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Best used family SUVs for less than £15,000

You can put a great family SUV on your driveway for less than £15,000 if you buy used, but which car should you choose? Here's a list of our top 10 favourites...

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by
Mark Pearson
Published04 January 2024

Family SUVs are stylish, practical and immensely popular; they offer the raised-up driving positions, spacious interiors and rugged looks that people love. 

Best used family SUVs for less than £15,000

The good news is they can be decently affordable, too, especially if you buy used. You can actually put an excellent example on your driveway for less than £15,000.

Our favourite used buy is the excellent Skoda Karoq. Our testers rate it highly as a new car and as a used one it offers such good age-for-age value for money that it easily heads our top 10 here. 

So, read on as we count down our top 10 list of the best on the market.

Our pick: 1.5 TSI SE L 5dr

0-62mph: 8.9 sec
MPG/range: 46mpg
CO2 emissions: 138g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 588 litres
Insurance group: 19E

Strengths

  • Spacious and practical interior
  • Comfortable ride
  • Punchy engines

Weaknesses

  • A little bland to drive
  • Not as efficient as some
  • VarioFlex seats optional on some models

The Karoq just edges out its broadly similar sibling the Seat Ateca to the top spot. It's extremely practical (even more so than the Ateca), plus it drives well and is excellent value for money. The ride is cosseting too, and it's decently refined in town and on a motorway. The Karoq’s greatest asset, though, is its interior, which is flexible, smart and beautifully built, with loads of space for all your passengers.

We found: 2020 Skoda Karoq 1.5 TSI SE Technology, 31,000 miles, £14,995

Find a used one for sale here

Our pick: 1.5 TSI EVO SE 5dr

0-62mph: 9 sec
MPG/range: 44.8mpg
CO2 emissions: 142g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 510 litres
Insurance group: 18E

Strengths

  • Spacious interior
  • Class-leading handling
  • Boot space pips rivals
  • Good value used

Weaknesses

  • Some rivals offer more flexible seating
  • Interior isn’t that plush
  • One or two are more economical

Another great family SUV, the Seat Ateca is one of the very best of its kind to drive – feeling sure-footed on a challenging B-road, nimble on city streets and refined on a motorway. It’s also backed up by a cracking range of engines. Practicality is still a top priority: the doors open wide to make putting a child car seat in easier, the boot is big and the interior is spacious. 

We found: 2020 Seat Ateca 1.0 TSI Ecomotive SE, 34,500 miles, £14,950

Find a used one for sale here

Strengths

  • Good to drive
  • Refinement
  • Smart interior

Weaknesses

  • Rearmost seats in the Allspace model are very tight
  • Handsome, but not very exciting to look at
  • Reliability average

The Volkswagen Tiguan has regularly been one of the most popular family SUVs around. This second-generation version is beautifully made and finished, and is also a solid performer, especially if you go for the torquey 2.0-litre that has no trouble carrying a car-load of people around (or towing a caravan). It's also refined, practical and spacious. 

We found: 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI S, 59,700 miles, £14,995

Find a used one for sale here

Strengths

  • Good to drive
  • High-quality interior
  • Spacious and practical

Weaknesses

  • Lots of road noise
  • Fairly pricey

Car buyers do like a premium brand, and they don’t come much more blue-chip than BMW. The X1 is great to drive, comes with bags of room inside and has a quality interior that features the excellent iDrive infotainment system. It's well equipped, too, and our most recent What Car? Reliability Survey found it to be one of the most reliable family SUVs available. 

We found: 2019 BMW X1 2.0 18d sDrive, 54,000 miles, £14,999

Find a used one for sale here

Our pick: 1.6T GDi 157 48V ISG 3 5dr

0-62mph: 9.8 sec
MPG/range: 44.1mpg
CO2 emissions: 146g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 562 litres

Strengths

  • Spacious and practical interior
  • Good value for money used
  • Neat steering

Weaknesses

  • Diesel engine can be noisy
  • So-so ride and handling
  • No automatic emergency braking on some models

The Kia Sportage in mid-spec ‘2’ trim has sat-nav, rear parking sensors, heated front seats, power-folding door mirrors, climate control, auto lights and wipers, and privacy glass. You'll also be getting one of the most dependable family SUVs available – as shown by our latest What Car? Reliability Survey – and it came with a seven-year warranty new, so there should be plenty of cover left. 

