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7 Good Used Compact SUVs Under $5,000 for 2020

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author photo by Eric Brandt March 2020

Compact crossovers have become extremely popular for combining SUV versatility with small car driveability. Luckily for bargain hunters, compact crossovers have been popular for long enough that there are a lot of attractive options on the used market at very affordable prices.

Here are seven good used compact SUVs you can find on Autotrader for less than $5,000 in 2020.

2005-2009 Chevrolet Equinox

2005-2009 Chevrolet Equinox

The first-generation Chevrolet Equinox was Chevy's first shot at a unibody compact SUV to take on tough Japanese rivals. A few of its strong suits are a strong standard V6 engine, a comfortable interior with a roomy cargo hold and a comfortable, road-friendly ride. This Equinox is on the bigger side of the compact segment, making it nice for drivers looking for a small family SUV with generous interior space. Another good option is the mechanically identical Pontiac Torrent, which was the corporate cousin of the first-generation Equinox. Find a Chevrolet Equinox for sale

2008-2012 Ford Escape

2008-2012 Ford Escape

The second-generation Ford Escape is a practical compact SUV with a hint of trucklike ruggedness. It has a square, muscular look and a spacious interior and it got nice engine updates for 2009 with more power and better fuel economy. We recommend upgrading to the available V6 if you can find one in this price range. There's also a hybrid option that gets a respectable fuel economy rating of over 30 miles per gallon both in the city and on the highway. A stylish alternative to the Escape is its mechanically identical stablemate, the Mercury MarinerFind a Ford Escape for sale

2003-2008 Honda Element

2003-2008 Honda Element

The design of the Honda Element is coming up on being two decades old, but it still stands out in traffic as something quirky and totally different. This oddity has grown a bit of a cult following for its unconventional style, its super versatile interior and best-in-class cargo space in its day. The Element had countless quirks like suicide doors, a waterproof interior and split rear lift gate. Keep in mind, this is not exactly a family vehicle with only two seats in the back that don't have a ton of room. However, if you're not planning on having backseat passengers often, this is a practical and versatile SUV with the reliability that Honda is famous for. Find a Honda Element for sale

2005-2010 Kia Sportage

2005-2010 Kia Sportage

The second-generation Kia Sportage was a great bargain in compact SUVs when it was new and it still is today. Its interior design is aging nicely and it's quite roomy for this segment, making it good for families. It also has more agile handling than you might expect and respectable performance from the available V6 engine, which is an easy recommendation over the base 4-cylinder engine. This Kia has a strong bang-for-the-buck factor and worth consideration if you're looking for a practical crossover with a modest budget. Find a Kia Sportage for sale

2008-2010 Saturn Vue

2008-2010 Saturn Vue

The second and final generation of the Saturn Vue looks and feels more premium than what you might expect from a Saturn. There's a surprising amount of variety in the Vue's model range with an available V6 engine, a sporty Red Line trim and even a hybrid Green Line model. Any Vue you choose is going to be a comfortable and stylish crossover and it earned an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick+ award when it was new. It's quiet and comfortable on the road, delivering a refined driving experience that you might expect from a more expensive SUV. Find a Saturn Vue for sale

2003-2008 Subaru Forester

2003-2008 Subaru Forester

For something a little more on the rugged side, the second-generation Subaru Forester is a good choice in small SUVs. This Forester kind of straddles the line between wagon and crossover before becoming a more conventionally-sized compact crossover in the generation that followed beginning in 2009. As you'd expect from Subaru, all-wheel drive is standard on every trim, making it quite the off-roader and it offers peppy engines, especially if you opt for the turbocharged option. The interior is pleasant and comfortable and the Forester gets excellent safety scores, making it an AWD SUV you can drive with confidence. Find a Subaru Forester for sale

2001-2005 Toyota RAV4

2001-2005 Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 is a compact SUV that holds its value very well, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to find a used one at an affordable price. The second-generation RAV4 was road-friendly but still had some off-road chops when equipped with AWD. The RAV4 got a nice facelift for the 2004 model year with revised styling, a new, more powerful engine, an improved safety structure and standard vehicle stability control. Of course, being a Toyota, it comes with the reliability and efficiency you would expect all in an affordable package. Find a Toyota RAV4 for sale

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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.
7 Good Used Compact SUVs Under $5,000 for 2020 - Autotrader
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