There’s no doubt that the SUV market is hot. Even as new models command premiums over traditional cars, there’s a way to enjoy the taller ride height for better visibility as well as the utility of being able to haul your crew and all their stuff in style by shopping for a used SUV. Higher quality and longer vehicle life means that even just under $10,000 you can find a vehicle that fits your needs.


1. 2008 Honda CR-V

The 2008 Honda CR-V is an earlier version of the model that is our current Best Buy for the compact SUV category. While the styling has evolved, the core values haven’t. Good looks, dependability and great resale make the Honda CR-V a winner on this 10 Best List. Find Honda CR-V models near you


2. 2008 Toyota RAV4

You can’t go wrong with a vehicle that arguably created the compact SUV category and the 2008 Toyota RAV4 is it. Tidy in size but big in value and utility, the RAV4 embodies Toyota’s commitment to high quality, durability and great resale value. Find Toyota RAV4 models near you


3. 2009 Nissan Xterra

This rugged body-on-frame SUV is perfect for serious off-road use in addition to duty as a daily driver. As an added bonus, the 2009 Nissan Xterra has a cult following thanks to its off-road chops, macho styling and durable nature. Find Nissan Xterras near you


4. 2009 Subaru Forester

Its boxy, SUV-inspired shape and full-time all-wheel drive make the 2009 Subaru Forester a favorite in this segment. Subaru prides itself on dependability and safety, making the Forester a good alternative for young families. Find Subaru Foresters near you


5. 2010 Ford Escape

Even though this generation of Ford’s prototypical crossover isn’t as swoopy as the current one, its design is more a pure SUV in execution despite its transverse engine layout and unit body construction. It’s also a very popular vehicle, so there’s an abundance of them making them relatively easy to find on the used market. Find Ford Escapes near you


6. 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander

Mitsubishi has been flying under the radar, there’s not a huge dealer body, and sales are a shadow of what they were more than a decade ago. Still, the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander is reliable, attractive and offers plenty of utility and comfort in a compact package. Find Mitsubishi Outlanders near you


7. 2007 Acura RDX

If you’re looking for a compact SUV with a touch of luxury you can’t go wrong with the 2007 Acura RDX. The little brother of the 3-row MDX is stylish, comfortable and sporty. This fun-to-drive upscale crossover is perhaps the best bargain of the bunch when you consider its pedigree. Find Acura RDX models near you


8. 2009 Volvo XC90

If your tastes run more towards a European import, the 2009 Volvo XC90 fits the bill here. While it may not be as bulletproof as some of the Japanese models, it does offer plenty of room, a tall ride height and Volvo’s vaunted reputation for safety. Find Volvo XC90 models near you


9. 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe

If you need to carry a lot of people and things, you can’t go wrong with the 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe. This full-size body-on-frame V8-powered SUV has the room, power and long-term durability you expect from a domestic truck, and they are relative easy to find at this price range. Find Chevrolet Tahoes near you


10. 2011 Mazda CX-7

Now for something completely different. While the CX-5 and CX-9 anchor Mazda’s crossover SUV range, for a short period of time, it offered a tweener, a 2-row crossover larger than the former, but more compact than the latter. The 2011 Mazda CX-7 retains the company’s fun-to-drive spirit, for less than $10,000. Find Mazda CX-7 models near you

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