Best Used Compact SUVs For Around $17,000

There are many exciting, new compact SUVs that are worth a look. But at the same time, you may not want to spend over $20,000 on a new one, and that’s understandable. To help you score a good deal, we’ve gathered a few of the best small SUVs you can buy used for around $17,000.

2017 Toyota RAV4

A white 2016 Toyota RAV4 off-road.
Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Critics have hailed Toyota’s RAV4 as the king of compact SUVs. The RAV4 is way ahead of its rivals thanks to its versatility and comfort. And as Consumer Reports highlights, the RAV4 is one of the most reliable small SUVs you can buy.

For one of the most affordable and modern versions of the RAV4, you’ll want to shop for 2017 models. The 2017 RAV4 features a 176-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic. When it was new, CR said that the RAV4 rides better than its competitors, and it has the best fuel economy for an SUV that’s not a hybrid. 

The 2017 RAV4 also offers modern in-car tech. Toyota made advanced safety features, including forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking standard for 2017. This RAV4 also came with Bluetooth connectivity and a touchscreen display.

2016 Honda CR-V

A 2015 Honda CR-V parked on the street
A 2015 Honda CR-V | Jonathan Wong/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

The 2016 Honda CR-V is another recommended choice by CR. The CR-V is arguably the RAV4’s greatest rival. Like the RAV4, the CR-V has excellent reliability ratings and good resale value.

The 2016 CR-V has a 185-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder linked to a continuously variable automatic transmission. The CR-V isn’t the most exciting to drive, and it can feel stiff at times. Still, the 2016 CR-V is a pleasant and secure ride overall. On the inside, you’ll appreciate the CR-V for its generous passenger and cargo space. 

2017 Mazda CX-5

A gray 2017 Mazda CX-5 out on a sunny day
The Mazda CX-5 | Photo by National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

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Mazda’s CX-5 is ideal for drivers who want sporty driving dynamics and a luxury-inspired interior. Mazda redesigned the CX-5 for 2017, and it impressed critics with its responsive handling and quietness. The 2017 CX-5 gets its zippiness from a 187-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder paired to a six-speed automatic. 

The CX-5 also gets points for its incredibly peaceful cabin. Outside noise is subdued, and its interior is dashing. One drawback to consider here is that the CX=5’s outward visibility isn’t the greatest.

2017 Subaru Forester 

A Subaru Forester – sibling to the Subaru Outback – on display at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show
The Subaru Forester | Sergei FadeichevTASS via Getty Images

For exceptional visibility, you’ll want to consider the Subaru Forester. The 2017 version is a good choice for a modern vehicle with excellent fuel efficiency and off-road capability. Furthermore, the Forester is a standout because of its standard all-wheel-drive. 

As CR pointed out, most 2017 Foresters will have a 170-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder with a CVT. Unlike some of its classmates, the 2017 Forester offers user-friendly tech, including a standard 6.2-inch touchscreen. Some models will have Subaru’s Eyesight safety features. 

2018 Hyundai Tucson 

Hyundai Tuscon in the desert
Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai

The 2018 Hyundai Tucson isn’t the most fun but is likable enough. To stay on the cheaper end of the spectrum, look for standard 2018 Tuscons with the 164-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder. This Hyundai is also a worthy choice if you want an extra roomy interior. The Tucson also offers lots of intuitive tech.