Buying a model with a $10,000 budget isn’t easy since the prices of new models keep going up and the top brands tend to hold long-term value. However, you can still get good deals by researching the most reliable SUV models and extending your search to some older models. So, which are the top five most reliable?
The Top Five Most Reliable Used SUVs Under $10,000
recently released a list of reliable SUVs priced under $10,000. While not all variants of every model are below the $10,000 mark, you can find a few options under the nameplate that are. We’ll take the top five from that list and provide more details on each to help you narrow down the model that’s best for you.
, a basic equipped model should be on your list to test drive. Base models include a power liftgate, power front seats, dual-zone climate control and reclining rear seats. Popular options include leather seats, a sunroof, in-dash navigation, an upgraded stereo, and a backup camera.
Saturn 2009 perspective
Another 2009 model year SUV with a perfect reliability score is the 2009 Saturn Outlook. The eight-passenger Outlook comes in well under the $10,000 mark and boasts finishing #1 on the midsize SUV list affordable per US News for 2009. However, there are seven active recalls, including issues with the tailgate pillars, seat belts, airbags, and heated washer module.
General Motors positioned the Saturn brand at the bottom of its lineup, but Outlook shared engineering with more upscale SUVs like the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Buick Enclave. For the 2009 model year, the Outlook featured either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive XE and XR trims. Both combinations offer a “smooth, comfortable ride,” but the XR trim level offers the ultimate in luxury with dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery and wood-grain trim.
2007 Infiniti FX
As the older contender on our list, the 2007 Infiniti FX is another used SUV priced well under $10,000 with a perfect reliability score. Additionally, the 2007 Infiniti FX is under four active recalls for issues with the car’s airbags.
The 2007 Infiniti FX is available in a base FX35 trim and a more refined FX45 trim. The FX35 offers a choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (AWD), but the FX45 is only available with AWD. Both trims combine the distinctive styling of an SUV with “the light, nimble handling of a sports sedan.”
2011 Kia Sportage
The recently redesigned (at the time) 2011 Kia Sportage is the newest SUV on our list, and another one with a perfect reliability score. Most 2011 Sportage models will drop below $10,000, but some higher-end models may exceed that price. Five recalls include oil leaks and fuel system problems, engine bearing wear and brake light switch failure.
The transmission options of the 2011 Kia Sportage include front-wheel or all-wheel drive equipped with manual or automatic transmissions. US News says reviewers found the 2011 Sportage’s interior spacious but included “too many hard plastic surfaces.” They also felt the seats were too stiff. While the 2011 Sportage isn’t comfortable enough to qualify for luxury SUV status, it is a reliable and affordable compact SUV with above-average safety ratings.
What are the best cheap SUVs to buy used?
It’s hard to rule out the 2010 Honda CR-V as the best budget SUV to buy used, especially if you can negotiate a reasonable price for a lower mileage EX-L model. However, the 2009 Saturn Outlook is the least expensive option if you don’t mind a no-frills SUV and need seating for eight. The 2009 Lexus RX 350 offers the most satisfying interior, and the 2007 Infiniti FX is very likely to appeal to the driving enthusiast in the crowd. Ultimately, there isn’t a bad choice on this list as long as you do your due diligence on a particular SUV before purchasing.