Top 10 best used SUVs 2024
Want to find an affordable SUV? Check out our list of the top 10 best used SUVs available
The most fashionable bodystyles these days are 4x4s and SUVs thanks to their great practicality and high driving position. Buying a used SUV is a great option, allowing you to get much more bang for your buck, with many hardly-used examples available for the same price as you’d pay for a brand-new hatchback.
New cars depreciate quickly, depending on the make and model, but as a general rule this tends to slow down after its third year on the road, so buying a used SUV that’s around three years old can save you a lot of money. Some of the best used SUVs come with very compelling warranties, such as Kia’s seven-year or 100,000-mile policy, meaning that you don’t necessarily have to give up peace of mind when buying second-hand.
The used SUV market is more diverse than ever, with the typical petrol and diesel models for sale, as well as modern, fuel-sipping hybrid and plug-in hybrid SUVs, and zero-emissions electric SUVs that are even cheaper to run.
If you’re looking to buy a brand-new SUV with that new-car smell, then check out our list of the best 4x4s and SUVs to buy, but if you’re sold on the idea of buying a used SUV, then read our advice on how to get a good deal on a used car, and what questions to ask. Not bothered about the extra ride height or visibility offered by an SUV, but still want big-car practicality? Read our list of the best estate cars.
The Kia Sportage not only took the crown as our Best Used Family Car, but also bagged the title of Used Car of the Year overall in our 2024 Carbuyer Best Used Car awards. Kias usually make great sense when buying used thanks to the brand’s generous, industry-leading seven-year, or 100,000-mile warranty, meaning that buyers still get peace of mind for years to come – but it’s not only that that makes a used Kia Sportage a compelling choice.
It boasts excellent practicality for a car of its size, good driving dynamics and was well equipped from new, so you’re likely to find an example that fits the bill on the second-hand market. We’d go for a model from 2020 onwards, as you can ensure you have plenty of years left of that warranty, as well as the fuel-economy benefits of the 134bhp 1.6-litre mild-hybrid diesel engine option that was introduced in 2018. If diesel isn’t your bag, then the 174bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol version is a good alternative.
The Skoda Karoq is a fantastic choice for used buyers – it boasts a well-built and durable interior that should stand the test of time. The cabin feels airy and spacious and the Karoq gets a large 479-litre boot. This is boosted to 588 litres on versions with the ‘Varioflex’ seating system, so look out for this if boot space is a priority. It allows you to slide the rear seats to give more legroom or boot space – or the seats can be removed altogether, making the Karoq even more versatile. Engine choices are simple, yet effective, starting with a turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol that offers decent performance, while there’s also a punchier 1.5-litre petrol engine, should you need more.
Diesel options include 1.6 and 2.0-litre units, which are predictably more economical, and will suit those covering lots of motorway miles. Many trim levels have been offered over the years, with the entry-level SE featuring two-zone air-con, DAB radio and alloy wheels. Mid-range SE L adds many extras, including LED headlights, a reversing camera, an Amundsen infotainment system, sat nav and smartphone mirroring. There are also Scout, Sportline and Edition trim levels, which focus on ruggedness, sportiness and luxury respectively. The Karoq replaced the Skoda Yeti, which has distinctive styling and a reputation for reliability. It’s a great used car purchase if your budget doesn’t stretch to the Karoq.
We might sound like a broken record, but Kia’s seven-year warranty is hard to ignore, hence why another of its models makes this list. The Kia Sorento won our award for the Best Large Used Family Car in the 2024 Carbuyer Used Car Awards because it’s immensely practical with seven seats, feels fairly upmarket on the inside, and comes with a choice of hybrid, plug-in hybrid or diesel engines.
In fact, we’d go as far as to say that the Kia Sorento makes even more sense as a used buy than buying new, as supply chain issues meant that the brand slimmed down the range in recent times, offering it solely in the high-spec Sorento Edition trim. That means that new models are expensive to buy, but second-hand examples are well-equipped at a fraction of the price.
The Dacia Duster offers great value for money and that’s even truer when buying a used example. It’s now in its second generation, but an all-new replacement is arriving in 2024, so second-hand examples are only getting more plentiful.
Although Dacia tends to prioritise function over form, the latest Duster introduced welcome features that made it more comfortable and appealing. It’s based on the same underpinnings as the Sandero hatchback and Renault Clio, so while it’s budget-focused, it still makes use of relatively modern parts compared to its predecessor.
The Access trim that was offered was very sparsely equipped, but Comfort brings features such as a touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity, sat nav and a reversing camera. Buying used means you can upgrade to a higher trim level for the same, or less than the cost of a more basic model, so we recommend doing so to get the best bang for your buck.