We found: 2019 Kia Sportage 1.6 GDi 2, 38,750 miles, £14,795

Find a used one for sale here

Our pick: 1.6 TGDi Hybrid 230 SE Connect 5dr 2WD Auto

0-62mph: 8 sec
MPG/range: 50.4mpg
CO2 emissions: 127g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 616 litres
Insurance group: 18E

Strengths

  • Plenty of space
  • Lots of equipment
  • Relatively cheap to buy used

Weaknesses

  • Plasticky interior
  • Firm ride
  • Some thirsty engines

The recent facelift of the Hyundai Tucson means that the values of earlier examples have dropped, meaning you can get a well-specified example easily within our budget. And we do mean well-specified: SE Nav comes with rear parking sensors, heated front seats, climate control and a reversing camera. Oh, and sat-nav. It's also comfortable, spacious and practical. 

We found: 2019 Hyundai Tucson 1.6 GDi SE Nav 2WD, 51,500 miles, £14,750

Find a used one for sale here

Our pick: 1.8 Hybrid Design 5dr CVT

0-62mph: 10.2 sec
MPG/range: 58.9mpg
CO2 emissions: 101g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 447 litres
Insurance group: 20E

Strengths

  • 1.2 petrol is good to drive
  • Plenty of equipment
  • Well built

Weaknesses

  • Hybrid model is noisy
  • Rivals are more practical
  • Infotainment isn't great

The Toyota C-HR handles sweetly, is swift enough for most needs and looks just as interesting inside as it does on the outside. All in, it's quite a departure for a conservative brand like Toyota. It's not as practical as one or two of the other cars on this list, but it's good to drive, comfortable and reliable. 

We found: 2019 Toyota C-HR 1.2T Icon, 40,000 miles, £14,900

Find a used one for sale here

Strengths

  • Fine refinement
  • Good motorway cruiser
  • High-quality interior

Weaknesses

  • No more space than a family hatch
  • Seating not especially versatile
  • Very firm S line suspension

A premium badge and a high-quality interior make the Audi Q3 a desirable used proposition. It also comes with a fine choice of punchy and efficient engines, decent refinement and tidy handling. It's a popular car so it holds its value well, and that means our budget only buys you a 2017/2018 version of the first-generation model, otherwise it might have finished higher on our list.

We found: 2018 Audi Q3 2.0 TDI 150 SE, 50,000 miles, £14,995

Find a used one for sale here

Strengths

  • Spacious interior
  • Bigger boot than sibling Nissan Qashqai
  • Quiet petrol engines

Weaknesses

  • So-so quality
  • Grabby brakes
  • Choppy ride on big alloys

Perhaps a little overshadowed by the more popular Nissan Qashqai (a shame, really, considering that the two are basically identical under the skin), the Renault Kadjar is a bit of a bargain. It has a big boot for all your pram and/or weekly shopping requirements, plus it can be had with a smooth 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine. It’s hardly exciting to drive, but it is refined and comfortable.  

We found: 2020 Renault Kadjar 1.3 TCe Iconic, 36,000 miles, £14,799

Find a used one for sale here

Our pick: 1.3 DiG-T MH N-Connecta 5dr

0-62mph: 10.2 sec
MPG/range: 44.1mpg
CO2 emissions: 144g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 479 litres
Insurance group: 12E

Strengths

  • Quiet and comfortable
  • Sips fuel
  • Lots of equipment

Weaknesses

  • Poor reliability
  • Ride suffers on 19in wheels
  • Limited rear visibility

The Nissan Qashqai was a trendsetter when it arrived and it continues to be a very popular choice. This second-generation car is quiet, comfortable and economical. The driving experience leaves room for improvement, as does its questionable reliability (see our latest What Car? Reliability Survey), but it remains a sensible, compelling choice. 

We found: 2020 Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DiG-T Acenta Premium, 37,000 miles, £14,495

Find a used one for sale here

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