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Top 10 used family SUVs for less than £20,000

Some of the most spacious and desirable family SUVs around can now be had used for less than £20,000. Here we count down our top 10 favourites...


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Mark Pearson

Top 10 used SUVs

Buying a used family SUV needn’t cost you the earth. In fact, you can buy examples often as young as just a few months old for less than £20,000, and these highly practical cars are now cheap enough that they make a huge amount of financial sense as a second-hand purchase.

Most of these SUVs have the raised-up driving position and chunky looks that buyers love, as well as large boots and flexible interiors. That's why many motorists have moved on from traditional family cars such as the Ford Focus, into the likes of the Nissan Qashqai.  However, there are so many to choose from for this sort of cash that finding the right car for you can be bewildering. That’s where we come in. We’ve rounded up our 10 favourite family-sized SUVs that you can get for less than £20,000.

10

Vauxhall Grandland X

Used Vauxhall Grandland X 2018-present

Beneath its subtly persuasive body, the Grandland X shares a lot of its technology with the Peugeot 3008, which, as you will read later, is one of our favourite family SUVs. Comfort is what the car seeks to achieve, and it succeeds. Equipment levels are good, and there's plenty of room inside. It even handles well, which is probably not what you expect when you look at it. 

We found: 2020 Vauxhall Grandland X 1.2 Turbo Business Edition, 7828 miles, £15,791 

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Pros

  • Generous standard equipment
  • Good fuel economy
  • Practical boot

Cons

  • Sluggish infotainment system
  • Tricky to drive smoothly
  • Rivals drive better
9

Toyota C-HR

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£25,137

RRP from £26,890 to £35,050

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If you're looking for a family SUV, exciting driving dynamics probably won't be at the top of your list of must-haves. As long as it’s comfortable and doesn’t flop over in bends, most people are quite content. Toyota, despite not being a brand known for making interesting driving cars, is throwing in a bonus, then, because the C-HR has not only a finely judged, comfortable ride, but tidy handling, too. It even looks fresh. That shape means rear room is a little compromised, but most will accept that for its futuristic looks. 

We found: 2020 Toyota C-HR 1.8 Hybrid Icon, 5489 miles, £19,980 

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Pros

  • Good to drive
  • Plenty of standard kit
  • Cheap than many rivals as a company car

Cons

  • Infotainment system isn't great
  • Rivals are much more practical
  • So-so performance with the 1.8 version
8

Renault Kadjar

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£20,708

RRP from £25,200 to £29,800

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Building on the success of its smaller sibling, the Renault Captur, the Renault Kadjar is a bigger SUV aimed at families, those who need a more sizeable car than a regular hatchback and don’t want to go down the MPV route. To that end, the Kadjar is one of the more practical options when it comes to rear seat space, and its boot is one of the biggest in the class. It's comfortable, too, and borrows much of its underpinnings from the Nissan Qashqai, of which you will hear more in a minute. 

We found: 2020 Renault Kadjar 1.3 tCe Iconic, 3327 miles, £15,000

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Pros

  • Spacious interior
  • Cheap to buy and run
  • Generous standard equipment

Cons

  • So-so perceived quality
  • Grabby brakes
  • Choppy ride on big alloys
7

BMW X1

Used BMW X1 2015-present

The X1 not only carries a premium badge, which is of much importance in this class, but also offers masses of space inside. The driving experience also sets the X1 apart from its rivals, with the steering being of particular merit, since the helm is precise and confidence-inspiring at speed. While the Audi Q3 has a better ride, the X1 can be found with adaptive dampers that improve matters. 

We found: 2018 BMW X1 sDrive18d SE auto, 24,613 miles, £16,400

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Pros

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

Cons

  • Lots of road noise
  • Fairly pricey
6

Volkswagen Tiguan

Used Volkswagen Tiguan 16-present

Despite not being the sort of car to set an enthusiast’s heart on fire, the Tiguan is actually Volkswagen’s third best-selling car in the UK, behind only the Polo and Golf. This second-generation version was launched in 2016 and retains much of the solidity and straightforwardness that made the original car such a success. All the traditional SUV qualities are there: a practical interior, elevated driving position and rugged looks. It's also extremely refined.

