Best Cheap SUVs 2024

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Best cheap SUVs 2024

  • What are the cheapest SUVs?
  • We test and rate the contenders
  • Find a cheap SUV for sale

After practicality and comfort, but don’t want to break the bank? The SUV market can be pricey, but there are also plenty of cheap SUVs available that will take it relatively easy on your wallet. 

While even the most affordable brand-new SUVs will cost a substantial amount of money, buying used can drastically reduce your outlay.

Thanks to the shift towards electric and hybrid SUVs, there are also secondhand models that won’t cost a fortune to run, either. The range of used cheap SUVs is vast, from small around-town runabouts to large 4x4s, and there should be a model available to suit your needs and budget. Whether you want something compact and high-up for nipping to the shops or a spacious family car with acres of boot space, you should be able to find what you need. And by buying used, the initial hit of depreciation on a used car will have already been taken care of.

Why buy a cheap SUV?

The appeal of SUVs lies in their ability to blend the practicality of a family car with the robust image of an off-roader, whether that’s actually driving off the Tarmac or just enjoying the elevated driving position. SUVs are massively popular and as a result there are dozens of makes and models to choose from.

Entry-level SUVs like the Dacia Duster represent great value for money, while cars like the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage make for fantastic family cars. You’ll find relatively affordable plug-in hybrids, like the Mitsubishi Outlander, and even electric SUVs like the Hyundai Kona Electric, which offer a great entry into the world of eco-friendly driving without compromising on space or comfort.

If you're ready to buy we've got over 30,000 Used SUV Cars for Sale, while if you want more choice, we have over 70,000 Used Cars for Sale. If you're looking to save money, check out our guide to the Best Car Deals.

Best Cheap SUVs 2024

  1. Skoda Karoq
  2. Peugeot 3008
  3. Ford Kuga
  4. Volkswagen Tiguan
  5. SEAT Ateca
  6. Citroen C5 Aircross
  7. Mazda CX-5
  8. Nissan Qashqai
  9. Toyota RAV4
  10. Renault Kadjar

1. Skoda Karoq

Year launched: 2017

Skoda Karoq Review 2023: driving
9/10

The Skoda Karoq should be right at the top of your shopping list if you’re in the market for one of the best cheap SUVs. 

The Skoda’s infotainment is a joy to use, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are fitted as standard so you can use your phone’s apps on the car’s big screen. Naturally, there’s loads of space for four passengers and the boot is big and flexible. Meanwhile, features like the umbrella hidden in your driver’s door and the ice scraper under the fuel cap give you the sense someone at Skoda’s looking out for you. 

A little over £24,000 is enough to buy you an SE model – which gets kit like an eight-inch infotainment screen, alloy wheels and cruise control – in combination with Skoda’s excellent 150PS petrol engine. It’s quiet and smooth, provides brisk performance and excellent fuel economy. 

2. Peugeot 3008

Year launched: 2017

Peugeot 3008 Front View
9/10

The Peugeot 3008 boasts a sharp grille, piercing headlight design and an armoury of body creases and curves that mean it looks like no other car on this list.

That striking design continues on the inside, too. The 3008’s dashboard is dominated by a pair of large screens and envelopes you a bit like you’re sitting behind the wheel of a sports car. The 3008 also offers plenty of practicality with a spacious back seat and a boot that’s large and well designed.

It’s worth going for Allure trim because it adds equipment like keyless entry, Peugeot’s upgraded infotainment screen and pretty ambient lighting. A budget of £28,000 is enough to get you this trim in combination with Peugeot’s excellent 130PS petrol engine which has plenty of power but is also cheap to run. 

3. Ford Kuga

Year launched: 2019

Ford Kuga Review 2023: Driving Side
8/10

The Ford Kuga looks like a Focus that’s been enlarged in a photocopier. It gets the same distinctive grille and shapely curves, it’s only when you see it in the metal that you realise it’s a lot bigger.

There are plenty of similarities on the inside too, like the infotainment screen that’s stuck on top of the dashboard – though, naturally, the Kuga has a lot more interior space.

It’s best sampled in petrol-electric 225PS PHEV specification. This plug-in hybrid is more advanced than alternatives, it can travel up to 31 miles on electricity alone – slashing your running costs if you have a short commute and somewhere to charge the car. A budget of about £33,500 will get you a PHEV in Titanium trim which includes kit such as half-leather seats, climate control and keyless entry. 

