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10 best used family SUVs for less than £20k

Some of the most spacious and desirable family SUVs around can now be had for less than £20,000. Here are 10 of the best.....

16 May 2019 09:03

Buying a used family SUV needn’t cost you the earth.

Four SUVs comparison

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.

Finding the right SUV can be tricky

Three SUVs on beach

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.

Best used family SUVs for less than £20,000

10: Audi Q3

If we upped our budget to allow the latest version of the Q3 to be eligible for this top 10, it would feature near the top, but because our budget buys you only the previous-generation car, the Q3 has to make do with the number 10 slot.

However, what you get is still an able performer, with handling more akin to a hatchback's.

10: Audi Q3 - interior

10: Audi Q3 - interior

It's smooth and refined and rides well, too, plus there's a reasonable amount of room inside. The best feature of all, though, is the classy and well-equipped interior

We found: 2018 Audi Q3 1.4 TFSI 150 Sport, 4000 miles, £19,499

9: Vauxhall Grandland X

9: Vauxhall Grandland X

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.

9: Vauxhall Grandland X - interior

9: Vauxhall Grandland X - interior

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 1.2T Elite Nav, 121 miles, £19,995

8: Toyota C-HR

8: Toyota C-HR

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.

8: Toyota C-HR - interior

8: Toyota C-HR - interior

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: 2018 Toyota C-HR 1.2T Icon, 3860 miles, £17,899

7: Renault Kadjar

7: Renault Kadjar

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.

7: Renault Kadjar - interior

7: Renault Kadjar - interior

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: 2018 Renault Kadjar 1.5 dCi 115 Dynamique Nav, 3529 miles, £15,300

6: BMW X1

6: BMW X1

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.

6: BMW X1 - interior

6: BMW X1 - interior

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, 15,471 miles, £19,599

5: Volkswagen Tiguan

5: Volkswagen Tiguan

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.

5: Volkswagen Tiguan - interior

5: Volkswagen Tiguan - interior

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: 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI 150 SE Nav, 11,390 miles, £17,999

4: Nissan Qashqai

4: 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".

4: Nissan Qashqai - interior

4: Nissan Qashqai - interior

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: 2018 Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi 115 Acenta Premium, 2416 miles, £16,495

3: Peugeot 3008

3: Peugeot 3008

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.

3: Peugeot 3008 - interior

3: Peugeot 3008 - interior

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: 2018 Peugeot 3008 1.6 BlueHDi 120 Active, 6118 miles, £17,855

2: Seat Ateca

2: Seat Ateca

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.

2: Seat Ateca - interior

2: Seat Ateca - interior

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: 2018 Seat Ateca 1.6 TDI SE Technology, 8743 miles, £18,000

1: Skoda Karoq

1: Skoda Karoq

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.

1: Skoda Karoq - interior

1: Skoda Karoq - interior

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: 2018 Skoda Karoq 1.6 TDI SE, 6500 miles, £17,700