The Best 5 Used SUV's in Canada

October 25, 2018

These are the 5 Best Used SUVs in Canada right now based on affordability, quality, reliability, fuel economy and amenities. Which one would you want?

Determining the best-used sport utility vehicle (SUV) in Canada was an adventure, simply because there are so many great options to choose from. Of course, reliability significantly factored into our SUV options. And with the beloved storage space of a wagon-esque body combined with the versatility of multiple-terrain driving options makes the SUV a Canadian favourite. After all, who doesn’t want the weight and strength of an SUV when January arrives?

“Canada Drives is in communication with 10,000's of Canadian car shoppers every month and we have seen a huge increase in the demand for SUVs over the last few years. We thought compiling a list of some of the best-used SUVs in the market would help save you some time researching the best vehicle for your needs.” - Mike Galpin (Co-CEO, Canada Drives)

To be comprehensive, our list touches on all drive types: front-wheel drive (FWD), rear-wheel drive (RWD), all-wheel drive (AWD), and 4-wheel drive (4WD). These five SUVs are strictly according to our own criteria; a combination of “owner love”, cost, long-term dependability, and fuel efficiency.

Like with all our lists, prices are an average from figures gathered across the country. We try our best to provide a median price-point, but we highly recommend using Autotrader.ca and Wheels.ca to get price ranges in your city, and, of course, Canadian Black Book.

As always, when buying used, make sure to get a car history report. You can do this through CARFAX Canada.

Here are the top 5 best suvs in canada
  1. Toyota 4Runner
  2. Honda CR-V
  3. Lexus RX
  4. Mazda CX-9
  5. Kia Sportage

Toyota 4Runner

Toyota 4Runner

Price range: $30k-$36k

Drive type: RWD, 4WD drive

Years: 2014-2017

For years, Toyota has dominated the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Awards. Hands-down, it’s what the import brand is best known for, and the 4Runner contributes to its high ranking. That reliability is precisely what you want in the dead of winter – not a dead SUV.  

You can grab the V6 2014 4Runner on the lower end of the above price range if the kilometres are low (considered around 64,000km-70,000km for this year and based on the 23,000km/year standard).

Edmunds gives this year and model a consumer rating of 4.5/5 stars with excellent off-roading abilities and plenty of cargo space. Its fuel efficiency sits at 12.7L/100km for city driving and 9.4L/100km for highway for an average of 11.2L/100km.

Features can include leather interior, stability control, power seats, dual climate controls, rear-view camera, sunroof, modern media functions, nav system and keyless entry.

The premium models of the 4Runner can come with fog lights, telescoping steering, tow-hitch receiver and even a spoiler. Some consumer-reported downsides include a cramped third-row seat and lack of a diesel engine option. Earlier models than the range above also fare well if you’re looking to save money.

Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V SUV

Price range: $15k-$25k

Drive type: FWD & AWD options available

Years: 2012-2014

Because it’s a compact SUV and not a midsize SUV, the Honda CR-V is a more affordable alternative to the 4Runner, yet with ample cargo space and rear-seat room.

Owners report it’s a “fun” drive, as it has a bit more of a compact frame and very responsive handling. It has a 5-star crash-test rating for years 2013 and 2014. In terms of value, it boasts 4.5 out of 5 stars from consumers and a modest 4 stars from various industry expert publications.

The CR-V has an incredibly distinguished record for reliability and the models in these years are no exception. RepairPal shows that common issues for this generation of Honda CR-V are minor, such as poor A/C performance rather than major mechanical problems. 

With a combined 8L/100km (9.2L for city and 6.6L for highway), it is a bit more of a guzzler than the 4Runner, but it’s important to note that these models are a bit older.

Features include a rearview camera, dual climate controls, fog lights, electronic compass and keyless entry, to name a few. Consumer downsides include the availability of cloth interior vs leather.

Lexus RX

Lexus RX SUV

Price range: $23k-$32k

Drive type: FWD & AWD options available

Years: 2012-2013

If a quiet all-terrain adventure in luxury is your idea of a good time, then the moderately-sized Lexus RX is the SUV for you. 

Consumers boast that it’s an incredibly quiet drive and the vehicle adheres to the Lexus standard of being very reliable. In fact, J.D Power named the Lexus RX the most dependable vehicle in 2013 (in the U.S). In fact, one of the top praises these SUVs receive is how little maintenance they need. 

Fuel economy is around average for the segment, 11.8L/100km in city and 8.3L/100 for highway. If you want extra power and better fuel economy, you can choose the 450h model which is their hybrid model.

Like the 4Runner and CR-V, it has excellent cargo space. Luxury features include rain-sensing wipers, heated leather memory seats and adaptive headlights.

Reported downsides are the navigation system which has been said to be a little glitchy and the fuel economy is not as good in the older models than the newer ones in this range. Resale value also puts the RX as a unique addition to our list, due simply to a premium nameplate.

Mazda CX-9

Mazda CX-9

Price range: $18k-$27k

Drive type: FWD is standard in all but the Signature trim. AWD is standard with Signature models.

Years: 2014-2016

If you need minivan space but the handling of a 4-wheel drive, then the Mazda CX-9 may be for you. Consumers praise its fun, responsive steering and very roomy interior.

As the largest of the Mazda SUVs, the CX-9 fits 7 passengers and has very comfortable third-row seating. Fun features include a sunroof, fog lights and dual climate controls. Expect moderate fuel economy, running at 12.8L/100km for city and 9.0L/100km for highway.

Consumer Reports gives this CX-9 generation an 8.4 out of 10 reliability rating, mainly due to minor issues that can occur. Annoying but innocuous, the infotainment screen could freeze and variances in the distance-to-empty display can cause you to run out of fuel. Fortunately, none of the concerns are major. 

Downsides include a fidget-inducing drive if you buy the car almost new as the seats allegedly need a lot of time to be broken in, long rear doors and a fickle media system.

Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage

Price range: $15k-$24k

Drive type: FWD and AWD options available

Years: 2015-2016

The Kia Sportage makes the list with awesome bang for your buck. Choose from the EX, SX or LX models and pick a variety of bonus features like panorama sunroof, tinted windows, keyless entry, UVO voice-recognition system, leather seats, power driver’s seat and more. 

Fuel economy is about the same as the Mazda, at 12L/100km for city and 9.1L/100km highway. The Sportage is deemed as a really fun drive and incredibly roomy. Some reported downsides are the somewhat cramped rear seats and rough ride quality. 

From a safety perspective, the Sportage scored a perfect 5 stars in front and side-impact tests, which made it stand out against its competitors.

Get pre-approved for the best used SUVs through Canada Drives

If you're interested in any of the SUVs on this list, click here to contact Canada Drives. We can preapprove you for finance BEFORE you start shopping and connect you with a dealership that knows how to help! You could be driving one of these SUVs by the end of the week!

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