Best cheap SUVs for sale

You don’t have to spend a fortune to bag yourself a high-quality used SUV. Here are our favourite top value SUVs

BuyaCar team
Jun 8, 2022
Renault Kadjar front

SUVs, with their chunky looks, high-up driving position and hatchback-like practicality make for an appealing prospect for all sorts of drivers. You may think going for a large SUV means spending big money, but that needn't be the case - there are plenty of more affordable options available.

A majority of the SUVs we see on the road these days might look rough and ready to tackle harsh off-road terrain, but in most cases they're built predominantly with smooth on-road driving in mind. It's the confidence-inspiring size and height that makes them popular, even though smaller SUV models feel, for the most part, like regular hatchbacks from behind the wheel. That increased distance from the road helps to make SUVs more comfortable, but that tends to be at the expense of driver engagement.

One way these higher-riding cars do differ from regular family hatchbacks - at least when it comes to new models - is their price. SUVs are generally more expensive than standard family hatchbacks like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf - even when they could be very similarly equipped, a similar size and often share many mechanical components.

But there are a growing amount of cheaper SUVs becoming available on the used car market, and we've put together this list of some of the best, yet most affordable options, to help you get an idea of what's on offer.

Cheapest used SUV UK

1. Suzuki Vitara

Best cheap SUV for value for money

Our pick Suzuki Vitara 1.6 SZ5 Allgrip
Used deals from £9,499
Monthly finance from £214*

This latest version of the Suzuki Vitara is good value as a new car because it leaves out expensive luxuries that often make little difference, apart from inflating the price - such as squidgy dashboards and having the most high-tech options - in favour of a hard-wearing and spacious interior and providing an enjoyable drive.

It's not been made on the cheap though, and that's clear when you feel the car's stability over bumps and through corners, with the suspension keeping bouncing and leaning in check, which contributes towards the Vitara offering a surprisingly sporty drive for a car of this type. It's still perfectly comfortable, though.

You can have it in cheaper two-wheel-drive form, but the four-wheel-drive version badged 'Allgrip' is only available in high-specification SZ5 trim. This brings more comfort and equipment, including a panoramic sunroof, and older models are still affordable.


2. Mazda CX-5

Best cheap SUV for all-round competence

Our pick Mazda CX-5 2.2d Sport
Used deals from £14,800
Monthly finance from £330*

The current, second-generation CX-5 was launched in 2017. Like its predecessor, it’s still an exceptionally good choice of family car, with plenty of space for adults in the front and back, plus a big boot. It’s good-looking too, with flowing curves rather than the more angular lines of many alternative SUVs.

But the CX-5 really impresses in the way that it drives. You can almost forget the height and bulk; its precise cornering feel and grip put you in mind of a small and nimble hatchback, while it also remains steady on rough roads.

The CX-5 is available with a fuel-efficient diesel engine and as a petrol model, but the more effortless power delivery of the diesel suits this relatively heavy car best.


3. Toyota RAV4

Best cheap SUV for space

Our pick Toyota RAV4 2.0 D4-D Icon
Used deals from £13,000
Monthly finance from £402*

The Toyota RAV4 offers an enormous amount of room for a very reasonable price. Interior space is excellent, especially in the back, thanks to the car’s flat floor. The 547-litre boot will swallow five occupants’ luggage with comparative ease, too, meaning you shouldn't have to choose between carrying lots of passengers or lots of luggage.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine available in the RAV4 is economical and should return around 50mpg in normal driving with very little effort. Unlike the CX-5 above, the RAV4 is focused on providing the most comfortable ride rather than being sporty for the driver.


4. Renault Kadjar

Best cheap SUV for fuel economy

Our pick Renault Kadjar 1.5 dCi Dynamique
Used deals from £9,810
Monthly finance from £205*

The Renault Kadjar shares its mechanical parts with the Nissan Qashqai, as the brands are part of the same parent company. The Kadjar is slightly newer than the Nissan and - more importantly - it's has a bigger boot too, making it the better choice for many drivers.

Kadjars powered by the 1.2-litre or 1.3-litre petrol engine are nippy at lower speeds and more cost-effective for lower-mileage drivers.

Going for a diesel engine is better for those who do many longer journeys, however, as you can expect around 55mpg. This should save you money in the long run compared with fuel costs for an equivalent petrol model.


