Mid-size SUVs have quickly become the go-to option for the many UK families searching for a practical yet stylish set of wheels. The original Nissan Qashqai is credited for kicking off the trend when it was introduced in 2007, and since then loads of great models have come and gone. This means there’s now plenty of choice on the second-hand market, and the best used mid-size SUVs are hugely appealing for the money.

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While some of these models are a little older, they still have all of the character and class that took them to the sharp end of the market when they were new, so as a used buy they offer better value and the same great breadth of abilities. Depending on the age of the car and the brand you buy into, there could be some time left on the original warranty as well, which should offer peace of mind if you’re on a tighter budget.

Our expert road testers have driven and reviewed every model on the UK market, so you can be sure that you’re getting true bang for your buck from these selections. Read on to find the best used mid-size SUVs and 4x4s for your money, listed below.

Best used mid-size 4x4s and SUVs to buy

  1. Dacia Duster
  2. Skoda Karoq
  3. MG HS
  4. Renault Kadjar
  5. Mazda CX-5
  6. Toyota RAV4
  7. SEAT Ateca
  8. Peugeot 3008

1. Dacia Duster (Mk2)

  • Our pick: 1.3 TCe Prestige (2019/19, 40k miles, £12,285)

The tough and versatile Duster is brilliant value as a new-car purchase, but it makes even more sense as a second-hand buy. Not only does it massively undercut mainstream rivals on price, it also beats them for space, kit and running costs. Add in a composed drive, strong comfort and a decent dose of off-road ability, and it’s no surprise to find it taking the spoils here.

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While the original Duster was a bit rough around the edges, this second-generation version is much more grown-up and sophisticated. This is most obvious on the road, where its accurate steering and good grip deliver decent driving dynamics. And while the soft suspension results in some body roll in corners, the trade-off is a plush ride over bumps. Go for the four-wheel-drive version and you’ll find the Duster can head further off the beaten track than most soft-roader rivals. 

The rugged Romanian also benefits from an interior that feels considerably more upmarket than its bargain- basement price would suggest. There are some low-rent plastics here and there, but the smart design and solid finish mean you won’t feel like you’re slumming it. 

Sure, the entry-level Access model is rather basic, but step up the range and you’ll find a surprising amount of luxury kit. Not only is there an optional feature-packed and easy-to-use touchscreen infotainment system, you also get electric windows, climate control and snazzy alloy wheels. There’s plenty of space on offer, too. The roomy cabin has space for five adults, while the 445-litre boot serves up estate car-style carrying capacity. 

With prices from around £8,000, the Duster doesn’t require a king’s ransom to buy, while the torquey 1.5-litre diesel and smooth TCe petrols all deliver wallet-friendly fuel economy. Servicing costs are fair and the proven mechanicals mean you won’t be forking out for unforeseen repairs. Factor in a fourth-place finish in our 2023 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey and the dependable and desirable Dacia is even more of a bargain used than it was when it rolled off the forecourt.

2. Skoda Karoq (Mk1)

Our 2022 Mid-Size SUV champ still makes a fine used buy and takes a well deserved runner’s-up spot. Smart looks and an interior that blends class-leading space with premium appeal remain the highlights, along with sharp driving dynamics and excellent engines. However, values have hardened over the past 12 months.

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When it comes to practicality, the Karoq’s 521-litre boot rivals models from the class above, while the option of four-wheel drive serves up surprising off-road capability. What’s more, a recent facelift means there are some real bargains to be had on earlier cars.

3. MG HS (Mk1)

MG is on a roll, with its increasingly good new cars and low prices translating into success. The brand’s motors make great-value used buys too, with its flagship HS delivering a lot of car for your cash. A cheap interior and dull driving experience let it down, but it’s roomy, crammed with kit and even offers a PHEV option.

4. Renault Kadjar (Mk1)

It took Renault a few attempts to find a winning SUV formula, but with the Kadjar it hit the jackpot. It arrived in 2015 with a compelling blend of style, space and low running costs, taking it straight to the top of the class. 

Its popularity when new means there are plenty of examples to choose from, while its rounded styling still looks good today. Inside, the Kadjar rivals premium cars for quality and tech, and it even offers a roomy 472-litre boot. Precise steering and balanced handling make it good to drive, but it offers Renault’s trademark cushioned ride and low noise levels, too.

5. Mazda CX-5 (Mk1)

Buying a family-focused SUV doesn’t have to mean giving up on driving fun, as the CX-5 proves. Quick steering and finely honed suspension help the Mazda serve up proper driver engagement through a series of corners, while the precise manual gearbox has a similar slick feel to the one used in the firm’s MX-5 roadster. 

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Yet this is a family car, too, thanks to its very roomy interior, big boot and comfortable ride. What’s more, the quality of the cabin took a leap forward with this second-generation CX-5, which matches premium rivals for ambience and technology. 

6. Toyota RAV4 (Mk5)

Planning to keep your mid-size SUV for a long time, or want peace of mind throughout your time with a car? The Toyota RAV4 has an industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, which transfers to subsequent owners as long as you keep the car serviced at a Toyota main dealer.

But there’s little point in keeping a car for years if it’s not very good. Thankfully, the RAV4 is a multi-talented machine, with low running costs, a comfortable ride and plenty of space for a growing family or someone with very bulky hobby equipment. This time around, the RAV4 is hybrid only, while a more recent plug-in hybrid claims up to 46 miles of electric range.

7. SEAT Ateca (Mk1)

A former winner at our annual New Car Awards ceremony, the SEAT Ateca remains an equally attractive purchase on the used market. Sharp lines mean the Spanish machine still creates a stir, while few compact SUVs are as engaging to drive. 

Yet the SEAT is much more than just a pretty face, because its interior mixes the brand’s design flair with impressive quality and enough space for most growing families. There’s a quick 296bhp Cupra version, but for most buyers the 1.5 TSI petrol is the best bet. If you can stretch to a post-2020 facelift model, you’ll also benefit from an excellent upgraded 9.2-inch infotainment system. 

8. Peugeot 3008 (Mk2)

When it unveiled the second-generation 3008 in 2017, Peugeot transformed its compact crossover from ugly duckling to stylish swan. The old car’s ungainly looks were replaced by new contemporary lines with lots of classy kerb appeal. 

It’s just as upmarket inside, where neat touches such as the fabric inserts on the doors and dash lift the ambience. It’s roomy, while the suspension balances agility and comfort. If you do lots of short trips, the plug-in hybrid is worth paying a premium for, but the best value is offered by the lively and efficient turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol.

Now find out more about the best used cars you can buy

Alex joined Auto Express as staff writer in early 2018, helping out with news, drives, features, and the occasional sports report. His current role of Chief reviewer sees him head up our road test team, which gives readers the full lowdown on our comparison tests.

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