There are people who swear by used cars. For them it makes absolutely no sense to take the depreciation hit all new cars take the moment they are driven off of the dealer’s lot. In many ways we see the logic in that, although there are a number of very sound reasons to purchase a new car as well.
That said, one can typically save money going used, particularly if you can afford to pay cash. Of course, there is used and there is used. If you’re looking for one of the best used SUVs for under $5000 you’ll need to be prepared to go pretty far back in time to get one. No, we don’t mean back in time as in fire up the DeLorean, we mean you’ll be looking at models from the previous century for the most part.
To assemble this list, we consulted our friends at Kelley Blue Book to find the youngest SUVs out there priced below $5,000. We then considered those models’ user ratings to find the vehicles with the best reputation for reliability.
Only two of the vehicles on this list hail from the 21st century, the rest were all built in the last few years of the 20th Century. With that revelation comes good news and bad news. The good news is that was a time in history when the SUV was experiencing a significant boom in demand, so there should be lots of examples of these vehicles out there for you to choose from. The bad news is, they will almost invariably need work, because of their age.
For this reason, it absolutely behooves you to seek the advice of trusted professional mechanic. Finding a vehicle with fewer than 100,000 miles on it at this price point is going to be nigh impossible. Before you hand over your hard earned cash, get the vehicle inspected for serious mechanical problems. If you’re truly lucky, you’ll find an auto with all of its service records intact. Although, given the fact most of the vehicle will probably be on their third owner by now…
Long story short, if you’re considering buying one of these vehicles, make sure you do your due diligence, research them on the web, try to learn all of their potential problem areas, so you’ll know what to look for when you go see one of them. You’ll also want to research for any potential recalls and do your best to make sure the vehicle you’re considering was updated if any recalls were issued for it. And finally, never underestimate the value of a thorough pre-purchase inspection by a mechanic intimately familiar with the make and model you’re planning to purchase.
It’s a “gotta have” in this instance.
With that said, here’s a list of the best used SUVs you can buy for under $5,000…