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There are used SUVs to fit every budget, especially with the massive numbers of these vehicles in the market today. The 1990s brought us the SUV craze, and it never slowed. That means our affinity for Sport Utility Vehicles dates back nearly 30 years. We still have some massive body-on-frame versions, but most SUVs today ride on car platforms, making them crossovers. Could one of these affordable used vehicles be your future ride?

Setting the parameters for affordable used SUVs

The most affordable, or most anything, is a subjective quality requiring a set of parameters. The Consumer Alerts page of CBS42 brings us the iSeeCars report for used vehicles. The parameters set were size and price. The iSeeCars team analyzed over 12 million cars in the used market.

Winners of being the Best Used SUVs in this study were also determined using other factors, which are:

  • Longest-lasting
  • Best resale value
  • Highest average safety rating

Compact SUVs

In the compact class, the top five models are:

  • Mazda CX-3
  • Subaru Crosstrek
  • Honda HR-V
  • Chevrolet Trax
  • Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

What made the Mazda CX-3 the winner?

The 2019 Mazda CX-3 is among the most affordable used SUVs in the market
2019 Mazda CX-3 | Mazda

During this study, the Mazda CX-3 showed itself to be the top model. This vehicle offers sporty driving qualities, impressive styling, and an impressive list of standard safety and infotainment items. While one of the smallest vehicles in the SUV class, the CX-3 is a Top Safety Pick+ winner.

The Mazda CX-3 scored an 8.2 out of 10.

  • Reliability 6.1
  • Resale Value 8.4
  • Safety 10.0

The average price of a three-year-old model of the CX-3 is $22,703.

Small SUVs

Looking to the Small SUV category, the top five models are:

  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Subaru Outback
  • Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
  • Subaru Forester
  • Honda CR-V

How did the Jeep Wrangler earn top honors?

Gray Jeep Wrangler JK
Jeep Wrangler JK | Jeep

In this competition, the Wrangler stood out in the category for its durability and resale value. Some might not think of the Wrangler as a small SUV, but that is where the iSeeCars team rated it. This Jeep also offers above-average cargo capacity in this class.

The rating for the Jeep Wrangler is  9.2 out of 10.

  • Reliability 8.5
  • Resale value 9.8
  • Safety Score unavailable

A three-year-old Jeep Wrangler, you would pay $40,178.

Midsize SUVs

The top five used models in the midsize class are:

  • Toyota Highlander
  • Honda Pilot
  • Toyota 4Runner
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Ford Explorer

What gives the Toyota Highlander the highest rating?

The Toyota Highlander is among the most affordable used SUVs you can buy
Toyota Highlander on a dirt trail | Toyota

The Toyota Highlander is one of the longest-lasting SUVs with the highest resale values in the market today. This SUV is also a Top Safety Pick+ award winner. The Highlander is extremely popular among families, giving them a roomy area to enjoy the drive along with generous cargo space in the rear.

The rating for the Toyota Highlander is 8.9 out of 10.

  • Reliability 8.5
  • Resale Value 8.2
  • Safety Score 10.0

The average price for a three-year-old Toyota Highlander is $41,762.

Large SUVs

The five highest-rated large used SUVs are:

  • Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Toyota Sequoia
  • Ford Expedition
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • GMC Yukon

What makes the Toyota Land Cruiser the best in this class?

The Toyota Land Cruiser out on a dirt trail
Toyota Land Cruiser | Toyota

The Land Cruiser features impressive longevity, reliability, and resale scores similar to the Highlander. This rugged three-row SUV provides many near-luxury features for owners to enjoy when out on the roads or trails. There’s no argument that this Toyota is one of the most capable in its class.

The rating for the Toyota Land Cruiser is 9.2 out of 10.

  • Reliability 9.8
  • Resale Value 8.5
  • Safety Score not available

After three years, the average price for a Toyota Land Cruiser is $91,976.

Are the highest rated models the most affordable SUVs in each class?

Scotty Kilmer gives us his top-rated used SUVs

If we only look at the top five listed vehicles for each class, we will see the top-rated models aren’t always the most affordable. Starting from the smallest to the largest, the most affordable vehicle you can find in each of these used SUV classes is:

  • Compact SUV – Chevrolet Trax $21,738 average price
  • Small SUV – Honda CR-V $31,408 average price
  • Midsize SUV – Hyundai Santa Fe $29,774 average price
  • Large SUV – Chevrolet Tahoe $54,767 average price

Will you look for the top-rated used models in the class you’re shopping for, or will you consider something a little more affordable to drive?