Top 10: Best used family SUVs for less than £15,000
Many believe a used family SUV will cost a fortune, but our top 10 list proves you can get a great bargain for just £15,000.....
Family car buyers have enough on their plate with housing, food, heating and electricity costs (to name but a few) without having to spend a fortune on a motor to get them around.
Especially not one of those fancy family SUVs you see on every school run, because they cost a fortune, don’t they?
Well, no, as it turns out. If you look for a used example that’s just a couple of years old, you can actually buy a sizeable family SUV for less than the price of a brand-new, mid-range small car. And we’re not talking about basic-spec examples with weedy, underpowered engines, either, because every example on this list offers all the equipment you’d need and decent performance.
Read on as we count down our top 10 list of best used family SUVs for less than £15,000.
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10: Land Rover Freelander
Here’s one for those looking for a mini-Range Rover, but on the cheap. The Freelander is one of the few family SUVs that has genuine off-road credibility, and is equally at home parked up in front of M&S as it is in the countryside tackling mud and snow.
10: Land Rover Freelander - interior
Go for a diesel auto for reasonable fuel economy and a relaxing driving experience.
We found: 2014 Land Rover Freelander 2.2 SD4 SE auto, 29,000 miles, £13,899
9: Volkswagen Tiguan
The Volkswagen Tiguan has regularly been one of the most popular family SUVs around, which explains why you can only get the previous-generation version for our £15,000 budget.
9: Volkswagen Tiguan - interior
Even so, the old Tiguan was still a solid performer, particularly the torquey 2.0-litre that has no trouble carrying a car-load of people around, or towing a caravan. Later Match Edition versions come with lots of kit, so are worth looking out for.
We found: 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI Bluemotion Tech Match Edition auto, 20,308 miles, £13,190
8: Skoda Yeti
Many were very upset when the Skoda Yeti had to make way for the current Karoq, but the reason for that was that we were the only market to truly appreciate the quirky looks. Others simply didn’t get it.
Anyway, the new car market’s loss is the used car buyer's gain, because a pre-owned Yeti is one of the most affordable family SUVs on this list.
8: Skoda Yeti - interior
Plus, the boxy exterior means you get a very practical interior, with rear seats that slide and fold in a multitude of ways to make the most of the available space.
We found: 2017 Skoda Yeti Outdoor 2.0 TDI SE Drive, 20,200 miles, £10,995
7: BMW X1
Car buyers do like a premium brand, and they don’t come much more blue-chip than BMW.
The current X1 is a fine family SUV with bags of room inside, a quality interior that’ll withstand the tantrums of even the moodiest of toddlers and an electric tailgate is standard, so there shouldn’t be any trapped fingers to worry about when closing the boot.
7: BMW X1 - interior
The only fly in the ointment is that to be able get an X1, you’ll need to buy something older, without any manufacturer’s warranty left and with more miles on it.
We found: 2016 BMW X1 18d SE auto, 23,409 miles, £14,500
6: Renault Kadjar
Perhaps a little overshadowed by the more popular Nissan Qashqai (a shame, really, considering that the two are basically identical mechanically under the skin), the Renault Kadjar is a bit of a bargain against its rivals.
Not only is it the newest car on this list, but it has a big boot for all your pram and/or weekly shopping requirements, plus it can be had with a smooth 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine.
6: Renault Kadjar - interior
It’s hardly exciting to drive, but it is easy – which is a good thing while you are trying to break up a fight between squabbling children in the back.
We found: 2019 Renault Kadjar 1.3 TCe Dynamique Nav, 5581 miles, £13,795
5: Toyota C-HR
We can’t quite afford a hybrid family SUV for £15,000 yet, but that’s okay since the regular turbo petrol engine in the Toyota C-HR is actually our favourite version.
It handles sweetly, is swift enough for most needs and looks just as interesting inside as it does on the outside. Quite a departure from a conservative brand such as Toyota.
5: Toyota C-HR - interior
The major drawback with the C-HR is that for families with babies and younger children, the high waistline and small back windows do make it very claustrophobic in the rear. Otherwise, this would have come much higher on this list.
We found: 2017 Toyota C-HR 1.2 Icon, 11,000 miles, £15,000
4: Hyundai Tucson
The recent facelift of the Hyundai Tucson means that values of pre-facelift examples have dropped considerably, meaning you can get a well-specified example easily within our budget.
And we do mean well-specified because SE Nav comes with rear parking sensors, cruise control, heated front seats, climate control and a reversing camera. Oh, and of course sat-nav.
4: Hyundai Tucson - interior
You won’t find it entertaining to drive, but it is comfortable and refined enough for most people's needs.
We found: 2017 Hyundai Tucson 1.7 CRDi SE Nav 2WD, 15,862 miles, £13,591
3: Nissan Qashqai
The car that is responsible for every family SUV that has come since, the Nissan Qashqai was a trendsetter when it arrived in 2006 and continues to be a very popular choice.
However, in its old age, the second-generation Qashqai has been overtaken by a number of competitor offerings, which is one of the reasons why it goes no higher in this list. The other is its poor reliability, according to the latest What Car? Reliability survey, where it featured near the bottom of the family SUV class.
3: Nissan Qashqai - interior
However, there are loads of used examples to choose from and an engine to suit all needs. Pick a mid-range Acenta Premium version for plenty of kit and safety tech, and you’ll have an easy-to-drive, refined and economical family SUV.
We found: 2018 Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi Acenta Premium, 4261 miles, £14,250
2: Seat Ateca
Another great family SUV that’s only let down by a middling reliability result, the Seat Ateca is one of the very best of its kind to drive – feeling sure-footed on a challenging B-road, nimble in the city and refined on the motorway.
It’s also backed up by a cracking range of engines, with everything from frugal diesels to punchy petrols with clever cylinder deactivation technology to save fuel.
2: Seat Ateca - interior
Practicality is still a top priority because the doors open nice and wide to make putting a child in a car seat easier, the boot is big and a very useful square shape, and there will be no complaints for more space inside from passengers.
Even the dashboard looks smart, and is really easy to use. If only it had the warranty and reliability record of our top choice, the Ateca might have won this top 10.
We found: 2017 Seat Ateca 1.6 TDI SE Technology, 14,037 miles, £14,499
1: Kia Sportage
In the best traditions of family SUVs, all the control weights of the Kia Sportage are light and easy to manage, making this a perfectly pleasant vehicle for getting you and your loved ones around. Body movement is kept in check, so the Sportage never feels cumbersome, and as long as you stick to mid-range models with 17in alloy wheels, you shouldn’t find the ride to be too firm.
And even if you do go for a mid-spec ‘2’ Sportage, you’ll still get sat-nav, rear parking sensors, heated front seats, power-folding door mirrors, dual-zone climate control, auto lights and wipers and privacy glass along with some additional safety tech.
1: Kia Sportage - interior
The 1.7-litre diesel suits the Sportage since the extra low-down torque makes for a more relaxed driving experience. Low fuel consumption should make it cheap to run, too.
Also, you shouldn’t have any issues with the Sportage because, according to out latest reliability data, it’s the most dependable family SUV out there. All in all, it’s easy to see why this Kia is the best used car of its type for less than £15,000.
We found: 2017 Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi 2, 12,809 miles, £13,627