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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 be bought used for less than £20,000. Here we count down our top 10 favourites...


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by
Mark Pearson

Buying a used family SUV needn’t cost you the earth. In fact, you can buy examples that are just a few months 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. 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 that finding the right car can be bewildering. That’s where we come in. Here, we’ve rounded up our 10 favourites 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 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: 2019 Vauxhall Grandland X 1.5 Turbo D Elite Nav, 5000 miles, £18,950

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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

Used Toyota C-HR 2016-present

If you're looking for a family SUV, driving dynamics probably won't be at the top of your list of must-haves.  Toyota is throwing in a bonus, then, because the C-HR has not only a finely judged, comfortable ride, but tidy handling, too. That shape means rear room is a little compromised, but most will accept that for its futuristic looks. 

We found: 2018 Toyota C-HR 1.8 Hybrid Dynamic, 2000 miles, £18,500 

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Pros

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

Cons

  • Hybrid model is noisy
  • Rivals are more practical
  • Infotainment isn't great
8

Renault Kadjar

Used Renault Kadjar 2015-present

Building on the success of its smaller sibling, the Renault Captur, the Renault Kadjar is aimed at families who need a more sizeable car than a regular hatchback. 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

We found: 2020 Renault Kadjar 1.3 tCe Dynamique S Nav, 8000 miles, £19,500

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Pros

  • Spacious interior
  • Bigger boot than sibling Nissan Qashqai
  • Longer warranty than rivals

Cons

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

BMW X1

Used BMW X1 2015-present

The X1 not only carries a premium badge but also offers masses of space inside. The driving experience also sets the X1 apart from its rivals, with the steering being 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. Petrol versions are reliable, too, according to our latest reliability survey. 

We found: 2018 BMW X1 sDrive20d SE auto, 20,000 miles, £19,700

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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

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 150 SE Nav, 9776 miles, £18,500

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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 first-class levels of comfort, refinement, space and safety. The good news is that this still holds true as a used buy. The interior is roomy and practical, too. Only a patchy reliability record lets it down.

We found: 2020 Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DIG-T Acenta Premium, 6800 miles, £19,700

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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 is easy to drive and live with. The ride can be firm, 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 we'd suggest going for the revised 1.6-litre that manages to offer decent performance and low running costs. There'll also be the residue of the from-new seven-year warranty.

We found: 2019 Kia Sportage 1.6t GDI DCT auto 2, 12,000 miles, £19,250

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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

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, 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, it's a very stylish interior.

We found: 2019 Peugeot 3008 1.2 PureTech 130 Allure, 9888 miles, £18,600

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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. It's so good, in fact, it was voted our Used Car of the Year 2021. It's practical and roomy inside, too, 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. Even the ride strikes a fine compromise between sportiness and comfort. 

We found: 2019 Seat Ateca 1.5 TSI EVO SE, 24,000 miles, £19,900

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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, and there’s loads of space for all.

We found: 2020 Skoda Karoq 1.5 TSI SE, 13,776 miles, £19,480

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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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