The Best Used SUV for Less Than $10.000

The Best Used SUV for Less Than $10.000. An SUV’s allure is clear. They’re useful, capable, and, for the most part, safe. Those benefits are especially appealing if you have a family to transport. The SUV mania in the United States peaked in the 1990s and mid-2000s and hasn’t really subsided since. SUVs are one of the most popular vehicle models on the market today.

In the SUV market, there have been some clear winners and losers over the years. There are few things that an SUV must do very well in order to sell. In general, an SUV should be extremely large, capable in most conditions, safe for both the driver and passengers, and a pleasure to drive.

Fortunately, because the SUV formula has been around for a while, there are plenty of good used options available.

The Best Used SUV for Less Than $10.000

Considerations for the Best Used SUV Under $10,000

There are several factors to consider when acquiring a used SUV, just as there are when purchasing any type of used car. At this stage, the majority of SUV options under $10,000 are typically ageing and have some miles on them. That being said, you should not be discouraged from acquiring a used SUV. You just need to know what to look out for.

Service History and Maintenance

In many cases, low-cost SUVs are sold with no service records or maintenance history. Avoid these examples unless you are mechanically inclined, as they may require costly repairs in the future. If the former owner or dealer is unable to offer any car history, it may be worthwhile to conduct additional research by entering the VIN into a website such as Carfax to confirm that the vehicle has not been involved in any severe collisions or has outstanding damage.

In addition to being reasonably inexpensive to purchase, the majority of the vehicles on this list have modest associated maintenance and component costs. It’s not the end of the world if the automobile has minor cosmetic, mechanical, or performance faults, but it should be considered while making a purchase decision.


Because we are primarily looking for moderately priced old cars, the majority of the vehicles on this list are far past their adolescent years. While it is generally preferable to find the most recent model at your price point, old does not always mean bad. It simply means that you’ll have to perform more minor repairs than on a newer model.

We carefully chose SUVs with a lot of staying power for this guide. That is to say, the majority of the vehicles listed here are mechanically sound and can be driven for hundreds of thousands of kilometres if properly maintained. Most of the vehicles on this list will break apart around the powertrain before you meet any truly severe engine problems. Having said that, buying an old automobile normally entails purchasing interior components, restoring creature comforts like heat and A/C, and other odds and ends.

At the end of the day, having a vehicle that will operate and drive without fail is preferable to having a beautiful car that will leave you stranded.


The third leg of the car-buying triangle is performance, with the other two being price and dependability. As a result, it is uncommon to find a vehicle that meets all three criteria. Performance is less of a speed and agility metric in the context of SUV purchasing and more of a “will it do the job I need it to do” type of metric. For example, you definitely aren’t seeking to win any drag races, but you may require an SUV that can tow a trailer or navigate a muddy road without suffering spinal injury. When purchasing a car in this price range, it is critical to consider the environment in which you will most frequently use the vehicle.

Other everyday factors influence performance as well. For example, if you drive a long distance to work every day on the highway, gas mileage and ride comfort should be high on your performance checklist. Do you enjoy going on camping trips to remote locations? In that situation, durability and 4WD should take precedence over anything else. on terms of performance, we’ll advise a little bit of everything on this list.

1) Best Used SUV Under $10,000 – Ford Explorer Fifth Generation

Years: 2011-2019

Price: $8,500 – $10,000

– Engines:

  • 2.0 L EcoBoost turbocharged I4 (only in front-wheel drive)
  • I4 2.3L EcoBoost turbocharged
  • Duratec Ti-VCT V6 3.5 L
  • V6 twin-turbocharged 3.5 L EcoBoost
  • Front-wheel Drive / All-wheel Drive

The Best Used SUV for Less Than $10.000

For decades, the Ford Explorer has been the go-to American SUV. There are several strong reasons to acquire one. The most likely model year to locate below $10,000 is a 2011 Explorer, which is the 5th Generation’s first year on the road. Initially, the 5th Gen was only available with the 3.5L twin-turbocharged Cyclone V6, a powerful engine in its own right. The 3.5L Cyclone engine is noted for its dependability and efficiency.

