Best used mid-size SUVs and 4x4s 2023
Here’s our round-up of the very best used mid-size SUVs and 4x4s that just keep on giving
Many of these used mid-size SUVs have the same underpinnings as new models that are on sale today, while the engine line-ups should still be frugal enough.
Depending on the age of the car or the brand you buy into, there could be some time left on the original warranty as well, which should offer peace of mind if you’re on a tighter budget.
While some of these used mid-size SUVs are a little older, they still have all of the character and class that took them to the sharp end of the market when they were new, so as a used buy they offer better value and the same great breadth of abilities.
Depending on the date many of them were registered some will benefit from either low or maybe even free road tax, so combined with efficient engines (the majority were developed and sold when diesel was prevalent, but petrol alternatives are available) they should all be cheap enough to run, and will provide dependable family transport.
Best used mid-size 4x4s and SUVs to buy
- Skoda Karoq
- Dacia Duster
- MG HS
- Renault Kadjar
- Mazda CX-5
- Toyota RAV4
- SEAT Ateca
- Peugeot 3008
- Skoda Yeti
- Kia Sportage
1. Skoda Karoq - Used Mid-Size SUV of the Year
Our pick: 1.5 TSI SE Technology (£14,200 18/18 45k miles)
How good is the Skoda Karoq as a second-hand buy? Well, it’s just Best mid-size SUV honours in our 2022 Used Car Awards. As sharp to drive as it is to look at, the compact Czech SUV is certainly a desirable choice.
Yet it’s sensible, too, with a spacious interior that combines practical features, such as a sliding rear bench, with upmarket fit and finish. The Karoq’s 521-litre boot rivals models from the class above, while the option of four-wheel drive serves up surprising off-road capability. What’s more, a recent facelift means there are bargains to be had on earlier cars.
Buyacar finance options
Buying a three-year-old Karoq could save more than £10,000 over a brand-new equivalent. That’s good for used buyers, who’ll pay less to purchase the car, but also means monthly payments of under £350 on a four-year hire purchase contract with a £3,000 deposit.
2. Dacia Duster
As a cheap-and-cheerful used SUV, the Duster deserves serious consideration. It’s not the most sophisticated option, but the Dacia is roomy, versatile and represents outstanding value for money. It’s also decent to drive. There’s lots of body roll, but the budget machine clings on well and does a good job of soaking up bumps.
Go for the four-wheel-drive model and you get impressive off-road ability, too. Inside, early used models feel basic, while the entry-level Access is sparsely equipped. However, pick an Expression or Laureate and you’ll have a capable and well equipped off-roader for thousands less than mainstream rivals.
3. MG HS
MG has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years, with the brand’s mix of low prices and a long warranty earning it lots of new fans. The HS is the firm’s flagship model and may seem like a left-field choice, but while it still feels off the pace in terms of driving dynamics and interior quality, it offers a lot of space and loads of kit for not much cash. There’s even a plug-in hybrid that’ll do 32 miles in EV mode.
4. Renault Kadjar
It took Renault a few attempts to find a winning SUV formula, but with the Kadjar it hit the jackpot. It arrived in 2015 with a compelling blend of style, space and low running costs, taking it straight to the top of the class.
Its popularity when new means there are plenty of examples to choose from, while its rounded styling still looks good today. Inside, the Kadjar rivals premium cars for quality and tech, while its 472-litre boot is one of the biggest. Precise steering and balanced handling make it good to drive, but it offers Renault’s trademark cushioned ride and low noise levels, too. Even better, prices start at less than £6,000 for this talented model.
5. Mazda CX-5
Buying a family-focused SUV doesn’t have to mean giving up on driving fun, as the CX-5 proves. Quick steering and finely honed suspension help the Mazda serve up proper driver engagement through a series of corners, while the precise manual gearbox has a similar slick feel to the one used in the firm’s MX-5 roadster.
Yet this is a family car, too, thanks to its very roomy interior, big boot and comfortable ride. What’s more, the quality of the cabin took a leap forward with this second-generation CX-5, which matches premium rivals for ambience and technology. If you’re still undecided, then it’s worth noting that the Mazda finished second overall in this year’s Driver Power poll.
6. Toyota RAV4
Planning to keep your mid-size SUV for a long time, or want peace of mind throughout your time with a car? The Toyota RAV4 has an industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, which transfers to subsequent owners as long as you keep the car serviced at a Toyota main dealer.
But there’s little point in keeping a car for years if it’s not very good. Thankfully, the RAV4 is a multi-talented machine, with low running costs, a comfortable ride and plenty of space for a growing family or someone with very bulky hobby equipment. This time around, the RAV4 is hybrid only, while a more recent plug-in hybrid offers up to 60 miles of electric range according to official estimates.
7. SEAT Ateca
A former winner at our annual New Car Awards ceremony, the SEAT Ateca secured a top-10 finish in this year’s Driver Power survey, proving that it is an equally attractive used choice. Sharp lines mean the Spanish machine still creates a stir, while few compact SUVs are as engaging to drive.
Yet the SEAT is much more than just a pretty face, because its interior mixes the brand’s design flair with impressive quality and enough space for most growing families. There’s a quick 296bhp Cupra version, but for most buyers the 1.5 TSI petrol is the best bet. If you can stretch to a post-2020 facelift model, then you’ll also benefit from an excellent upgraded 9.2-inch infotainment system.
8. Peugeot 3008
When it unveiled the second-generation 3008 in 2017, Peugeot transformed its compact crossover from ugly duckling to stylish swan. The old car’s ungainly looks were replaced by new contemporary lines with lots of classy kerb appeal.
It’s just as upmarket inside, where neat touches such as the fabric inserts on the doors and dash lift the ambience. It’s roomy, while the suspension balances agility and comfort. If you do lots of short trips, then the plug-in hybrid is worth paying a premium for, but the best value is offered by the lively and efficient turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol.
9. Skoda Yeti
Few family cars caused such a stir as the Yeti when it arrived in 2012. Combining rugged SUV looks with MPV versatility and family hatch driving dynamics, the charming Czech machine was an instant hit. The boxy lines mean there’s plenty of space inside, while the optional VarioFlex rear seats independently slide and recline for maximum versatility.
Early versions lack the most advanced tech, but facelifted cars are better equipped. All drive brilliantly, with agile handling and a composed ride. There’s lots of engines to pick from, but the 1.2 TSI petrol is brisk and efficient. Robust build and solid dependability mean the Yeti certainly isn’t an abominable choice.
10. Kia Sportage
Leading the charge in Kia’s rise from bargain brand to premium player has been the Sportage. In desirable fourth-generation guise it combines the eye-catching style of its predecessor with an interior that’s roomy, slickly designed and full of decent connectivity.
Light controls and composed handling make it good to drive, while apart from a firm low-speed ride, it’s refined and comfortable. Frugal diesels are the most popular choice, but the 2018 facelift brought mild-hybrid technology. Proving it’s not just us who think the Kia is a great choice, owners placed it sixth overall in our 2022 Driver Power satisfaction survey.
Now find out more about the best used cars you can buy...