For many car shoppers, SUVs are priced outside of their affordability range. But thanks to certified pre-owned (CPO) programs, consumers needing space and capability can consider buying utility without enduring the sticker shock of a new vehicle. A CPO offering is not only more budget-friendly, these vehicles are held to quality standards set by the original manufacturer and usually backed by a comprehensive warranty. Here are 5 certified pre-owned SUVs for buyers looking to get into something spacious and capable without breaking the bank.
The rugged Ford Explorer is one of the most recognizable SUVs on the road. It has been a staple in the Ford model lineup for decades now, and for good reason. The interior is roomy and versatile, with a lots of tech gadgets — like the MyFord infotainment system — and creature comforts galore. With leather seats, the cabin feels truly luxurious. And with the seats folded down, the Explorer offers a cavernous cargo compartment for hauling everything from sporting equipment to small furniture.
There are three engine choices under the hood: a 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6; a smaller, more efficient turbocharged 4-cylinder EcoBoost; and the impressive turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost making 365 hp. Power for all three engines is managed by a 6-speed automatic transmission. Towing capacity ranges from 2,000 to 5,000 pounds. The Explorer’s 4-wheel-drive system is well reputed and enhanced by an innovative driver-selectable Terrain Management System that makes specific adjustments for snow, mud or ruts. There are almost 2500 certified pre-owned 2013-2016 Ford Explorers available on Autotrader, with an average price of just under $30,000.
The GMC Acadia is more maneuverable and efficient than most of its peers. It actually rides and handles much like a car, which is surprising when you consider its size. Powered by a capable 3.6-liter V6 outputting 288 hp, the Acadia feels smooth and strong on the road. It also has a nice, well-grounded feel, especially with all-wheel drive. If you’re looking to tow a boat, the Acadia boasts an impressive 4,000 pounds of towing capacity.
Inside, this big crossover offers a quiet, well-crafted cabin with comfortable seats, making long drives and road trips a real pleasure for the family. Overall passenger space is ample, and so is max cargo room, thanks to the fold-flat seats. The third row is roomy and easy to access for kids and small adults. There are over 1300 certified pre-owned 2013-2016 GMC Acadias available on Autotrader, with an average price of just under $29,000.
The Kia Sorento has a lot to offer, starting with its bold looks and athletic stance. Step inside and be prepared to be impressed with the Sorento’s excellent fit and finish and wide array of convenience and technology features. The main highlight of this cabin is the UVO eServices, an advanced voice-activated infotainment system that leverages smartphone connectivity. The Sorento offers both 2- and 3-row configurations and plenty of luggage space for families that like to hit the road.
For power, the Sorento comes equipped with either a 191-hp 4-cylinder or a 290-hp 3.3-liter V6, which is much more powerful but still almost as efficient as the smaller engine. Both are connected to the same 6-speed automatic transmission. To take on challenging road conditions, the all-wheel-drive system features a locking center differential. For even more stability, there’s a Torque Vectoring Cornering Control system, as well as FlexSteer, which allows the driver different steering modes, from Comfort to Normal to Sport, depending on their driving style. There are over 1000 certified pre-owned 2013-2016 Kia Sorentos available on Autotrader, with an average price of just over $21,000.
As one of the most well-conceived midsize utility vehicles on the road, the Toyota Highlander is known for its reliability, refinement and eye-catching good looks. Within, the Highlander offers all the latest Toyota technology and creature comforts, plus 7- and 8-passenger configurations, depending on your family’s needs. The 7-seat layout utilizes comfortable captain’s chairs in the second row. And the large cargo space is made even more convenient thanks to a flip-up rear hatch window and adjustable power lift gate.
The Highlander is powered by one of two robust engines: a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder outputting 185 horses with 1500 pounds of towing capacity, or a stronger and more spirited 3.5-liter V6 that generates 270 hp and can tow up to 5000 pounds. The Highlander’s available all-wheel-drive system makes for greater stability and surefootedness in wintry conditions. There are over 1600 certified pre-owned 2013-2016 Toyota Highlanders available on Autotrader, with an average price of just under $33,000.
If safety is at the top of your list, the Volvo XC90 is the vehicle you want. This Swedish SUV is built to withstand impacts while also offering a number of high-tech accident-avoidance safety systems. The XC90 also brings a well-engineered all-wheel-drive system to keep you stable and planted through challenging road conditions of ice and rain. When it’s cold outside, you’ll stay warm and comfortable in the high-quality cabin, with well-padded seats that include a center booster cushion in the second row. And the optional third row makes the XC90 a spacious transport for families large and small.
Power comes from one of two engines: a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder yielding 250 hp or a 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged 4-cylinder making 316 hp. The XC90 utilizes an 8-speed automatic transmission and can get up to 26 miles per gallon on the highway. And the ride is smooth and assuring thanks to the Nivomat self-leveling rear suspension. There are almost 130 CPO 2013-2016 Volvo XC90s available on Autotrader, with an average price of just under $41,000.