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The Best Used SUVs For Seniors For 2022

7 minute read

By Lesley Harrison

Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are seeing a surge in popularity with all age groups. However, they are especially popular among seniors. Their high performance, safety features, and overall versatility make them a great fit. You can find SUVs in a variety of sizes and specifications. Basically, there’s a viable SUV for everyone, whether they an urban dweller or making frequent off-road trips to the wilderness.

Supply chain difficulties have hit auto manufacturers hard in recent years. That has created significant delays in the delivery of new vehicles. However, a reliable and high-quality used SUV might still offer many years of enjoyable driving at a more affordable price point. Read on for a list of some of the best used SUVs on the market today.

Why Are Seniors Opting For SUVs?

There are several factors that make SUVs appealing to seniors. Most SUVs are heavier than sedans and are higher off the road. That gives drivers a better view of the road. The added visibility — along with the larger vehicle itself — offers an extra feeling of safety.

In addition, SUVs usually offer impressive towing capacity. Some full-sized SUVs are capable of towing up to 10,000 pounds. SUVs also have spacious interiors so they can carry a lot of cargo and multiple passengers. The most recent model years tend to come with a wealth of standard safety and drive assistance features. This can make those long journeys safer and less strenuous for both driver and passengers.

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The Used SUV Market Is Booming

Many seniors are looking to trade in their sedans for versatile SUVs that can be used for general city driving and off-road trips. Full-sized SUVs can be expensive, with MSRPs in excess of $40,000 for even the most basic models not being unusual. The ongoing chip shortage means those who purchase a new SUV may have a wait of four months or more before the vehicle is delivered.

Some manufacturers are down-speccing their vehicles to keep production lines moving. These issues make buying a used vehicle an appealing choice since a recent model could be similarly specced, cheaper and more quickly available.

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What To Look For in a Senior-Friendly SUV

Seniors who are considering buying an SUV should consider when and where they’re most likely to be driving it and pick a vehicle that will handle the conditions it will be exposed to. Full-sized SUVs are good for off-road conditions but may be difficult to park in cities, while midsize SUVs are great for city and town driving but aren’t always safe for off-road driving. Other important considerations include:

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Top Used SUVs for Seniors in 2022

There are many companies offering SUVs, and there are plenty of specifications and sizes to choose from. This list includes full-sized, midsize and compact SUVs from major manufacturers, along with suggestions for which years to consider for each model to get the best balance of condition, features and value for money.

Some manufacturers offer extended warranties that cover used vehicles as long as they’ve been serviced regularly at an approved dealership. Take this into account when considering your options. A well-cared-for used SUV with a manufacturer’s warranty could offer an enjoyable driving experience for many years to come, without breaking the bank.

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1. Porsche Macan

The 2019 Porsche Macan features an upgraded engine, a slight exterior refresh and a modernized entertainment system, including touch screen capabilities. The Macan is a luxurious SUV and the price reflects that, with the 2019 model typically costing around $51,662.

However, it can be an appealing option for those who appreciate the Porsche name, want a fun retirement vehicle and want better-than-average performance out of their SUV. The combined fuel economy of 21 mpg is above average for the class, although those who will be doing most of their driving in cities may be better served by a midsize or compact option.

Source: Porsche

2. Audi Q5

Audi completely revamped the Q5 in 2018. This version features a seven-speed, automatic twin-clutch transmission and is more fuel-efficient than previous models. The 2018 model can be found on the market for around $35,174, making it a more affordable option for those looking for a luxurious but rugged SUV.

In addition to the engine revamp, the interior was also given some attention, with in-car entertainment options and Audi Pre-Sense safety systems being standard on all models. Handling is smooth and enjoyable across all trim levels, but higher-end trims have improved suspension and brakes, making them even better for off-road journeys.

Source: Audi

3. Jeep Compass

For seniors on a tighter budget, the Jeep Compass could be an interesting option. The 2017 Compass has a lot in common with the Renegade and the Cherokee, but it has a new engine and an improved interior. Priced at just $17,460, the Compass is a true bargain. The 180-horsepower engine may feel underpowered to some.

However, for those who primarily want to run errands and aren’t interested in towing huge trailers or driving in difficult conditions, it should be more than enough to get the job done, and the handling is definitely up to some off-road use.

Source: Jeep

4. Chevrolet Trax

Another affordable option, the Chevrolet Trax can be picked up for just $15,167 for the 2017 model. This subcompact SUV offers 28 mpg combined and was revamped in 2017 to offer a variety of safety features and driver assists, as well as an improved infotainment system.

The Trax manages to offer more interior space than many other subcompacts while still offering good fuel economy. Seniors who want something agile for city driving but still big enough to take the grandkids away for a sporty weekend may find this to be a sensible and affordable choice.

Source: Chevrolet

5. Toyota RAV4

Toyota’s reputation for reliability means its used vehicles are always a popular option. In 2016, Toyota launched its first hybrid RAV4 and also added 360-degree parking sensors as an optional extra. Seniors looking for a hassle-free crossover with good handling, ample room and a spacious interior may find the RAV-4 appealing.

The 2016 edition can be bought for around $21,280. More recent years are slightly costlier but can still be a good option thanks to Toyota’s generous warranty policies and the RAV4’s good build quality.

Source: Toyota

6. Nissan Kicks

The Nissan Kicks launched in 2018. It’s a crossover with an impressive fuel economy, offering 33 mpg combined. Used 2018 versions can be picked up for as little as $18,595. That makes it an attractive buy for anyone on a fixed budget.

The Kicks comes with automatic emergency braking as standard and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It does not offer all-wheel drive as standard, however, so the basic model should be thought of as a spacious car for city driving rather than a true SUV. However, the price, safety features and fuel economy make it an appealing choice for drivers who fit Nissan’s target market.

Source: Nissan

Private Sellers vs Dealers

Buying any used vehicle can be intimidating, especially for people who aren’t car enthusiasts. Buying from a dealer offers some peace of mind in the form of warranties and the chance to check reviews and confirm the dealer’s reputation. However, margins are thin on used cars at the moment, so there won’t be much room to negotiate a used SUV down from the advertised price.

Buying from a private seller comes with risks since you’ll need to be able to confidently assess the condition of the SUV before handing over any money. Seniors who have the knowledge to do so, or who have friends who know about cars, may be able to get a better price by buying privately.

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How To Get a Good Deal on a Used SUV

The popularity of used SUVs at the moment means the days of negotiating discounts of 10% or even 20% off the advertised price are gone. Today, the key to getting a good price is knowing what to look for when you’re searching sales ads and dealership listings.

Make a list of the models you’re interested in and which years have the features you want. Pay attention to the number of owners an SUV has had and the mileage it’s done. Don’t dismiss high mileage SUVs if they appear to have been well cared for. A high-mileage option with a full-service history could be a true bargain that will give you many years of happy driving.

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Lesley Harrison

Writer

Lesley Harrison is a technical writer and open source software enthusiast with a passion for all things "data". In her spare time she coaches youth sports and loves exploring the English countryside.

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