What Used Compact SUV Should I Buy?


Choosing the best-used vehicle for you and your needs can be a hard choice.

There are lots of factors to consider when deciding what is the best used compact SUV out there on the market; of course, you want it to be safe and reliable but you also want great gas mileage to save you money and other helpful features. 

So what is the best compact used SUV out there?

The best used compact SUV to buy is the 2014 Honda CR-V. The CR-V only costs around $18,000 used, depending on the year, gets 23 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway, and has a 5/5 rating by the NHTSA. This vehicle, whether older or newer, is the best used compact SUV for the money. 

If the Honda CR-V is not your style, don’t worry, we picked out 4 other used compact SUVs that are great cars for the money. 

Read on below to see what used compact SUVs are the best value!

Honda CR-V

For this specific car, we will be focusing on the 2014 model which has a 5/5 rating from the NHTSA (National highway traffic safety administration). 

This vehicle sits 5 people maximum.

Towing capacity: When looking at the average SUV it can tow anywhere from 3,500-5,000. 

The Honda CR-V’s towing capacity is at 1,500 which is on the lower end.

Horsepower: The average horsepower an SUV has is around 170-190. 

The Honda CR-V has 185 horsepower, putting it in the higher range of horsepower offered by SUVs.

Miles per gallon: 22-23 for city driving and 30‑31 on the highway.

The average MPG you’ll want your SUV to get is anywhere from 19-24 mpg, so the CR-V has great numbers here.

Other features: This vehicle allows you to have great storage space at 37.2 cubic feet without the seats down and with the seats down at 70.9 cubic feet available.

This vehicle is also up to date on its technology even though it is from 2014, it offers Bluetooth to connect your phone to listen to the music you love, offers smooth and comfortable driving conditions both as driver and passenger, and is overall a very reliable vehicle.

Average price used: $15,746 – $18,162 

Toyota RAV-4

For this car, we will be talking about the 2020 model which seats 5 passengers.

Towing capacity: 1500-3500 lbs making it average when compared to other similar SUVs.

Horsepower: 203 is the average for this model, giving it quite the engine for an SUV.

Miles per gallon: 25-41 for the city and 32-38 for the highway making it a great choice against its competitors.

Other features: This is one of the best selling on the market, and for good reason. 

It is a lower and wider vehicle overall with a sportier design. It also offers two off-roading models.

This combined with its great horsepower and outstanding gas mileage compared to the average and its competitors make this one of the best choices out there for a newer yet used model. 

It also comes with improved safety features such as parking and driving assistance.

Cons: The price is still pretty high even for used models as it is quite new.

Its cargo space is smaller than its competitors coming in at only 37.6 cubic feet though makes up for it in its second row giving legroom of 37.8 inches.

Average price used: $27,626 – $38,985

Subaru Forester

The details below come from the 2021 model of the Subaru Forester which seats 5.

Towing capacity: 1500 lbs which is low for that size of SUV.

Horsepower: The engine in the 2021 Subaru Forester has 182 horsepower.

Miles per gallon: 26 is the average for city driving and 33 for the highway.

Other features: This AWD vehicle includes adaptive cruise control, lane assistance, 8.7-inch ground clearance, and a ton of cargo space at 35.4 without the seats down.

The latest model also includes great handling, steering, and braking with great adjustability for the driver, user-friendly controls, and more!

Cons: The downside to this vehicle is the lower towing capacity which is one of the only cons to it.

Average price used: $28,668 – $35,995

GMC Terrain

The model we will be referring to is the 2017 model which seats 5 people.

Towing capacity: Between 1500-3500 depending on the trim, making it average and a great competitor to its competition being able to handle a lot.

Horsepower: 182 which is in the higher range for the average SUV.

Miles per gallon: 20-21 in the city and 28-31 on the highway.

Other features: When it comes to cargo space, when the seats are put down it offers a total of 64 cubic feet, giving you plenty of room to carry what you need. 

The safety features of this vehicle make it one of the safest out there with not only a backup camera but 6 airbags, it also comes with additional optional safety features such as monitoring your blind spots, warnings for lane departures, and more.

Cons: The biggest downside to this vehicle is that the standard features it comes with are not a lot and if you want a lot of them you’ll have to pay more.

Average price used: $19,113 – $28,200

Chevrolet Equinox

The model we are looking at is the 2017 model which seats 5 people total.

Towing capacity: 1500-3500 which is very average.

Horsepower: 182 which is in the higher end for competing SUVs.

Miles per gallon: 16-21 for the city and for the highway 23‑30.

Other features: Offering an AWD, this vehicle is great in the snow giving you a smooth ride in all seasons of the year.

This SUV also has great standard features like 4G Wi-Fi hot spots, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, and a nice touch screen to direct it all. 

This stylish car on the inside and outside also has decent cargo space coming in at 30 cubic feet of space, allowing your passengers to be comfortable and not feel like sardines in a tin can.

Cons: The standard trim does not come with many features and you will need to pay additional for the other trims to get the other optional ideal features. 

Overall it compares well to the other models of compact SUVs.

Average price used: $18,322 – $24,988 

Will Turner

Will has an absolute passion for 4x4s and loves discovering all of the small details about each model. Will joined the Four Wheel Trends team in early 2021 and has been a valuable contributor ever since!

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