Consumer Reports Best Used Small SUVs for Teens Under $20,000

Is it time to buy your teen a car or SUV for the first time? Consumer Reports has some of the best used small SUVs for teens that won’t break the bank. These sport utility vehicles are safe, reliable, and have enough room for everything your teen might be toting to and from school.

The Honda CR-V is one of the best used small SUVs for teens

The best used small SUVs for teens under $20,000
A 2015 Honda CR-V SUV in red | Honda

A 2015 or newer Honda CR-V is a hot buy these days. That’s because it is one of the best used small SUVs for teens that comes in under $15,000. Consumer Reports approves of the reliable CR-V and gave the SUV high marks for reliability. After a few years, owners of this sport utility vehicle also report being pleased with it. Consumer Reports recommends the Honda CR-V every year from 2015 and newer as a reliable SUV option.

2015+ Honda CR-V: $14,900

Don’t overlook the Mazda CX-3 when looking for the best used small SUVs for teens

The 2019 Mazda CX-3 is a solid choice for used SUVs within budget. Consumer Reports found it under $20,000 and gave the Mazda high scores for reliability. It also returned 28 mpg overall during testing, which is pretty good for a 2019 vehicle. The owner satisfaction score was low for this small SUV, but it received good scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in its crash tests.

2019 Mazda CX-3: $19,200

The Hyundai Kona comes in both gas and electric

The 2018 and 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric made this list of the best small SUVs for teens. Finding a 2021 Kona will probably leave the new buyer with a warranty, but finding a 2018 Kona will probably be more affordable. Either way, the Kona is a “green choice” that returned an overall mileage of 120 mpge during testing. That works out to a range of 258 miles on a full charge. An electric vehicle like this might not work for all situations, so make sure you can access a charger before buying.

2018, 2021 Hyundai Kona: $18,100

The Mazda CX-5 is a good small SUV to buy

The 2014 Mazda CX-5, specifically the ones built after October 2013, is a reliable SUV within budget. This small SUV might leave some money left over for an oil change or a new set of tires depending on the mileage. The Mazda CX-5 SUV has high scores for reliability back through 2013, but some improvements later in the production year made the 2014 version a better buy.

2014 Mazda CX-5: $10,200

A 2017 Volvo XC60 is safe, affordable, and within budget


Consumer Reports Best American SUVs Under $50,000

Volvo is known for making safe cars, and the 2017 Volvo XC60 is no exception. This year received above-average scores for reliability, and owners reported being satisfied with the small SUV overall. The average retail price comes in just under the $20,000 budget, but the extra safety features are worth the price. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave this sport utility vehicle high scores on almost all of the safety tests.

2017 Volvo XC60: $19,400