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A blue 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is shown parked off-road after viewing used SUVs for sale.

Great Used Subcompact SUVs

Once upon a time, subcompact SUVs were not that much different from their subcompact sedan counterparts. These models were fine for young college students or commuters who were fine with a cramped model that saved on gasoline, but they weren’t really an option for young families, older drivers, and folks who wanted more performance, comfort, and convenience in their vehicles. Fortunately, automakers around the world heard this and started focusing on improving their subcompact SUV models.

One of the best ways to get behind the wheel of a subcompact SUV is to buy one used. Checking out used SUVs for sale allows you to stretch your budget further since used models cost less than comparable new ones. It also helps you make an educated decision, as you can read reviews on these models from drivers with similar needs as you. So, let’s get into it and discuss a few great subcompacts to check out.

#1 The Honda HR-V

The HR-V provides drivers with comfortable passenger space, solid fuel economy, great performance, and a pleasant design. Honda introduced the HR-V to the US in 2016 despite the model being around since the nineties, and the model has become a pretty popular choice amongst drivers. Opting for one of the 2016-2022 models will get you access to a second-row “Magic Seat” that provides additional cargo space. With the HR-V, you’ll notice earlier models had a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine that produced 141 hp; as of 2023, the HR-V uses a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine that yields 158 hp.

#2 Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru has always had a number of key selling points on its vehicles. Drivers looking for something small with the ability to handle a little adventure will enjoy the Crosstrek. This model comes with Subaru’s iconic Symmetrical all-wheel drive system, making it possible for you to tackle different terrain with ease. Since the Crosstrek was introduced, Subaru has included great safety and driver assist features on the model. Look for models with the “Subaru EyeSight” suite. This system includes features like adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and more.

A white 2020 Mazda CX-30 is shown driving on a highway.

#3 The Mazda CX-30

One of the more recent additions to the Mazda lineup is the Mazda CX-30. Since this model was only introduced in 2020, there are a lot of similarities between the new and used options. Drivers can find one of two 2.5L engines under the hood, both providing pretty exceptional fuel efficiency. For example, some CX-30 models have had fuel efficiency ratings of up to 31 MPG. If you are interested in one of these models, the only thing to keep in mind is that if all-wheel drive is a must-have for you, Mazda did not start including this as a standard feature until the 2022 model.

#4 The Buick Encore GX

One of the most interesting automobile evolutions in recent years was the decision by Buick to focus solely on developing and producing affordable luxury SUVs. If you want affordable elegance in a subcompact SUV, you can’t go wrong with a used Buick Encore GX.

The story of the Encore GX is very intriguing. When Buick introduced the Encore GX in 2020, it already had a subcompact SUV model called the Encore. Aside from creating a little confusion, Buick found out that drivers preferred the improved roominess and performance of the Encore GX over its smaller sibling. One of the reasons might have been trunk space, as the Encore only offered 18.8 cu.ft., significantly less than the 23.5 cu.ft. of cargo space inside the trunk of the Encore GX. The Encore was discontinued after the 2022 model year.

# 5 The Chevy Trailblazer

Despite the experience fellow General Motors brand Buick had with offering two subcompact SUVs at the same time, Chevrolet went ahead and did pretty much the same thing. However, the two Chevy subcompact SUVs are not even close fraternal twins. While the Chevy Trax has a conventional look, the Trailblazer has embraced the unconventional.

The Trailblazer has plenty of cargo space, a cavernous 54.4 cu.ft. with the rear seat folded down, which is why it is something for a student or someone who loves road-tripping and camping to consider. In fact, Chevy offers the Trailblazer with its moderate all-wheel drive off-road trim, the ACTIV.

#6 The Jeep Compass

With lines that mirror the Grand Cherokee, the Compass offers a level of refinement that is surprising for a Jeep. Find Compass models with front-wheel or all-wheel drive, performant 4-cylinder engines, and plenty of fun features. Some Compass models can even tow up to 2,000 lbs. The Compass is also one of the longest-running subcompact SUVs, with the first ones coming out in 2007. This is a testament to its quality. As a result, a used Compass is a solid choice for folks who want a little adventure in their lives.

#7 The Ford Bronco Sport

When Ford decided to bring back the Bronco after a 25-year break, the brand added a little surprise. In 2021, Ford introduced the Bronco Sport, a subcompact SUV that has standard four-wheel drive. In addition, depending on the used Bronco Sport model you choose, you can get such features as skid plates, oversized Sasquatch all-terrain tires, and recovery hooks. In other words, if you are serious about your time spent on the trails, then a used Ford Bronco Sport could be right for you.

Even though it is meant for off-roading, the Bronco Sport can handle itself well on the highway. Its choice of turbocharged engines gives you solid acceleration and decent fuel economy, between 23 and 26 MPG, depending on which engine you choose. This is why so many folks have fallen in love with the Bronco Sport subcompact SUV.

A green 2021 Kia Soul is shown driving off-road.

#8 The Kia Soul

Since its introduction in 2010, the Soul has had one of the most unconventional yet iconic looks of any model on the road. This is not one that you are going to lose in a crowded mall parking lot during a weekend shopping trip with your friends. It’s boxy yet cute and comes in a variety of unique fun colors like Inferno Red, Surf Blue, Alien 2, and Mars Orange.

One of the things that makes a used Soul a great choice for young drivers is its exceptional fuel economy, up to 35 MPG with some models. This will save you some serious bucks on your daily drive. The other is that the interior is surprisingly roomy, with up to 62 cu.ft. of cargo space available. You can easily fit up your friends in your used Soul, making it ideal for a fun weekend excursion.

The List Doesn’t End Here

We could go on all day about the various options available to drivers looking for a subcompact SUV. As you can see, there are a variety of options available for drivers looking to find a subcompact SUV that fits their needs, from commuter-friendly and road trip-worthy models to stylish, fun vehicles. That’s not all that there is to find, though; you can also check out models like the Kia Seltos, Hyundai Kona, Dodge Hornet, Toyota Corolla Cross, and more. Each vehicle provides something unique that will make you enjoy the drive. Plus, when you shop for a used subcompact SUV, you’ll definitely find something that fits well into your budget.