If you recently got a promotion with a considerable increase in your monthly paycheck or recently found that you’ll have a new member arriving in your family, your old sports coupe which is already on its last leg won’t cut in anymore. With a perfect balance of space, style and features, an SUV can be an excellent replacement. But if you have a limited budget, going for a brand new SUV cannot be an option as majority of the good, new SUVs cost above $25,000.
However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot get our hands on some of the best SUVs with a limited budget.
Rather than going for a new SUV, you can go for a used model at a discounted price. Going for a CPO (Certified Pre-Owner) SUV makes great financial sense when you have a tight budget. These used models have been used for sometime by the previous buyers and are now available with sharp discounts and many-a-times with a warranty, right from the manufacturer.
As a result, the pricey repairs which were very commonly linked with used cars in the past are completely eliminated.
However, a used SUV is still a huge investment and thus, you should do adequate research about the SUV model you are looking to buy to ensure that you get the best value for your money. But if you don’t know where to begin your search for a used SUV, we’ve created a list of some of the Best Used SUV under $20k to help you out.
Best Used SUV under $20000
#12. GMC Acadia 2015- $15,980
While new Acadia’s come with a hefty price tag, you can buy a used variant at around $15,980. Acadia is one of the most popular mid-size SUVs from GMC that features a comfortable 3rdrow seat, making it a perfect family car. Apart from the comfort and stylish looks, the SUV is an impressive performer as well.
It features a 288HP V6 engine and a number of great features along with the premium image that GMC, as a brand carries.
If possible, try to go for the SL model of Acadia as it comes with features, like rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, remote engine starting, power lift gate, backup camera and a lot more. While Acadia is indeed a catch under $20000, it has a few drawbacks as well.
Many buyers have mentioned that there is acceleration loss when the car is fully loaded and its mileage too is not very impressive when compared with other SUVs in the same price range.
- 288HP V6 3.6l Engine
- All-Wheel Drive
- 6-Speed Automatic Transmission
- Mileage of 17/24 mpg
- Roomy interiors
- Premium looks
- Large cargo space
- Number of safety features
- Multiple airbags
- Acadia can be cumbersome to manage in limited space
- Loses acceleration when loaded fully
- Gas mileage is not too good
#11. Chevrolet Equinox 2010- $14,000
While the original model of Equinox, which was launched in the year 2009,was not highly impressive, its 2nd generation which was launched in 2010 is still around and an excellent used-SUV option.
One of the best things about a used Equinox is the fact that it is easily available for around $14,000 and even for less.
Chevrolet Equinox also carries a large list of some amazing features, like powerful safety features, modern aesthetics, and two equally amazing models- 3.6l V6 model that has a torque of 222lb-ft and 264HP or 2.4l 4-cylinder model that offers an impressive 32mpg on highway and 22mpg in the city.
If you are planning to buy used Equinox, try to go for LTZ or 2LT models as they offer standard equipments that are commonly found in luxury cars. While the 2nd version of Equinox is widely appreciated by buyers and experts, its cargo space could have been better.
- Automatic Transmission
- Front-Wheel Drive
- Mileage of 22/32 mpg
- 4-cylinder is pretty powerful
- Driving dynamics are impressive
- Great safety ratings
- Interior is highly versatile
- Cargo space could have been larger
#10. Nissan Xterra 2014- $16,500
If you are looking for reasonably priced used SUV that has some amazing off-road abilities, Nissan Xterra can be a great choice.
While the car is not known for the luxury, mileage or comfort that it offers, its bold aesthetics, ability to go anywhere and space for five passengers is its USP.The car also boasts a powerful V6 engine that offers 261HP and torque of 281 lb-ft.
If you are looking to buy a used Xterra, try going for the off-road focused PRO 4X version to experience the best of its abilities.
If an off-road SUV is not what you are looking for and are focused on models that are more pavement-friendly, other SUVs in this list can be a better option. As mentioned above, poor comfort and gas mileage are two of its most common drawbacks.
