Best used 4x4s 2023 (and one to avoid)

Tempted by the idea of a used 4x4? Then these are the models you should be considering – and the ones that are best avoided...

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by
Mark Pearson
Published29 December 2024

Used 4x4s

Buyers of SUVs and off-roaders expect a lot from their cars: comfort, practicality, a commanding driving position and, in many cases, the added security and off-road potential that comes with four-wheel drive.

All of the models we present here deliver these things but to varying degrees. Some have seven seats, while others provide incredible ability when conditions get tough. But whatever you're after from your 4x4, you'll find something in this top 10 to meet your needs. We're kicking off with the very best used 4x4 you can buy: the Audi Q7. 

Interested in buying a used Audi Q7, or any of the other cars listed here? Visit our Used Cars For Sale pages to find lots of cars listed at great prices. 

Our pick: 55 TFSI Quattro S Line 5dr Tiptronic

0-62mph: 5.9 sec
MPG/range: 27.4mpg
CO2 emissions: 233g/km
Seats: 7
Boot: 865 litres
Insurance group: 44E

Strengths

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

Weaknesses

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

The Audi Q7 is one of our favourite luxury SUVs, and the good news is that it’s perhaps even better as a used buy; a 2019 facelift left it with a more hesitant automatic gearbox and a less user-friendly infotainment system. However, the update also brought some positive tweaks, including mild hybrid assistance which helps to reduce fuel consumption. All versions are great to drive, comfortable and spacious, and come with a wonderfully classy interior.

We found: 2018 Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 218 S line quattro, 61,000 miles, £26,950

Find a used one for sale here

Strengths

  • Sharp handling
  • Class-leading infotainment
  • Strong engines
  • Good value used

Weaknesses

  • Firm ride in M Sport trim
  • Popular 20d engine sounds gruff

After the excellent second-generation 2012-2018 BMW X3, its successor had a lot to live up to. Fortunately, the third-generation car made sure to up its game even further in terms of technology, improved refinement and greater interior space. In addition, it's good to drive, especially with the xDrive four-wheel drive, which gives it real ability on snow and muddy surfaces, and it's well equipped and classy. Overall, its tidy handling and highly practical, high-quality interior make the X3 one of the best large SUVs you can buy. 

We found: 2019 BMW X3 xDrive20d Se, 50,000 miles, £25,999

Find a used one for sale here

 

 

Strengths

  • Classy interior
  • Seven-seat versatility
  • Well equipped

Weaknesses

  • Ride slightly unsettled
  • Road and suspension noise
  • Reliability average

If you need a big seven-seater, the Volvo XC90 is a car you can buy with your head as well as your heart. Not only can it seat seven in reasonable comfort, but there’s still enough room behind the third-row seats for a decent amount of luggage. The four-wheel-drive XC90 is good to drive, too, and nicely finished and wonderfully stylish inside and out. It'll impress the neighbours and it's a bit of a used car bargain.

We found: 2018 Volvo XC90 2.0 D5 Powerpulse Momentum, 47,000 miles, £27,950

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 Skoda Karoq is a fantastic family SUV, with compact dimensions that make it easy to handle around town, as well as a practical and versatile interior that gives it the capability to carry everything you need. Plus, the Karoq's raised ride height and large window area help to give the driver great all-around visibility. You'll need one of the bigger 2.0-litre diesel or 2.0-litre petrol engines if you want the very useful four-wheel drive, though.

We found: 2019 Skoda Karoq 2.0 TDI 150 Sport Line 4x4, 30,000 miles, £19,500

Find a used one for sale 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. This 2015-2022 BMW X1 is a fine family SUV that's great to drive in xDrive four-wheel drive form and comes with bags of room inside, and a quality interior that features the excellent iDrive infotainment system. It's well equipped, too, and according to our most recent What Car? Reliability Survey it's one of the most reliable family SUVs. Good value used, too. 

We found: 2019 BMW X1 xDrive 20d Sport, 50,000 miles, £20,500

Find a used one for sale here

Our pick: 40 TDI Quattro Sport 5dr S Tronic

0-62mph: 7.6 sec
MPG/range: 44.1mpg
CO2 emissions: 167g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 520 litres
Insurance group: 33E

Strengths

  • Smooth and punchy engines
  • High-quality interior
  • Relatively modest running costs

Weaknesses

  • Steering could be more involving
  • No seven-seat option
  • You need air suspension or non-sport suspension for the best ride

This second-generation Audi Q5 is an immensely popular car and one of the best SUVs you can buy, new or used. It's smooth, refined and incredibly classy inside and out. It drives superbly, is well equipped and spacious and practical, too. With quattro four-wheel drive, there's plenty of traction, and the Q5 is stable and smooth riding. It's so popular that the only stumbling block is its relatively high used prices. 

We found: 2019 Audi Q5 2.0 TDI quattro Sport, 38,000 miles, £26,000

Find a used one for sale here

Strengths

  • Great off road
  • Reliable
  • Well equipped

Weaknesses

  • Rudimentary on road handling
  • Interior not that plush
  • Rear hinged door terrible in tight car parks

Big, butch, roomy and rugged, the Toyota Land Cruiser comes with three or five doors and five or seven seats. Toyota has a great reputation for reliability, too, and you will count plenty of Land Cruisers in the hostile desert regions of the world, so it should prove to be a tough, go-anywhere off-roader. Indeed, if what you need is a genuine off-road vehicle, few do it better. Not the most refined thing on-road, though. 

We found: 2019 Toyota Land Cruiser 2.8d 177 AWD Utility, 50,000 miles, £31,900

Find a used one for sale 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

The Seat Ateca is a great family SUV and one of the best-handling SUVs on the market. It's spacious and practical, and, while not built of the plushest materials, the interior is suitably well made and fairly classy. Four-wheel-drive models are mostly found paired with a torquey 2.0-litre diesel engine that is both economical and refined at a motorway cruise.

We found: 2019 Seat Ateca 2.0 TDI 150 Xcellence 4Drive, 45,000 miles, £16,000

Find a used one for sale here

 

Strengths

  • A lot of car for the money
  • Big boot
  • 4x4 version very capable

Weaknesses

  • Sparse equipment on lower trims
  • Interior feels very cheap
  • Disappointing Euro NCAP safety rating

A Dacia Duster is a surprisingly capable on and off-road tool. The four-wheel-drive models are really competent if you decide to leave paved roads behind. Four-wheel-drive cars also have a more sophisticated rear suspension, which is more supple, meaning there's a decent ride, too. There's plenty of space inside and a cavernous boot. For some light off-road motoring on a budget, it's hard to beat.

We found: 2019 Duster 1.5 dCi 110 Laureate 4x4, 44,900 miles, £10,999 

Find a used one for sale here

Strengths

  • Great off-road
  • Reasonably well equipped
  • Good visibility

Weaknesses

  • Unrefined
  • Bouncy ride
  • Expensive used

There's good news and bad news about the diminutive Suzuki Jimny. The good news is that it's an absolute hoot and this second-generation version, launched in 2019, has become an instant classic. Living up to its AllGrip moniker, it's got unstoppable off-road abilities. The bad news is that the car is no longer on sale new, and demand for used models is so high that prices are rather steep. Oh, and it's a weeny bit crude to drive on-road. 

We found: 2019 Suzuki Jimny 1.5 SZ4 AllGrip, 18,000 miles, £20,500

Find a used one for sale here

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Spacious and well equipped, but let down by a bad ride and a small boot. There are better driving SUVs out there and ones that get better infotainment systems too, so we wouldn't blame you for giving this one a miss. Read our review

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