If a new SUV is not in the budget or you are looking for a second vehicle for a growing family, a used SUV can give you the extra room you need at a discounted price. While you may be in the market for a used SUV, you still need to do your homework on which ones are considered the best buys. No matter what size or type of SUV you are looking for, taking the time to find the best one can give you nearly the same benefits as a new SUV and save you money up front and over the life of the vehicle. While we always encourage consumers to do their own research, here is what we consider the five top rated SUVs in dependability over their first three years.
#1: 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK350
Based on the platform of Mercedes-Benz popular C-Class sedans, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 is a popular compact luxury SUV. It is powered by a 268 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with a 7-Speed automatic transmission and is available in rear-wheel or 4Matic all-wheel-drive versions. Fuel economy for this luxury SUV is 18 mpg combined, certainly not a high point if you are looking for higher than average fuel economy, but it is a Mercedes after all.
What it does not offer in fuel economy it certainly makes up for in features. Standard appointments include 19-inch alloy wheels, front and rear fog lamps, full power accessories, Bluetooth, and a 6-speaker audio system. Mercedes-Benz also offered a variety of packages and additional options for the 2012 GLK350 including a power liftgate, panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, a navigation system and advanced driver assist features. The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 rates high in dependability over its first three years thanks to fewer than average powertrain, body, or accessory problems reported than its competitors.
#2: 2012 GMC Terrain
The 2012 GMC Terrain is a compact SUV with seating for five that offers a highly fuel-efficient engine choice as well as high marks for three-year dependability. The GMC Terrain is available with two engine choices, a fuel-friendly four-cylinder, and a more powerful V6. The 172 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine gets you moving and saves your fuel budget with fuel economy at 24 mpg city/32 highway. If you need more power for towing or trailering, the 3.0-liter V6 gives you 264 horsepower and a fuel economy of 16/23. Both are paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and are available in front-wheel and all-wheel-drive versions.
The 2012 GMC Terrain has four trim levels to choose from, the SLE-1, SLE-2, SLT-1 and SLT-2. Even the base SLE-1 comes standard with full power features, rearview camera, cruise control and a six-speaker audio system. Moving up through the trims adds automatic climate control, leather seating, additional power features, and even more high-tech entertainment and driver assist features. In addition to the 2012 GMC Terrain being rated high in dependability with fewer repair issues noted in its first three years on the road, the Terrain was also named an IIHS Top Safety Pick. The GMC Terrain is also competitively priced making it a budget-friendly choice for anyone shopping for a used SUV.
#3: 2012 GMC Yukon
If you have a larger family or bigger things to tow, the 2012 GMC Yukon is a large SUV that ranks high in both quality and dependability. As with most large SUVs, the GMC Yukon is built on a truck frame offering you exceptional durability and towing capability. With seating for nine, there is ample room for the family, pets, and all the gear. The 2012 GMC Yukon also offers a number of engine options, including a fuel-friendly hybrid version. The standard engine in the Yukon is a 320 horsepower 5.3-liter V8 engine that offers 15 mpg city/17 highway. The hybrid version of the 2012 Yukon has the same V8 paired with dual electric motors that improve fuel economy to 20/23. For those who want the most power for towing or trailering, you have the choice of a 6.2-liter V8 engine with 403 horsepower and fuel economy of 13/18. All engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Properly equipped, the 2012 GMC Yukon offers an impressive towing capacity of 8,500 lbs.
The 2012 GMC Yukon comes in three trims, the SLE, SLT, and Denali. Standard features for the SLE include tri-zone climate control, power windows and locks, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker Bose audio system. The more luxurious SLT adds leather, fog lights and additional power and convenience features. The top of the line Denali trim adds heated and ventilated front seats, second row captain’s chairs, navigation, and an upgraded suspension package that makes it suitable for more rugged off-road terrain. The 2012 GMC Yukon is a high quality large used SUV that also offers above average dependability in all categories including powertrain, body, and interior and features. If you are looking for a used family SUV that is just at home taking the kids to school as it is on a weekend camping trip, the 2012 GMC Yukon is a great choice.
#4: 2012 Nissan Murano
The 2012 Nissan Murano is a used midsize SUV that offers a stylish exterior, room for five passengers and for those wanting something different, a convertible CrossCabriolet version. The 2012 Murano is available with only one engine choice but is available in front-wheel or all-wheel-drive. Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with a fuel-friendly CVT that gives you 18 mpg city/24 highway in the front-wheel-drive version and 18/23 in the all-wheel-drive version. Since the Nissan Murano is a smaller used SUV, it features the same frame as the Maxima and Altima to offer you better handling and a more sedan-like ride and feel.
The 2012 Nissan Murano offers four versions to choose from, the S, SV, SL, and LE, plus a convertible version based on the LE called the CrossCabriolet. Standard features of the S include dual-zone automatic climate control, a six speaker audio system, and long list of power features and accessories. The SV adds power seats, a sunroof, rearview camera, and Bluetooth. The SL features leather, a power liftgate premium Bose audio system and additional power and technology features. The top trim level, the LE, features heated rear seats, bi-xenon headlamps and adds attractive wood interior trim. The CrossCabriolet gives you a family-friendly convertible with tufted leather seating and is available in a variety of unique colors to show off its personality. The 2012 Nissan Murano ranks high in both quality and dependability meaning that you can spend more time on the road enjoying the drive and less time in the repair shop than with its competitors.
#5: 2012 Kia Sportage
If you are in the market for a small used SUV, the 2012 Kia Sportage ranks high in dependability, quality, performance, and design. The 2012 Kia Sportage also offers above average fuel-efficiency in its class with a choice of two four-cylinder engines depending on the version you choose. The standard engine for the 2012 Sportage is a 176 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that is available paired with a six-speed manual in the base version and 6-speed automatic transmission in the upper trims. Available in front-wheel or all-wheel-drive it offers you and average 21 mpg city/24 highway. The top of the line SX trim comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a 6 speed automatic that gives you 260 horsepower yet maintains the same fuel economy as the less powerful 2.4-liter engine.
The 2012 Kia Sportage is available in four versions, the base, the LX, the EX and the extra-sporty SX. Standard features include power windows and locks, a six-speaker audio system and Bluetooth. The LX adds keyless entry and additional power features plus upgraded 17-inch wheels. The EX features fog lamps, a rear spoiler, power driver’s seat, and LED running lights. The SX, in addition to the engine upgrade, adds leather, sport suspension and more enhanced styling cues inside and out. No matter what version fits your needs, they all provide you with 26 cubic foot of cargo space with the folding rear seats up and an immense 54.6 cubic feet with the seats down. The 2012 Kia Sportage ranks high in dependability and quality adding to its already great benefits of exceptional fuel economy and interior space. The 2012 Kia Sportage is also priced well compared to its competition making it a great choice for a family on a budget or as a second vehicle for any family.
No matter why you are in the market for a used SUV, you want to be sure that it will provide you with the quality and dependability you would expect from a new SUV. Whether you want a small SUV with exceptional fuel economy or a luxury SUV that gives you all the creature comforts you enjoy, no one wants to spend more money and time than they need to on repairs. These five used SUVs offer you a substantial savings on initial purchase price as well as a history of dependability that helps you save even more money over the length of ownership. Buying a used SUV can give you the savings you want and by doing a little homework, you can be sure that it will be a vehicle you can depend on for many years to come.
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