. Toyota RAV4

Best cheap SUV for space

Our pick Toyota RAV4 2.0D D4-D Icon
Used deals from £10,995
Monthly finance from £184*

The Toyota RAV4 offers an enormous amount of room for a very reasonable price. Interior space is excellent, especially in the back, thanks to the car’s flat floor. The 547-litre boot will swallow five occupants’ luggage with comparative ease, too.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine available in the RAV4 is economical and should return around 50mpg in normal driving with very little effort. Unlike the CX-5 above, the RAV4 is focused on providing the most comfortable ride rather than being sporty for the driver.


4. Renault Kadjar

Best cheap SUV for fuel economy

Our pick Renault Kadjar 1.5 dCi Dynamique
Used deals from £8,200
Monthly finance from £141*

The Renault Kadjar shares its mechanical parts with the Nissan Qashqai, as the brands are part of the same parent company. The Kadjar is slightly newer than the Nissan and - more importantly - it's has a bigger boot too, making it the better choice for many drivers.

Early models are very affordable and the low pricing means that you should be able to get a newer version than you might expect. Kadjars powered by the 1.2-litre petrol engine are nippy at lower speeds and more cost-effective for lower-mileage drivers.

Going for a diesel engine is better for those who do many longer journeys, however, as you can expect around 55mpg. This should save you money in the long run compared with fuel costs for an equivalent petrol model.


5. Nissan Qashqai

Best cheap SUV for a broad range of models

Our pick Nissan Qashqai 1.5 DCi Acenta
Used deals from £7,790
Monthly finance from £140*

The Nissan Qashqai is the default choice for a lot of SUV drivers on a budget because it's an impressive all-round package, offering comfort, good fuel economy and a keen price. There are also plenty of used models to choose from.

The boot might be a little on the small side - and if this bothers you, the Renault Kadjar is an excellent alternative - but it remains the choice of hundreds of thousands of families. This version of the Qashqai is available from well under £10,000 second-hand, with representative PCP finance monthly payments often coming in at less than £150.

Do bear in mind that the lowest prices will only be enough for one of the earlier models with a diesel engine that doesn't meet the latest emissions standards, meaning that you may have to pay a charge to enter a number of low-emission zones popping in several cities. Petrol options are available too, as are more recent diesel versions if you can afford to spend nearer to £200 per month.


6. Jeep Renegade

Best cheap SUV for rough terrain

Our pick Jeep Renegade 1.6 Multijet II Longitude
Used deals from £8,799
Monthly finance from £151*

The rugged and utilitarian design of the smallest Jeep isn't just for show. Opt for one of the higher-specification models with four-wheel drive and it will shrug off muddy tracks and steep, slippery hills with ease. It really is a capable off-roader if you need to head onto rough roads.

Most drivers will find the cheaper two-wheel drive Renegade versions perfectly adequate, though, and these are not only cheaper to purchase but more economical too. The interior is as characterful as the outside. Some of the materials don't feel particularly plush but the boxy shape does create a good amount of interior space.


7. Peugeot 3008

Best cheap SUV for practicality

Our pick Peugeot 3008 1.6 HDi 115 Allure
Used deals from £5,750
Monthly finance from £118*

The latest Peugeot 3008 is one of the best family SUVs you can get, with its stylish design, futuristic interior and excellent all-round quality feel. However, it remains much more expensive than the model it replaced. Although it isn't quite as loved but, the previous-generation 3008 can cost less than half the price of a later model and while it's nowhere near as exciting to look at, it still offers plenty for the money.

Plenty of space, high equipment levels and practical touches - such as an adjustable boot floor - make this 3008 ideal for family use. Engineered for comfort, it has soft suspension that soaks up the impacts over bumps, but causes the car to lean a little in fast corners - so it's best enjoyed by smooth drivers.

Earlier 2013 cars have diesel engines that don't meet the latest emissions standards, but more recent versions produced in 2016 onwards came with more efficient engines and can be found for less than £10,000.


8. BMW X1

Best cheap SUV for a sporty drive

Our pick BMW X1 18d SE xDrive
Used deals from £10,699
Monthly finance from £189*

A big, high-riding SUV it may not be, but the compact X1 still feels sporty like a traditional BMW, with plenty of grip and very little lean in the corners. The ride is smooth too, unless you get a car with optional M Sport suspension, which makes it much harder and less comfortable in exchange for a sportier feel from behind the wheel.

This model was replaced by a new X1 in 2015 and you can pick up one of the last of the line with four-wheel drive (badged 'xDrive') for less than £200 per month.

Its 2.0-litre diesel engine is a good compromise between power, economy and price. You can expect around 45mpg in real-world driving, but you'll be obliged to pay the ULEZ charge drive into the centre of London as it doesn't meet the latest Euro 6 emissions standards.

You may want to look at the newer X1, though, as prices are constantly coming down, so you may find that an older version of the current car is within budget for you. This means you don't have to worry about the current raft of low-emission zones for a while to come if you opt for a diesel version.


9. Honda CR-V

Best cheap SUV for easy ownership

Our pick Honda CR-V 2.0i-VTEC SE
Used deals from £8,499
Monthly finance from £162*

The Honda CR-V is a great option if you need a big five-seat SUV. It's fairly comfortable, even to the extent that the rear seat backs recline a little, but not as smooth over rough roads as the best in class. This may look like an off-roader, but it is very much designed to be driven on the road.

Unusually for this size of SUV, there's a reasonable choice of petrol versions, as well as diesel. Petrol fuel economy is around 30mpg in real-world driving, compared with 40mpg for the diesel, so drivers who cover high mileages will want to choose diesel, but everyone else is likely to benefit more from the lower initial costs of a petrol.


10. Volkswagen Tiguan

Best cheap SUV for lasting quality

Our pick VW Tiguan 2.0 TDi Bluemotion Tech Match
Used deals from £8,800
Monthly finance from £190*

The Volkswagen Tiguan is essentially a Golf that's been raised and made to look more rugged, so it's a cut above the Nissan Qashqai, even if this model has been replaced by a new version.

This older car is spacious, with a sliding rear seat that can be moved backwards to increase legroom, or forward for more boot space. Rear parking sensors are standard on models built after 2011 and the diesel engine is fairly efficient too - you can expect around 44mpg in normal driving.


*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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