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Best used small SUVs for less than £15,000

If you're in the market for a small SUV, you'll want rugged style, capable practicality and a high driving position. Here are your best used options for less than £15,000...

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by
Oliver Young
Published04 April 2024

The SUV class used to be a lot less varied than it is today, with most models being big and expensive. Now, you can get them in all sorts of shapes and sizes, including small and affordable, like this small SUV segment. 

Top 10 used small SUVs for less than £15,000

The best of the bunch combines a raised driving position with a practical and versatile interior that offers plenty of room for the whole family. They're also light and easy to drive and park, noticeably more so than their larger SUV counterparts. 

Thanks to booming sales, there’s now a massive choice of small SUVs to sift through on our Used Cars For Sale pages. 

Here, we’ve rounded up our top 10 favourites for less than £15,000. And, in case you were wondering, our experienced used cars team, with their deep knowledge of the second-hand car market, have chosen the great Ford Puma as their favourite small SUV at this price point. It's good to drive, practical and now really affordable. 

Our pick: 1.0 EcoBoost Hybrid mHEV 155 ST-Line DCT 5dr

0-62mph: 8.7 sec
MPG/range: 49.6mpg
CO2 emissions: 128g/km
Seats: 5
Insurance group: 17E

Strengths

  • Excellent to drive
  • Practical, flexible boot
  • Quick and economical

Weaknesses

  • Passenger space isn’t outstanding
  • Reliability isn’t rock-solid
  • Visibility could be better

The Ford Puma is our current What Car? Used SUV of the Year, and it's not surprising. It’s not only impressively economical but also great fun to drive, with pin-sharp steering and eager handling. All the engine options are gutsy, but we’d seek out the 155 version of the 1.0-litre Ecoboost for its easy oomph. It's supremely practical and so far proving reliable, too. And here’s the best news of all: the Puma now undercuts its main rivals here on price as a used buy. 

We found: 2021 Ford Puma 1.0 Ecoboost 155 ST-Line, 36,000 miles, £14,995

Read our used Ford Puma review

Search for a used Ford Puma for sale

Our pick: 1.0 TSI SE Technology 5dr

0-62mph: 11.3 sec
MPG/range: 51.4mpg
CO2 emissions: 124g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 400 litres
Insurance group: 10E

Strengths

  • Ride comfort on standard suspension
  • Big boot for class
  • Excellent 1.0-litre petrol

Weaknesses

  • Average interior
  • Noisy diesel engine
  • Road noise
  • Reliability can be an issue

The Seat Arona is another one of our tip-top favourites here. It's one of the very best small SUVs you can buy used thanks to its roomy interior, comfortable ride and peppy petrol engines. Add to that its value when bought used, and it's unbeatable – you can easily pick up a 2022 example within our budget. Indeed, if what you want above all is that your small SUV drives well, this is the one to choose; thanks to its compact size and relatively light weight, it has plenty of punch and can tackle corners with enthusiasm.

We found: 2022 Seat Arona 1.0 TSI SE Technology, 22,411 miles, £13,499

Read our used Seat Arona review

Search for a used Seat Arona for sale

Our pick: 35 TFSI Sport 5dr

0-62mph: 8.6 sec
MPG/range: 47.9mpg
CO2 emissions: 133g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 405 litres
Insurance group: 20E

Strengths

  • Classy and user-friendly interior
  • Tidy handling
  • Excellent infotainment

Weaknesses

  • Not as spacious as rivals
  • Firm ride
  • Four-wheel drive reserved for top models
  • Reliability mixed

Another great buy in this class is the suave Audi Q2. This is the car that proves that small doesn’t necessarily mean cheap, but it certainly takes all the good qualities of larger Audis and wraps them up in a compact and very attractive package. It has bold styling on the outside, a well-finished and sporty interior and tidy handling; on top of all that, it's good value too.

We found: 2020 Audi Q2 1.0 TFSI Sport, 30,000 miles, £15,000

Read our used Audi Q2 review

Search for a used Audi Q2 for sale

Strengths

  • Comfortable ride
  • Impressive safety
  • Good boot by class standards

Weaknesses

  • Low-rent interior on earlier cars
  • Only top spec gets sat-nav
  • Lumbar support is an option
  • Reliability mixed

Stick to the cheaper engines and trims, and the VW T-Roc is an even better buy than the Skoda Kamiq and the VW T-Cross. The T-Roc’s cosseting ride, superb refinement and practical boot will appeal to families, plus it has one of the best driving positions of any car in the class. Later models have a much-improved interior, with soft materials and bright plastic finishes where you’d want them. 

We found: 2020 Volkswagen T-Roc 1.0 TSI 115 SE, 58,464 miles, £14,900

Read our used Volkswagen T-Roc review

Search for a used Volkswagen T-Roc for sale

Our pick: 1.0 TSI SE 5dr

0-62mph: 9.7 sec
MPG/range: 52.2mpg
CO2 emissions: 122g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 400 litres
Insurance group: 16E

Strengths

  • Remarkably roomy interior and large boot
  • Better-finished inside than many of its rivals
  • Comfortable ride

Weaknesses

  • No sliding or reclining rear seats
  • Not especially well equipped
  • Other small SUVs have a higher driving position
  • Reliability mixed

In contrast to the Volkswagen T-Cross below, the Skoda Kamiq puts you quite low to the ground; in fact, its driving position is barely any more elevated than that of the Skoda Scala family hatchback. However, in every other respect, it's a brilliant used choice, with a supple, well-controlled ride and a remarkably spacious interior. That interior feels classier than that of the T-Cross, too. If you’ll mainly be driving in town, then the entry-level 94bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine is peppy enough and the cheapest on the used car forecourt.