4. Volkswagen Tiguan

Year launched: 2016

Volkswagen Tiguan Review 2023: front dynamic serious cornering
8/10

If you want a handsome SUV that does everything well, the Volkswagen Tiguan is an extremely safe bet. Volkswagen’s steered clear of giving the Tiguan polarising styling, instead you get clean lines and subtle creases that make it look appealingly solid.

‘Solid’ is how you could describe the interior, too. It's very nicely built and all models get a large central infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s no shortage of room for you and three tall passengers and the boot is exceptionally well designed.

We’d choose the 150PS diesel engine if you do lots of motorway driving, or the 150PS petrol if you mostly drive in town. Both are relatively cheap to run. A budget of around £29,000 is enough to get you behind the wheel of a Match model, which gets kit like automatic cruise control, an upgraded infotainment system, as well as front and rear parking sensors.

5. SEAT Ateca

Year launched: 2016

SEAT Ateca Review 2024: Rear Side View
8/10

The SEAT Ateca shares many of its parts with the Volkswagen Tiguan but is slightly sportier looking and sharper to drive, too. 

Sit in the driver’s seat and you’ll find the majority of plastics feel high quality, the construction is sturdy and the layout is intuitive, helped by an infotainment system that’s logical to navigate and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. There’s plenty of room for tall adults up front and in the back and the boot is large, well-shaped and easy to load.

You get an excellent range of petrol and diesel engines to choose from, but the 150PS petrol’s cheap to run and has brisk acceleration that matches the Ateca's slightly sporty setup. Around £27,500 is enough to get you a brand new Ateca in sporty looking FR trim. Kit includes things like auto lights and wipers, body-hugging sports seats, cruise control and bright-shining LED headlights.  

6. Citroen C5 Aircross

Year launched: 2017

Citroen C5 Aircross Review 2023: Back
8/10

The Citroen C5 Aircross looks like no other alternative thanks to its wraparound bonnet, slim-line stacked headlights and Airbump plastic body cladding.

Citroen’s gone its own way on the inside, where the focus is very much on comfort. Forget about body-hugging sports seats, in the C5 you get the car equivalent of armchairs up front and a back seat like a sofa, while the boot is also big. Infotainment, meanwhile, is handled by an eight-inch display that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

All models have suspension that creams over bumps. You get a choice of petrol and diesel engines, but the 180PS petrol deals best with a range of driving, although it’s not available on entry-level Feel models. Flair cars start from just under £32,000 and get kit such as all-round parking sensors, folding mirrors and a reversing camera. 

7. Mazda CX-5

Year launched: 2017

Mazda CX-5 Review 2023: rear dynamic
8/10

The Mazda CX-5 is the cheap large SUV for you if you want your practical family car to look and feel sporty.

Inside, a small steering wheel, tall transmission tunnel and (on manual cars) the stubby gear stick makes it feel like a sports car on stilts. Yet the tall boxy body means you get loads of room inside for four tall adults and the boot is large and flexible. You even get a decent infotainment system with control between the two front seats that makes it easy to navigate menus as you’re driving. It also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The sporty feel isn’t lost in the driving experience which feels agile and positive, it’s best combined with the punchy 2.2-litre 150PS diesel engine. Basic SE L models have all the kit you need – including active cruise control and climate control – and they start from £27,000.

8. Nissan Qashqai

Year launched: 2018

Used Nissan Qashqai (2013-2021) Review: exterior front three quarter photo of the Nissan Qashqai on the road
8/10

The Nissan Qashqai was the first SUV crossover you could buy and the current model sticks to the original’s recipe by offering an upright body, with car-like driving characteristics and cheap running costs.

We're not stopping you looking at the latest model, but if you're in the market for a cheap SUV, then take a look at the previous generation car. Inside, all but the basic model get nav with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, there’s room for four adults and the boot is larger than you’ll find in a comparable family car like the Volkswagen Golf.

It doesn’t drive like a clumsy SUV, though. We’d pick the 115PS diesel which is quieter and smoother than the more powerful options but feels punchy enough in real life. You get plenty of kit as well, with the Qashqai in Acenta Premium trim coming with climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, a reversing camera and lots of safety kit.

