The Top-Rated Used Compact SUVs on the Market in 2018

As the 2019 models roll into dealerships, new-car consumers will be wowed by the latest products on the market. In the span of a few months, we’ll get fully redesigned editions of the Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4.

But that doesn’t mean every consumer will be able to take advantage. As gas prices continue rising along with the cost of new-vehicle technology, many will turn to the used market to find a utility vehicle for the coming years.

Fortunately for compact SUV buyers, there are many excellent models on the market from the past few years. Here are the seven top-rated compact crossovers in Consumer Reports rankings since 2014.

7. GMC Terrain

2016 GMC Terrain Denali | GMC
  • Best years: 2014, 2016-17

The GMC Terrain had its best reliability ratings in 2014 and posted consistent owner satisfaction ratings from that year through 2017 (with the exception of 2015). As in the redesigned model, you’ll find plenty of space, a quiet cabin, and adequate power in this Terrain.

On the used market, shoppers can find one from $12,000-$25,000, depending on the options and mileage you want in a vehicle.

6. Chevrolet Equinox

2016 Chevrolet Equinox | General Motors
  • Best years: 2014, 2016-17

The Chevrolet Equinox shares a compact SUV platform with the GMC Terrain, and it also shares that model’s high ratings in reliability and owner satisfaction. Over the past five years, standout models came in 2014, 2016, and 2017 ($11,000-$22,000).

If there is one downside to the Terrain and Equinox, it would be fuel economy. Neither has rated highly in that department in recent years.

5. Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport | Hyundai
  • Best years: 2014-16

Automakers always covet a Consumer Reports recommendation, and the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport nabbed four straight from 2014-17. Elite reliability, solid owner satisfaction, and decent fuel economy are what testers liked best.

This model is a bit larger than the standard compact SUV, so consumers who want extra space but not the larger Santa Fe should consider this one. Used models from this period sell for between $14,000 and $23,000.

4. Honda CR-V

2016 Honda CR-V | Honda
  • Best years: 2014-17

The reputation of the Honda CR-V was settled long ago. It’s been one of the most reliable vehicles of the decade and scores highly in owner satisfaction as well.

Any model from the last five years ranks among the top-rated compact SUVs on the used market. Since the CR-V holds its value so well, you’ll likely pay above $14,000 even for a 2014 model.

3. Mazda CX-5

Mazda CX-5 Crossover in soul red crystal
2017 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda
  • Best years: 2015-17

If you browse listings for a 2015-17 Mazda CX-5, you’ll be looking at two different models. However, all three carry high ratings in reliability and owner satisfaction.

As far as the driving experience goes, a ’17 or later CX-5 (starting around $19,000) will be as good a vehicle as you”ll find in this segment. But the 2015-16 models ($13,000-$21,000) are still Mazdas, and you’ll enjoy the drive whenever you get behind the wheel.

2. Toyota RAV4

2016 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota
  • Best years: 2015-17

Few will be surprised to find the Toyota RAV4 near the top of its class. This compact model checks in with the highest reliability ratings and solid customer satisfaction ratings year after year.

Meanwhile, fuel economy in the hybrid model (32 mpg) ranks among the best an SUV will record. Any model from 2015-17 ($16,000-$25,000) will get you your money’s worth.

1. Subaru Forester

2016 Subaru Forester | Subaru
  • Best years: 2015-17

Overall, you can’t beat the strong reliability, high owner satisfaction ratings, or solid fuel economy of a Subaru Forester from the 2015-17 era. Meanwhile, Forester rates high for cargo capacity, interior comfort, and driver visibility as well.

The other thing about shopping for a used Forester is, every one has all-wheel drive. You don’t need to check the listings for this one, and they start around $16,000 for a ’15 model.