There are plenty of medium-size SUVs out there in the used market, meaning that when it comes to choice there’s more than enough to keep things interesting. As the SUV market has expanded and its popularity has soared, car manufacturers have created more niche-busting segments to appeal to more drivers.

It’s why there is so much choice in the mid-size SUV segment, with models from all types of manufacturers available. The good news is that because of this, you really can dial into a model which fits your exact needs, be that the type of engine, how many seats it offers or the trim levels available.

The 10 best used medium SUVs

As we’ve mentioned, variety is one of the strong suits of the medium SUV segment. It means that you’re likely to find a car which fits the bill for you. The list we’ve picked out has some stellar entries, too, so let’s dive in and see what’s on offer.

1. Audi Q5 (2008-2017)

If you’re after a slice of the premium life, then the Audi Q5 is a great place to start. This mid-size SUV is very well appointed throughout, with good materials and a strong build quality making this an ideal load-lugger for families. A good variety of engines remains there to choose from and you can even opt for range-topping SQ5 models – which used a potent turbocharged diesel engine – if you’re after something a little faster. However, even ‘standard’ diesel and petrol engines offer more than enough pace for most occasions.

As with all Audi models, expect slightly higher bills when it comes to routine servicing, but the upshot is that you’ll be getting a mid-size SUV which still feels special to this day thanks to its smart looks and feature-laden interior.

Best Features

  • Great build quality means it’ll live up to family life.
  • Lots of options in terms of specifications and engines.
  • Refined driving experience – it’s very quiet and easy-going on the motorway.

Things to consider

  • Will be more costly to repair and service than others on this list.
  • Ride can be quite firm on versions with larger alloys.
  • Expect to pay a premium over similar rivals.

2. Nissan Qashqai (2014-2021)

The Nissan Qashqai is really seen as the main choice in this segment. Seen as the original crossover, this mid-size model has only gone from strength to strength with each passing generation. This particular version of Qashqai is when this Nissan hit its stride, offering the space and practicality wanted by families alongside a good range of engines which made it inexpensive to run.

It’s quiet and refined during motorway driving, too, and while it is offered with some smaller-capacity petrol engines, it remains the diesels which bring the best possible efficiency for longer-distance drivers. Just watch out for cars on larger alloy wheels as the ride suffers as a result.

Best Features

  • Practical and user-friendly interior.
  • High production numbers mean there are loads to choose from in the used market.
  • All versions get lots of equipment as standard.

Things to consider

  • Popularity as a family car mean many Qashqais have had a hard life.
  • Rear visibility isn’t the best in this segment.
  • Diesel engines can be a little coarse when cold.

3. Hyundai Tucson (2015-2021)

Hyundai’s ever-popular Tucson was a natural fit for this list, with this mid-size SUV’s strong reliability, well-appointed interior and even driving experience making it into the correct choice for all types of drivers.

It may feel a little cheap in some areas of the cabin, but the Tucson doubles down when it comes to equipment and outright spaciousness, both of which help to make it a perfect fit for people who want to get a lot for not too much money. Later versions of the Tucson gained mild-hybrid technology to help boost efficiency, but fear not as even earlier models were still very good on fuel.

Best Features

  • Lots of equipment for the money.
  • Interior has plenty of space to offer occupants.
  • Feels comfortable at motorway speeds so it’s great for long-distance drivers.

Things to consider

  • Some interior plastics feel quite cheap.
  • Not all versions get four-wheel-drive.
  • Wasn’t all that inspiring to drive.

4. Kia Sportage (2016-2021)

The Kia Sportage is now one of the UK’s best-selling cars, and it was the last-generation model (sold between 2016 and 2021) that really helped to drive this popularity. It shares plenty in common with the Hyundai Tucson above, and brings a great sense of value-for-money thanks to its plentiful equipment and good build quality.

The Sportage is a very spacious mid-size SUV that makes a lot of sense for families. There are loads of used examples to choose from, and a great range of versions including four-wheel-drive models and the stylish GT-Line trim level that is very desirable to buyers. If you buy a later example it will still be covered by Kia’s excellent seven-year warranty.

Best Features

  • Kia’s seven-year warranty will still cover many used examples
  • Spacious and family-friendly interior
  • Huge choice of used examples for sale

Things to consider

  • Be aware that low-mileage diesel models could have DPF (diesel particulate filter) issues caused by only doing shorter, slower journeys.
  • Entry-level models don’t come with the most standard equipment.
  • Least powerful petrol engine lacks performance.

5. BMW X3 (2010-2018)

If you want a mid-size SUV that you can enjoy driving, we strongly recommend looking at the second-generation BMW X3, sold between 2010 and 2018. Courtesy of some great engines and the German firm’s trademark enjoyable handling, the X3 feels as good to drive as many smaller hatchbacks.

The X3 also has a brilliantly made interior, with its iDrive infotainment system continuing to be fantastic to use. There’s still more than enough interior space and used prices aren’t as expensive as you expect – starting from around £5,000 for clean examples.

Best Features

  • The X3 is better to drive than many of its rivals
  • Spacious cabin
  • Great choice of engines and trims

Things to consider

  • The X3 will be more expensive to service and repair than other mainstream rivals.
  • Firm ride on M Sport versions, which get bigger wheels and sportier suspension.
  • Older diesel models will not be ULEZ compliant.

