Best Used SUV 2013: The Car Connection's Picks

April 26, 2013

New vehicles with untouched powertrains, mint interiors and intact warranties can be easy purchases. Used vehicles? It's a whole other process, one that's more confusing altogether, with variables of mileage, reliability, quality, and satisfaction all coming into play.

No matter what data they have in hand, or reviews they've read, many new-car buyers go with their gut and their emotions when they buy a used vehicle. Choices center heavily on price and vehicle type, maybe even more so than with a new-vehicle purchase.

We think there's other helpful information that should come into play when you're shopping for a used vehicle--and that's why we're putting together a series of guides to help you narrow down the field of used cars, trucks, crossovers and minivans to a smaller set of best-in-class bets.

We've arrived at these groups of vehicles by comparing three sets of data. To make our Best Used lists, a vehicle must score

  • at least an 8.0 rating on The Car Connection's full reviews from three years ago--in this case, the 2011 model year
  • at least four circles on J.D. Power's predicted-dependability rankings, or at least average reliability on Consumer Reports
  • at least four stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

In this list, we've examined the field of sport-utility vehicles--including crossovers--and come up with 18 of the best used SUVs on the road today, with the bottom line from our 2011 review:

2011 Acura MDX

With a few notable flaws in styling and features, the 2011 Acura MDX still impresses us with its friendly handling and gutsy power. Read more »

2011 Audi Q5

2011 Audi Q5

2011 Audi Q5

The 2011 Audi Q5 is one of the best upscale picks in a compact crossover, thanks to its sleek lines, practical interior, responsive feel, and city-savvy size. Read more »

2011 Cadillac Escalade AWD 4-door Base Side Exterior View

2011 Cadillac Escalade AWD 4-door Base Side Exterior View

2011 Cadillac Escalade

The 2011 Cadillac Escalade delivers solid, luxurious, and spacious accommodations with an advanced feature set. If you can live with the thirst of non-Hybrid models, it's unbeatable. Read more »

2011 Cadillac SRX FWD 4-door Performance Collection Side Exterior View

2011 Cadillac SRX FWD 4-door Performance Collection Side Exterior View

2011 Cadillac SRX

The 2011 SRX has the comfort and refinement luxury crossovers expect—plus a little Cadillac attitude. Read more »

2011 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ

2011 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ

2011 Chevrolet Equinox

If you don’t need a third row, the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox is just right for small families; it’s refined, secure, and versatile, and gets very impressive fuel economy in four-cylinder form. Read more »

2011 Chevrolet Traverse

2011 Chevrolet Traverse

2011 Chevrolet TraverseThe 2011 Chevrolet Traverse isn’t fun to drive, but it’s one of the best large crossover wagons for transporting the family comfortably and safely. Read more »

2011 Dodge Durango 2WD 4-door Crew Front Exterior View

2011 Dodge Durango 2WD 4-door Crew Front Exterior View

2011 Dodge Durango

The 2011 Dodge Durango is the anti-crossover, especially with the HEMI and R/T trim, and if the world still sanctioned big SUVs for small families, the Durango would be elbowing its way to driveways everywhere. Read more »

2011 Ford Edge 4-door SE FWD Angular Front Exterior View

2011 Ford Edge 4-door SE FWD Angular Front Exterior View

2011 Ford Edge

Provided you don't need a third-row seat, the 2011 Ford Edge is at last, at the leading edge of mid-size crossovers, with one of the best driver interfaces in the business. Read more »

2011 GMC Terrain

2011 GMC Terrain

2011 GMC Terrain

The 2011 GMC Terrain looks bold and edgy on the outside, but it’s a softy inside, with a comfortable, refined cabin and excellent fuel economy. Read more »

2011 Hyundai Tucson FWD 4-door Auto Limited PZEV Angular Front Exterior View

2011 Hyundai Tucson FWD 4-door Auto Limited PZEV Angular Front Exterior View

2011 Hyundai Tucson

Much better than its predecessor, the 2011 Hyundai Tucson needs a touch more power and steering feel to top carlike utes like the Nissan Rogue. Read more »

2011 Kia Sportage

2011 Kia Sportage

2011 Kia Sportage

Kia hits game reset, and gives the 2011 Sportage an appealing new look and feel.

2011 Lincoln MKT

2011 Lincoln MKT

2011 Lincoln MKT

The swinging style sets an audacious mood—and the 2011 Lincoln MKT backs it up with turbo V-6 thrust. Read more »

2011 Lincoln MKX FWD 4-door Side Exterior View

2011 Lincoln MKX FWD 4-door Side Exterior View

2011 Lincoln MKX

You won't need any excuses to say you've chosen the 2011 Lincoln MKX; it delivers on the promise of the brand: top-notch American luxury, with some of the best luxury and tech features wrapped in. Read more »

2011 Mazda CX-9

2011 Mazda CX-9

2011 Mazda CX-9

The 2011 Mazda CX-9 can carry seven in comfort, but it loves curves more than almost any other roomy crossover. Read more »

2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 4Matic

2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 4Matic

2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class has the rugged look U.S. shoppers want, in a sensibly sized package. We only wish it were a little more fuel-efficient. Read more »

2011 Subaru Forester

2011 Subaru Forester

2011 Subaru Forester

The roomy, versatile 2011 Subaru Forester handles better than just about any other small crossover, though the need for a more modern transmission and a little more cabin refinement keep it from greatness. Read more »

2011 Toyota 4Runner 4WD 4-door V6 SR5 (GS) Side Exterior View

2011 Toyota 4Runner 4WD 4-door V6 SR5 (GS) Side Exterior View

2011 Toyota 4Runner

If off-road capability is a top requirement, the brawny 2011 Toyota 4Runner is a good choice—with surprisingly good road manners to boot. Read more »

2011 Volvo XC60 FWD 4-door 3.2L Angular Front Exterior View

2011 Volvo XC60 FWD 4-door 3.2L Angular Front Exterior View

2011 Volvo XC60

The 2011 Volvo XC60 offers top in-car tech and luxury features, in a secure package that's big enough for small families. Read more »

2019
The Car Connection
See the winners »
2019
The Car Connection
Commenting is closed for this article
 
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.