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Thinking about getting into a used SUV for some weekend adventures? The 2021 Mazda CX-5 and 2021 Jeep Wrangler SUVs can be found slightly used these days but with plenty of life left. For those who want to spend more time enjoying the drive and don’t necessarily need a brand-new sport utility vehicle, let’s compare these two options.

What is the best used SUV to drive?

Looking at Edmunds listing for the 2021 Mazda CX-5 shows plenty of reasons this is a good used SUV, but the steering and handling are highlights. Drivers say that the CX-5 is fun to drive and has a cabin that looks more luxurious than you might expect. While the base engine is powerful enough, the optional turbo only adds to the fun behind the wheel.

With a starting MSRP of $25,370 when new, iSeeCars says a used CX-5 is around $22,652 for a three-year-old option. The CX-5 earned a reliability score of 7.2. All-wheel drive is an option for those needing more control on the roads.

Those who want to enjoy the daily commute and need a used SUV option might find that in this vehicle. If you are looking for light thrill-seeking while rolling through the Target parking lot or the child pickup line, this Mazda checks all the boxes. The general consensus is that the Mazda SUV is one of the reasonably-priced options from the past few years that still has plenty of life left.

Does Jeep make a good used SUV?

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler is actually an excellent used SUV option for a few reasons. Jeep makes plenty of sport utility vehicles, but the Wrangler is quite popular. It is one of the most capable off-road vehicles anyone can purchase from the factory for around $40,000. Purchasing the Wrangler new allows you to customize the SUV off the production line, but there are endless ways to upgrade and customize the Wrangler after the fact.

There are also various engine choices, some of which offer better fuel economy or more power. Depending on how you plan to use the Wrangler, there are engines for all. This won’t be as comfortable as a Mazda CX-5 for a daily driver, but it makes up for the on-road manners while off the beaten path. iSeeCars said the Wrangler is the most reliable SUV in the small and compact SUV category, with a score of 8.5. The Wrangler has an average cost of $40,178, which is a lot higher than the Mazda SUVs.

Plenty of cheap used Wranglers are out there, but be sure to thoroughly inspect any vehicle before buying it. Drivers love to push this SUV to the limits, and the Jeep is happy to oblige. Jeep is going to offer a higher price, but it also tends to retain value better.

The Mazda CX-5 is comfortable, just as the Jeep Wrangler is capable

The best used SUV battle between this Mazda and Jeep continues
The 2021 Mazda CX-5 and the 2021 Jeep Wrangler | Mazda, Jeep

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the off-road option a four-star overall safety rating, with high marks in many of the crash tests. Mazda’s CX-5 earned a five-star overall safety rating, earning top marks in the crashworthiness tests. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety also made it a Top Safety Pick Plus winner.

The best SUV is going to be the one that fits your lifestyle the most. If you have any plans to go off-road, the Jeep Wrangler is going to be a better choice. Those who want comfort and on-road capability will be happy with the CX-5. Higher safety scores are certainly a benefit, too.


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