The Best Cheap Used SUVs Under $5,000 According to KBB

These days, buying a used SUV can get expensive. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. In fact, when it comes to shopping for a cheap used SUV, Kelley Blue Book reports that there are plenty of used SUVs under $5,000 that are worth your consideration. Let’s check them out.

The 2004 Honda Element is a cheap used SUV under $5,000

An orange 2004 Honda Element at the beach, the Element is one of the best cheap used SUVs under $5,000
2004 Honda Element EX | Honda

There’s a lot to like about the 2004 Honda Element, Kelley Blue Book reports. In fact, it’s one of the best cheap used SUVs under $5,000. Kelley Blue Book reports that the reason for that all comes down to reliability. While Consumer Reports gave the Honda Element a three out of five reliability rating, RepairPal gave the 2004 Element an Above Average reliability rating.

It doesn’t cost all that much to own this cheap used SUV, either. According to RepairPal, the average annual repair cost for this used SUV is approximately $491, meaning it has lower than average ownership costs. And when issues do arise? RepairPal reports that more often than not, they’re pretty minor.

Consider the 2004 Honda CR-V for a used SUV under $5,000

A gold 2004 Honda CR-V parked down by the river
2004 Honda CR-V | Honda

The 2004 Honda Element isn’t the only used SUV under $5,000 that Kelley Blue Book highlighted, either. The 2004 Honda CR-V also made the list. Though, it’s no surprise as to why. According to Kelley Blue Book, this used SUV is good at just about everything.

The CR-V has a reputation for being reliable. Consumer Reports even gave the 2004 model a four out of five reliability rating. That’s not all the 2004 Honda CR-V has going for it either. “It’s practical and fuel-efficient, with an interior that’s roomy for a vehicle this size,” says Kelley Blue Book.

Pick the 2001 Toyota Highlander for a cheap used SUV 

A maroon 2001 Toyota Highlander, the 2001 Toyota Highlander is one of the best cheap used SUVs under $5,000
2001 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

Say neither the 2004 Honda Element nor the Honda CR-V is quite your style. If that’s the case, Kelley Blue Book presents another used SUV under $5,000: the 2001 Toyota Highlander. According to Kelley Blue Book, this cheap used SUV is as reliable as it is versatile. 

But first, let’s talk about how reliable this used SUV is. Consumer Reports gave it a five out of five reliability rating. And when it comes to versatility? This SUV is available with all-wheel drive and, according to Car and Driver, is an “all-weather specialist.” 

The 2003 Toyota RAV4 is a cheap used SUV with a good reputation 

A silver 2003 Toyota RAV4
2003 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

For another used Toyota SUV under $5,000, check out the 2003 Toyota RAV4. Recognized as one of the original compact SUVs, Kelley Blue Book reports that this used RAV4 is an excellent value because of its “well-earned reputation for safety, reliability, and efficiency.” Kelley Blue Book isn’t wrong either.

As a matter of fact, Consumer Reports gave the 2003 Toyota RAV4 a three out of five reliability rating. Meanwhile, the EPA reports that this used RAV4 can deliver an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. That’s not bad.

The 2005 Honda Pilot is the best cheap used SUV under $5,000

2005 Honda Pilot driving alongside a mountain
2005 Honda Pilot EX | Honda

The 2005 Honda Pilot also found itself on Kelley Blue Book’s list of the best used SUVs under $5,000. This spacious SUV boasts three rows of seating and is the perfect option for families on the go. It also comes standard with a V6 engine, which Kelley Blue Book says contributes to its car-like ride.

The 2005 Honda Pilot is reliable too. Consumer Reports gave it a four out of five reliability rating. It also gave it a four out of five owner satisfaction rating. Owners of this used SUV have been most happy with the vehicle’s driving performance and overall value, says Consumer Reports. Approximately 71% of 2005 Honda Pilot owners went so far as to say they would rebuy the SUV too.

Finding the best cheap used SUV for your driving needs

If you’re shopping for a used SUV on a budget, there are plenty of cheap used SUVs worth checking out. To find the best model for your driving needs, we recommend starting with this list and taking a few of these used SUVs under $5,000 out for a test drive.

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