The 3 Best Used Crossover SUVs Under $20k—According to MotorTrend

If you’re on the hunt for an affordable used SUV, you’re in luck. MotorTrend compared current used crossover SUV prices with its reviews of said vehicles when they were brand new to rank the best used crossover SUVs under $20k. Its top three options are three very different vehicles.

2018 Subaru Forester

Promo photo of a beige Subaru Forester driving along a road, the woods behind it a green blur.
2018 Subaru Forester | Subaru

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People can’t seem to get enough of the Subaru Forester. The fourth-generation of this crossover SUV even won MotorTrend’s SUV of the year when it debuted in 2018. What’s so great about the Forester? Its claim to fame is that every model comes equipped with AWD that excels at traction in any weather conditions. In addition, the Forester offers an especially spacious cabin with excellent visibility.

One downside of the Subaru Forester is its immense popularity: it holds its value very well on the used car market. This makes sense because AWD SUVs command a premium price anyway. You can find a used 2018 Subaru Forester SUV for under $20k, but it may require searching for a while. In addition, Subaru was slow to roll out Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, so base model 2018 Foresters won’t have this modern feature. MotorTrend also warns against the 2.0XT trim, recommending the 2.5i instead.

2018-2020 Mitsubishi Outlander

An orange 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander crossover SUV parked in front of a black studio background for a publicity photo.
2020 Mitsubishi Outlander | Mitsubishi

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Mitsubishi carefully studied the crossover SUV market before engineering its Outlander to fill an important niche at a compelling price point. The result is one of the most affordable third-row SUVs on the market. Reviewers find the seats comfortable and the cargo room plentiful, though that third row is not large enough for adults.

One pro tip from MotorTrend is that Mitsubishi dealers are few and far between, so make sure you can get your Outlander serviced nearby before buying a used one. Also note that while you can get into an Outlander for $17k on average, a used AWD SUV will probably command more than $20k. Finally, this generation of the Outlander may feel a bit dated by new car standards: its engine is not especially powerful, and its driver-aid software is rudimentary. But if you need three rows on a budget, the Outlander is an excellent choice.

2018-19 Kia Soul

A red 2019 Kia Soul crossover SUV facing away from the camera as the sun sets over a lake in the background.
2019 Kia Soul | KIa

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You cannot buy a Kia Soul with AWD. It’s also a small crossover that only has room for five. But if you’re still reading, this might be the vehicle for you. As compact, FWD crossovers go, the Kia Soul checks nearly every box: Its boxy size gives it ample cargo space and a unique look. It is quiet on the highway and handles better than its competitors. Finally, it is a very affordable used crossover SUV.

Kia introduced the Soul for 2010. Then it rolled out the second generation for 2014, and a third generation in 2020. This means that pre-2020 Souls look “dated” and don’t command as much value on the used market. This is one of the reasons that the average 2018 and 2019 Kia Soul goes for just $16k.

Next, find out how much you can save by buying a used hybrid SUVs or see more SUVs under $20k in the video below:

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