Buying a new SUV can seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. Edmunds says these are some of the best used SUVs under $30,000 from brands you trust, like Nissan, Lexus, and Toyota. When it comes down to it, which sport utility vehicle is worth avoiding?
The Nissan Murano is one of the best used SUVs under $30,000
The 2016 Nissan Murano SUV | Nissan
When picking out some of the best used SUVs under $30,000, Edmunds found a lot of positives to report with the 2016 Nissan Murano. Nissan equipped the Murano with a spacious and upscale interior and comfortable seats. USB ports, a Bose audio system, and plenty of cargo space make the 2016 Murano a good choice. The 2016 Murano has antilock brakes, traction control, and plenty of airbags to keep everyone safe. Plus, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the SUV its highest score of “good” on most crashworthiness tests.
List Price Range: $13,995 – $29,998
Toyota’s Highlander is an obvious choice for the best used SUVs under $30,000
When Edmunds reviewed the 2014 Toyota Highlander, there wasn’t much for the experts to complain about. Some highlights include a quiet ride, refined interior, and seating for up to eight passengers. For a 2014 SUV, it has plenty of technology you might come and expect. Edmunds says Toyota improved the Highlander for 2014 with an improved interior and smooth transmission. Toyota included traction and stability control, antilock brakes, and more airbags. The IIHS gave the 2014 Toyota Highlander its Top Safety Pick Plus award, making it one of the best used SUVs under $30,000 (even if the higher trims might exceed budget).
List Price Range: $16,895 – $32,998
Don’t overlook the under-budget and well-equipped Lexus RX 350
While the 2012 Lexus RX 350 is considered a luxury vehicle, it is still one of the best used SUVs under $30,000. As expected, the RX 350 offers an upscale cabin and a composed ride. Edmunds says it has “energetic acceleration” and comfortable seating for five. Lexus makes reliable luxury SUVs, which people have come to expect from the brand. Extra airbags, disc brakes, and traction control are all standard. Edmunds suggests the Pre-Collision System with adaptive cruise control if you can find it. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave it an overall four-star safety rating.
List Price Range: $15,295 – $24,590
Skip the Dodge Journey SUV, if you can
The 2016 Dodge Journey isn’t a bad car, per se, but similarly priced SUVs offer more. Edmunds highlights its available third-row seats, practical storage solutions, and low prices. Some of its weaknesses include slow acceleration, below-average fuel economy, and a lack of standard safety features. Dodge included antilock disc brakes, traction control, and airbags. The IIHS gave the 2016 Journey a few “good” scores, but it also received some “poor” scores. Overall, this is not one of the best used SUVs under $30,000.
List Price Range: $9,995 – $21,998
Don’t get too bogged down in the details when searching for a used SUV. Try to pick two or three important features and stick with those. Safety features, fuel economy, and a price under $30,000 will give buyers plenty to choose from. Expand your search outside your immediate area if you cannot find something in the budget. A dealership outside the city or in another region might offer a better deal.