With warm temperatures still hanging around, now is a good time to look into buying an off-roader – before wintry weather sets in and hordes of people start queuing to get their hands on anything with high ground clearance and four-wheel drive.
For a budget of £15,000 there are a wide range of appealing off-roaders, from compact and frugal two-wheel drive models to full-blown 4x4s with four-wheel drive and seven seats.
Several great value used off-roaders are available for much less than that though – even £8,000 is enough to get a five-year-old diesel model with less than 60,000 miles on the clock.
We’ve sifted through the cars for sale on Motors.co.uk to find the most appealing machines available for less than £15,000.
Affordable compact off-roader
The Skoda Yeti may be abominable in name, but it is extremely family friendly in nature, with a practical interior and large boot, all in a small and easy to park shell. With a huge array of petrol and diesel models with two- and four-wheel drive, finding an affordable low mileage model shouldn’t be difficult.
Prices start at around £8,500 for a four-year-old 1.2-litre petrol Yeti with 40,000 miles on the clock. Don’t be scared off by the small engine – this car requires less than 12 seconds to accelerate to 60mph, though economy is strong at 44.1mpg.
Up the budget to £15,000 and you should be able to find a sub-three-year-old 2.0-litre diesel car that has covered around 35,000 miles with four-wheel drive for added off-road ability and extra traction on slippery winter roads.
Spacious seven-seater 4×4
If you’re after a little more space for your money with the option of seven seats, along with a strong diesel motor and four-wheel drive, the Kia Sorento is a good value option. Just £13,500 will buy you a four-year-old diesel model with less than 37,000 miles under its wheels.
The Sorento’s economy and acceleration figures are competitive with the 2.2-litre diesel returning 42.2mpg and hitting the 60mph mark in 9.2 seconds. Those with £15,000 to spend should be able to find a low mileage seven-seater diesel version with around 30,000 miles to its name.
Upmarket premium off-roader
Premium models often come with extortionate prices, but shop around and you can find a well-specified BMW X1 for well under £15,000. This compact BMW off-roader offers decent on road handling, along with a comfortable interior and punchy engines.
£11,000 will get you the keys to a four-year-old, 40,000 mile X1 18d SE with two-wheel drive and strong claimed fuel economy of 54.3mpg, with 60mph coming up in 9.6 seconds.
£15,000 on the other hand, could buy you a more powerful, three-year-old four-wheel drive 20d SE, with just 30,000 miles on the clock. Performance is impressive, with the car punching its way to 60mph in just 8.2 seconds, though economy drops a little to 48.7mpg.
Affordable family-friendly best seller
The Nissan Qashqai has long been a favourite car with families, thanks to its medium car price tag and chunky SUV styling. Its popularity also means that there are a huge number of models to choose from.
Opt for a petrol and £8,500 will get you into a three-year old 1.6-litre model which has covered less than 50,000 miles. Fuel bills should be low thanks to claimed economy of 45.6mpg, though this isn’t the fastest model, requiring 11.7 seconds to get to 60mph.
Up the budget to £12,500 and you can get a three-year-old four-wheel drive diesel with 25,000 miles on the clock. This car takes 12.2 second to accelerate to 62mph though economy is high at 54.3mpg.
Practical and stylish 4×4
The Kia Sportage might not be the most obvious off-roader to choose, but with several economical diesel engines, attractive styling and good value on its side, it makes a sound choice.
£14,500 buys you a two-year-old 1.7-litre diesel model with less than 20,000 miles on the clock. Economy stands at a competitive 54.3mpg and this machine takes 11.9 seconds to hit 60mph. Throw in Kia’s seven-year warranty and a long list of standard equipment and the Sportage is worth a look.
Even £12,000 is enough for a fresh, three-year-old low mileage diesel Sportage. This gets you a vehicle with the same engine as the car above which has covered a reasonable 47,000 miles.