The Best Used SUVs to Buy in 2021

The Best Used SUVs to Buy in 2021
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When it comes to rounding up the best used SUVs to buy in 2021, one major factor that reigns – in addition to performance, safety and fuel economy – is the vehicle’s overall value. 

And one major secret – that’s really not that much of a secret, in all honesty – is the immense value that comes simply by opting for a used model in lieu of a new one. Case in point: Gently used SUVs tend to cost anywhere between 40 and 50 percent less than their new counterparts. Need we say more?

Thankfully, Shift offers fair, no-haggle prices driven by powerful machine learning algorithms and tons of data, so you know you’re getting the best price on the market regardless of the make and model.

And that, in turn, frees you up to shop around for your new used SUV at ease.

BMW X3

BMW X3

With its large cabin, straightforward amenities, powerful engine performance, and precise handling, the BMW X3 reigns at the top of the luxury small SUV class. The interior of the X3 is premium, with capacity for five passengers and a roomy cargo bay. It's comfy and relaxing to drive on a daily basis, but it's still sporty and fun when winding through curvy turns. Engines choices include a turbocharged four-cylinder, a plug-in hybrid and a twin-turbo six-cylinder, all of which confidently propel the X3 onward. It's a bit thirstier than other SUVs, with a fuel economy of 14-25 mpg in the city and 19-29 mpg on the freeway. But its playfully rowdy delivery on the road more than makes up for it. The base price of the 2021 BMW X3 is $43,000, which ranks toward the top of luxury small SUV prices. Used X3s can go for as little as $14,000, which just goes to show the sort of value that used cars have to offer.

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BMW X3

With its large cabin, straightforward amenities, powerful engine performance, and precise handling, the BMW X3 reigns at the top of the luxury small SUV class. The interior of the X3 is premium, with capacity for five passengers and a roomy cargo bay. It's comfy and relaxing to drive on a daily basis, but it's still sporty and fun when winding through curvy turns. Engines choices include a turbocharged four-cylinder, a plug-in hybrid and a twin-turbo six-cylinder, all of which confidently propel the X3 onward. It's a bit thirstier than other SUVs, with a fuel economy of 14-25 mpg in the city and 19-29 mpg on the freeway. But its playfully rowdy delivery on the road more than makes up for it. The base price of the 2021 BMW X3 is $43,000, which ranks toward the top of luxury small SUV prices. Used X3s can go for as little as $14,000, which just goes to show the sort of value that used cars have to offer.

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Chevrolet Equinox

Chevrolet Equinox

The Chevrolet Equinox is an attractive contender among the ranks of compact SUVs these days, thanks to a slew of amenities, outstanding fuel efficiency and an overall superb dependability rating. The Equinox is a fantastic bargain thanks to its broad list of standard infotainment and active safety features, as well as its lower-than-average pricing for its class. With the option of FWD or AWD and a fuel economy of 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, the Equinox is a good option if you want a simple, roomy crossover SUV. New Equinoxes start at $23,800, making it one of the more affordable compact SUVs on the market today. The LS and LT trims are priced at $26,300 and $27,500, respectively, while the Premier trim sits at the top of the Equinox's price point at $31,400. Good-as-new used models can be found for less than $15,000, which makes you wonder why you’d buy new in the first place.

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Chevrolet Equinox

The Chevrolet Equinox is an attractive contender among the ranks of compact SUVs these days, thanks to a slew of amenities, outstanding fuel efficiency and an overall superb dependability rating. The Equinox is a fantastic bargain thanks to its broad list of standard infotainment and active safety features, as well as its lower-than-average pricing for its class. With the option of FWD or AWD and a fuel economy of 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, the Equinox is a good option if you want a simple, roomy crossover SUV. New Equinoxes start at $23,800, making it one of the more affordable compact SUVs on the market today. The LS and LT trims are priced at $26,300 and $27,500, respectively, while the Premier trim sits at the top of the Equinox's price point at $31,400. Good-as-new used models can be found for less than $15,000, which makes you wonder why you’d buy new in the first place.

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Ford Escape

Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is now in its fourth generation and remains one of the best-selling crossover SUVs in the world. Its debut in 2001 made the Ford Escape one of the first small SUVs to come from an American carmaker, and it was the first in the world to come in a hybrid option, which was released in 2004. To date, some 5 million Escapes have been manufactured, and with horsepower that ranges from 181 to 250, a combined fuel efficiency of 30 mpg and an affordable MSRP base price, it's pretty simple to see why. New Escapes start at around $29,000, but used versions will save you a pretty penny, to say the least, as they can be found for as little as $10,000.

