If you have been looking for a used vehicle for your family, odds are good that SUVs have been topping your list. SUVs have become one of the most popular vehicle categories and this has resulted in an incredibly saturated market that can be difficult to navigate. If you don’t know what you are looking for and what the best SUVs on the market are, you could end up with something that won’t suit your particular needs.
The best way to make a good choice for your used SUV is to narrow down your search. By understanding which models are rated the highest and which ones will be most likely to give you years of service and a great driving experience. Knowing some of the best used SUVs for 2023 and what they have to offer can help you drive away happy and confident that you have made the right decision.
1. Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 was one of the first crossover SUVs based on a car frame that was designed for people who want the driveability of a car with the versatility of an SUV. As one of the best-selling used cars in the United States, it is a great choice for those who need lots of room in the cabin along with a capable four-cylinder engine and a choice of either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
The 2017 RAV4 is one of its best model years with exceptional cargo space and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine putting out 176 horsepower. It has an above-average rating from Edmunds at 3.5/5 and can usually be found for anywhere between $18,200 and $23,588. Inside, the RAV4 features soft-touch surfaces and a near-premium build quality that is both comfortable and practical. The interior also features a 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and a functional operating system. If you are looking for an SUV that is known for being reliable and capable, the RAV4 could be a good option for you.
Browse used Toyota RAV4 listings here.
2. Honda CR-V
When shopping for an SUV, reliability and practicality should be two of the qualities you prioritize. The Honda CR-V has both of them in abundance. Since it was first introduced in the United States in 1987, the CR-V has remained one of the most popular compact SUVs on the market. With responsive handling that is more in line with a small car than an SUV, it is perfect for people who want something that will be as easy to drive as it is functional.
One of the best model years for this SUV is the 2021 CR-V with an excellent rating from Edmunds of 8.1/10. Its turbo 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine puts out 191 horsepower through Honda’s signature continuously variable automatic transmission. The cabin of the 2021 CR-V features relatively sleek styling and a 5.0-inch touchscreen that is also available as a larger 7.0-inch version with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. It also comes with a host of standard safety features like blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. You can find a 2021 CR-V on the used market for between $17,988 and $26,000.
Browse used Honda CR-V listings here.
3. Hyundai Santa Fe
The midsize SUV category tends to be one of the most oversaturated classes of vehicle and it can be incredibly difficult to find something that suits your needs. The Santa Fe features the spacious interior and responsive driveability you would want from a midsize SUV with a little more pickup than what you might expect. Hyundai has been making affordable, practical SUVs for years and the Santa Fe continues to be one of their best-selling offerings.
2020 is one of the best model years for the Santa Fe and should be at the top of your list when searching for your used SUV. Kelley Blue Book gave the 2020 Santa Fe a 4.6/5 rating and they can usually be found used for somewhere between $24,999 and $34,999 depending on the trim level. The base model features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine putting out 185 horsepower with competitive fuel economy for vehicles in this class. The cabin of the Santa Fe has a focus on quality and craftsmanship that isn’t as common as it should be for vehicles in this price range. If you need a new car that has a high-quality interior and gets decent gas mileage, the Santa Fe could be a fantastic choice.
Browse used Hyundai Santa Fe listings here.
4. Kia Sorento
When you are looking for midsize SUVs, a third row of seating might be more difficult to find than you think. However, the Kia Sorento comes with either two or three rows of seats and has become incredibly popular in the rankings over the years. The Sorento is a reliable, high-quality SUV that is a great choice for people who need to carry a lot of passengers but don’t want to feel like they are driving a boat down the road.
2017 is one of the best model years for the Kia Sorento with a KBB rating of 4.4/5 and features a 3.3-liter V6 engine putting out 290 horsepower. Inside, the Sorento is focused on comfort and ergonomics with quality materials and a well-designed layout. If you are able to find some of the higher trim levels, the interior gets closer to a luxury SUV with leather seats and other features that are higher quality than the standard features. A used 2017 Sorento will cost between $15,999 and $28,700.
Browse used Kia Sorento listings here.
5. Toyota Highlander
Reliability should be one of your biggest concerns when shopping for a used vehicle and all the best cars will have high ratings for dependability. Toyota has long been known as an automaker that produces incredibly reliable vehicles on a consistent basis. The Highlander is no exception and could be an excellent choice for people who want a vehicle they can depend on that is also easy to drive. This combination of qualities is what makes the Highlander such a popular SUV for all kinds of people.
2020 was a particularly good year for the Highlander and received a 4.6/5 rating from Cars.com. Its base 3.5-liter V6 engine puts out 295 horsepower through an eight-speed automatic transmission with either FWD or AWD. The 2020 Highlander also got an updated interior that brought a new level of style and design. The layout of the cabin is particularly well-thought-out with available captain’s chairs in the second row and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system as well as a variety of standard safety features like automated emergency braking and much more. On the used market, you can find a 2020 Highlander for anywhere between $29,970 and $42,502.
Browse used Toyota Highlander listings here.
6. Chevrolet Equinox
Chevy is a classic American automaker and while they and other U.S. companies like Ford are more well-known for their full-size SUVs, the compact Equinox is a fantastic example of what they do. If you need something bigger than a family sedan but also don’t want to sacrifice the driveability of a smaller vehicle, the Equinox could be a great choice. With plenty of room in the rear seats and a high spot in the safety rankings, it has a lot to offer.
