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Used cars are a great way for car shoppers to save a lot of money, but people often have some misgivings about driving a used car. It’s true that many used cars can come with some common issues, but this doesn’t mean that used cars can’t be safe. Here’s a look at two used three-row SUVs that not only can cost less than $20,000, but won’t skimp on safety either.

A 2020 Kia Sorento driving down the road.
2020 Kia Sorento | Kia Media

The 2019 and 2020 Kia Sorento is a solid and safe three-row SUV overall

MotorTrend recently published a list of used three-row SUVs that are safe and affordable, but while they are all safe, not all of them may be affordable to every consumer. Many of the SUVs that the car critic recommended had an estimated used car price of over $25,000. One of the exceptions to that was the 2019 and 2020 model years of the Kia Sorento. 

This midsize SUV cost an estimated $17,000. These were good model years for the car, as the South Korean automaker had given it some significant upgrades. Kia gave the Sorento additional optional smart safety features starting in the 2019 model year, these included front parking sensors and lane keep assist.

On top of that, the Sorento was a highly-rated SUV as far as its crash tests go. It received a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS, and the NHTSA also gave it a 5 out of 5.

The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder is also safe but slightly pricier than the Kia

The 2020 version of the Nissan Pathfinder was the only other SUV that made MotorTrend’s list while costing less than $20,000. That said, it’s likely going to be more expensive than a used 2019 or 2020 Sorento as the estimated used car price of the 2020 Pathfinder is about $19,000. Furthermore, while the Pathfinder was a safe car, its safety ratings were slightly worse than the Sorento’s.

The IIHS gave it a Top Safety Pick award, and the NHTSA gave it a 5 out of 5 for its crash tests. Another big difference between the 2020 Pathfinder and the 2019 and 2020 Sorento is the fact that Nissan didn’t make any big changes with the 2020 model year. That said, it was still equipped with plenty of standard features, including an 8-inch touchscreen, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Just like the Sorento, this model year of the Pathfinder could seat up to seven people. Unlike the Kia though, the third row was spacious enough for adults. Nissan only gave the Pathfinder a single 3.5-liter V6 engine, but it’s a capable and powerful engine. It got 284 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque, and this allowed it to tow up to 6,000 pounds.

Why these two used three-row SUVs provide a lot of value to drivers

Nissan redesigned the Pathfinder in the 2022 model year, so a brand-new version has a lot of upgrades compared to the 2020 version. That said, the 2023 Pathfinder is going to be much more expensive, as it starts at around $35,000.

Kia also redesigned the Sorento in the 2021 model year, so the 2023 version will be more expensive and quite different from the 2019 and 2020 versions. The 2023 Sorento starts at about $30,000.


2023 Nissan Pathfinder: 3 Reasons to Buy and 2 Reasons to Pass