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Our Favorite Used SUVs under $30,000

Stephen Rivers

We’ve found the top 5 used SUVs under $30,000  that you can get today. Don’t get caught paying full price for a new SUV when these are a better value.

Shopping for SUVs Under $30,000

2020 Honda Pilot Elite - hondanews.com
2020 Honda Pilot Elite - hondanews.com

Over the past decade, we’ve seen SUVs slowly but surely gain more and more real estate on our roads and highways. There’s a great reason for that too, as they’re comfortable, capable, and provide more confidence behind the wheel for many drivers. As that shift in consumers has taken place, manufacturers have likewise shifted their focus away from cars and onto SUVs. It’s even gone so far as to convince Ford to stop making sedans altogether.

With all this SUV madness going around, the market is flooded to a degree and it’s easy to find an awesome deal on a used SUV that’s been gently driven. Today, we’re going to take a look at 5 SUVs under $30,000 that you can get on the market today. Each of them is well known for its reliability, safety, and comfort. A couple of them are even exciting to drive. Have you been looking for a way to get into an excellent SUV, but don’t want to pay for a brand new one? Here’s the best way to score a killer vehicle for less than a new Toyota Camry XSE.

Honda Pilot

2020 Honda Pilot - hondanews.com
2020 Honda Pilot - hondanews.com

The Honda Pilot is one of the best SUVs ever made and it has been since it arrived on the scene in 2002. Regardless of which year you might select you’ll be greeted by one of the most reliable and comfortable vehicles available, but the best part of shopping for SUVs under $30,000 is that you can get a low mileage 2020 model. We’ve found multiple vehicles with under 10,000 miles for sale and they’re equipped with all the modern tech you could need. The 2020 Pilot has more space than any previous model and we especially love the clean and ergonomic design found inside.

Mazda CX-9

2020 Mazda CX-9 - news.mazdausa.com
2020 Mazda CX-9 - news.mazdausa.com

The high-end brands of the world including Audi, BMW, and Cadillac better watch out. Mazda is slowly hunting them down with more and more luxury features and materials, along with a more taut driving experience in the CX-9 than most anything else on the market. Unlike most brands that seem to have a large share of the SUV market, Mazda has quietly been improving every part of the lineup and the CX-9 has benefited greatly.

The last few years all have excellent tech, wonderful touch materials inside, and outstanding balance on the road. The turbocharged 4-cylinder engine in the 2020 model is punchy and Mazda compliments the power with one of the most sophisticated suspensions on an SUV today. Combine those athletic characteristics with the practicality of 3 rows, multi-zone climate control, and a bevy of advanced safety features making it easy to see how it made it onto this list.

Subaru Ascent Premium

2019 Subaru Ascent Premium - carsforsale.com
2019 Subaru Ascent Premium - carsforsale.com

When Subaru finally brought the Ascent to market after many years of desire from fans, many were nervous that it wouldn’t maintain the standard that Subaru has set with previous vehicles. With that in mind, it’s easy to be impressed with the Ascent thanks in part to its very family-friendly interior and its advanced features. Not only is the Ascent equipped with All-Wheel-Drive, but Subaru has given it multiple safety features inside of its EyeSight Safety system. With it comes forward emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, sway warnings, and more.

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In terms of the overall ownership experience, the Ascent is by far the most luxurious Subaru ever made. The seating and touch-materials are outstanding, as is the layout of controls throughout the SUV. Cargo capacity is among the best in the field and all seats can be folded flat to provide over 86 cubic feet of space. Excellent examples of this SUV can be found for under $30,000 with less than 5,000 miles on the odometer.

Hyundai Palisade

2020 Hyundai Palisade - hyundainews.com
2020 Hyundai Palisade - hyundainews.com

Closely related to the Kia Telluride, the Palisade is a beautiful SUV that feels much more expensive inside. In addition, Hyundai provides an outstanding warranty that lasts 10 years, so reliability won’t be a concern for a long while. Luxurious features like the push-button gear selector and large screens easily allow the Palisade to punch far above its weight/price point.

The Palisade also has adaptive cruise control, a much more premium-feeling interior, and trick features like a blind spot camera that pops up in the gauge cluster when you flip on your indicator signal. Perhaps the best feature of the Palisade is that it likely won’t be a victim of dramatic depreciation. Since release, it’s been a wildly popular SUV and it’s well deserved. So, while they might be harder to find than the others on our list, it may pay off the most.

Porsche Cayenne

2010 Porsche Cayenne - newsroom.porsche.com
2010 Porsche Cayenne - newsroom.porsche.com

Easily the most performance-oriented and luxurious SUV on the list, but any Cayenne under the $30,000 budget will be a couple of years older too. Don’t let that scare you off though, because of all the high-end European luxury brands, none have the dependability or driving prowess of Porsche. The Cayenne basically defined the actually sporty SUV category. Well-appointed models can be had with less than 35,000 miles on them within our budget too.

We’d avoid turbocharged models and specifically look for one with lower mileage rather than more power. Inside you’ll find a modern Porsche interior that’s the envy of many in the market. It’s also one of the most capable SUVs here with a towing capacity of nearly 6,000 lbs (higher if you get the V8), and some serious off-road capability thanks to its Porsche Traction Management System.

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Stephen Rivers
Stephen Rivers

Stephen is a car enthusiast who loves all things built with passion. In his free time, he’s usually at a hockey rink, walking his dogs, or on a road bike. His automotive tastes lean towards cars that oftentimes seem to take a pound of flesh for the ethereal pleasure they provide: things like the Lamborghini Diablo, TVR Cerbera, and a C4 Corvette turned into a street-legal go-kart. He drives his Bugeye Subaru WRX in Autocross, Rallycross, and track day competitions throughout the year and daily drives a twin-turbo BMW 535i.

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