Best Used Mid-Size SUVsby Sarah Estlund
Buying a used vehicle can provide you with the features and benefits of the newer model without the huge price tag. While there are many mid-sized SUVs with excellent resale value, reliability and safety features, our best used mid-sized SUV list is based upon vehicles with the least depreciation from the original retail price, excellent performance standards, high safety scores, fuel economy and better than average reliability.
Hyundai Santa Fe
According to Consumer Reports, from 2004 to 2008 the Hyundai Santa Fe four wheel drive, four cylinder only depreciated 67 percent from its original retail versus resale value. The popularity of this mid-sized SUV is due to the fact that the Santa Fe offers the fuel economy of a car while providing users the trendy style and functionality of an SUV. The Santa Fe is available in three different trim levels: Limited, SE and GLS. The base model is the GLS, and the fully loaded model is the Limited. Hyundai's Santa Fe comes standard as a five speed manual but is also available with a four speed automatic transmission.
The mid-sized Subaru Forester has been praised for maintaining sharp handling, peppy performance and comfortable seats. This model has a lot of storage space for a mid-sized SUV and an excellent reliability record. Depending upon which model year is purchased, the engine can range from a 173 horsepower to a 230 horsepower and is available in different trim levels and various feature packages, such as the XS, XT, Sports X and Sports XT. Later models of the Subaru Forester include increased luxury features such as leather interior.
The Highlander is Toyota’s mid-sized SUV designed and built on a unibody platform. The Toyota Highlander has a four wheel independent suspension and offers the storage space of an SUV, with the feel of a car's smooth and quiet ride. With front wheel drive and all wheel drive as options, the engine is powered by either a V6 or a four cylinder. The Toyota Highlander is also available in a hybrid model which saves gas.
Acura’s MDX shot to popularity because of the trendy design of the exterior. The MDX was designed and built on the Honda mid-size platform and was marketed as a high-end SUV with elite standard features. Some of the Acura MDX standard features include all wheel drive and a 3.5 liter V6 engine floating on independent suspension. The original model was released in 2001, and an upgraded model was designed in 2004 with an additional 20 horsepower. In 2004, the Acura MDX was again redesigned with head protection air bags.
The Mitsubishi Outlander has been widely considered as one of the best used mid-sized SUVs for several reasons. The Outlander maintains excellent fuel economy, bold styling and is reliable. Depending upon the year of the model, there may be one of three trims: the ES, the LS or the XLS, all of which came standard with a 220 horsepower V6 engine. One of the benefits of the Mitsubishi Outlander is the car-like feeling with SUV storage space and handling. More recent used models of the Outlander come with antilock brakes, side airbags and increased interior luxury such as leather and trim enhancements.
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