The Best Used SUVs Under $20,000 According to Consumer Reports

Shopping for a used SUV can be stressful. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be, especially if you’re shopping for the best used SUVs under $20,000. As a matter of fact, Consumer Reports has already done all of the heavy lifting. Let’s talk about their picks for the best used SUVs under $20,000.

Shopping for a used SUV isn’t just a great way to save money

A silver 2012 Toyota 4Runner, one of the best used SUVs under $20,000
2012 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

Buying a used SUV instead of a newer model isn’t just a great way to save money, says Consumer Reports. In fact, buying a used SUV could not only save you a few bucks but also get you behind the wheel of an SUV that offers more safety and luxury features than you could afford if you were shopping for a new car.

But how do you choose the best used SUV for satisfying your daily driving needs? Especially if you’re shopping for a used SUV under $20,000. Easy. Look to Consumer Reports, which recently highlighted the best used SUVs under $20,000.

Consumer Reports says these are the best used small SUVs under $20,000

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Not everyone needs a hulking SUV. For those in the market for an SUV that’s on the smaller side of things, Consumer Reports recommends the 2015 to 2016 Honda CR-V ($15,825 – $21,475). These used Honda CR-V models benefit from improved handling and reduced road noise. Consumer Reports also gave both the 2015 and 2016 Honda CR-V a five out of five reliability rating.

For another used Honda SUV under $20,000, consider a 2016 or 2018 Honda HR-V ($14,700 – $17,875). While the HR-V didn’t earn the best owner satisfaction ratings, this used Honda is fuel-efficient. Consumer Reports added that its interior is as cargo-friendly as it is versatile too.

Now, those aren’t the only options. Consumer Reports also included the 2018 to 2019 Hyundai Kona ($18,400 – $24,325) and the 2016 to 2017 Mazda CX-5 among its list of the best used small SUVs under $20,000. Both models earned high marks in terms of reliability and, while they are more expensive than both the Honda CR-V and the Honda HR-V, they won’t have you breaking the bank anytime soon. 

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In the market for a used midsize model instead? According to Consumer Reports, the Lexus RX is among the best used SUVs under $20,000. Shop for a 2013 or 2014 model and Consumer Reports says you can expect to spend between $17,350 – $19,150. 

An affordable price isn’t all the used Lexus RX has going for it either. “Ride comfort is a strong point, and the cabin is quiet. Inside is a well-finished interior with comfortable seats and room for five,” Consumer Reports added.

Consumer Reports also included both the Toyota 4Runner and the Toyota Highlander in its list of the best used midsize SUVs under $20,000. While a 2011 to 2012 used Toyota 4Runner ($16,825 – $20,300) will be best suited for off-roading, Consumer Reports says the 2013 to 2014 used Toyota Highlander ($16,900 – $22,825) “delivers frugal gas mileage, excellent reliability, and good road manners.”

Buying a used SUV doesn’t have to break the bank

Buying a used SUV doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive. In fact, as Consumer Reports’ data shows, there are plenty of used SUVs under $20,000 that are worth your consideration. So why not take one of these options out for a test drive? After all, that is the best way to find out if a used SUV is a good fit for you.