5. Nissan Qashqai

Best cheap SUV for a broad range of models

Our pick Nissan Qashqai 1.5 DCi Acenta
Used deals from £7,490
Monthly finance from £253*

The Nissan Qashqai is the default choice for a lot of SUV buyers on a budget because it's an impressive all-round package, offering comfort, good fuel economy and a keen price.

The boot might be a little on the small side, but it remains the choice of hundreds of thousands of families. The second-generation car now offers great value on the used market, especially with the introduction of a new Qashqai in 2021.

Petrol and diesel options are available too, as well as a choice of two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, so you should be able to find a Qashqai to suit your needs.


6. Jeep Renegade

Best cheap SUV for rough terrain

Our pick Jeep Renegade 1.6 Multijet II Longitude
Used deals from £9,490
Monthly finance from £0*

The rugged and utilitarian design of the smallest Jeep isn't just for show. Opt for one of the higher-specification models with four-wheel drive and it will shrug off muddy tracks and steep, slippery hills with ease. It really is a capable off-roader if you need to head onto rough roads.

Most drivers will find the cheaper two-wheel-drive Renegade versions perfectly adequate, though, and these are not only cheaper to purchase but more economical, too. The interior is as characterful as the outside. Some of the materials don't feel particularly plush but the boxy shape does create a good amount of interior space.


7. Peugeot 3008

Best cheap SUV for practicality

Our pick Peugeot 3008 1.6 HDi Allure
Used deals from £6,200
Monthly finance from £240*

The latest Peugeot 3008 is one of the best family SUVs you can get, with its stylish design, futuristic interior and excellent all-round quality feel. However, it remains much more expensive than the model it replaced. Although it isn't quite as loved as the current car, the previous-generation 3008 can cost less than half the price of a later model and while it's nowhere near as exciting to look at, it still offers plenty for the money.

You get loads of space, high equipment levels and practical touches - such as an adjustable boot floor - which make this 3008 ideal for family use. Engineered for comfort, it has soft suspension that soaks up the impacts over bumps, but causes the car to lean a little in fast corners - so it's best enjoyed by smooth drivers.

Earlier 2013 cars have diesel engines that don't meet the latest emissions standards, so be cautious of this if you're going to head into cities that impose clean air zones like London's ULEZ.


8. BMW X1

Best cheap SUV for a sporty drive

Our pick BMW X1 xDrive18d SE
Used deals from £13,790
Monthly finance from £324*

A high-riding SUV it may not be, but the compact X1 still feels sporty like a traditional BMW, with plenty of grip and very little lean in the corners. The ride is smooth, too, unless you find a car with optional M Sport suspension, which makes it much harder and less comfortable. That means that those after the most comfortable ride would be better off avoiding models with sports suspension.

The X1 18d's 2.0-litre diesel engine is a good compromise between power, economy and price. You can expect around 45mpg in real-world driving, so you shouldn't have to spend too much fuelling the X1.


9. Honda CR-V

Best cheap SUV for easy ownership

Our pick Honda CR-V 2.0 i-VTEC SE
Used deals from £9,295
Monthly finance from £567*

The Honda CR-V is a great option if you need a big five-seat SUV. It's fairly comfortable, even to the extent that the rear seat backs recline a little, but not as smooth over rough roads as the best in class. This may look like an off-roader, but it is very much designed to be driven on the road.

Unusually for this size of SUV, there's a reasonable choice of petrol versions, as well as diesel. Petrol fuel economy is around 30mpg in real-world driving, compared with 40mpg for the diesel options, so drivers who cover high mileages will want to choose diesel, but everyone else is likely to benefit more from the lower initial costs of a petrol version.


10. Volkswagen Tiguan

Best cheap SUV for lasting quality

Our pick Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI BlueMotion Tech Match
Used deals from £11,250
Monthly finance from £291*

The Volkswagen Tiguan is essentially a Golf that's been raised and made to look more rugged, and it looks and feels a cut above the Nissan Qashqai as a result. With a popular newer version having been on sale for several years, prices for this previous version are much lower than they used to be, so you can get a lot of upmarket SUV for your budget here.

The Tiguan is much more spacious than a Golf, too, with a sliding rear seat that can be moved backwards to increase legroom, or forward for more boot space, so adults in the rear seats can really stretch out, or you can squeeze the rear seats forward to create a whopping 615 litres of load space.


*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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