The 2019 Equinox is one of the best model years available according to Kelley Blue Book, which gave it a 3.9/5 rating. It features the driveability and high seating you would expect from a compact SUV and a base turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine putting out 170 horsepower that is both decently powered and fuel-efficient with a combined EPA rating of 30 mpg. The interior is durable and attractive with tech features like a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Chevrolet's MyLink software. Depending on the trim level, you can find a 2019 Equinox for between $17,500 and $28,499.
Browse used Chevrolet Equinox listings here.
7. Mazda CX-5
The Mazda CX-5 is one of the most highly-rated compact crossovers on the market and is popular with both families and individuals. It features a unique exterior body design as well as an ergonomically-sound interior that is designed for long trips and regular commutes. The CX-5 has near-premium qualities that have consistently put it on best-of lists and brought it popularity that is well-deserved. Even with a relatively low list price, it still manages to deliver quality and style that is unparalleled.
If you are looking for the best model year for this popular crossover, Edmunds gave the 2021 CX-5 a well above-average 8.1/10 rating. The base four-cylinder engine puts out 187 horsepower and the throttle and steering are both incredibly responsive, which gives it a sporty feel that you can usually only find in sedans. The CX-5’s cabin is also generously appointed and is more in line with SUVs by BMW or Mercedes-Benz. Most 2021 CX-5s sell on the used market for anywhere between $23,499 and $32,499. If you want a vehicle that is a great value on top of being fun to drive, the CX-5 is a fantastic choice.
Browse used Mazda CX-5 listings here.
8. Toyota 4Runner
Finding an SUV with off-road capability and a comfortable interior can be difficult but the Toyota 4Runner straddles this line skillfully. This mid-size SUV has a body-on-frame architecture that is stable and rugged as well as seating for up to seven people when equipped with a third row of seats. The 4Runner is an incredibly versatile SUV that can be used for all kinds of applications. Plus, it comes with Toyota’s excellent reliability rating, so if you need something that you can depend on, it will be a good option.
According to Kelley Blue Book, 2017 was an outstanding year for the 4Runner and they gave it a rating of 4.6/5. This model year comes with a powerful, naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter V6 for exceptional capability both on the road and on the trail. While the base models come with front-wheel drive, AWD is an option for every other variant. The interior is spartan but fits with the rugged exterior and will be more than functional for most drivers, whether you are using it for commuting or for blazing a trail to a campsite.
Browse used Toyota 4Runner listings here.
9. Subaru Outback
Even though the Subaru Outback used to be considered a station wagon, newer iterations have moved more toward the crossover SUV category with higher ground clearance and larger cabins. The Outback features Subaru’s signature horizontally-opposed engine as well as its AWD system, making it a versatile and very functional vehicle for all kinds of people. Plus, newer versions of the Outback have all the tech and safety features you would want out of a family wagon with many more desirable features.
MotorTrend gave the 2021 Outback an 8.7/10 rating, making it a particularly outstanding model year. The base engine is a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder running through a continuously variable automatic transmission. The interior is made up of quality materials and is designed to be comfortable in both the front and rear seats. It also comes with standard safety features like automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot monitoring. Used 2021 Outbacks can generally be found for anywhere between $27,788 and $36,999.
Browse used Subaru Outback listings here.
10. Jeep Grand Cherokee
When shopping for a used SUV, it can be very difficult to find a good combination of comfort and capability. The Jeep Grand Cherokee has long been known as an SUV that walks this line beautifully and delivers the kind of performance you are probably looking for on top of a high-quality feel in the cabin. It also features sleek exterior styling that you might not expect from an SUV with the ability to hit the trails.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee had a particularly good year in 2020 with Kelley Blue Book giving it a 4.4/5 rating and this model features a base V6 engine that has a towing capacity of 6200 pounds. While it is incredibly capable both on and off the street, it also features a finely-tuned suspension that offers a comfortable ride, which can be a rarity in SUVs of this style. You can find a 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee on the used market for between $26,402 and $42,999. Depending on the trim level, the interior is either rugged or nearly luxurious, which makes this a great option if you are looking for versatility in your used SUV.
Browse used Jeep Grand Cherokee listings here.
11. GMC Terrain
GMC’s crossover, the Terrain, is a great middle-ground between a spacious cabin and inherent driveability. If you have found that most SUVs are simply too large and unwieldy, the Terrain could be a fantastic alternative for you. It features a relatively small wheelbase while still maintaining enough room in the cabin for all your passengers and equipment. With a comfortable interior and a smooth ride quality, it is a great all-around SUV.
The 2018 Terrain is one of the best model years according to Kelley Blue Book, which gave it a 4.1/5 rating. It features a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four-cylinder putting out 170 horsepower and while this isn’t the most powerful engine, the throttle is responsive and the steering is quick, making the Terrain as fun to drive as possible. The interior is functional and user-friendly with easy controls and decent materials. On the used market, most 2018 Terrains go for anywhere between $18,998 and $24,998. If you need a straightforward SUV that will give you years of service, the Terrain is a great choice.
Browse used GMC Terrain listings here.
Finding a high-quality used SUV can be difficult, especially because there are so many available on the market. The SUV category has gotten more and more oversaturated in recent years and if you don’t know which ones are the very best, you could end up regretting your decision. Buying a used car is always a gamble, but you can take some of the guesswork out of it if you know what to look for.
Knowing what the best SUVs for 2023 are is your best bet when trying to make the right choice. By having a good understanding of which SUVs have managed to cut through the noise and make their mark on drivers, you can drive away from the dealership secure in the knowledge that you have chosen wisely and that your new car will meet all your expectations.