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Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is now in its fourth generation and remains one of the best-selling crossover SUVs in the world. Its debut in 2001 made the Ford Escape one of the first small SUVs to come from an American carmaker, and it was the first in the world to come in a hybrid option, which was released in 2004. To date, some 5 million Escapes have been manufactured, and with horsepower that ranges from 181 to 250, a combined fuel efficiency of 30 mpg and an affordable MSRP base price, it's pretty simple to see why. New Escapes start at around $29,000, but used versions will save you a pretty penny, to say the least, as they can be found for as little as $10,000.

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Infiniti QX60

Infiniti QX60

If Nissan luxury line Infiniti is known for crafting classy rides, which it is, the QX60 is the brand's would-be poster child. Under the hood, it sports a powerful 295-horsepower engine that gets good gas mileage estimates – 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway – and with three rows of seating that allows for a total headcount of seven and the option of FWD or AWD, it’s all in all a well-rounded luxury SUV. Given all that Infiniti offers on the QX60, the price is tough to beat. New QX60s start at around $44,000 and range up to $48,000 for upper-tier trim variants. Used QX60s are priced around $30,000, which means major savings that make the OX60 an excellent option if you're shopping around for a budget luxury SUV.

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Infiniti QX60

If Nissan luxury line Infiniti is known for crafting classy rides, which it is, the QX60 is the brand's would-be poster child. Under the hood, it sports a powerful 295-horsepower engine that gets good gas mileage estimates – 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway – and with three rows of seating that allows for a total headcount of seven and the option of FWD or AWD, it’s all in all a well-rounded luxury SUV. Given all that Infiniti offers on the QX60, the price is tough to beat. New QX60s start at around $44,000 and range up to $48,000 for upper-tier trim variants. Used QX60s are priced around $30,000, which means major savings that make the OX60 an excellent option if you're shopping around for a budget luxury SUV.

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Lexus NX

Lexus NX

The Lexus NX small crossover features a beautiful and spacious cabin with seating for up to five, as well as plenty of standard safety features and excellent safety ratings. Comfortable seats and a large, quiet cabin with high-quality materials characterize the two-row NX. Both in the city and on the highway, the turbocharged engine provides a seamless, strong ride. Blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning with braking aid, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist are just a few of the active safety tech features that are available on the NX. New NX models range in price from just over $35,000 to over $90,000 for the LC grand touring coupe, while used models can go for as little as $27,000.

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Lexus NX

The Lexus NX small crossover features a beautiful and spacious cabin with seating for up to five, as well as plenty of standard safety features and excellent safety ratings. Comfortable seats and a large, quiet cabin with high-quality materials characterize the two-row NX. Both in the city and on the highway, the turbocharged engine provides a seamless, strong ride. Blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning with braking aid, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist are just a few of the active safety tech features that are available on the NX. New NX models range in price from just over $35,000 to over $90,000 for the LC grand touring coupe, while used models can go for as little as $27,000.

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Mazda CX-5

Mazda CX-5

When compared to other compact SUVs – the majority of which are front-wheel drive only – the Mazda CX-5 offers the option of FWD or all-wheel drive, which provides superior and safer handling and better performance all around. Having first debuted in 2012, in today's version of the CX-5 Mazda offers a horsepower of up to 227 and can tow up to 2,000 pounds, which is far more than the majority of its competitors. That's rather impressive, given that the CX-5 sports a fuel economy of 25 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the freeway. New Mazda CX-5s start in the mid-$20,000s, while used versions bring major savings thanks to their starting price of around $10,000.

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Mazda CX-5

When compared to other compact SUVs – the majority of which are front-wheel drive only – the Mazda CX-5 offers the option of FWD or all-wheel drive, which provides superior and safer handling and better performance all around. Having first debuted in 2012, in today's version of the CX-5 Mazda offers a horsepower of up to 227 and can tow up to 2,000 pounds, which is far more than the majority of its competitors. That's rather impressive, given that the CX-5 sports a fuel economy of 25 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the freeway. New Mazda CX-5s start in the mid-$20,000s, while used versions bring major savings thanks to their starting price of around $10,000.

