Best used ULEZ-compliant SUVs for less than £20,000
There have been a few scary stories about the new Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) that's coming in April, but our top 10 list proves you can still drive a diesel SUV in London on a budget...
7. Suzuki Vitara
If outright value is what you need from a diesel SUV, take a look at the Suzuki Vitara. It has just been refreshed, which means pre-facelift examples have dropped off in value slightly. SZ-T models get you all the equipment you’ll need, including a touchscreen infotainment system. The interior could be classier, but it's durable and will last the course.
Thanks to the Vitara's relatively low weight and it not being quite as tall as other SUVs in the class, it handles really rather well, with light, quick steering, excellent body control and plenty of grip. The ride is very good as well, letting you know enough about what’s going on beneath you without pummelling you over big bumps. The 1.6-litre diesel engine isn’t insulated quite as well as it could be, but the promise of 70.6mpg combined economy (NEDC) is not to be sniffed at.
We found: 2018 Suzuki Vitara 1.6 DDiS SZ-T, 5705 miles, £15,990
6. Audi Q2
Audi’s smallest SUV to date is quite a classy small SUV with a pleasingly premium interior. The Q2 is a nice thing to drive, which is hardly surprising, given that it shares a platform with the sweet-handling A3 hatchback. In fact, aside from a firmer ride to compensate for the higher ride height, the Q2 is almost as good as that car. Its steering weight is well judged, it finds plenty of grip and its gearbox is slick and helps make the most of the 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine. If you take things steadily, you should be able to get somewhere close to the official combined fuel economy figure of 64.2mpg (NEDC).
The Q2 isn’t ideal if you need to transport adults or taller teenagers in the back, because there simply isn’t enough leg room for that. But it should be fine for younger ones, and the boot is a decent size, too. Quattro-designated Q2s actually have a smaller boot, because of the need to accommodate the four-wheel-drive gubbins, and that's one of the reasons why we suggest you stick with a front-wheel-drive model. That and the fact that it will be cheaper to buy and run.
We found: 2018 Audi Q2 1.6 TDI Sport, 10,667 miles, £19,950
5. BMW X1
BMW can do practical SUVs just as well as it can do sporty saloons, and the X1 is proof of this. Closely related to the Mini Countryman, the X1 is a well thought-out small SUV with sliding rear seats for either increased leg room or boot space, a flexible 40/20/40-split folding rear bench and a powered tailgate as standard.
The X1 is still rather good to drive for an SUV, thanks to precise steering, fine body control and copious amounts of grip. The 18d engine is plenty punchy enough for all situations and means you can go for the more economical front-wheel-drive model, which is badged sDrive. With that, you should be able to achieve almost 65.7mpg (NEDC).