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A red 2018 Jeep Wrangler is parked off-road with a mountain view.

2020 Buyer’s Guide for Top 5 Used SUVs

If you’re shopping for a used SUV in 2020, you’re in luck. There are plenty of great options to choose from. Several years of SUV innovation has left us with a premium selection of high-tech, high-powered vehicles on the resale market. Whether you’re searching for a comfortable family-sized vehicle with top safety ratings or a rugged SUV that drives like a truck, you’ll have no problem getting excellent value from the most dependable, classic brands.

2018 Toyota 4Runner

The 2018 Toyota 4Runner comes with a standard V6 engine that tows up to an impressive 5,000 pounds and produces up to 270 horsepower. With an optional 3rd row seat, you can fit up to seven passengers in this highly capable SUV. Its narrow body provides agility through rugged trails, where it’s 9.6-inch ground clearance proves useful for dips and bumps on the road. Incorporated into the rear liftgate is the 4Runner’s power retractable rear window. If your rugged SUV kicks up some mud on the back, the option to lower the rear window provides instant visibility. This feature also comes in handy when trying to load cargo into the cargo bay.

In 2018, the TRD Enhancement package and the Wilderness packages were introduced. The TRD Enhancement package comes with a TRD-stamped aluminum front skid plate and 17-inch off-road wheels in matte grey. For roof-rack crossbars, all-weather floor mats, and cargo tray, the Wilderness package is worth searching for. However, a roof rack comes standard in all models, making it the perfect choice for an SUV driver who wants to take this vehicle from driving around town to heading out on weekend adventures. Depending on which of the six trims you choose, you can find Siri Eyes-Free, a rearview camera, water-resistant seats or leather seats and dual climate control as standard. Shop around for a reliable 4Runner that best suits your lifestyle.

A spacious cabin with easy to use dials and buttons makes the 4Runner easy to drive and operate. The 2018 4Runner also provides lots of versatility inside. A 40/20/40-split seat in the rear allows for multiple configurations. If you opt for the 3rd row, these fold flat so you don’t have to compromise on cargo space. You still get about 90 cubic feet of cargo space, even with the extra row added for when you need it.

A blue 2018 Toyota 4Runner, which is popular among used SUVs, is parked with hills in the background.

2017 Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V from any year is generally well-rated, but the introduction of the all-new 5th generation in 2017 proved to be an especially popular year. With a slightly larger size came a more spacious interior. Pairing this with greater accessibility to technology features makes a slightly used 2017 CR-V a solid buy for 2020. Opting for anything above the base model means that the Honda Sensing suite of safety features comes standard. This includes adaptive cruise control, collision-mitigation braking, lane keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring.

All-wheel drive is optional on all trims. Yet, the two engine options vary depending on your trim choice. These include a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine from previous models and a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that was new for 2017. Using regular gas, the turbo-engine provides some improvements in fuel efficiency. It offers 28/34 miles per gallon in forward-wheel drive CR-V models. Although the CR-V offers several beneficial driving elements, towing is not it’s strong point. Its towing limit is 1,500 pounds, which is considered on the lower end for modern SUVs. Nonetheless, for driving around town, the Honda CR-V is a reliable option.

2015 Toyota RAV4

2015 brought about some stylish changes for the RAV4. If you’re lucky enough to find a used Limited model with the Blizzard Pearl Premium Package, your SUV will be dazzled in special paint and come equipped with 18-inch wheels. For the XLE models, power liftgates were offered. Get a combined fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon in the RAV4’s efficient engine. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine offers 176 horsepower. Driver’s can enjoy a smooth and quiet ride, even a top highway speeds. Customize your ride with Sport mode for a quick gas pedal response or Eco mode for extra savings on gas. A standard back-up camera with optional blind spot detection and rear-cross traffic alert improves visibility and safety.

Although it’s a compact crossover, the RAV4 does everything possible to maximize its interior cargo space. Fold the back seats flat to the floor for a generous 73.4 cubic feet of room. Rear passengers can enjoy plenty of legroom. Front seats are also very comfortable, making long rides a breeze. Unlike RAV4s that were made prior to 2015, the rear-mounted spare tire was discontinued. This allows for a more convenient swing-up rear door, as opposed to the swing-out function of older generations. All-wheel drive is available on any model. Base LE models include Entune, with a 6.1-inch display, Bluetooth connectivity, and USB inputs. For a vehicle that’s almost five years old, the 2015 RAV4 stands up to SUVs being created in 2020.

2018 Jeep Wrangler

2018 was a year of change for the classic Wrangler. Its four-door design takes this rugged SUV seamlessly from desert mountains and onto city roads. Improved body mounts, new steering, 5-link suspension system, return shocks, and an upgraded drivetrain makes it one of the most adaptable SUVs on the market. If you’re searching for the most fuel-efficient SUV; however, this is one area that Wrangler tends to fall a bit short.

Although ride quality has become more sophisticated, the 2018 Wrangler can still hold its own while off-roading. Horsepower from either of the two engine options is in a league of its own. The 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-4 produces 268 horsepower and 295 pounds per foot of torque. A larger 3.6 liter V6 produces 285 horsepower and 260 pounds per foot of torque. A four-wheel drive system and solid axles in the front and rear guarantee its capability to handle any terrain.

2015 Mazda CX-5

A red 2015 Mazda CX-5 is driving on a city street.

This five-passenger compact SUV offers good value in a stylish package. If you’re looking for a manual transmission, the 2015 Mazda CX-5 is one of your few options left. The six-speed stick shift is only available in the base Sports model with front-wheel drive, so be aware of that stipulation if that’s what you’re searching for. All-wheel drive is available on any trim, other than the manual Sport. The CX-5’s automatic braking system is a rare find for an SUV in this price range. If you’re traveling along a slow speed, up to 19 miles per hour, laser sensors will apply the brakes if a collision seems imminent. This is perfectly designed for situations of stop and go traffic.

Standard features on any trim level includes stability and traction control, along with anti-lock brakes. A push-button start and cruise control come with the Sport version, while luxury features like a 5.8-inch color display, back-up camera, and heated front seats become available on higher trims. It tows up to 2,000 pounds and can output a maximum of 184 horsepower with the 2.5-liter engine option. All in all, the Mazda CX-5 from 2015 provides great value in a dependable SUV.

Used SUVs

If you are in the market for a dependable used SUV, check out any of the vehicles mentioned above. But, don’t limit yourself to this list. Your needs are unique to you; look for something that can get you where you need to go with whoever or whatever you need to take with you.