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7 Great CPO Compact SUVs for Under $20,000

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author photo by Doug DeMuro November 2015

If you're interested in buying a new compact crossover on a tight budget, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned (CPO) model. Certified pre-owned vehicles are slightly used models with a sharp discount and a manufacturer-backed warranty, so you don't have to worry about the pricey repairs that might crop up with a traditional used vehicle. We've listed seven excellent examples of certified pre-owned compact crossovers you can buy today for $20,000 or less.

2010-2014 Chevrolet Equinox

The Chevrolet Equinox straddles the gap between compact and midsize, providing some of the best traits of both size groups. Shoppers interested in a midsize crossover will like the fuel economy, as the Equinox offers up to 22 miles per gallon in the city and 32 mpg on the highway with its standard 4-cylinder engine, which is far better than most midsize SUVs. Meanwhile, shoppers interested in a compact crossover will like the sizing, as it touts more cargo space and passenger room than most small SUV rivals. However, all drivers will like the pricing. There are currently more than 1,600 different 2010-2014 Equinox SUVs on Autotrader for $20,000 or less with Chevrolet's certified pre-owned warranty, which offers 5 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection and 1 year or 12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage.

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2013-2014 Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is a popular compact crossover offering something for everyone, from fuel efficient and powerful to entry-level and luxurious. We recommend a fuel-efficient model with a 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine, which touts up to 23 mpg city/33 mpg hwy. We also recommend an upscale Escape SEL, which features leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats and a 9-speaker stereo system. While an Escape SEL may be pricier than a base trim level, you should have no trouble finding a 2013 or 2014 SEL model with Ford's 7-year or 100,000-mile certified pre-owned powertrain warranty for under $20,000, as there are nearly 900 different Escape models currently listed on Autotrader.

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2012-2014 Honda CR-V

If you're interested in a wallet-friendly compact SUV, a certified pre-owned 2012-2014 Honda CR-V has it all, including a fuel-efficient 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, notorious dependability and an excellent warranty offering 1 year or 12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage. We especially recommend an upscale EX model, which offers a power sunroof, tinted rear windows and alloy wheels. It shouldn't be difficult to find, as there are currently more than 600 different certified pre-owned 2012-2014 CR-V models on Autotrader for under $20,000.

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2012-2015 Hyundai Tucson

Although the Hyundai Tucson has been fully redesigned for the 2016 model year, we still appreciate the outgoing model. We like its handsome styling, its smooth ride and, if you opted for the upscale Limited trim level, an amazing array of equipment including 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless access with push-button starting, leather upholstery and dual-zone automatic climate control. If it sounds appealing, consider this: There are currently more than 450 different certified pre-owned 2012-2015 Hyundai Tucson models listed on Autotrader for under $20,000. Each touts one of the most impressive CPO warranties in the business: 5 years or 60,000 miles of powertrain coverage and 10 years or 100,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper protection from the original sale date.

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2013-2014 Mazda CX-5

Like many compact crossovers on this list, the Mazda CX-5 offers a roomy interior, durable construction and a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine. Unlike many of its rivals, the CX-5 stands out for its quick, sharp handling and its long list of available equipment, including a blind spot monitoring system, adaptive xenon headlights and, if you choose a well-equipped 2014 or later model, a forward-collision warning system with automatic braking. Because the CX-5 has so many sought-after traits, resale values have been high, and there are only around 150 different examples listed on Autotrader for under $20,000 with Mazda's certified pre-owned warranty. Each one touts many of the benefits we've described, plus 1 year or 12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection.

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2013-2014 Toyota RAV4

It's hard to go wrong with a Toyota SUV, and the RAV4 is proof. Under the hood is a fuel-efficient 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine touting 24 mpg city/31 mpg hwy. There's excellent cargo room, generous passenger space, easy-to-use controls and Toyota's notorious reputation for long-term reliability. Opt for a midlevel XLE model, and there's also a power sunroof, alloy wheels and dual-zone automatic climate control. If you choose one of the 250 different certified pre-owned 2013-2014 RAV4 models currently listed on Autotrader for under $20,000, you'll also receive Toyota's excellent certified pre-owned warranty, which touts 1 year or 12,000 miles of comprehensive bumper-to-bumper coverage and 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection. It's hard to go wrong with a Toyota RAV4.

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2010-2014 Volkswagen Tiguan

The Volkswagen Tiguan offers impressive build quality, handsome styling and a standard turbocharged engine that's peppier than the base-level powertrains in most rivals thanks to an energetic 200 horsepower. Opt for a certified pre-owned 2010-2014 model, and you'll be able to choose between more than 300 examples listed on Autotrader for under $20,000, each of which comes standard with Volkswagen's generous 2-year or 24,000-mile bumper-to-bumper certified pre-owned warranty. Not sure which one to pick? Although Volkswagen constantly shuffles around its trim levels, we recommend an upscale SEL model, which generally features keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, a power driver's seat with memory, 19-in alloy wheels and adaptive bi-xenon headlights.

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RELATED INVENTORY
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Used 2014 Chevrolet Equinox AWD LT
Used 2014 Chevrolet Equinox
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Used 2014 Chevrolet Equinox AWD LT
Used 2014 Chevrolet Equinox
$18,499
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Used 2014 Chevrolet Equinox FWD LT
Used 2014 Chevrolet Equinox
$15,899
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Used 2014 Chevrolet Equinox AWD LT
Used 2014 Chevrolet Equinox
$14,298
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 Great CPO Compact SUVs for Under $20,000 - Autotrader