7 Best Used SUVs for Small Families

01-nissan-murano-2016-angle--exterior--front--red.jpg 2016 Nissan Murano | photo by Evan Sears

If you’re in the market for a new car, you’re probably well aware how much prices have swelled in recent years. It’s enough to send some shoppers to the used-car market to get a better deal.

Related: 9 Fine Choices for Used-Car Shoppers

If you’re in this camp and wondering where to start your used-car search, you’ve come to the right place. Check out our take below on seven compact and mid-size SUVs that are a good fit for small families. Listed in alphabetical order, each SUV took top honors in one of’s past multicar comparison tests. To ensure there’s an SUV for every budget, we’ve highlighted SUVs from the 2012 to 2018 model years.

As with all used cars, vehicle mileage and condition can vary greatly between otherwise similar models, so be sure to do your homework once you’ve found an SUV you like.

2017 Ford Escape

ford-escape-2017-01-angle-dynamic-exterior-front-rear-white.jpg 2017 Ford Escape | photo by Christian Lantry

Ford’s long-running Escape compact SUV got a makeover for the 2017 model year with updated exterior styling and new engine options. Editors praised the Escape’s available Sync 3 multimedia system for its ease of use and smartphone connectivity, and they also appreciated the SUV’s smooth power delivery, impressive driving dynamics and refined ride. In addition, the Escape also has a lot of front storage space that’s good for keeping smaller items organized. Our test vehicle was a front-wheel-drive SE trim level with the available 179-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission.

Shop the 2017 Ford Escape near you

2017 Ford Escape SE
59,232 mi.
Great Deal | $528 under
2017 Ford Escape SE
120,599 mi.
Fair Deal

2012 Honda CR-V

01-honda-cr-v-2012-angle--blue--exterior--front--textures-and-patterns.jpg 2012 Honda CR-V | photo by Ian Merritt

Honda redesigned the CR-V for the 2012 model year, and the compact SUV impressed our editors with easy-to-use tech features, smart storage solutions including a huge center console box, and a comfortable ride. Cabin ergonomics were another highlight, and the CR-V was well-equipped with features including a backup camera and power moonroof. Our tester was a front-wheel-drive EX model with a 185-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed automatic.

Shop the 2012 Honda CR-V near you

2012 Honda CR-V EX
134,187 mi.
$11,914 $324 price drop
Great Deal | $218 under
2012 Honda CR-V LX
90,934 mi.
$14,381 $100 price drop
Good Deal | $441 under

2015 Honda CR-V

01-honda-cr-v-2015-exterior--profile--silver--urban.jpg 2015 Honda CR-V | photo by Evan Sears

Honda updated the CR-V for the 2015 model year, and the compact SUV again took home a win in our comparison test. Changes included new front and rear styling and a more efficient drivetrain featuring a continuously variable automatic transmission and a direct-injection four-cylinder engine. Our editors liked the CVT’s behavior, and they were also impressed with the SUV’s spacious interior and versatility, particularly its elegant backseat-folding operation. Our test model was an all-wheel-drive EX trim level.

Shop the 2015 Honda CR-V near you

2015 Honda CR-V Touring
106,579 mi.
$17,669 $130 price drop
Good Deal
2015 Honda CR-V Touring
14,185 mi.
Great Deal | $591 under

2016 Nissan Murano

01-nissan-murano-2016-angle--blue--exterior--front--snow.jpg 2016 Nissan Murano | photo by Evan Sears

The Murano has carved out a niche in the mid-size SUV class with distinctive design and an upscale interior, but those aren’t the only reasons for its appeal. For one, it’s quick: The 2016 Murano is powered by a standard 260-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 that drives a continuously variable automatic transmission, and editors liked the combination for its easy highway merging and passing. Seating comfort also impressed, as did the Murano’s optional convenience features like power-operated rear seats and a 360-degree camera system. Our tester was a high-end Platinum trim level with all-wheel drive.

Shop the 2016 Nissan Murano near you

No photo available
2016 Nissan Murano Platinum
79,376 mi.
Fair Deal
Hot Car
2016 Nissan Murano SV
136,393 mi.
Fair Deal

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2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek

01-subaru-xv-crosstrek-2015-angle--dynamic--exterior--front--red--trees.jpg 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek | photo by Evan Sears

Subaru applied its successful Outback formula to its Impreza hatchback to create the XV Crosstrek, a rugged-looking, higher-riding vehicle that beat out six other subcompact SUVs in our testing thanks to a winning combination of value, passenger and cargo space, visibility and ride comfort. A sluggish drivetrain was the XV Crosstrek’s main downside, so pay special attention to that on a test drive. Our test vehicle was a 2.0i Premium trim with all-wheel drive, a 148-hp, 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder and a continuously variable automatic transmission.

Shop the 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek near you

2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek 2.0i Limited
183,310 mi.
Fair Deal
2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek 2.0i Limited
53,984 mi.
$19,500 $500 price drop
Good Deal | $235 under

2018 Subaru Crosstrek

04-subaru-crosstrek-2.0i-premium-awd-2018-angle--blue--dynamic--exterior--front.jpg 2018 Subaru Crosstrek | photo by Christian Lantry

Redesigned for the 2018 model year, the Subaru Crosstrek kept its crown as subcompact SUV champ when we compared the class again. We tested a 2.0i Premium trim level with a 152-hp, 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic, and editors applauded its excellent visibility, interior quality, and a roomy backseat that’s comfortable for adults and big enough for child-safety seats. They also liked the Crosstrek’s ride and handling balance. Helping the Crosstrek’s case was its optional EyeSight system with automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist, among other active safety features.

Shop the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek near you

2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i
88,479 mi.
$17,999 $800 price drop
Good Deal
2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited
7,683 mi.
Good Deal | $496 under
Hot Car

2018 Volvo XC60

03-volvo-xc60-2018-angle--exterior--front--silver.jpg 2018 Volvo XC60 | photo by Christian Lantry

If your used-SUV budget is a little larger, you may want to consider the Volvo XC60 compact luxury SUV. Redesigned for the 2018 model year, the XC60 delivers a luxurious interior, advanced active safety features and a high-tech multimedia system. It also excels on a practical level with good visibility and a spacious backseat. Volvo has been known more for safety than luxury, but the XC60 and other recent models from the Swedish brand have firmly established it in the luxury class. We tested an all-wheel-drive T5 Momentum trim with a 250-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.

Shop the 2018 Volvo XC60 near you

2018 Volvo XC60 T6 Momentum
33,162 mi.
$30,700 $900 price drop
Great Deal | $2,063 under
2018 Volvo XC60 T5 Momentum
55,339 mi.
Good Deal | $588 under’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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