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Best used small SUVs for less than £15,000

Small SUVs blend practicality with value and are some of the most popular used cars in the UK. Here are our top 10 favourites for less than £15,000...

The soaring sales of SUVs are a testament to the fact that almost everyone wants one these days.

Used small SUVs

And the chances are, if you’re reading this, you do too.

We don’t blame you – today’s best SUVs combine a raised driving position with a practical and versatile interior space that offers plenty of room for the whole family. But, of course, you’ll probably also want a car that’s light and easy to drive, and not so large that it’s impossible to park, and this is where small SUVs, like the ones we’ve featured here, come in.

Thanks to booming sales, there’s now a massive choice of these cars on the used car market. Here, we’ve rounded up our 10 best for less than £15,000, to help you work out which one’s best for you.

10. Citroën C3 Aircross

Used Citroen C3 Aircross 2017 - present

Based on the cheap-as-chips hatchback C3, the Aircross mixes funky styling with flexible interior seating, and these attributes certainly set the car apart from its rivals. You can also get a really good nearly new example for our chosen budget here. It's just a shame that the driving experience is not quite a match for those eye-catching looks. 

We found: 2019 Citroën C3 Aircross 1.2 110 Puretech Flair, 9000 miles, £14,500

Citroën C3 Aircross (cont.)

Used Citroen C3 Aircross 2017 - present

Pros
Strong turbocharged 1.2-litre engine
Flexible seating
Standard safety tech

Cons
Basic model has a bland interior
Fiddly infotainment
Disappointing to drive

9. Honda HR-V

Honda HR-V

Versatile seating and a smart interior make the high-quality Honda HR-V an appealing buy, to which you can add a top-notch reliability record, too. Honda dealers also have an excellent record for customer service. Alas, earlier cars were a bit noisy and had a bumpy ride, and it's not the best value in this class.

We found: 2018 Honda HR-V 1.5 i-VTEC SE, 10,000 miles, £14,995

Honda HR-V (cont.)

Honda HR-V - interior

Pros
Clever rear seats
Robust build quality
Punchy diesel engine

Cons
Diesel engine is noisy
Wooden ride quality
Some competitors are better-value

8. Mazda CX-3

Mazda CX-3 Front

It’s rare to find a car in the small SUV class that’s both smart and engaging, but the CX-3 manages to pull it off. For starters, its mature design manages to be stylish without trying too hard to be fashionable. And on top of that, there's just enough of Mazda’s sporty DNA to make it satisfying to drive. Its ride is a little firm, though, and rear space is tight. 

We found: 2018 Mazda CX-3 2.0 Sport Nav, 9800 miles, £14,995

Mazda CX-3 (cont.)

Mazda CX-3 Interior

Pros
Stylish looks
Lively petrol engines
Engaging handling

Cons
Firm ride
Limited rear seat space
Unimpressive petrol CO2 emissions

7. Renault Captur

Renault Captur front

Alas, you only get the old model for this money;  you'll be very lucky to find example of the latest 2020 Captur below the top end of our budget here. Nonetheless, the first-generation Captur is a good car if you want small hatchback size and costs but with a slightly elevated driving position. The good news is you can pick up a good one for our budget, but the bad news is the quality's a bit poor and it's not as spacious in the back as some of its rivals here. 

We found: 2019 Renault Captur 1.3 TCe 130 GT Line, 10,000 miles, £14,000

Renault Captur (cont.)

Renault Captur interior

Pros
Practical interior
Impressive refinement
Well equipped

Cons
Pre-facelift Captur has poor interior quality
Some engines have weak performance

6. Suzuki Ignis

Suzuki Ignis 2021 front cornering

A bit of a wildcard, this; you can pick up a nearly new Ignis for this money, but the caveat is that it's smaller and less spacious than most of the other cars we've chosen here. Why is it here, then? Because it's great fun to drive, and to look at. It's a characterful city car, and about the only option if you need four-wheel drive or hybrid technology in a car of this size.

We found: 2020 Suzuki Ignis 1.2 Dualjet 12v hybrid SZ-T, 3000 miles, £14,995

Suzuki Ignis (cont.)

Suzuki Ignis 2019 interior

Pros
Spacious for a city car
Most models well equipped
Agile in corners

Cons
Jiggly ride quality
Vague steering
Fiddly touchscreen system

5. Mini Countryman

Mini Countryman

Let's face it, there are loads of used small SUVs out there, but very few have that extra panache to make them stand out from the masses. Apart from the Mini Countryman, which is stuffed with so many retro styling cues that you couldn't mistake it for anything else. It's fun and fashionable, but its ride is a bit firm, it's not the most spacious and it's still a little expensive. 

We found: 2018 Mini Countryman 1.5 Cooper, 20,000 miles, £14,995

Mini Countryman (cont.)

Mini Countryman - interior

Pros
Neat handling
Potent engines
Large boot

Cons
Unsettled ride
Average rear space
Expensive to buy

4. Kia Stonic

Kia Stonic

All Kias come from new with a transferable seven-year warranty, so buy a year-old Stonic as here and you'll have plenty of cover left. Not that you should need much of it, as the Stonic is one of the more reliable small SUVs, according to our surveys. It's also a fine and capable car with a long warranty and plenty of equipment, but its firm ride can be an acquired taste.

We found: 2020 Kia Stonic 1.0 GDi 2, 8000 miles, £14,500

Kia Stonic (cont.)

Kia Stonic - interior

Pros
Punchy 1.0-litre engine
Plenty of standard equipment
Agile handling

Cons
Firm ride
Rivals are more practical
Lack of adjustable lumbar support

3. Suzuki Vitara

Suzuki Vitara

Thanks to its squared-off corners, raised ride height and the option of four-wheel drive, the Suzuki Vitara has some of the off-road abilities people associate with larger SUVs. On the road, the balance between ride and handling is well judged, it's spacious inside and it's even quite fun to drive; it's well equipped, too, and our budget buys you a one-year-old car with a low mileage.

We found: 2019 Suzuki Vitara 1.4 Boosterjet SZ-T, 8000 miles, £14,350

2. Audi Q2

Used Audi Q2 16-present

Just pipped into second place here is the desirable Audi Q2. This is the car that proves that small doesn’t necessarily mean cheap, but it certainly takes all the good qualities of larger Audis and wraps them up in a compact and very attractive package. It has bold styling on the outside, a well-finished and sporty interior and tidy handling; on top of all that, it's excellent value too. 

We found: 2018 Audi Q2 1.0 TFSI Sport, 5000 miles, £14,500

Audi Q2 (cont.)

Used Audi Q2 16-present

Pros
Classy and user-friendly interior
Tidy handling
Excellent infotainment

Cons
Not as spacious as rivals
Firm ride
Four-wheel drive reserved for top models and reduces boot capacity

1. Seat Arona

Used Seat Arona 18-present

Victory for the Seat Arona, and no wonder. It's one of the very best small SUVs you can buy used thanks to its roomy interior, a comfortable ride and perky petrol engines. Add to that its value when bought used, and it's unbeatable. Indeed, if what you want above all is that your small SUV drives well, this is the one to choose; thanks to its compact size and relatively light weight, it has plenty of punch and can tackle corners with enthusiasm.

We found: 2020 Seat Arona 1.0 SE Tech, 5000 miles, £14,995

Seat Arona (cont.)

Used Seat Arona 18-present

Pros
Ride comfort on standard suspension
Big boot for class
Excellent 1.0-litre petrol

Cons
Average interior
Noisy diesel engine
Road noise

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Citroen C3 Aircross

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