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Best Used SUVs for 2023


William Byrd
William Byrd | Senior Contributor
April 24, 2023
Four Friends getting out of car laughing driver turning back to lock SUV

Practical and spacious for any lifestyle.

There's a huge number of different SUVs out there, which is great news if you're looking for something that's perfectly tailored to your needs. Your next vehicle should be able to haul the family and their stuff off on a long weekend, handle daily commuter duties, and maybe even escape the hustle and bustle by conquering an unpaved trail on the way to the campsite. If all that choice seems a little overwhelming, don't worry, we have you covered.

We've compiled a list of the 10 most popular used SUVs with CarMax customers. (Learn more about how our lists work.)

Best Used SUVs

  1. Nissan Rogue

  2. Toyota RAV4

  3. Jeep Grand Cherokee

  4. Chevrolet Equinox

  5. Honda CR-V

  6. Ford Escape

  7. Jeep Wrangler

  8. Ford Explorer

  9. Mazda CX-5

  10. Jeep Cherokee

1. Nissan Rogue

2021 Nissan Rogue

Our list of the 10 best used SUVs kicks off with the Nissan Rogue. The 2018 model features 32 cu-ft of cargo space behind the second row, and an impressive 70 cu-ft with the seats folded. The 2018-2020 Rogue gets its power from a 170-hp 2.5L four-cylinder (which gets a bump to 181 hp for 2021). Also check out the Rogue Hybrid (2018-2019), which pairs a 141 hp 2.0L with a 40 hp electric motor. For 2022, there's a 1.5L turbocharged three-cylinder engine putting out 201 hp with an EPA-estimated 33 mpg combined in FWD configuration.

Check out the base S trim level across 2018-2023, which comes with great features like a seven-inch touchscreen (eight-inch for 2021+), Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto integration, 40/20/40-split folding rear seats that also slide and recline, and a rearview camera. Look out for the 2021-2022 Platinum trim as it has upgraded leather upholstery with quilted stitching, a wireless charging pad, and even heated rear seats.

Research the Nissan Rogue.

2. Toyota RAV4

2021 Toyota RAV4

Fourth generation (2013-2018) RAV4 models are powered by a 2.5L four-cylinder engine with 176 hp. In 2019, the fifth generation (2019-present) RAV4 saw a power bump to 203 hp while still managing an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city and 34 mpg highway in the LE trim with AWD.

There are a ton of great trim levels to choose from across 2018-2023 starting with the well-equipped base LE all the way to the top-spec Limited. The TRD Off-Road trim was added for 2020 and has some legitimate all-terrain abilities if you're looking to escape the pavement for a long weekend. From a tech perspective, you'll get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration on 2020 models and newer, while wireless connectivity became standard in 2023.

Research the Toyota RAV4.

3. Jeep Grand Cherokee

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Jeep Grand Cherokee will be a great travel companion whether you are looking for a daily commuter or an off roader. All trim levels give you the option to add AWD, while it is standard on the Trailhawk, and there are a massive variety of engine options to choose from across 2018-2023.

Starting in 2018, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity became available on the optional 8.4-inch center touchscreen (and became standard across all trim levels for 2019+). The fifth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee debuted in 2022 and is very well-equipped across all trims. Take a look at the Limited, which ramps up comfort and convenience, or the 4WD-only off-road-focused Trailhawk, while the top-trim Summit fully maximizes luxury. Families looking for a third-row option should look at 2021 or newer Grand Cherokees.

Research the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

4. Chevrolet Equinox

2020 Chevrolet Equinox

The Equinox was fully redesigned for the 2018 model year, kicking off the third generation of Chevrolet's compact SUV. There are three engine options to choose from, including a standard 1.5L with 170 hp (bumped to 175hp for 2023), an optional 2.0L producing 252 hp (2018-2020) and a 1.6L turbodiesel with 137 hp (2018-2019 only). The 2018-2019 diesel engine gets an EPA-estimated 28 city mpg and 39 highway mpg for FWD models and 28/38 mpg for AWD.

The base trim level is well-equipped across the 2018-2023 model years with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a seven-inch touchscreen and automatic headlights. If you're looking for a sportier trim, check out the RS beginning with 2022 models. It adds a glossy black grille, 19-inch wheels, and interior upgrades like a black interior with red stitching, a unique shift knob, and a power liftgate.

Research the Chevrolet Equinox.

5. Honda CR-V

2020 Honda CR-V

If you want a compact crossover with a great mix of features and options, check out the Honda CR-V. The base CR-V from 2018-2019 has a 2.4L engine that produces 184 hp, or you can opt for the 1.5L turbo engine that puts out 190 hp. Honda dropped the 2.4L engine in 2020, so the more powerful engine became standard from 2020-2023. For the 2020-2023 model year, the CR-V will achieve an EPA-estimated mpg 28 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.

The 2018-2023 EX trim adds a host of comfort and convenience features, while the EX-L gets you leather seating. The Touring is the top spec CR-V and for 2023 (called the Sport Touring) comes with a hands-free liftgate, ambient lighting, and a heated steering wheel. There is a lot of space too, especially for a compact crossover. The 2023 CR-V has an impressive 39.3 cu-ft behind the rear seats.