6. Lexus NX (2014-2021)

If you’re looking for something a bit different to the usual premium German marques, we recommend a look at the Lexus NX. Slotting in underneath the RX, this mid-size SUV was first introduced in 2014 and lasted in its first generation until 2021.

Famed for its reliability and impeccable Lexus dealer network, the NX is one of those cars you can buy with confidence. Though it was briefly offered with a petrol engine, the vast majority of examples will be the self-charging hybrid powertrain that Lexus, and its parent brand Toyota, are renowned for.

Best Features

  • Impeccable reliability reputation
  • Hybrid setup is ideal for those that do a lot of town and city driving
  • Great interior quality

Things to consider

  • Used NXs hold their value well so are fairly expensive to buy, but shouldn’t depreciate much.
  • Slow automatic gearbox means the NX isn’t much fun to drive.
  • The touchscreen infotainment system on the NX is quite fiddly to use.

7. Skoda Karoq (2017-present)

Though the Skoda Karoq doesn’t have the same badge appeal as many others on this list, that most certainly shouldn’t stop you from considering this brilliant mid-size SUV. The Karoq replaced the Yeti, and is renowned for its brilliantly practical interior, with a huge boot and lots of rear-seat space.

This Skoda is also a very easy car to get used to, with an ergonomic interior layout, a comfortable and refined driving experience and generous equipment levels too. With excellent reliability to go with it, there’s very little to complain about with the Karoq.

Best Features

  • Hugely spacious interior is ideal for families.
  • Excellent interior quality and superb ergonomics
  • Comfortable and refined driving experience

Things to consider

  • Ride is a bit firm on top-spec Monte Carlo models
  • Models in SE L trim come with clever VarioFlex seats that can slide, fold completely flat and even be removed entirely

8. Volkswagen Tiguan (2016-present)

The Volkswagen Tiguan is a sibling car to the Volkswagen Tiguan, but brings a classier design and slightly plusher interior, albeit for a premium. But it’s an excellent mid-size SUV that is an ideal option for families because of its roomy and versatile interior, with sliding rear seats being especially helpful.

The Tiguan is in plentiful supply on the used market, too, though limited depreciation means you’ll be paying more for a used example – especially the most desirable R-Line versions. There is a broad range of Tiguans available too, from efficienct diesels to plug-in hybrids to a top-spec sporty ‘R’ model.

Best Features

  • High-quality interior
  • Broad choice of versions available
  • Spacious and versatile cabin

Things to consider

  • Volkswagen also offers a slightly longer ‘Allspace’ model with seven seats
  • Fairly average reliability
  • Firmer ride on R-Line models

9. Peugeot 3008 (2017-present)

Peugeot’s original 3008 was a fairly underwhelming choice, but the second generation model – introduced in 2017 – was a significant improvement, and helped to turn this French firm into the more premium marque it is today.

The 3008 stands out with its futuristic design inside and out, while also boasting a huge boot. It’s a good steer behind the wheel, too, being comfortable and refined, but also quite engaging when conditions allow. There’s an excellent range of versions available, too, including petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrids.

Best Features

  • Striking exterior design
  • Great interior quality
  • Large boot

Things to consider

  • The rear seats in the 3008 aren’t as spacious as many other cars in this class.
  • Small steering wheel and driving position won’t suit everybody.
  • Infotainment system can be slow.

10. Toyota RAV4 (2013-2019)

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense SUV that will prove brilliantly reliable, we highly recommend a look at the fourth-generation Toyota RAV4. Around half of examples you’ll see for sale will come with four-wheel-drive, which makes this SUV impressively useful in trickier weather conditions.

The RAV4 is by no means premium, but offers superb build quality and feels like it was made to last the test of time – little wonder there are so many higher-mileage examples for sale. Toyota also introduced a hybrid engine to the RAV4 as part of a mid-life update in 2016, with these being the most desirable.

Best Features

  • Great build quality
  • Brilliant reliability reputation
  • Plenty of standard equipment

Things to consider

  • Hybrid versions will be noticeably more expensive to buy
  • Average to drive
  • Toyota offers up to a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty for RAV4s serviced at its dealer network

What to consider when buying a Medium SUV

When looking at buying an SUV, there are a few main things that you need to consider.

What sort of capability do you need?

Originally SUVs were intended to be more like ‘proper’ 4x4s, but with the better suitability for on-road use. However, SUVs has increasingly become a blanket term for all high-riding models, even if they don’t have much more capability than a normal car.

It’s why it’s worth considering if you need a four-wheel-drive or not – these models undoubtedly help provide greater ability in trickier conditions, but come with higher running costs. You should also consider if you need to tow with your SUV, as larger diesel models are nearly always better-suited to this, especially those fitted with four-wheel-drive.

How much space and practicality do you need?

Mid-size SUVs primarily appeal to those looking for a family car, but there’s a big difference between the most and least spacious. If roominess and versatility are important, look out for cars that boast a big boot and plenty of rear-seat space (even for adults).

It’s also worth checking out what the storage space is like and also if features like sliding rear seats and an electric boot are fitted, as all of these can make a big difference.