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Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

The Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 ranks near the top of the luxury compact SUV class, thanks to its engine's snappy delivery, its plush and posh cabin, and long list of standard tech and safety features that come standard. The interior of the GLC is opulent and serene, with comfortable seats that accommodate up to five people, and a large cargo compartment, too. When navigating curving stretches of highway, the GLC's maneuvering is precise and poised, but it's still enjoyable to drive on the daily commute around town. Mercedes offers a variety of different engine options that range from 255 to 503 horsepower, and all of them get the GLC up and running quickly. The sticker price falls on the higher end of the price point for luxury SUVs, starting at $43,000 but stretching all the way to $84,000 for the top of the line variants. Used GLCs, however, can go for as little as $26,000 to $48,000, which means you needn't be a member of the 1 percent to drive like one.

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Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

The Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 ranks near the top of the luxury compact SUV class, thanks to its engine's snappy delivery, its plush and posh cabin, and long list of standard tech and safety features that come standard. The interior of the GLC is opulent and serene, with comfortable seats that accommodate up to five people, and a large cargo compartment, too. When navigating curving stretches of highway, the GLC's maneuvering is precise and poised, but it's still enjoyable to drive on the daily commute around town. Mercedes offers a variety of different engine options that range from 255 to 503 horsepower, and all of them get the GLC up and running quickly. The sticker price falls on the higher end of the price point for luxury SUVs, starting at $43,000 but stretching all the way to $84,000 for the top of the line variants. Used GLCs, however, can go for as little as $26,000 to $48,000, which means you needn't be a member of the 1 percent to drive like one.

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Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester

Since its release two decades ago, the Subaru Forester has evolved from being what was essentially a sportier take on a station wagon to a reliable compact crossover SUV with a playful but safe aptitude for exploring off road. The Subaru Forester is roomy and comfy, and it handles well both on and off the pavement. It offers decent fuel efficiency, a steady ride and is perfect for getting a bit dusty off the road. The Forester's interior space is well-apt for up to five passengers as well as plenty of space for cargo, and it also offers user-friendly technological features, too. The Forester does 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the freeway, which is an impressive gas mileage given that all-wheel-drive comes standard on all models. New Subaru Foresters cost between $25,000 and $35,000 approximately, whereas used late-year models are where the savings are at, going for as little as $18,000 or so.

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Subaru Forester

Since its release two decades ago, the Subaru Forester has evolved from being what was essentially a sportier take on a station wagon to a reliable compact crossover SUV with a playful but safe aptitude for exploring off road. The Subaru Forester is roomy and comfy, and it handles well both on and off the pavement. It offers decent fuel efficiency, a steady ride and is perfect for getting a bit dusty off the road. The Forester's interior space is well-apt for up to five passengers as well as plenty of space for cargo, and it also offers user-friendly technological features, too. The Forester does 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the freeway, which is an impressive gas mileage given that all-wheel-drive comes standard on all models. New Subaru Foresters cost between $25,000 and $35,000 approximately, whereas used late-year models are where the savings are at, going for as little as $18,000 or so.

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Toyota RAV4

Toyota RAV4

More than 10 million units of the Toyota RAV4 have been sold to date since it debuted in the United States in 1995, which makes this SUV the best-selling Toyota on the road to date. The RAV4 packs a horsepower of 203, making for a lively ride as far as pick-up and performance go. The surprisingly edgy 3.5-liter V-6 engine is also economical, offering a fuel efficiency of 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Taking into consideration its impressive gas mileage, room for cargo and passengers, and its lengthy list of standard tech amenities like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 7-inch touch screen infotainment system and pedestrian recognition, the RAV4 makes for an excellent choice of SUV. RAV4s start at little over $26,000 for new versions and as low as $14,000 used.

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Toyota RAV4

More than 10 million units of the Toyota RAV4 have been sold to date since it debuted in the United States in 1995, which makes this SUV the best-selling Toyota on the road to date. The RAV4 packs a horsepower of 203, making for a lively ride as far as pick-up and performance go. The surprisingly edgy 3.5-liter V-6 engine is also economical, offering a fuel efficiency of 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Taking into consideration its impressive gas mileage, room for cargo and passengers, and its lengthy list of standard tech amenities like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 7-inch touch screen infotainment system and pedestrian recognition, the RAV4 makes for an excellent choice of SUV. RAV4s start at little over $26,000 for new versions and as low as $14,000 used.

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Author
Shift Editorial Team