We found: 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan 1.5 TSI 130 Match, 11,800 miles, £18,990

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Pros

  • Good to drive
  • Refinement
  • Smart interior

Cons

  • Rearmost seats in the Allspace model are very tight
  • Handsome, but not very exciting to look at
5

Nissan Qashqai

Used Nissan Qashqai

As evidence of just how highly we rate this second-generation Nissan Qashqai, it was crowned What Car? Car of the Year in 2014. Back then, our judges were impressed by the British-built Qashqai’s "low costs and first-class levels of comfort, refinement, space and safety". The good news is that this still holds true as a used buy. The Qashqai was developed on British roads, and you can tell by the way it strikes such a good balance between ride comfort and handling.  The interior is roomy and practical, too. 

We found: 2020 Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DIG-T 160 Acenta Premium, 8623 miles, £15,150

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Pros

  • Quiet and comfortable
  • Sips fuel
  • Lots of equipment

Cons

  • Poor reliability
  • Ride suffers on 19in wheels
  • Limited rear visibility
4

Kia Sportage

Used Kia Sportage 16-present

The Kia Sportage isn’t really for those who value driving, but just like the Nissan Qashqai on the previous page, it's easy to live with. The ride is firmer than some rivals', but as long as you stick with mid-range models on 17in wheels, it won't be uncomfortable. You can get a petrol engine in your Sportage, but that can be quite thirsty, so we'd suggest going for the revised 1.6-litre diesel that manages to offer decent performance and low running costs. Go for only a mid-spec 2 car, you’ll still get sat-nav, rear parking sensors, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and automatic lights and wipers.

We found: 2020 Kia Sportage 1.6 CRDi ISG 2, 6311 miles, £18,395

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Pros

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

Cons

  • Diesel engine can be noisy
  • So-so ride and handling
  • No automatic emergency braking on some models
3

Peugeot 3008

Used Peugeot 3008 2017-present

Whereas the previous incarnation had elements of MPV about it, the styling of the second-generation 3008 is all SUV, with its tall, blocky, black-plastic-clad exterior leaving you in no doubt of its prowess as a tough, urban-biased assault vehicle for the school run. The interior is a little different from most, with that small steering wheel and a relatively high seating position, so that you can see the dials over the top of the steering wheel rather than through it. Once you get over the initial novelty of it, you settle into what is a very stylish interior.

We found: 2020 Peugeot 3008 1.2 PureTech 130 Allure, 6857 miles, £18,755

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Pros

  • Upmarket interior
  • Standard safety kit
  • Practicality

Cons

  • Vague controls
  • Popular, so can be pricier than other used rivals
  • Slow infotainment system
2

Seat Ateca

Used Seat Ateca 16-present

The Seat Ateca has been a huge hit since its launch and has helped to forge the firm’s path into this hotly contested market sector. It's practical and roomy inside, and it undercuts the similar Volkswagen Tiguan on price. But it’s the way it drives that sets the Ateca apart from its rivals. It is surprisingly good fun: the steering is precise, body lean is kept in check and grip is strong. Even the ride strikes a fine compromise between sportiness and comfort. 

We found: 2020 Seat Ateca 1.5 TSI EVO SE Technology, 12,184 miles, £17,940

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Pros

  • Spacious interior
  • Class-leading handling
  • Boot space pips rivals

Cons

  • Some rivals offer more flexible seating
  • Interior isn’t that plush
  • Rivals offer lower CO2 emissions
1

Skoda Karoq

Used Skoda Karoq (17-present)

Once upon a time, there was an immensely popular SUV called the Skoda Yeti, and it proved so successful that it took some time for the Czech firm to work out how to replace it. The answer was the Karoq, and it's been a massive hit since its launch in 2018. It has a range of punchy and efficient engines. It's practical, drives well and is excellent value for money. The Karoq’s greatest asset, however, is its interior. It's smart and beautifully built; admittedly, it lacks the sense of occasion of the Peugeot 3008, but it’s still a great place to spend time. And there’s loads of room for both driver and front seat passenger, combined with an excellent driving position.

We found: 2020 Skoda Karoq 1.5 TSI SE, 4931 miles, £18,495

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Pros

  • Spacious and practical interior
  • Comfortable ride
  • Punchy engines

Cons

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