Best used 4x4s 2018 (and the ones to avoid)

Looking for a used 4x4? Then these are the models that offer the best mix of practicality and value...

Best used 4x4s 2018 (and the ones to avoid)

The best used SUVs

Buyers of SUVs expect a lot from their cars. They're after something spacious, practical and capable.

All of the four-wheel-drive models on this list meet those criteria, but to varying degrees. Some have seven seats while others offer incredible off-road ability. Whatever you're after from your 4x4, you'll find something to meet your needs.

The appetite for SUVs is huge, so we've picked out 10 of our favourite SUVs and 4x4s to help you out. You can also see all of our used car reviews by clicking here.

If you're on a tight budget, read more of our guides to the best SUVs you can buy for £5000 and £10,000:

Top 10 used SUVs for £5000

Top 10 used SUVs for £10,000


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Best used 4x4s 2018

Nissan X-Trail

10. Nissan X-Trail

The Nissan X-Trail looks great with rugged, off-roader styling. What’s more, there’s plenty of space inside, it has a comfortable ride and it's very good to drive for a tall SUV. And if you wish to go off road, you can, because Nissan's selectable four-wheel drive system can get the X-Trail into the wilderness with surprising ease.

Best used 4x4s 2018

Nissan X-Trail

On the downside, the interior feels rather brittle and the X-Trail’s reputation for reliability isn't as good as you might expect. Watch out for stalling problems that can be caused by fuel system issues. Overall, though, the X-Trail is cheap to buy and makes it a real bargain 4x4.

We found: 2009 2.0 dCi Sport Expedition, 60,000 miles, £8200

Read the used Nissan X-Trail review

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Best used 4x4s 2018

Land Rover Freelander

9. Land Rover Freelander

The Freelander comes with all the image and style of its Land Rover stablemates, but it's all packaged together into a smaller vehicle that’s perfect for the average young family. Despite no longer being on sale, it's still one of Britain’s favourite 4x4s, and it's easy to understand why. With a commanding seating position, you get an excellent view of the road ahead, which is perfect for negotiating your way through the urban jungle. And because it's a Land Rover, it's also quite capable in the rough stuff.

Best used 4x4s 2018

Land Rover Freelander

The Freelander's smooth ride, smart interior and classy styling are real benefits, and it’s well equipped, too. An expensive purchase price and high running costs mean it doesn’t finish higher, as does a poor reliability reputation for reliability, with transmission problems being the biggest bugbear.

We found: 2008 2.2 Td4 HSE, 47000 miles, £8795

Read the used Land Rover Freelander review

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Best used 4x4s 2018

Land Rover Discovery

8. Land Rover Discovery

The Land Rover Discovery is an incredibly capable car. Not only can it seat seven adults in comfort, but it also comes with Land Rover's go-anywhere ability. True, the Discovery costs more than rivals to keep on the road, but if you want practicality from your 4x4, it's certainly a good way to go.

Best used 4x4s 2018

Land Rover Discovery

Problems with the air suspension are expensive to fix, so look out for warning lights on the dashboard. It's also worth checking the underside of the Discovery for any damage caused by any off-road excursions. If water gets underneath the undercoating or if mud is allowed to sit on the chassis or suspension arms for an extended period of time, corrosion can occur.

We found: 2011 TdV6 XS 3.0 diesel (7st), 73,000 miles, £16,802

Read the full used Land Rover Discovery review

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Best used 4x4s 2018

BMW X5

7. BMW X5

Every BMW X5 is great, but the first-generation model is currently the best value. It’s great to drive, spacious, well-equipped and highly desirable. The best thing about it is its sure-footed handling on the road, but it is still competent off of it thanks to electronic aids such as hill descent control. Inside, there's room for five adults and everything is well laid out.

Best used 4x4s 2018

BMW X5

However, while the X5 is now available for remarkably little money, you should bear in mind that running costs are high, because the X5 can eat through consumables such as tyres, brakes and suspension bushes. Plus, older diesel engines can develop problems with their fuel injector, which are rather expensive to replace. But in the battle of the big 4x4s, the X5 is still one of the best.

We found: 2006 3.0D Sport, 89,000 miles, £9436

Read the full used BMW X5 review

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Best used 4x4s 2018

Hyundai Santa Fe

6. Hyundai Santa Fe

The Hyundai Santa Fe has the advantage of a five-year manufacturer warranty. It's also highly recommended because of its great value on the used market. It's one of the few SUVs that combines manageable outside dimensions for easier parking with a large interior that can seat seven people.

