Best used small SUVs 2021

Rory White

15 Dec 2021

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With the explosion of new small SUV models over the past few years, there's more choice than ever on the used market. Here are the ones we think you should be investigating.

1. Skoda Kamiq

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The Skoda Kamiq is our current favourite new small SUV, but it's been around long enough now that there are hundreds for sale on the used market at great prices. practicality, great engines and infotainment. It isn't quite as comfy to drive, but otherwise, if you aren't bothered about a badge, it's a superb small SUV.


2. Peugeot 2008

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The Peugeot 2008 turns heads on the high street like no other small SUV and that stylish look continues on the inside. It's got the latest tech inside and there's a range of strong yet efficient engines to choose from, but remember there's a fully electric version too. There are loads of used examples for sale right now.


3. Volkswagen T-Cross

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Another small SUV that sold well new and hence is readily available used is the VW T-Cross. It's comfortable, quiet and comes with great engines. You're also treated the some of the best infotainment in a small SUV. Only its slightly drab cabin lets it down.


4. Renault Captur

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The latest Renault Captur has been around since 2019, meaning there are lots of used bargains to be found. The Renault Captur is striking to look at and is genuinely fun to drive with precise steering and some peppy engines that don't drink too much fuel. It's also practical, with sliding rear seats and a decent boot.


5. Ford Puma

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Those who put a grin-inducing drive first will want to drive the Ford Puma. Ford has worked its magic and built a small SUV that feels just as close to a low-slung family hatch as is possible. The Puma corners sweetly and comes with some great little engines that punch above their weight. You won't struggle to find a decent used example, either.


6. Kia Soul EV

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The Soul EV is capable of up to 280 miles on a charge, which puts most other small electric small SUVs to shame. It can also be charged at 100kW meaning 10-80% in around half an hour is possible with the right charger. It also comes with a long warranty for the car and battery, giving you greater peace of mind buying used.


7. Suzuki Vitara

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The Suzuki Vitara looked fantastic value new, but used it offers even more for your money. It's massively spacious inside, doesn't feel cheap to drive and some versions come with a decent touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto included. It has to be on your list of options.


8. Nissan Juke

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The only other small SUV here to give the 2008 a run for its money in the looks department. Versus the pretty poor first-generation model, this Juke has grown up in size, space, infotainment and interior quality and it has now been on sale long enough that there's a good selection on used forecourts.


9. Seat Arona

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Even this pre-facelift Seat Arona is one of the best looking small SUVs around, and still one of the sharpest to drive. It comes with the choice of three petrol engines, none of which will cost you much to run, and there's lots of space for people and luggage inside too.


10. Honda HR-V

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The Honda HR-V comes with Honda's legendary reliability record, is spacious inside and came with loads of equipment as standard when new. You can choose between petrol and diesel power and a manual or automatic gearbox.


Things to consider when buying a used small SUV.


Petrol or diesel?: As with all types of car, if you spend most of your time in town on short journeys a petrol will be the best bet. If you spend more time on the motorway or covering lots of miles, a diesel will likely work out cheaper in the long run.


Private sale or dealership?: Buying privately will prove cheaper initially, but could end up costing you more in repair bills because there will likely be no warranty included. For the best peace of mind, we'd suggest buying from a dealership even if you'll pay slightly more. However, with the right checks, you'll save money buying privately.


What should I check for?: You can check a car's MOT history online for free to ensure it tallies with what the seller is saying, and you can pay for an HPI check to see if it has things like outstanding finance against it, if it was ever written off or reported stolen. Inspect the car closely for rust or evidence of damage, and definitely take it on a test drive too.


Frequently asked questions about used small SUVs.


Q: What is a good inexpensive small SUV?

A: If you're on a strict budget, one of the best and cheapest small SUVs is the Suzuki Vitara. It's spacious, good to drive and comes with lots of equipment for a sensible price.


Q: What is the best used SUV to buy?

A: You can read the above article to find out just that. Spoiler alert – we think the Skoda Kamiq is the best all-round used small SUV buy.


Q: What is a reliable used small SUV?

A: The manufacturers that score best for reliability are Lexus, Dacia, Hyundai, Suzuki and Mini. As such, the Suzuki Vitara is a great small SUV that shouldn't be a financial burden.


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Rory White

15 Dec 2021