We found: 2022 Skoda Kamiq 1.0 TSI 95 SE, 45,563 miles, £14,899

Read our used Skoda Kamiq review

Search for a used Skoda Kamiq for sale

Our pick: 1.0 TSI Match 5dr

0-62mph: 11.2 sec
MPG/range: 49.6mpg
CO2 emissions: 128g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 455 litres
Insurance group: 11E

Strengths

  • Spacious, flexible interior
  • Impressive for safety
  • Good to drive

Weaknesses

  • The older T-Roc is still a superior purchase
  • Interior is hardly plush
  • SEL and R-Line trims don't offer good value for money

The Volkswagen T-Cross is comfortable and easy to drive, and surprisingly roomy, too. A couple of six-footers will have plenty of space in the back, and, if you slide the rear bench forwards, there’s almost as much boot space as in some larger family SUVs. Despite that, the T-Cross’s compact dimensions make it easy to handle in town. The T-Cross also comes loaded with safety kit and would have finished even higher if you could have got a newer one for our budget. 

We found: 2021 Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 95 SE, 29,250 miles, £14,995

Read our used Volkswagen T-Cross review

Search for a used Volkswagen T-Cross for sale

Our pick: 1.4 Boosterjet 48V Hybrid SZ-T 5dr

0-62mph: 9.5 sec
MPG/range: 53.2mpg
CO2 emissions: 120g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 362 litres
Insurance group: 22A

Strengths

  • Good driving manners
  • Spacious and practical interior
  • Well equipped
  • Reliability

Weaknesses

  • High emissions on some petrol models
  • Diesel engines can be noisy
  • Some of the trim feels flimsy

Thanks to its squared-off corners, raised ride height and the option of four-wheel drive, the Suzuki Vitara has some of the off-road abilities people associate with larger SUVs. On the road, the balance between ride and handling is well judged, it's spacious inside and it's even quite fun to drive; it's well equipped, too, and our budget buys you a 2020 car with a low mileage.

We found: 2022 Suzuki Vitara 1.4 SZ4 MHEV, 30,265 miles, £14,995

Read our used Suzuki Vitara review

Search for a used Suzuki Vitara for sale

Our pick: 1.5 C Exclusive 5dr Auto

0-62mph: 8.3 sec
MPG/range: 49.5mpg
CO2 emissions: 134g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 450 litres
Insurance group: 21E

Strengths

  • Neat handling
  • Strong engines
  • Luxurious interior and large boot
  • Reliability

Weaknesses

  • Firm ride
  • Average rear space
  • There are larger SUVs available for similar money

Let's face it, there are loads of used small SUVs out there, but very few have that extra panache to make them stand out from the masses. Apart from the Mini Countryman, which is stuffed with so many retro styling cues that you couldn't mistake it for anything else. It's fun and fashionable, but its ride is a bit firm, it's not the most spacious car on our list and it's still a little expensive. 

We found: 2020 Mini Countryman 1.5 Cooper Classic, 29,600 miles, £14,490

Read our used Mini Countryman review

Search for a used Mini Countryman for sale

Our pick: 1.2 Dualjet 12V Hybrid SZ-T 5dr

0-62mph: 12.7 sec
MPG/range: 56.9mpg
CO2 emissions: 112g/km
Seats: 4
Boot: 260 litres
Insurance group: 21D

Strengths

  • Spacious for a city car
  • Most models well equipped
  • Agile in corners
  • Top-notch reliability

Weaknesses

  • Jiggly ride quality
  • Vague steering
  • Fiddly touchscreen system

A bit of a wildcard, this; you can pick up a nearly new Suzuki Ignis for this money, but the caveat is that it's smaller and less spacious than most of the other cars we've chosen here. Why is it here, then? Because it's great fun to drive and it's a characterful city car, and about the only option if you need four-wheel drive or hybrid technology in a car of this size.

We found: 2023 Suzuki Ignis 1.2 Dualjet MHEV SZ3, 1000 miles, £14,490

Read our used Suzuki Ignis review

Search for a used Suzuki Ignis for sale

 

Our pick: 1.0 DiG-T N-Connecta 5dr

0-62mph: 10.7 sec
MPG/range: 48.7mpg
CO2 emissions: 133g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 422 litres
Insurance group: 13E

Strengths

  • Plenty of space
  • Smart and practical interior
  • Well equipped

Weaknesses

  • Not as fun to drive as some rivals
  • Ride can be jiggly
  • Pronounced wind and road noise

Sure, the previous 2010-2019 Nissan Juke was popular, but it was never a car to write home about. This current-gen Nissan Juke, mind you, is a big step in the right direction, even if it still isn't perfect. It's strong in some key areas, including interior quality, safety and equipment levels, not to mention you can pick up a 2022 example within our budget. 

We found: 2022 Nissan Juke 1.0 DiG-T 114 Acenta, 38,798 miles, £14,989

Read our used Nissan Juke review

Search for a used Nissan Juke for sale