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Best used luxury SUVs

A luxury SUV can make you feel like a millionaire, but if you follow the advice of this top 10 you won’t need a lottery win to afford one...


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Max Adams

Used luxury SUVs

What do lottery winners, Premier League football players and pop stars have in common? It seems they all covet luxury SUVs. And it seems that you do, too, judging by the way these vehicles have risen up the list of our most popular reviews.

Fortunately, you don't need to have the income of the top one per cent if you buy one used. So, to help you decide which model to go for we’ve put together a list of the top 10 used luxury SUVs. We've not set any price limits because each example is worth considerably less than when it was new, representing good value for money for used car buyers.

So, read on and we'll tell you which ones should be on your shortlist...

10

Volkswagen Touareg

Used Volkswagen Touareg 10-18

Just because it wears a Volkswagen badge doesn’t mean the Touareg isn't luxurious. What’s more, many from this generation did without complicated off-road hardware and adjustable suspension, so should prove to be less expensive to maintain than rivals.

Although it didn't feature in our most recent reliability survey, the Touareg has also consistently been one of the most reliable cars of its type. And you can purchase one of the Touaregs of this generation for a fraction of the price of the next car on our list...

We found: 2016 Volkswagen Touareg 3.0 TDI V6 R-line Bluemotion, 60,000 miles, £19,500

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Pros

  • Supple ride
  • Excellent handling

Cons

  • Plain interior
  • Thirsty
9

Bentley Bentayga

Used Bentley Bentayga 16-present

The Bentley Bentayga is about as subtle to look at as one of 50 Cent’s customised watches. However, that hasn’t stopped it being a very desirable addition to the Bentley range – not to mention a highly practical one.

The short-lived 4.0-litre diesel V8 is the most economical engine out there, returning an average of 35mpg, but the most numerous version is the 6.0 W12 in which you’ll be lucky to get half that.

Being a Bentley, the Bentayga is the priciest entrant on this list, but most were ordered with a considerable list of expensive options, making them better value than they first appear. 

We found: 2016 Bentley Bentayga 6.0 W12, 45,000 miles, £86,995

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Pros

  • Luxurious interior
  • Strong performance
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Hugely expensive
  • High running costs
  • Only average interior space
8

BMW X5

Used BMW X5 13-present

Bringing this list back down to Earth is the BMW X5, a car that rewrote the rule book on how big, tall and very heavy SUVs should handle. Like the Bentley, the X5 can be had with seven seats, although the rearmost ones are quite tight for space.

Go for one of the excellent 3.0-litre diesels for the best blend of economy and performance, or for a two-wheel drive, four-cylinder diesel to save fuel. There’s even a plug-in hybrid that makes sense if you happen to only commute short distances and have easy access to a charging point.

An all-new fourth-generation model replaced this one in 2019, but you'll still need quite a lot of money to put one on your driveway, and we think this one's better overall value. 

We found: 2017 BMW X5 xDrive30d M Sport, 42,000 miles, £29,995

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Pros

  • Good to drive
  • 25d model is economical
  • Can seat seven

Cons

  • Expensive to buy
  • Newer rivals beat it for interior quality
  • Diesel engines could be quieter
7

Audi Q8

Audi Q8

Up until now, we’ve mostly focused on practicality, but the plush Audi Q8 gives luxury SUV buyers a more rakish shape at the expense of some interior space. It's also well equipped and rides well. 

It shares components with the high-performance Lamborghini Urus, so the handling is pretty decent, plus the 3.0-litre diesel engine in the 50 TDI is very swift indeed. And if the latest results we have from our reliability survey for its sibling, the Q7, are anything to go by, it should also prove to be reliable. 

We found: 2018 Audi Q8 50 TDI S Line, 10,000 miles, £44,750

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Pros

  • Spacious interior
  • Fantastic build quality
  • Very quiet

Cons

  • Limited engine choice
  • Expensive road tax
  • Fiddly infotainment system
6

Mercedes GLE

Used Mercedes GLE (15-present)

If you like your SUVs large, plush and imposing, the Mercedes GLE should be right up your street. From its bluff, chrome-laden nose to its tall, vertical tail end, it’s every bit as you’d imagine a Mercedes SUV to be, and that’s made it a popular choice with buyers.

The GLE was not a new car when it arrived on the scene in 2015. In fact, it was a revised version of the third-generation Mercedes M-Class, with tweaks to the styling and the interior, a new nine-speed automatic gearbox and a new plug-in hybrid option. The model range is relatively simple but very well equipped. Inside, you sit high up, giving you a commanding view and the interior is very smart.

Used models are very competitively priced and the GLE finished in an excellent third place in the luxury SUV class in our most recent reliability survey. Only 18% of all GLEs went wrong at all, with engine electrics and the steering the only areas affected.

