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Mazda has earned a stellar reputation for producing some of the best SUVs. The commitment to design, safety, and innovation shines through in each vehicle. One of the best used compact SUVs under $30,000 is the CX-5 in various model years. With meticulous attention to detail, Mazda ensures that each SUV is built to last, making the reliable Mazda CX-5 an ideal choice for those seeking a dependable vehicle.

What’s the best used compact SUV under $30,000?

Mazda's best used compact SUVs
The 2018 Mazda CX-5 | Victor Decolongon/Getty Images for Mazda Motor Co.

While there are many good used compact SUVs, the 2018 Mazda CX-5 is the best of the best. Coming in first on the U.S. News list, many options come in under budget for the reliable 2018 model. Mazda’s compact SUV has a luxurious cabin and plenty of space for all five passengers.

People always comment that the CX-5 is fun to drive, and 2018 is no exception. Whether you go with front or all-wheel drive, fuel economy is between 24/24 mpg in the city and 30/31 mpg on the highway. Every trim level receives the 2.5L four-cylinder engine with 187 horsepower.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 CX-5 a five-star overall safety rating. It performed well in all of the crashworthiness tests. From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2018 SUV earned the Top Safety Pick Plus award.

What’s the best used compact SUV from 2020?

The Mazda CX-5 is one of the best used compact SUVs
A 2017 Mazda CX-5 | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

Further down on the list of used compact SUVs under $30,000, the 2020 Mazda CX-5 barely slides in under budget. You might have to go with a lower trim level or one with a few more miles on the odometer, but it is doable. As expected, the critically acclaimed 2020 CX-5 comes pretty decked out with modern features that some of the others might have missed.

The base engine is a 2.5L four-cylinder with 187 horsepower, like the 2018 version, but another option is available. An available turbocharged engine version gets 227 horsepower on regular fuel and 250 horsepower on premium fuel. Front-wheel drive is standard but all-wheel drive was an available option.

The 2020 CX-5 earned a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. On top of that, the IIHS made it a Top Safety Pick Plus winner.

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Returning to the impressive 2017 Mazda CX-5, this is another option for the best-used compact SUVs within budget. Since it is one of the older options, you can find most options under $25,000. The higher trim levels come with more standard safety features, which is always helpful. Like the other models, the 2017 CX-5 offers a comfortable ride and upscale cabin.

This version got the same engine and won many of the same awards. That includes an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus award and a four-star overall safety rating. That’s not back for a 2017 SUV. If you can swing the higher Grand Touring trim, added safety systems are beneficial and add value.

Although the brand might’ve been surprising for you, it doesn’t really come as a surprise to us anymore that Mazda has some of the best-used compact SUVs. Spacious, used, and reliable are all attributes of the CX-5, and these models should come in under $30,000 or so. Whether navigating city streets or embarking on a weekend adventure, Mazda’s commitment to quality makes these used compact SUVs a top-notch choice for any shoppers.


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