When it comes to looking at used SUVs for sale, you have a ton of options. The Sport Utility Vehicle is one of the most versatile automobiles ever created. It stands on par with the station wagon, the minivan, and the pickup truck as a combination of people hauler and adventure vehicle. They are comfortable in the suburbs and the wilderness. They can be tame, or they can be wild. If you’re eyeing a used SUV for your next vehicle, you are already one step ahead of everyone else.
The SUV has developed something of an unearned reputation as being the vehicle of choice for the suburban parent. This is really only a half-truth. There are lots of Honda Pilots and Toyota Highlanders sitting in the parking lot of the local ball field, but there are also an equal number of Jeep Wranglers, Toyota 4Runners, and Ford Broncos taking to the hills. Whichever kind of buyer you are, suburban or adventurer, there is one common thread that unites your choice in vehicles: longevity.
Our technology is advancing at such a rapid rate that whenever we congratulate ourselves on buying a new phone, the manufacturer has already produced an upgraded version with 87,000 more features. Cars are not immune from this. However, with the astronomical prices car companies are charging for new models these days, the used market is where you will find your best deal, provided you’re a savvy shopper. A good number of automakers are still devoted to building machines that are ready to work for decades and there are plenty of reliable used SUVs on the market––including some often overlooked models you should consider.
#1 – Toyota Sequoia
We’ll start with Toyota because, well, Toyota. One of the SUVs a lot of people forget about until they see one drive past them on their way to work is the Toyota Sequoia. Yes, Toyota still makes them. The Sequoia actually received an all-new design for 2023 that takes after the brand-new Tundra, and, quite frankly, the new Sequoia looks pretty awesome. There is a reason that Toyota has held on to this dinosaur of an SUV: it’s big, brawny, and unkillable.
A general consensus exists amongst auto experts that any car that can drive over 200,000 miles is a car that is going to have a long and happy life. The Sequoia is one such vehicle. Built with Toyota’s legendary reliability and over-engineering, the Sequoia is one of those rare beasts––a three-row SUV that can actually outdo a minivan in terms of utility. Known for being able to fit at least eight passengers and tow up to 7,400 lbs, the Sequoia is that family hauler that can also haul your boat and your trailer.
Sequoia’s, at least those produced between 2001 and 2022, have a V8 engine option. Though in these days of high gas prices, having a gas-guzzling V8 engine may not be something you particularly want to boast about, there is no question that Toyota built these engines to take a beating. The old Tundra’s had the same V8, and one of them drove for over a million miles. Take what you will. The point is that if you are a Toyota devotee and need something massive to haul your big toys and your big family, there is no question that the Sequoia is for you. Remember, 200,000 miles is like a walk in the park for most Toyotas.
#2 – Lincoln Navigator
Here’s one that might surprise you: the Lincoln Navigator. Lincoln has done a really good job rebranding itself once again as the ultimate in American luxury. Who could resist the smooth, cherry vanilla cigar twang of Matthew McConaughey driving along impossibly beautiful roads in an impossibly beautiful car? Apparently, not a lot of people because Lincoln is still around while the likes of Mercury and Pontiac are not.
Beneath all the luxury is a vehicle that is built, for all intents and purposes, like a freaking tank. The Navigator is another full-sized, three-row SUV that will likely last for over 200,000 miles. Behind its refinement since 2018 is a 3.5L twin-turbocharged engine producing 440 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque, available with 4×4 and an optional Heavy Duty Trailer Package. This means that the Navigator is more than just a pretty face. It’s a workhorse that will do all the jobs required of it with minimal effort. It’s designed to work in more ways than one and do so with ease, putting very little strain on itself in the process.
Why not, if you are inclined towards vehicles that are sometimes written off as nothing more than a frivolous expenditure, buy a used Lincoln Navigator? The secret is literally hidden within the name. Who would name an SUV the Navigator if the intention was not to be the most reliable, long-lasting ship possible? Any old-time mariner would tell you there is nothing better than a good ship.
#3 – Ford Expedition
By now, you’ll likely have noticed a trend. All of these SUVs are absolute monsters. What about the smaller SUVs like the Ford Escape or Chevy Equinox? Let’s just say they aren’t necessarily built as tough as the big boys, which is why we’re going to talk about the Ford Expedition. You cannot be an SUV person without having, at least once, drooled over the Expedition, particularly the newer models. Ford is one of those automakers with real staying power and brand loyalty, and once you catch the Expedition bug, it is hard to shake. It is really easy to see why so many people adore this behemoth of an SUV.
The Ford Expedition shares its basic platform and mechanical components with our last pick, the Lincoln Navigator. Why is it worth mentioning if, in essence, it’s the same vehicle as the one we just mentioned? Simple, there are more used Expeditions on the road than Navigators, and they cost less. There is a real down-to-earth quality that Ford has maintained throughout its long and storied history, and the Expedition is no exception. The Expedition is designed to be a people mover and equipment hauler. How do we know this? Well, look at it. The thing’s about as long as a Peterbilt and just as heavy-duty.
Like the Navigator, the secret is in the name. Expedition. It sounds reliable and trustworthy, and that’s because it is. It’s loaded with features, including an independent rear suspension for maximum off-roading capabilities, a 3.5L twin-turbo V6 engine, and a whopping 9,300 lb towing capacity. Vehicles like that aren’t designed to fall to pieces after a measly 100,000 miles.
There Are Many Reliable Used SUVs
There are many used SUVs out there that are more than reliable for your needs. Some keen readers may notice that we’ve opted against mentioning GM’s best-selling family of full size-SUVs: the Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade. That isn’t because they are unreliable but because everyone knows those things are the most solid and dependable SUVs on the planet. There’s really not much more we can say about them. After looking at some of the overshadowed SUVs that are still capable of kicking ass in the mileage department, we hope you’re able to see that there are many great options out there for you.