If you’re looking for something to transport the family around in every day, but want to enjoy driving thrills once you’ve dropped the kids off at school, then the Cupra Ateca is a great choice as a used buy, winning our Best Used Hot SUV title for 2024.
We love the Cupra Ateca thanks to its sporty looks, impressive handling and the broad engine range it’s been offered with over the years, meaning there’s lots to choose from on the used market. While there’s a flagship model with the same 296bhp 2.0-litre engine as you’d find in the Volkswagen Golf R, propelling it from 0-62mph in a blisteringly-quick 4.9 seconds, there are other, more sedate options bringing all the style with more everyday performance – these include a 1.5-litre version with 148bhp, or a 2.0-litre version with 187bhp.
Although Ford’s choice to use the Puma name – previously used for a small, sporty model in the late 90s – on a new compact SUV based on the latest Fiesta stirred up controversy, it proved a big hit, topping the overall UK car sales charts in 2023. The benefit of its popularity means there are already many on the used market to choose from.
The Puma’s compact dimensions make it a doddle to drive around town but the car is also engaging on a twisty B-road, making it one of the most fun small SUVs to drive. The Puma also comes with lots of kit as standard. Entry-level Titanium models have all of the equipment you may need such as sat-nav, air conditioning and rear parking sensors. Step up to the ST-Line for sportier styling and supportive Recaro sports seats. While the Puma is not the largest SUV out there, it should be enough for small families, with its 456-litre boot one of the best in its class.
The Lexus RX recently got an all-new model, but the outgoing version makes a great used luxury SUV buy as it offers a high-quality interior, is quiet and smooth to drive, and still looks modern despite having been replaced. You can find turbocharged petrol-powered versions of this generation of RX, but this model was discontinued quite early on, so most will be hybrids using a 3.5-litre V6 engine mated to an electric motor for a total of 308bhp.
Inside the cabin feels very well built, and even lower-spec models got a 12.3-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Since you’re buying used, though, your budget may be able to stretch to a racier-looking F Sport model or top-spec Takumi. F Sport got sports heated and ventilated seats and adjustable suspension, while Takumi brought niceties such as blind-spot monitoring, a premium Mark Levinson surround-sound system, 360-degree parking camera and panoramic sunroof – all features you’d expect of a brand new luxury SUV.
If you’re thinking about making the switch to an electric SUV, then the Jaguar I-Pace was somewhat of a pioneer in this respect, as the brand’s first EV – and what a great start. We like the Jaguar I-Pace so much that it gets our award for Best Used Large Electric Car. It still feels fresh today, despite having been on sale for several years, and despite being an electric SUV, it feels nimble and quite engaging to drive.
You can expect up to 286 miles to a charge on models with the 90kWh battery and 19-inch wheels, though in real-world conditions we found around 220 miles was more realistic. Still – that will be more than enough for buyers after a stylish, premium SUV for shorter trips around town. Its interior is fairly conventional, but feels well-built and high-end – a 2020 update also brought a renewed version of Jaguar’s Pivi Pro infotainment software, so it’s worth checking if your used example has this version.
The Mazda CX-5 is a great choice of used SUV if you want something that’s a little less common on UK roads. We love the Mazda CX-5 because while it may be a less obvious choice than something like a Nissan Qashqai, it comes well equipped as new, meaning that you should be well catered for when buying second-hand, and Mazda has even managed to inject some of the fun-to-drive character of its MX-5 roadster into the SUV.
On the inside, we think the CX-5 feels well-built thanks to the extensive use of high-quality materials, especially in post-2021 facelifted cars. Its layout is fairly straightforward, featuring a 10.25-inch infotainment screen atop the centre of the dash that gets simple, but effective software that makes it easy-to-use. Admittedly, some SUV rivals offer more boot space and rear passenger headroom, but the Mazda CX-5 is markedly more spacious than the Mazda3 hatchback despite having a similar footprint to that car, and we think the CX-5 is a worthwhile upgrade over that car.
The Peugeot 3008 is a popular car amongst UK buyers, and it's easy to see why – it’s a great all-rounder, offering good practicality, a quirky, but attractive interior, and is easy to drive. While the first-generation Peugeot 3008 was more of an MPV, the second-generation car was redesigned as a high-riding SUV with a more fashionable look. The third-generation car further improved on this formula and was facelifted in 2021 with updated looks and an improved, more upmarket interior.
You can find a choice of petrol, diesel, mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions, though the most common version on the used market is the simple 1.2-litre petrol model. Despite the engine’s small size, it feels adept at propelling the SUV, and is the best choice for buyers who mostly take shorter drives around town with occasional motorway driving. There’s even a 1.5-litre diesel version, which is a good choice for those who cover a lot of motorway miles. If your budget can stretch to it, the plug-in hybrid is handy for doing small trips on electric power alone, so long as you have a home wallbox charger to keep it regularly topped up.
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