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Best cheap 4x4s and SUVs

Need an SUV on a tight budget? Take a look at these used car bargains

The UK’s roads are awash with SUVs of all shapes and sizes but, sadly, if you want a new one for yourself, you’ll need to part with some serious cash in hand. This is where the used SUV market comes in, as the best cheap 4x4s and SUVs can make for some serious bargains and there’s no shortage of choice.

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Whether you want to use one of these spacious motors as a family car, a capable off-roader or simply a day-to-day runabout with a better view of the road, there’ll be a cheap used SUV out there for you. To make your search as easy as possible, our experts have scoured the classified ads to find the very best cheap SUVs on the market.

Whatever your budget, the cars we’ve listed below offer plenty of bang for your buck. As always, make sure that any used car you look at is in top condition, and that it comes with a full service history and a clear history check.

​​The best cheap SUVs and 4x4s:

Maximum space or a minimal price, we’ve rounded up the best cheap 4x4s and SUVs below.

Kia Sorento Mk3 

  • We found: 2.2 CRDi KX-2 auto, 2017, 64k miles - £14,995
  • Years produced: 2015-2022
  • Engines available: 2.2 diesel
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By the time Kia introduced the third-generation Sorento in 2015, it had really got into its stride with its flagship SUV. Equipped with seven seats and four-wheel drive as standard, there was just one engine available: a 2.2-litre diesel that can be a bit gruff under acceleration, but which provides plenty of muscle for relaxed cruising and easy towing. 

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Choose between six-speed manual or automatic transmissions; the latter is what we’d choose, although the manual also works well. Even the entry-level KX-1 is well equipped, but the KX-2 adds leather trim, heated back seats and navigation. The KX-3 and KX-4 are really posh.

Volvo XC60 Mk2

  • We found: T8 Twin Engine R-Design auto, 2020, 72k miles - £23,695
  • Years produced: 2017-date
  • Engines available: 2.0T PHEV

Volvo has moved upmarket in recent years, with cars that are more desirable, but ever more expensive. The Mk2 XC60 is a case in point; it’s significantly safer, better to drive and more handsome than its predecessor, but there are few bargains to be had. 

The 385bhp T8 Twin Engine is a fine plug-in hybrid powertrain, with a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine, plus a punchy electric motor. A slightly cheaper 335bhp T6 Recharge plug-in hybrid arrived in December 2020.

Land Rover Discovery Mk5 

  • We found: 2.0 SD4 S auto, 2018, 73k miles - £24,950
  • Years produced: 2017 to date
  • Engines available: 2.0T, 3.0T petrol, 2.0, 3.0 diesel
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The Land Rover Discovery has become the archetypal off-roader-cum-people-carrier, because ever since the original 1989 model there’s been the option of seating for seven. The earliest Discoveries had crude boot-mounted seats, but the latest generation has electrically adjustable chairs that slide flat at the touch of a button. 

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Surprisingly, there’s no plug-in hybrid option, so you’ll have to pick between petrol and diesel, although there are very few of the former. But that’s no problem, because the diesel makes sense in terms of running costs, and in 3.0-litre form especially, it offers effortless cruising. All Discoveries have an automatic transmission. 

BMW X5 Mk3

  • We found: 40d M Sport auto, 2017, 70k miles - £28,995
  • Years produced: 2013-2018
  • Engines available: 3.0T, 4.4, 4.4T petrol, 2.0, 3.0 diesel, 2.0 PHEV

BMW’s first SUV was the original X5 that was launched in 2000, and with each generation the formula has been improved. Although the X5 has grown along with the need to accommodate seven seats, even so, the third row is cramped for adults. 

But not all X5s have seven seats; they came with five as standard, with the option of an extra pair. The X5 ticks all of the boxes you’d expect of a luxury SUV: lots of performance, a hi-tech interior, impressive build quality and some superb powertrains, although most on sale are diesels.

Range Rover Velar Mk1

  • We found: 3.0 HSE auto, 2019, 36k miles - £29,490
  • Years produced: 2017 to date
  • Engines available: 2.0T, 3.0S, 5.0 petrol, 2.0, 3.0 diesel, 2.0 PHEV

We defy you to find a better-looking SUV than the Range Rover Velar, which was introduced seven years ago and hasn’t aged at all, inside or out. All cars have four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission, the latter ensuring the Velar is as adept off the road as it is on it. 

While purchase and running costs are high, this is a wonderful cruiser with such a glorious cabin that the Velar doesn’t seem poor value. But be very diligent with your pre-purchase checks, because build quality and electronic problems are not unusual, and repair costs can be high.

Best cheap SUVs and 4x4s

Lucky enough to afford a new car instead? These are the best SUVs to buy..

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Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

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