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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 used favourites...

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by
Mark Pearson
Published29 October 2023

Top 10 used SUVs

Buying a used family SUV needn’t cost you the earth. In fact, you can buy examples often only a year or two old for less than £20,000, and these highly practical cars now 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. However, there are so many to choose from that finding the right car for you can be bewildering.

That’s where we come in. Here, we’ve rounded up our 10 favourite family-sized SUVs for less than £20,000.

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 recently replaced 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 2021 Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DiG-T Acenta Premium, 17,000 miles, £17,495

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 previous-generation version of 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 2021 Kia Sportage 1.6 GDi 2, 14,000 miles, £18,795

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, dramatic-looking, new version 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, and its reliability record is particularly strong. 

We found 2020 Hyundai Tucson 1.6 GDi SE Nav 2WD, 30,000 miles, £17,850

Find a used one for sale here

Strengths

  • Upmarket interior
  • Standard safety kit
  • Practicality

Weaknesses

  • Vague controls
  • Popular, so can be pricier than other used rivals
  • Slow infotainment system
  • Reliability a bit mixed

The stylish Peugeot 3008 is great to drive and comfortable to ride in and very nice to look at. The interior is a little different from most, too, with that small steering wheel and a relatively high seating position. It's practical, smart and good value. Only a distinctly average showing in our latest What Car? Reliability Survey relegates it down our list. 

We found 2021 Peugeot 3008 1.2 PureTech 130 Allure, 18,000 miles, £18,755

Shop for a used one 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: 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan 1.5 TSI 130 Match, 40,000 miles, £18,500

Shop for a used one 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 the petrol-engined versions to be one of the most reliable family SUVs available. 

We found 2020 BMW X1 2.0 18d sDrive, 25,000 miles, £19,899

Find a used one for sale here

Our pick: 2.0 B3P Plus Dark 5dr Auto

0-62mph: 8.6 sec
MPG/range: 42.7mpg
CO2 emissions: 150g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 452 litres
Insurance group: 24E

Strengths

  • Stylish interior
  • Comprehensive safety kit
  • Supple ride on most versions

Weaknesses

  • Fiddly infotainment
  • Lacks flexible rear-seat arrangement
  • Some reliability reports were a little mixed

The XC40 mixes style, space and comfort with cutting-edge safety. It's a highly desirable used choice, a car that oozes style both inside and out. It's a smooth and hushed performer, too, with a low level of wind and road noise, helping to make the interior a noticeably refined place in which to spend time. When it comes to interior quality, the XC40 is exceptionally classy. All the surfaces feel suitably upmarket, thanks to plush, soft-faced materials, and everything feels robust, too.

We found: 2020 Volvo XC40 D3 Momentum, 22,000 miles, £19,995

Shop for a used one 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 2021 Seat Ateca 1.5 TSI 150 SE, 24,000 miles, £18,950

Find a used one for sale here

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. It's extremely practical (even more so than the Ateca), plus it drives well and is excellent value for money. It's a fraction more reliable than the Ateca, too. The ride is cosseting, 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 2021 Skoda Karoq 1.6 TDI SE Technology, 21,000 miles, £19,995

Find a used one for sale here

 

Our pick: 2.0 e-Skyactiv G MHEV Centre-Line 5dr

0-62mph: 10.7 sec
MPG/range: 43.5mpg
CO2 emissions: 146g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 522 litres
Insurance group: 17E

Strengths

  • Premium inside
  • Good handling
  • Well equipped

Weaknesses

  • Firm ride
  • Steering could be better
  • Lacklustre engines

Our top pick here, the Mazda CX-5, is a terrific all-rounder. If you’re after a used SUV to transport your family around in it’s almost unbeatable, being good to drive, decently practical and, above all, superb value for money. Enthusiastic drivers will love it for its surprisingly agile handling, and families will love it for its practical, spacious and exceptionally high-quality interior. The CX-5 is also handsomely equipped and exceptionally well screwed together, with a good reliability record. 

We found: 2021 Mazda CX-5 2.0 SE-L Nav, 28,000 miles, £19,495

Shop for a used one here

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