Where should you put your money in this popular and practical segment?
Seemingly it’s not enough for a car maker to have one SUV in their line-up these days. So popular is this category that many manufacturers offer two or more models, to cater for all tastes and size of family. The smaller variants are especially popular, as they mix the high driving positions, practical cabins and 4×4 drivetrains of their larger stablemates with sharper responses and a more compact, city-friendly size.
Here are our top six used buys, and one to avoid as well.
6. Land Rover Freelander
This small SUV can cope with pretty much every type of road possible. The Land Rover Freelander can climb rough slopes with ease, but it’s smooth and comfortable on tarmac, too. Despite some misgivings about cabin quality, though, the luxury image doesn’t come cheap.
Our pick: 2013 2.2 TD4 XS (22,000 miles): £17,296
5. Peugeot 3008
It’s easy to see why the 3008 is one of Peugeot’s most popular models, as it’s highly practical, with a versatile load area and great on-road comfort. It’s not the best for driving thrills, but it’s excellent value for money on the used market.
Our pick: 2013 1.6 HDI 115 Active II (32,500 miles): £7488
4. Audi Q3
Exhibiting all the usual Audi classy and quality, the Q3 has an upmarket, quality cabin plus punchy and economical engines and a stable and comfortable ride. Downsides are a slightly smaller rear passenger compartment than in some rivals, and a high second-hand price.
Our pick: 2013 2.0 TDI SE (33,000 miles): £14,992
3. VW Tiguan
There are plenty of examples of Volkswagen’s Tiguan on the used market, and it’s easy to see why the car is so popular. It looks smart and solid, and can easily carry five people and their kit. Strong engines further enhance its competency, and it’s comfortable in all conditions.
Our pick: 2013 2.0 TDI SE (35,000 miles): £13,599
2. Nissan Qashqai
An innovative mix of SUV looks and family hatch ease of use have made this crossover hugely popular in the UK. The Nissan Qashqai is also very reliable, with a high-quality, spacious cabin yet a compact exterior. Brilliant reliability is reflected in slightly high prices.
Our pick: 2014 1.5 dCi Acenta Premium (30,000 miles): £12,488
1. Skoda Yeti
The Skoda Yeti is a perfect used bargain. It looks great, is extremely practical, plus its boot rivals that of an estate for capacity. With great build quality and economy, plus an engaging drive, you can’t get a more capable used small SUV.
Our pick: 2014 2.0 TDI CR Elegance (32,500 miles): £10,988
One to avoid: Suzuki Jimny
Aged and archaic Suzuki Jimny is great off-road but pretty poor on it. It lags behind more mainstream rivals in pretty much every area.