The 2011 Explorer was offered in both all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive configurations, with all-wheel-drive being the preferred option. The 5th Generation Explorer is capable in most weather situations and can even manage some minor off-roading thanks to its all-wheel-drive drivetrain. While FWD 2011 Explorers can only tow 2,000 pounds, 4WD Explorers can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

The 5th Generation Explorer is very luxurious. While the interior is starting to look a little dated ten years after its release, it is still a comfortable, leather-clad environment. The 2011 Explorer also included a host of innovative features that improved the quality of life. Push-button start, remote engine start, a power liftgate, power-adjustable pedals with memory, premium leather-trimmed seating, heated and cooled front seats, a dual-headrest DVD entertainment system, adaptive cruise control, active park assist, SIRIUS Travel Link, MyFord Touch, Ford SYNC by Microsoft, a Sony audio system with HD radio and Apple iTunes tagging, and an in-dash advanced navigation system are among the available options.

2) Second Generation Chevrolet Tahoe – Best Used SUV Under $10,000

Years: 2000-2006

Price: $4,500 – $9,000

– Engines:

  • V8 Vortec 4.8L 4800
  • V8 Vortec 5.3L 5300

Rear-wheel drive with selectable all-wheel drive

The Best Used SUV for Less Than $10.000

The Chevy Tahoe is a vehicle that need no introduction. Since its introduction in 1992, it has essentially defined the full-size SUV platform. The second generation Tahoe improves on what the original generation achieved well. While the second-generation Tahoe isn’t the most current option on this list, it has earned its place because to its dependability, usefulness, and comfort. If you want a second-gen with more modern amenities, go for a 2003+ model, as they include improved safety, entertainment, and quality of life features that the 200-2003 versions lack.

I owned a 2003 Tahoe and can attest to its overall tank-likeness. The 4.8L and 5.3L V8 engines used in the second-generation Tahoe are both indestructible and inexpensive to repair. Even if something goes wrong, GM components and repairs are typically inexpensive and simple. There isn’t much a second-generation Tahoe can’t do with all-wheel drive.

The comfort level of the second-generation Tahoe is difficult to beat. Honestly. The front seats are more supportive, like a used sofa. Whereas many cheap V8 cars lack in comfort, Tahoes do not. With the grounded but forgiving suspension, it can feel like you’re stuck at 80 mph much of the time. It’s difficult to envision a better long-distance vehicle than a Tahoe.

That being said, if long commutes are a part of your daily routine, a Tahoe may not be the best long-term solution for your pocketbook. Because of the nature of Chevy’s V8 engines, fuel economy was never a high focus for the Tahoe.

3) Second Generation Toyota Highlander – Best Used SUV Under $10,000

Years: 2007-2013

Price: $5,000 – $9,000

– Engines:

  • 1AR-FE I4 2.7 L
  • V6 3.5 L 2GR-FE
  • 3MZ-FE V6 (hybrid) 3.3 L
  • 2GR-FXE V6 (hybrid) 3.5 L

On V6 platforms, drive is FWD / AWD.

The Best Used SUV for Less Than $10.000

While it may not be the most exciting SUV on our list, the second-generation Toyota Highlander is a reliable option that will not let you down often. Toyota has a reputation for dependability, and the Highlander is no exception. We would recommend a non-hybrid Highlander because both the 1AR-FE and 2GR-FE engines are recognised to be highly reliable and capable engines with fewer failures than the hybrid V6 alternatives. Having said that, regardless of engine, a Highlander is a secure bet.

Toyota isn’t usually associated with luxury, but that isn’t the case with the Highlander. The inside of the second-generation is made more pleasant by premium leatherette-bolstered seats and wood console trim. Third-row seats were available as an option on some higher-trim V6 cars, but they are genuinely only suitable for children. Overall, there is plenty of interior space, with cargo storage expanding to 80.6 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down.

In terms of efficiency, the second-generation Highlander will outperform all of the other SUVs on this list, particularly the 4-cylinder 1AR-FE equipped vehicles. The front-wheel drive inline-4 vehicles are rated at 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. The V6 also gets excellent mileage, with 22 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.

