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6 Great Used SUVs Under $10,000

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author photo by Doug DeMuro March 2016

Editor’s Note: Check out our list of the 10 Best Used SUVs Under $10,000 for 2018.

If you're interested in buying a used SUV on a tight budget, our latest list is a great place to begin your search. We've rounded up six excellent used SUVs you can buy today for under $10,000. Admittedly, the sub-$10,000 price point won't always guarantee reliability -- so you'll want to have a mechanic look over your choice before you sign the papers. But each of these models is a good starting point to commence your search for a budget-friendly SUV.

2001-2006 Acura MDX

What's that? A luxury SUV for under $10,000? That's right: A 2001-2006 Acura MDX is easily available for around $10,000 or less, as there are currently 600 different examples listed on Autotrader at that price point. While these used MDX models may have more miles than other SUVs on our list, they're also nicer, as the MDX included a long list of standard features, such as leather upholstery, alloy wheels and a power sunroof. As a bonus, you'll also get standard 3-row seating and a muscular V6 engine under the hood.

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2002-2006 Honda CR-V

A 2002-2006 Honda CR-V is one of our favorite compact crossovers, as it touts a standard 4-cylinder engine with excellent fuel economy that reaches up to 22 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Of course, the CR-V also touts notorious Honda durability and a long list of available features, which included head-protecting side-curtain airbags beginning in 2005. If you're interested, you should have no trouble finding a good 2002-2006 CR-V on Autotrader, as there are currently more than 1,200 examples listed on the site for $10,000 or less.

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2003-2008 Honda Element

Like the CR-V but want a little more style? Consider an unusual 2003-2008 Honda Element, which features a boxy shape, a versatile interior and a distinctive design you won't lose in a parking lot. Fortunately, the Element offers more than just a cool look. It also touts the CR-V's fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine, available all-wheel drive and typical Honda durability. More importantly, it's easy to find a first-generation 2003-2008 Element within our price range, as there are currently more than 550 examples of the crossover listed on Autotrader for $10,000 or less.

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2001-2006 Hyundai Santa Fe

The first-generation Hyundai Santa Fe was a compact crossover, rather than the midsize model it's grown into today. If that's what you're looking for, you'll be happy to know that the 2001-2006 Santa Fe is on the cheaper side of our budget, with many models easily available for around $8,000 or less -- not a bad deal for a fairly recent SUV. We especially recommend opting for a V6 version, which provided much-needed passing power (thanks to 170 horsepower) and a still-respectable 19 mpg city/23 mpg hwy. Fortunately, you should have no trouble finding one, as there are currently more than 700 different 2001-2006 Santa Fe models available on Autotrader for $10,000 or less.

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2003-2008 Subaru Forester

If you're looking for a reliable, dependable crossover on a tight budget, look no further than the 2003-2008 Subaru Forester. While it isn't full of high-end luxuries and cutting edge gadgets, the Forester touts a simple, durable design, standard all-wheel drive and an efficient 165-hp 4-cylinder engine that boasts up to 21 mpg city/27 mpg hwy. Better yet, there are more than 600 different Forester models on Autotrader for around $10,000 or less. The only drawback: Its overall design is a little more station wagon than SUV -- not a problem for some drivers, but worth mentioning.

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2001-2005 Toyota RAV4

The second-generation Toyota RAV4, sold from 2001 to 2005, is one of our favorite affordable used SUVs, thanks to a 4-cylinder engine and tiny city-friendly dimensions. With nearly 600 different 2001-2005 RAV4 models available on Autotrader for around $10,000 or less, the SUV is certainly easy to find -- and it's a great choice, too, as the first-generation RAV4 boasts excellent reliability ratings and gas mileage that reaches as high as 22 mpg city/27 mpg hwy. We especially recommend a later model, as the RAV4 added side-curtain airbags for 2004 -- a feature we highly suggest seeking out.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
6 Great Used SUVs Under $10,000 - Autotrader