Open trunk of an SUV car packed with beach supplies and dog.

The Best SUVs To Buy Used In 2022

Hanna Kielar4-minute read
UPDATED: December 12, 2022


Buying a used SUV is a great way to maximize savings while getting into the most popular type of vehicle in America. By December 2021, Kelley Blue Book reported that the average cost of a new car reached over $47,000 a new record. Meanwhile, the average cost of a used car topped $28,000.

Discover how you can save thousands of dollars and still get long-term use from one of these high-quality, best used SUVs.

What Matters Most When Choosing Top-Rated Used SUVs

We’ve already researched and compiled a buyer’s guide for 2021 model year SUVs categorized by value, luxury, fuel efficiency and size. When thinking about the best pre-owned SUVs, we delved deeper into the past to find more affordable SUVs that have stood the test of time. We considered manufacturer data as well as trusted auto publications like Kelley Blue Book and Car and Driver. We considered the present-day relevance of their safety features, reliability and value.

It’s hard to go wrong with any of the best used SUVs on the market in 2022. Get acquainted with them below.

Ford Expedition

Front and side view of a dark blue-gray Ford Expedition SUV.

Mpg: 17 city | 22 highway

Drivetrain: Real-wheel drive

The most recent generation of Ford Expeditions launched in 2018 with an array of technology that can still compete with the best. Available with in-car Wi-Fi hotspot and a dual-headrest, rear-seat infotainment system, the Expedition can entertain all eight of its passengers.

That said, if you plan to routinely haul eight people, consider the Ford Expedition XLT, which is arguably the best SUV of all time for big families. In fact, we already gave it that title in our best cars for families roundup.

Hyundai Santa Fe

Front and side view of a pale blue-gray Hyundai Santa Fe SUV.

Mpg: 22 city | 27 highway

Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

The 2019 model year launched the beginning of the new fourth generation of Hyundai Santa Fe crossover SUVs. The Santa Fe is equipped with a base four-cylinder engine, standard seven-inch touchscreen infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay and built-in USB chargers that you’ve come to expect from a modern SUV. The Santa Fe boasts plenty of cargo space, with a maximum 71.3 cubic feet when the back seats are down.

Honda CR-V

Front and side view of a dark blue Honda CR-V SUV.

Mpg: 27 city | 32 highway

Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

In 2021, the Honda CR-V was the fifth best-selling vehicle in America, and the best-selling SUV. Among other qualities, consumers like its safety features, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick rating and resale value. The most recent makeover you’ll find on the used markets will be the 2020 model year, which includes a hybrid option that increases fuel efficiency by up to 8 miles per gallon.

Jeep Wrangler

Front and side view of a dark brown Jeep Wrangler SUV.

Mpg: 17 city | 21 highway

Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive

While it is now getting worthy competition from the new Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler has established itself as an iconic American car and the most capable American-made off-road vehicle today. The modern Jeep Wrangler goes back to 1986, but its ancestors stretch back to World War II. The current model JL Wrangler (2018 to present) and the recent JK Wrangler (2007 – 2017) constitute the most available used Wranglers available on the used car market today, but previous versions are still highly prized by enthusiasts and can be found with some digging. An entire culture has grown up around the Wrangler, making it one of the most customized vehicles in the world.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Front and side view of a bright blue Toyota RAV4 Hybrid SUV.

Mpg: 34 city | 31 highway

Drivetrain: All-wheel drive

There are tens of thousands of RAV4s on the used car market because this has been one of the top selling vehicles in America for several years. The first compact SUV went hybrid in its 2016 model year, offering 8 miles more per gallon than the traditional gas-powered drivetrain. With 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space, the RAV4 has plenty of space for passengers and their gear. It’s also included in our best cars for the money roundup.

Mazda CX-5

Front and side view of a bright blue Mazda CX-5 SUV.

Mpg: 25 city | 31 highway

Drivetrain: All-wheel drive

Ranked #1 in our best crossover SUV roundup, the Mazda CX-5 boasts a four-cylinder base engine along with a more powerful turbocharged engine option. This small SUV consists of top-quality materials designed to offer a comfortable ride with surprising performance for the price, making it a good SUV to buy used.

Land Rover Defender

Front and side view of a pale green Land Rover Defender SUV.

Mpg: 18 city | 21 highway

Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive

Ranked #1 in our best off-road SUVs roundup, the Land Rover Defender is one of the best SUVs to buy used if you’re seeking powerful stability on rough and wet terrains. The base model comes with an air suspension system that can elevate the vehicle up to three inches for 11.5 inches of ground clearance that allow it to drive through 35.4 inches of water. By comparison, the widely lauded Jeep Wrangler can navigate through 30 inches of water.

The Bottom Line: The Best Used SUVs Offer Savings Without Sacrificing Quality

With rising purchase costs and gas prices, it just makes sense to save money where you can on your next vehicle. Buying used can instantly save you thousands of dollars. Any one of these vehicles will get you where you need to go just like a new SUV.

If you want to potentially lower your long-term costs of ownership and also save on fuel, consider one of the best hybrid SUVs on the market.

Hanna Kielar

Hanna Kielar is a Section Editor for Rocket Auto℠, RocketHQ℠, and Rocket Loans® with a focus on personal finance, automotive, and personal loans. She has a B.A. in Professional Writing from Michigan State University.