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An orange 2018 Jeep Renegade is parked on the sand at a beach with rock formations.

Best Used Jeep SUVs To Buy On A Budget

The market for Jeep vehicles is rich with potential consumers looking to dip their toe into the rugged 4×4 lifestyle that Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles’ has to offer. It’s easy finding a used Jeep dealer scattered around and about, but the hard part is finding the right kind of Jeep to fit your lifestyle, your driving expectations, and most importantly, your finances. If you’ve shown interest in shopping for a Jeep SUV, you might be inclined to seek out some of the older used models, especially if you’re restricted to buying a used vehicle on a budget.

Jeep Compass

The Jeep Compass is one of the newer additions to the Jeep lineup of SUVs, specifically in the crossover category. It made its debut during the mid-aughts and has been part of the Jeep family ever since.

The five-door SUV seats up to five people, and the 2017 Compass has an EPA-rated fuel economy of 22 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway.

The Jeep Compass makes for a good budget buy as a used SUV because it canvasses a lot of different categories all at once. It’s sporty and hip enough to appeal to young people but provides enough passenger volume and seating space for a small family. The cargo space affords for up to 53.6 cubic feet of storage in the 2017 model, great for light office supplies or shopping.

Some of the trims of the Jeep Compass with under 75,000 miles on them can be acquired for just $11,000 used if you shop around. The price scales based on year, model, and features, but the Jeep Compass fits into that sweet middle ground where it’s not so old that previous generations leave you bereft of the necessary safety and infotainment features, but it’s also just old enough where previous model years can be obtained for fairly low prices from the used market.

A red 2017 Jeep Compass is parked on a rocky river bank.

Jeep Renegade

Much like the Jeep Compass, the Jeep Renegade is one of those crossover vehicles that targets multiple demographics without sacrificing too much of its identity in the process. Unlike the Jeep Compass, though, the Renegade is certainly sportier, more compact, and has all of the tools to appeal to a young driver.

However, the Renegade is also designed for off-road traversal and is fitted with a suspension that begs to be taken off the beaten path. If you’re working with a budget and need a used SUV that’s compact and sporty, then the Renegade fits into that slot perfectly.

It only has a rear cargo volume of up to 18.5 cubic feet, so you’re giving up quite a bit of space compared to the Compass, but it also compensates that space with better fuel economy, which clocks in at 22 MPG in the city and up to 31 MPG on the highway for the 2019 model year.

You can find some trims with fewer than 100,000 miles on them for as low as $12,000. The subcompact crossover is a fairly recent addition to the Jeep brand, so the fact that the price is that low within just a few years means that once newer generations emerge, you can expect the price tag to drop even further for used models from older generations.

If you didn’t want to break the bank on an SUV but also wanted something more current than the Jeep Compass, the Jeep Renegade certainly manages to fulfill that space. The only downside is the fact that the five-passenger subcompact crossover SUV isn’t as roomy as its larger sibling, and so that’s something to consider.

Jeep Patriot

If the price isn’t your biggest concern, but rather size, then you may need something further up the chain to accommodate your preferences. The Jeep Patriot is a good alternative if you want a larger, roomier SUV that doesn’t break the bank.

The 2017 Patriot seats up to five and has a max cargo volume of 53.5 cubic feet and a fuel economy of 23 MPG in the city and up to 30 MPG on the highway. One benefit to the Patriot is that since Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles no longer manufacture new Patriots under the Jeep brand, it means that there are only used models out in the wild and many of them can be acquired for extremely low prices. How low? Under $10,000 in some cases.

In fact, it’s not too hard to find a Jeep Patriot with less than 75,000 miles on it and either around or just under $10,000.

Since it’s basically much like the Jeep Compass, just with a slightly different body style and less cargo volume, Jeep eventually decided to remove it from the lineup. However, this is a benefit for those shopping on a budget because if you liked the Compass but weren’t interested in paying above a certain price for it, the Patriot offers many of the same features, just at a fraction of the cost.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

A black 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee is shown from the front on a dirt road after leaving a used Jeep dealer.

What if you’re working with a tight budget, but you aren’t interested in a small SUV? This greatly limits your choices for sure, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee is classified as a mid-size SUV and provides a nice step up from the other offerings for those who need more room, cargo capacity, and passenger volume.

The Cherokee seats up to five and comes in a number of different trims, as well as very powerful powertrain options. Unlike the Compass, Patriot, and Renegade, you can actually have a performance-ready 6.4-liter V8 in the 2019 Grand Cherokee, for example, that produces up to 707 horsepower.

The performance factors also help separate the Grand Cherokee from the others, given that it can tow a lot more than the smaller crossovers and sub-compacts. The 2019 Grand Cherokee has a max tow rating of up to 7,400 pounds. So if you wanted to do more than just travel from point ‘A’ to point ‘B,’ you can definitely use the Grand Cherokee to tow or trailer fairly heavy cargo.

While the price of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is obviously higher than every other SUV on the list, the Grand Cherokee has been around for a really long time. Because of this, it’s quite possible to find a number of different trims or model years that are much lower in price than you would otherwise pay for a Grand Cherokee.

In fact, there are plenty of used Grand Cherokee SUVs available for under $30,000 with less than 40,000 miles on them, as well as some that feature less than 75,000 miles and are available for under $20,000.
A used Grand Cherokee is certainly a good option for those who want a professional, executive, or luxury-tier SUV for business travel or leisure, but without crippling your wallet in the process.

Prices, Years, And Trims

In addition to the vehicles mentioned in this article, you also have to consider that the prices will vary wildly depending on what sort of features and amenities they come with. Not every vehicle is made the same, even if they come from the same marque. Different models and years will completely change the price of entry along with the trim selection.

Some of the used vehicles will cost more or less depending on whether you go with something newer or older. However, older but limited trims will still cost you more than a newer but more basic trim for some vehicles. If cost isn’t as much of a problem for you, then eyeing something higher up the chain of Jeep’s offerings like the Wrangler, Gladiator, or Grand Cherokee might be a better option.