Best used 4x4s 2018

Hyundai Santa Fe

Problems with the Santa Fe usually centre on the air conditioning, which might need re-gassing every few years, and the radio reception can be a little poor at times. On the whole, though, it’s comfortable and quiet, so while it isn’t the most exciting thing around, it’s a great family SUV for the buyer on a budget.

We found: 2011 2.2 CRDi Style 7-seats, 54,000 miles, £9290

Read the used Hyundai Santa Fe review

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Best used 4x4s 2018

Honda CR-V

5. Honda CR-V

Beneath the Honda CR-V’s slightly weird looks lies a thoroughly spacious, practical and comfortable car. There’s enough room for five adults and the rear is even just about wide enough for three child seats. A part-time four-wheel drive system makes it pretty fuel efficient for an older SUV.

Best used 4x4s 2018

Honda CR-V

What’s more, the CR-V has a great reputation for reliability, especially in petrol form – diesel versions are known to go through clutches at quite a rate, though, so be prepared for that. Otherwise, the CR-V is an easygoing and hassle-free car to own.

We found: 2010 2.0i-VTEC EX, 56,000 miles, £8495

Read the used Honda CR-V review

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Best used 4x4s 2018

BMW X3

4. BMW X3

The current BMW X3 has long been one of our favourite SUVs, and the good news is that it’s just as good as a used buy. It offers a selection of superb engines, involving handling and a solid-feeling interior with an easy-to-use infotainment system. The ride is slightly firm, but not so much so that you wouldn’t be able to get used to it, especially if you go for a softer-sprung SE model.

Best used 4x4s 2018

BMW X3

Buy a well-maintained X3 and listen out for rattly engines on diesel models – this sign can point to a stretched timing chain, which can lead to expensive engine damage. Squeaks and rattles are not uncommon, so pay attention on your test drive.

We found: 2012 xDrive30d SE auto, 38,000 miles, £15,896

Read the full BMW X3 review

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Best used 4x4s 2018

Nissan Qashqai

3. Nissan Qashqai

We’re great fans of the current Nissan Qashqai – it’s comfortable, well built, and fun and easy to drive. It’s also efficient, and while the engine range is quite small, each unit offers plenty enough punch for most people.

Best used 4x4s 2018

Nissan Qashqai

The Qashqai isn’t as spacious as some SUVs here, but the pay-off is compact dimensions that make it easier to manoeuvre and park. What’s more, early examples can now be had for bargain prices. The air conditioning system needs re-gassing every few years; make sure this has been done recently because it's an expensive job due to the more costly refrigerant gas used.

We found: 2015 1.5 dCi Acenta, 39,000 miles, £11,771

Read the used Nissan Qashqai review

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Best used 4x4s 2018

Volvo XC90

2. Volvo XC90

Volvo’s venerable XC90 has only just been replaced by a new model. The previous-generation model had been on sale since 2002, which helps make it a great used buy; not only does it offer excellent value for money, but there are loads of examples to choose from. Four-wheel drive is standard, plus it can tow an impressive 2250kg and offers exceptional practicality with seven seats and space for three child seats across the middle row.

Best used 4x4s 2018

Volvo XC90

Check the XC90's electric mirrors work as they should, and if the diesel engine has trouble starting, walk away, because this could indicate an issue with the injectors that's very expensive to fix. Gearboxes can also give trouble, even at low mileages, so check that it shifts smoothly into every gear.

We found: 2007 D5 SE Lux Geartronic, 45,000 miles, service history, £14,586

Read the full used Volvo XC90 review

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Best used 4x4s 2018

Skoda Yeti

1. Skoda Yeti

The Skoda Yeti is a fantastic family SUV, with compact dimensions that make it easy to handle around town, yet a huge, boxy and versatile interior that gives it the capability to carry everything you need. Plus, the Yeti's raised ride height and large window area help to give the driver great all-round visability.

Best used 4x4s 2018

Skoda Yeti

The 1.2-litre petrol engine is the best bet as a used buy, unless you do loads of miles every year, in which case you might find a diesel to be better. Automatic gearboxes can develop hesitation when pulling away from a standstill, so a manual is probably best.

We found: 2012 2.0 TDI SE, 52,000 miles, £9450

Read the full Skoda Yeti review

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The used 4x4s to avoid

Ssangyong Kyron

Ssangyong Kyron

This bizarre-looking 4x4 is cheaply made, awful to drive, slow and horribly inefficient.