We found: 2017 Mercedes GLE 250d 4Matic AMG Line Premium, 45,000 miles, £28,995

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Pros

  • Powerful engines
  • Huge boot
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Ponderous handling
  • Finicky infotainment
  • Lumbering ride quality
5

Porsche Cayenne

Used Porsche Cayenne 10-17

If the BMW X5 was the car to show the world how to make big SUVs handle like a well-sorted estate car, then the Porsche Cayenne was the one to make them feel like a sports car.

Admittedly, its ride can be a bit firm compared with other luxury SUVs, but the upside is that it can negotiate a country road far faster than any other off-roader. And it isn’t just quick in the corners; there’s a Turbo S version with 562bhp that makes mincemeat of any straight. We’d stick with the very impressive 3.0-litre diesel for some more respectable fuel economy figures, mind. 

We found: 2017 Porsche Cayenne 3.0 diesel, 48,000 miles, £39,995

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Pros

  • Powerful engines
  • Flexible rear seats
  • Sharp handling

Cons

  • Expensive to run
  • Stingy standard equipment
  • Low-speed ride firm
4

Land Rover Range Rover

Used Range Rover 13-present

The original luxury SUV remains a hugely impressive vehicle. It's still one of a few examples on this list that has genuine off-road ability, and that helps it build the sense of superiority that can be felt while driving a Range Rover. Well, that, and its commanding driving position.

Aside from a slightly confusing infotainment system, the interior is a haven of peace and tranquillity within which to while away the miles, just as it should be in a car of such opulence.

There is of course only one fly in the ointment, and that is the reliability factor. The Rangie has been known to be fragile, although in our most recent reliability survey it actually scored well in the luxury SUV category, finishing mid-table and scoring a healthy 85%. Best to buy, though, through our What Car? used car deals site and take advantage of the standard warranty. 

We found: 2016 Range Rover 4.4 SDV8 Vogue SE, 43,000 miles, £35,495

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Pros

  • Superbly comfortable and refined
  • V6 diesel is surprisingly efficient
  • Off-road ability

Cons

  • Still expensive used
  • V8s cost a fortune to run
  • Concerning reliability record
3

Porsche Macan

Used Porsche Macan 14-present

It may seem odd that the smaller sibling is ahead of the full-fat Cayenne, but the Porsche Macan is an agile blast. It matches the Cayenne for luxury, and adds a whole extra dollop of driver enjoyment, thanks to its being smaller and lighter. True, technically it is a sports SUV by our definition, but as that is still a burgeoning category with few examples on the used market we've here added it in with the luxury SUVs because we think it fulfils that opulent brief more than adequately.

If its on-road abilities weren't enough to tempt you, and it is one of the best SUVs to drive, consider that you'll get a newer car pound-for-pound than a Cayenne. It was also the most reliable luxury SUV in its category in our most recent reliability survey. 

We found: 2018 Porsche Macan 252 PDK, 29,000 miles, £39,995

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Pros

  • Punchy performance
  • Superb handling for an SUV
  • High-quality interior

Cons

  • Rear seat space limited
  • Misses some safety kit
  • Expensive to run
2

Volvo XC90

Used Volvo XC90 15-present

Here's another luxury SUV that’s practical, comes with loads of safety technology, has an interior that looks and feels wonderfully opulent, and can be found for very reasonable money.

The first-generation XC90 was a bit of a school-run legend, and this follow-up carries on that fine tradition. It should be cheap to run because it has a small 2.0-litre diesel engine. Or, there’s a plug-in hybrid T8 version that’ll suit urban commuters; you can even have this with seven seats, unlike others plug-in hybrids in the class.

It doesn’t matter all that much which version you go for because all of the trim levels are very well equipped. You can pick up an early 2015 or 2016 car for as little as £25,000, but we'd spend a bit more and put a three-year-old low-mileage example on our driveway. 

We found: 2017 Volvo XC90 D5 Momentum Pro, 22,000 miles, £30,000

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Pros

  • Classy interior
  • Seven-seat versatility
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Ride slightly unsettled
  • Road and suspension noise
1

Audi Q7

Used Audi Q7 15 - present

It's a victory here for the wonderfully competent Audi Q7.

The Q7 has won multiple What Car? awards for the very reason that it is an impeccable family car, an excellent long-distance tourer and an outstanding luxury vehicle. Few cars this side of £100,000 have a plusher interior than a Q7, and in terms of wind and road noise, it’s about as quiet as the brand's A8 luxury saloon

Go for an example registered before 1 April 2017 and it’ll cost you a lot less to tax than one registered after that date. It's reliable, too, according to our latest reliability survey. Plus, you’ll get a much easier to operate infotainment system than the one found in later models and you'll be saving nearly half its original value, making a used Q7 an absolute bargain.

We found: 2017 Audi Q7 3.0 TDI S Line, 30,000 miles, £29,950

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Pros

  • Smooth and powerful engines
  • Great ride on air suspension
  • Wonderful build quality

Cons

  • Not as sharp to drive as some rivals
  • Plug-in hybrid looses seven-seat option
  • Expensive to run
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