Research the Honda CR-V.

6. Ford Escape

2019 Ford Escape

The Ford Escape has been around since 2001, and Ford has been continually refining it ever since. The third-generation Escape (2013–2019) is a great place to start. The 2018-2019 versions have a standard 2.5L four-cylinder with 168 hp. If you want more power, look for the optional four-cylinder engines including a 1.5L (170 hp) and the top-spec 2.0L turbocharged engine (245 hp). The 2020 model year was the beginning of a new generation and features a 1.5L turbo three-cylinder with 180 hp or an optional 250 hp 2.0L turbo four.

The 2023 Escape S trim has cool stuff like an eight-inch touchscreen and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Look to the top-spec Platinum (previously called Titanium) to get the most comfort and convenience features.

Research the Ford Escape.

7. Jeep Wrangler

2022 Jeep Wrangler

If you're looking for serious off-road capability, the Wrangler delivers. The Jeep Wrangler is the definitive off-road SUV. It's also a surprisingly livable family vehicle, with the four-door Unlimited trim offering 31.7 cu-ft of storage (2018-2023) behind the second row. For 2018-2023, the standard 3.6L V6 makes a more-than-adequate 285 hp, but Jeep also offers an optional 2.0L turbo-four with 270 hp and a 3.0L turbodiesel V6 with 260 hp. For 2021, Jeep added even more options, with an available 375-hp 4xe plug-in hybrid and a version powered by a 6.4L V8 putting out 470 hp.

2018-2023 Jeep Wrangler trims go from mild to wild, with the base Sport coming in surprisingly well-equipped with foglights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration (2022), and 17-inch wheels. Check out the Sahara for more comfort and convenience options, or the Rubicon to max out the off-road parts.

Research the Jeep Wrangler.

8. Ford Explorer

2021 Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer delivers seating for up to seven with a great-looking exterior and tons of standard and optional features. For 2018-2019, even the base 3.5L engine puts out an impressive 290 horsepower, but Ford also offers an optional turbo 2.3L, as well as a beefy twin-turbo 3.5L V6 that makes a stout 365 hp. That all got turned up in 2022 with a new base engine making 300 hp on all trim levels, as well as an optional 318-hp hybrid version.

There are a ton of great trim levels to choose from. Check out the 2021-2023 Explorer and you'll find that even the base trim comes with great stuff like a power liftgate, tri-zone automatic climate control, an eight-inch touchscreen, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. For more luxury, the Limited trim gets upgraded features like leather upholstery, ambient interior lighting, and a hands-free liftgate.

Research the Ford Explorer.

9. Mazda CX-5

2020 Mazda CX-5

If you want to add something different to your driveway, check out the smart CX-5. All 2018 and newer CX-5s are part of the compact Mazda's second generation (2017-present) and feature a standard 2.5L engine with 187 hp and optional AWD; which became standard for 2022 across all trim levels. Looking for more power? For 2019, Mazda added an optional turbocharged version with 227 hp.

There are a ton of great trim levels available as well, for 2018-2021 check out the Touring trim which delivers comfort features like simulated leather with heated front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control. Starting in 2022, Mazda revamped the trim levels with the Select trim filling the role of the Touring. If you want to max out the features and options, check out the Premium or Premium Plus (2022) for your Mazda CX-5 and you'll be road-tripping in comfort.

Research the Mazda CX-5.

10. Jeep Cherokee

2021 Jeep Cherokee

The five-passenger compact Cherokee rounds out our list with the off-road abilities Jeep is so well known for, alongside a ton of great features and options. For 2018-2022, Jeep offered a choice of either a 184-hp four-cylinder or an optional 271-hp V6. Starting in 2019 Jeep added yet another choice, a turbo four-cylinder with 270 hp, and dropped the V6 for 2023.

The Trailhawk trim maximizes the Cherokee's off-road abilities. Or, take a look at 2019 and newer Cherokees to find standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. If you're looking for a more upscale trim, the Cherokee Limited gets you standard leather seating along with a bunch of other comfort and convenience features like dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

Research the Jeep Cherokee.

Whether you are looking for a three-row family hauler, a capable off-roader, or just a daily commuter, there are tons of great SUV options. If you're still trying to figure out the best fit for your needs, check out these articles for more:

Who We Are

At CarMax, we've been buying and selling cars since 1993, and we've made it our business to pay close attention to which cars customers like—and buy—the most. As the largest used car auto retailer in the United States, our overall sample size is large and reflective of the variety of years, makes, and models that we sell.

How We Rank Our Lists

To create our "Best Of" lists, our analysts look at CarMax vehicle and sales data over a recent 6-month period, from August 2022 through February 2023. Looking back over a 6-month period allows for the highest sample size possible while also providing up-to-date pricing information. Some articles may include data points with lower sample sizes.

We hope you found this information helpful. This content is intended to inform and is not meant to indicate that a particular vehicle is currently available or recommended for you.
William Byrd
William Byrd | Senior Contributor

William Byrd has been writing great stories about cars for more than a decade and has been published on popular outlets like The Drive, Hooniverse, and Jalopnik. Based in the D.C. area, William focuses on automotive reviews and event coverage and is a big Formula 1 fan.

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