Home / The Best Cars for Every Budget / The Best Used SUVs under $15,000


A new SUV can top $40,000 easily. That is enough to take away your breath. If you are too frugal to drop that kind of cash on a depreciating asset, there are still plenty of solid options available to you. Here are a few SUVs that are dependable, have solid customer reviews, safety ratings, and a price tag under $15,000.

Cadillac Escalade

The Cadillac nameplate has always stood for luxury and dependability. The Escalade is a solidly built vehicle that does not disappoint in any way. Highly rated for safety and well reviewed by current and former owners, the Escalade tops the list for a luxury SUV that will fit any need. You can get a well appointed 2004 model with the 6.0L engine and AWD for less than $15,000 in most American markets. With some careful shopping you may be able to find a 2005 model for our price point.

Chevrolet Tahoe

The next stop on our list is a full-sized SUV that does not fit into the luxury category, but does offer many top level creature comforts in a very roomy passenger cabin. The Tahoe is often cited as one of the most reliable SUVs on the new and used market. If performs well in NHTSA and IIHS test for rollover and roof crush. Tahoes are also known for hitting 200,000 miles when properly maintained. You can find a 2006 model with the LT trim level, including 4WD for just under $14,000.

Acura MDX

The Acura MDX is arguably everyone’s top choice in the crossover segment. The vehicle offers decent fuel economy (for an SUV anyway), top safety ratings from the NHTSA and the IIHS, and it has earned raves from owners. The MDX also boasts a JD Power  Dependability rating of 4.5 out of 5. You can find a base model 2006 for $15,000. If you go one year older, a 2005 will run around $13,500.

Ford Edge

Another solid entry into the crossover segment is the Ford Edge. The Edge does not offer third row seating, but it does offer plenty of elbow room for up to five passengers. Edge owners say that it handles more like a car than a truck, offering a better ride in their point of view; however, many owners say the interior styling and options are ”dated”. The Edge also fits easily into the under $15,000 category. You can find a nice 2008 SE package with 2WD for around 12 grand. A 2008 with AWD runs right at $13,000.

Honda Pilot

Topping the compact SUV niche is the Honda Pilot. The Honda brand is known for its reliability and safety, the Pilot does not disappoint on either. The standard 3.5L VTEC engine offers plenty of pep when you hit the accelerator and best in class fuel economy. You can find a base model 2009 Pilot LX right at $15,000.

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