9. Toyota RAV4

Year launched: 2019

Toyota RAV4 Review 2023: dynamic rear
7/10

The Toyota RAV4 is great if you’re looking for a large SUV that thrives in the city. It has loads of room inside with a wide body that means it can accommodate three people in the back without issue and you get a huge boot, too.

The RAV4’s party trick is its petrol-electric hybrid powertrain. Not only is it very economical in town, but it also means that most of the time, you can run on silent electric power. That makes it very relaxing to drive and the car comes with a smooth-shifting CVT automatic gearbox as standard. 

Basic Icon models start from under £31,000 and have all the essential kit you need including an infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a reversing camera and climate control. 

10. Renault Kadjar

Year launched: 2015

Renault Kadjar Review 2023 cornering
7/10

The Renault Kadjar is based on the Nissan Qashqai and it shares its car-like driving experience and cheap running costs.

There are some obvious distinctions between the two, though. The Renault feels a little bit posher inside and you get a slightly bigger boot than the Nissan offers – you should be able to squeeze in a couple of extra soft bags as a result. As you’d expect, the Kadjar has room for four and comes as standard with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system that has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

The Kadjar feels secure and composed in corners and is best matched with Renault’s punchy and smooth 115PS diesel engine. Do lots of short journeys? Then we’d recommend the 130PS petrol. Iconic models – which get parking sensors and a height-adjustable driver's seat – make the most sense and start from just under £24,000. 

What are the best makes and models of cheap SUVs?

As with most other types of car, the best cheap SUVs for you will depend on your priorities and specific needs. If you’re after something small and city-friendly, start your search with the Ford EcoSport and the Renault Captur, while for something bigger, look at the stylish Peugeot 3008 or the classy Volkswagen Tiguan.

Need lots of space? The Skoda Kodiaq and Seat Tarraco are available with up to seven seats to house a larger family. For the more eco-conscious, look at electric SUVs like the Kia e-Niro (later called the Niro EV) and MG ZS EV, which is a fantastic way into electric motoring for an impressively low price.

If you’re after something a bit more upmarket, higher-end cars are often available for considerably less than they were new. Just about every type of SUV has a luxury equivalent, from small cars like the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA up to big seven-seaters like the Audi Q7.

What should I look for when buying a cheap SUV?

When you’re shopping for a pre-owned SUV, it’s crucial to consider the car’s condition and history. Look for cars with a comprehensive service history and watch out for signs of heavy use or neglect – uneven tyre wear or interior damage could indicate that it’s not been looked after as well as it should have been. Off-road cars could have been used in some particularly challenging driving conditions – not necessarily a problem if it’s been looked after, but something else to consider.

Unclear on what car you want? Consider the size of car that might fit your needs, and factor in things like parking ,fuel economy and interior space. Running costs can vary, so think about fuel economy, insurance and service, maintenance and repair costs. It’s worth driving a few different models, too, so you can see how they feel, make sure they’re comfortable enough and that they fit in with your expectations.

If you're not sure if a cheap SUV car is quite right for you, we've got 1000s of cheap cars for sale.

Best Cheap SUV FAQs

Phill Tromans

Written by

Phill Tromans

None of the cars on this list are short on legroom, but the legroom king is the Toyota RAV4. As you’d expect, it has loads of room for your legs upfront, but it’s in the back where it impresses. Even if you and your front seat passenger are over six-foot-tall, there will be plenty of legroom for someone the same size to sit behind you in the back. The Toyota also wins points because its wide cabin means it’s quite comfortable with three in the back and even if you spec the optional glass roof, everyone should have plenty of headroom.

We reckon the best cheap SUV on sale is the Skoda Karoq. The Skoda Karoq looks smart on the outside and has a high-quality feel on the inside, backed up by an intuitive infotainment system that’s easy to use. You get loads of room in the front and the back, and the boot is large for this size of car. The Karoq is very easy to drive and cheap to run. It comes with a choice of petrol or diesel engines, two or four-wheel drive and manual or automatic gearboxes. 

The Nissan Qashqai is the UK’s most popular small SUV crossover. The Qashqai is the car that sparked the SUV crossover craze and is credited with keeping Nissan afloat through the 2007-2008 financial crisis – it was one of the few cars which saw its sales grow during that period. Why was it so popular? Well because it looked like an SUV but drove like a normal car and got great fuel economy.

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