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In recent years, more and more car buyers are turning to crossovers and SUVs for their ability to accommodate more people and things. However, SUV models are typically priced in a higher price bracket than a traditional sedan. For those shopping on a thrifty budget, these are some of the best used SUVs under $10,000. 

A view of the rear passenger seats and third row of the 2008 Toyota Highlander
2008 Toyota Highlander interior | Toyota USA

Each of the following models is either a crossover or SUV that ticks three of the major boxes that smart buyers prioritize when shopping for a used model. These SUVs have high reliability ratings from places like Consumer Reports and J.D. Power. In addition, each model here earned high safety ratings from the International Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Plus, pricing for each one falls in the $10,000 range. 

The Honda CR-V is a smart and utilitarian choice for used SUV shoppers

A rear quarter view of a green 2009 Honda CR-V parked in the city.
2009 Honda CR-V | Honda Media
  • Class: small crossover SUV
  • Average price: $7,150-$11,800
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick years: 2007-2009

The Honda CR-V is a tried and true crossover SUV from a trusted Japanese automaker. It offers versatile cargo space. In addition, the Honda CR-V boasts good reliability ratings in virtually every model year. 

This is one of the best used SUVs Under $10,000 because it offers good fuel economy, a choice between two Honda powertrains, and all-wheel drive is available. To find a used Honda CR-V for less that $10,000, shoppers will want to look primarily at the second generation. This Honda CR-V generation ran from 2007-2011.

Consumer Reports recommends every model year in the generation except for one. The 2007 model year did not get the recommendation. However, it did earn the title of IIHS Top Safety Pick. 

The Toyota Highlander is a sensible used SUV for those that desire third-row seating

a light silver blue 2008 Toyota Highlander on display at an indoor auto show
2008 Toyota Highlander | Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • Class: Midsize SUV 
  • Average price: $8,525-$13,700
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick years: 2008-2010

The Toyota Highlander offers third-row seating for those that need more accommodation for passengers. As with most Toyota SUVs, the Highlander holds its value well. Because of that, it can be more difficult to find one in this price range. However, they are out there for used car buyers with enough patience to peruse the market long enough to find a good deal. 

This is another safe family crossover SUV with good safety ratings and high reliability. In fact, Consumer Reports recommends every Toyota Highlander model it’s ever tested. For anyone looking for one of the best used SUVs under $10,000, buyers need to shop the 2010 model year or older. 

Singing a similar tune as the Honda CR-V, the Highlander is another one that buyers virtually can’t go wrong with. That said, it’s still important for buyers to research each model they look at. If you can find a Toyota Highlander in this price range that’s been properly cared for, it’s likely to serve you family well for quite some time despite its age. 

Finding the best used SUVs under $10,000

The interior dash view of a 2010 Honda CR-V EX-L
2010 Honda CR-V EX-L | Honda Media

Ensuring that a model has received proper maintenance and care for the duration of its life is the most important piece of information to verify when buying a used model. Both the Honda CR-V and the Toyota Highlander are used SUV models that standout in terms of both safety and reliability. They are 2 of the best used SUVs money can buy.


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