- Automatic Transmission
- Rear-Wheel Drive
- Mileage of 16/22 mpg
- Impressive off-road capabilities
- Cargo space is large
- Engine is pretty powerful
- Front seats are not comfortable
- Mileage is not good
- Interior materials are cheap
- Ride is somewhat stiff
#9. Jeep Compass 2014- $13,900
If an SUV with off-road capabilities is what you are searching for, but are not impressed with the above mentioned Nissan Xterra 2014, the Jeep Compass 2014 can be a better choice. The SUV is stylish, comfortable, and the off-road capabilities of cars from Jeep are well-known in the industry.
The crossover SUV comes with a number of impressive features, like anti-lock brakes, front and side curtain bags, traction and stability control. While these features are also available in the previous Compass models, 6-speed automatic transmission is new in the 2014 model.
When compared with other crossover SUVs in this price range, Compass 2014 has more space in the front seating area. Passengers sitting behind get to enjoy taller seats, but might complain about the limited legroom. Majority of the buyers have positively reviewed Compass 2014 for its ability to tackle all the different types of road conditions.
- 5-Speed Manual Transmission
- Front-Wheel Drive
- Mileage of 23/30 mpg
- Ideal for a variety of road conditions
- Attractive aesthetics
- Roomy front seats
- Optional 2.4 litre engine
- Safety rating is average
- Engine is not very powerful
- Limited legroom in the rear
#8.Subaru Outback 2015- $17,000
One of the best used luxury SUV under 20000 is not much of an SUV. Outback from Subaru with SUV characteristics, like high seating arrangement, raised ground clearance and all-wheel drive, comes with a luxury car characteristics, like excellent ride and gas mileage.
Moreover, it is also one of the easiest to find used SUVs.
But if you are planning to buy a used Outback, go for the 4-cylinder engine model to get great power without making any compromise on the mileage. Moreover, if you go with the premium trim package, you’ll also get a variety of other features like power seat for the driver, Bluetooth, keyless entry, allow wheels, etc.
While its features, like roomy interiors, excellent safety, fuel economy, and comfort are widely appreciated, some buyers have pointed a few drawbacks, like unimpressive acceleration and all-wheel drive.
- Automatic Transmission
- Standard All-Wheel Drive
- Mileage of 25/33 mpg
- Interiors are roomy
- Impressive safety
- Electronics are great
- Visibility is good
- Fuel economy is decent
- Accelerations is not very good
- Standard AWD
#7. Jeep Patriot 2016- $14,975
While you might find it a little difficult to find a used Patriot 2016, the SUV is worth all the extra efforts. It is one of the least expensive SUV that has great off-road abilities. The entry-level model of this SUV features a powerful 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine that can generate 158HP. You can also look for a 2.4-litre model that generates 172HP.
Patriot 2016 is available with an all-wheel drive system if you are looking to drive on rainy roads and snowy highways. But if you want to experience its actual off-road capabilities, go for the one with Freedom-Drive II Off-Road package, which comes with a low-range 4-wheel drive system, hill descent control, and many other all-terrain features.
Fuel economy of its base model is 23/30 mpg and transmission choices include continuously variable automatic transmission and 5-speed manual transmission.
While the Patriot 2016 is undoubtedly one of the best off-road SUV, Jeep should have made some more changes to its aesthetics. Apart from the aesthetics, even the other specs are almost the same.
- Manual Transmission
- Front-Wheel drive
- Mileage of 23/30 mpg
- Good horsepower
- Fuel economy is excellent
- Performance of the drivetrain is pretty good
- Number of built-in features
- Premium-quality wheels
- Safety features are great
- Same look of the previous Patriot models
- Specs are almost similar to the previous versions
#6. Toyota RAV4 2012- $15,990
The next entry in this list of Best Used SUV under $20000 is RAV4 from Toyota. As a car manufacturer, Toyota is known for the tough-build of its cars and the crossover SUV RAV4 is nothing different. The car has all the features that you would expect from a modern SUV.
Apart from a reasonable price tag, the SUV has a number of features that make it a perfect family car.
If we talk about the fuel economy, the base-model of RAV4 features a 4-cylinder engine which offers an excellent mileage of 24/31 mpg. If you are looking for power, the V6 engine-version of RAV4 generates 270HP and can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds.
Moreover, the latest model of RAV4 also features a 3rd row seating, making it an excellent family car.
A used RAV4 is easily available and should cost around $15,990. While the car has thousands of positive reviews, complains of poor interior quality and awkwardly-positioned cargo door are also pretty common.