Buying Advice

Ranked: Best used SUVs under $15,000

The Toyota Highlander is just one of the vehicles on this list.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

It's not just new cars that people are after. The used car market is full of good cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans that are available at prices far lower than a brand new car.

iSeeCars, a car search engine, analyzed over 6.1 million cars from model years 2011 and newer to determine the used cars that demonstrated long-term reliability and have an average safety rating of at least 4 stars out of 5 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Shoppers with a budget of $15,000 can purchase the following reliable SUVs that are less than 10 years old.

2013 Honda CR-V

2013 Honda CR-V

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Average Used Price: $13,469
Honda redesigned the CR-V for the 2014 model year. The fourth-gen model got fresh styling, improved fuel economy, and a long list of standard and available features. It was named an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK and earned a NHTSA 5-star Overall Vehicle Score.

2012 Honda Pilot

2012 Honda Pilot

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Average Used Price: $13,925
Honda refreshed the Pilot for the 2012 model year. It got a new face, a redesigned center stack, simplified climate control layout, and new available infotainment technology. The 2012 Pilot is also more fuel efficient than the 2011 model.

2012 Ford Expedition

2012 Ford Expedition

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Average Used Price: $14,232
The 2012 Ford Expedition is powered by a standard 5.4-liter V8 that achieves 310 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. It can tow up to 9,200 pounds when properly equipped. A voice-activated SYNC infotainment and navigation system and automatic 4x4 drive mode was available when new.

2012 Dodge Durango

2012 Dodge Durango

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Average Used Price: $14,528
The Dodge Durango was redesigned for the 2011 model year and it's mostly a carryover for 2012. It's powered by either a 290-horsepower V6 or 360-horsepower V8. The Durango came standard with a front-passenger fold-flat seat, steering wheel audio controls, a tilting/telescoping wheel, SiriusXM satellite radio, an audio jack, six-speaker sound system, and trailer sway control.

2012 Acura MDX

20212 Acura MDX

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Average Used Price: $14,662
The 2012 Acura MDX was mostly carried over from the 2011 edition, bringing with it a strong powertrain and sleek (for its time) looks. It has a flat load floor with its seats stowed, making it easy to carry cargo, and a list of high tech features that includes Bluetooth, tri-zone climate control with humidity control, navigation with voice recognition, a 10-speaker premium audio system, and a rear entertainment system.

2011 Toyota Highlander

2011 Toyota Highlander

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Average Used Price: $14,900
Toyota upgraded the Highlander for the 2011 model year, giving it revised front and rear fascia, hood, and fenders. It also now came standard with three rows of seating and rear climate controls. When new, the Highlander was offered with either a four-cylinder or V6 powertrain. It also got tech upgrades for 2011 including a standard USB port, SiriusXM radio capability, and Bluetooth connectivity.

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Custom SUVs

Ford Bronco to rule SEMA this year

The Bronco RTR features a fun livery and several off-road upgrades.

Ford

The annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show is an opportunity for the aftermarket and manufacturers to come together on wildly customized vehicles and to show off the latest parts and tech in the space. Now that the Ford Bronco has finally made its way to the public, it's not surprising to see several wild SEMA takes on the hottest SUV to hit the market in some time.

2021 Bronco by Tucci Hot Rods The tracks are said to improve the Bronco's abilities in deep snow and ice.Ford

2021 Bronco by Tucci Hot Rods

The new Bronco is capable and rugged on its own, but Tucci Hot Rods felt it needed more. The shop gave it that boost with a set of tracks in place of wheels, which are said to be great for deep snow and ice. This Bronco features a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed manual transmission to go with its Mattracks 88-Series quad tracks.

2021 Bronco RTR Fun-Runner by RTR Vehicles

Vaghn Gittin Jr's RTR Vehicles imagined a Bronco package that could be installed at the dealer. The result is the Fun-Runner, which features several Ford Performance and Ford Licensed Accessories parts. It's based on a 2021 two-door Bronco Badlands, and comes with an eye-catching wrap, an Ultimate Dana 44 front axle, Ultimate Dana 60 semi-float rear axle, RCV Performance CV axles, and a performance intake for its four-cylinder engine.

2021 Bronco by BDS Supensions SEMA presents an excellent opportunity for shops to show off their skill and imagination.Ford

2021 Bronco by BDS Supensions

BDS is a subsidiary of Fox Shocks and has worked with Ford for quite some time. The results of that long-running relationship are on display with the BDS Bronco, which features Fox 2.5 PES coilovers, BDS rear adjustable control arms and track bar, swaybar disconnect, and 37-inch BFGoodrich KM3 tires. The Bronco's bumpers have been replaced with CrawlTek Revolution units that feature a recessed winch mount, recovery hooks and more.

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The new Si gets many improvements over the standard Civic.

Honda

The 2022 Civic and Civic Hatchback are just starting to hit our streets, but Honda's already moved on to higher performance versions of the car. The automaker just announced the Civic Si, which lands between the standard cars and the red-hot Type R in the Civic lineup.

2022 Honda Civic Si The Si's manual transmission gets rev-matching from the Civic Type R.Honda

The 2022 Civic Si gets a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. The VTEC unit has been updated with broader power curves and better output at the top of the rev range. It's paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission that features the handy rev-matching feature from the Civic Type R. The system can detect downshifts and blips the throttle to perfectly align engine revs with the shift.

Honda tightened up the new Si's body with an 8 percent bump in torsional rigidity and a 13 percent increase in bending rigidity over the previous model. The 2022 Civic Si also rides on a longer wheelbase and has a wider rear track for better stability. Honda says that at 107.7 inches, the Si has the longest wheelbase in its class, which should give the car a stable and comfortable ride.

2022 Honda Civic Si The 2022 Civic Si's interior is clean and sporty. Honda

The Si's cabin borrows heavily from the standard Civic, but the sporty car gets more aggressive front sport seats with stronger bolstering and better thigh and shoulder supports. Honda raised the seats' bottom cushion by half an inch at the front for better thigh support. A 9-inch touchscreen display is standard that runs wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 12-speaker Bose stereo with Centerpoint 2 tech and SurroundStage digital signal processing are also standard.

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