Related : The Upgrades for the Camaro 2.0 Turbo Engine

4) Best Used SUV Under $10,000 – Honda Pilot 2nd Gen

Years: 2009-2015

Price: $4,000 – $9,000


  • 3.5L Z35Z4 V6

Drive: Front-wheel drive / All-wheel drive

The Best Used SUV for Less Than $10.000

In terms of overall construction, the second-generation Honda Pilot is nearly identical to the second-generation Toyota Highlander mentioned above. That makes sense because they were direct market competitors at the time. The Pilot’s 3.5L V6 powerhouse produces a staggering 250 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque, making it a surprising standout option. Because the V6 is standard on all Pilots, you know exactly what you’re getting in terms of performance.

The second-generation Pilot is available in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. The LX is the entry-level model, with more standard features added as you progress up the hierarchy. If you want the most current features, the Touring trim is your best bet. The Pilot Touring trim level has a motorised liftgate, an improved sound system with a USB audio interface, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and a voice-activated navigation system.

The Pilot, like the Highlander, has third-row seating. However, unlike the Highlander, the Pilot includes them as standard equipment and not as an option. Ample cargo room is a crucial feature of the Pilot. The Pilot has more cargo space than the Highlander, with 87 cubic feet of storage out back when the rear seats are folded.

5) Third Generation Subaru Forester – Best Used SUV Under $10,000

Years: 2008-2013

Price: $4,000 – $9,000


  • 2.0 L EJ20 H4
  • 2.0 L EJ20 H4 turbocharged
  • 2.0 L FB20 H4
  • 2.5 L EJ25 H4
  • 2.5 L FB25 H4
  • EJ25 H4 turbo 2.5L

All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

The Best Used SUV for Less Than $10.000

This is an entry that just barely makes the cut. While the Forester is still technically classified as an SUV, it is substantially smaller than the majority of the competition. Prior to the third generation, the Forester was a hatchback built on the Subaru Impreza chassis. Subaru engineers blended the basic body structure of the Japanese-spec Impreza waggon with the rear platform of the US-spec Impreza sedan for the third generation. As a result, an all-wheel-drive midsized SUV with excellent handling has been created.

If Subaru is recognised for anything, it is their fondness of all-wheel-drive layouts. Since the release of the Subaru Leone in 1972, all-wheel drive has been a standard feature on nearly every vehicle produced by the company. The Forester is included. As a result, the Forrester is particularly capable in terrible weather and difficult terrain. The third-generation Forrester also features redesigned independent double-wishbone suspension, which enhances handling and delivers a smoother ride. The Forester features an amazing 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which improves all-terrain performance even further.

While the Forester isn’t the most luxurious option, it does come with a lot of features, such as steering-wheel audio controls, a Bluetooth-enabled navigation radio, and a premium sound system. Later 2011+ models received a rear backup camera, Tom-Tom navigation, and HID lamps on Touring levels.

Summary of the Best Used SUVs Under $10,000

While there aren’t many modern options for $10,000 SUVs, there are plenty of dependable and practical previous-generation options available. Of course, your SUV requirements may differ significantly from those of another person. As a result, before making a purchase, it is critical to understand what you require from an SUV.

If comfort and power are important to you in an SUV, the fifth-generation Ford Explorer or second-generation Tahoe are your best bet. While the Explorer clearly outperforms the Tahoe in terms of modern amenities and features, the Tahoe is a tried and true workhorse that will get you wherever you need to go comfortably and reliably. Towing capacity is truly unrivalled by the Tahoe at this pricing bracket.

If efficiency and performance are important to you, a Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, or Subaru Forester might be a better option. All three are noted for their excellent gas mileage, extensive storage space, and overall dependability. Highlander and Pilot all-wheel-drive V6 variants are the way to go if you want an SUV with a good towing capacity.

While the Subaru Forester isn’t the most spacious of the bunch, it is the most enjoyable to drive. An SUV’s allure is clear. They’re useful, capable, and, for the most part, safe. Those benefits are especially appealing if you have a family to transport. The SUV mania in the United States peaked in the 1990s and mid-2000s and hasn’t really subsided since. SUVs are one of the most popular vehicle models on the market today.

In the SUV market, there have been some clear winners and losers over the years. There are few things that an SUV must do very well in order to sell. In general, an SUV should be extremely large, capable in most conditions, safe for both the driver and passengers, and a pleasure to drive.