New cars remain hard to find, which means used cars are still expensive. Consumer Reports has some reliable used SUVs under $15,000 that might fit your needs. With good safety scores, reasonable fuel economy numbers, and affordable prices, these sport utility vehicles check all the boxes.
This Honda CR-V is a reliable used SUV for under $15,000
The Honda CR-V has a long history of being a reliable SUV. Consumer Reports recommends the 2012-2013 Honda CR-V specifically as an option under $15,000. This Honda sport utility vehicle has high marks for reliability and owner satisfaction. Consumer Reports calls it “affordable and functional.” It has room in the back for cargo, but passengers fit comfortably in the cabin.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2012 CR-V many “good” scores on its crashworthiness tests. Owners reported an average of 24 mpg overall, which isn’t bad for a 10-year-old SUV. You should be able to find one under $15,000 without issue.
Average Retail Price: $12,625 – $14,950
Check out the Mazda CX-5 for a reliable used SUV under $15,000
Another reliable used SUV for under $15,000, the 2013-2015 Mazda CX-5, is a recommended option from Consumer Reports. Both the reliability score and owner satisfaction impressed the experts at CR. The IIHS gave the 2013 Mazda CX-5 SUV the Top Safety Pick award this year.
Some of the reliability trouble spots, such as the engine, transmission, and drive system, were not an issue for this model. Owners reported being pleased with the value and styling of this used Mazda SUV, and 68% would repurchase the car. The owner reported mpg for these years was between 25 and 27 mpg overall.
Average Retail Price: $10,600 – $15,175
Don’t overlook the 2012 Toyota RAV4 sport utility vehicle
Toyota is the king of reliable used SUVs for under $15,000, and the 2012 RAV4 is no different. Consumer Reports gave this sport utility vehicle high marks for reliability, and the owner satisfaction score wasn’t bad. The IIHS gave it good scores on most of the crashworthiness tests performed. On the tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2012 RAV4 received many five-star scores.
Owners of the RAV4 SUV report being satisfied with the driving experience, and 66% would buy it again. The engine and transmission also receive high marks from owners. Automatic emergency braking is included, and this SUV has room for seven passengers. The owner reported mpg came out to 23.
Average Retail Price: $11,550 – $14,375
These three options are a good starting point, if nothing else. Since Consumer Reports gives the best years to look for, you might be able to find a good deal on a model in that time frame. All options received the “recommended” accolade, which is a good jumping-off point.