An illustration showing inexpensive small SUVs
Illustration: Matthew Hollister

This member question submitted to Ask Our Experts touches on a common need. We like that it is focused on the goal, rather than strictly how to achieve it. In this case, it would be wise to resist the temptation to buy new and look to a used SUV. Three-year-old vehicles can cost as little as half of what they sold for when new, and they should have plenty of life left.

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Our reliability survey data and fuel-economy figures can help steer you to a model with low operating costs.

Below are five 2016 compact and subcompact SUVs. They are old enough to have depreciated, lowering the cost significantly from when purchased new, while still having much of their life ahead of them.

Each has shown above-average reliability in our member surveys and some of the best overall fuel economy in our tests.

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2016 Toyota RAV4

Price Range: $17,025 - $22,550

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2016 Honda HR-V

Price Range: $14,875 - $17,950

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Reliability
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2016 Subaru Crosstrek

Price Range: $17,000 - $18,675

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2016 Subaru Forester

Price Range: $16,825 - $20,900

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Reliability
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2016 Mazda CX-5

Price Range: $15,100 - $19,475

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Reliability
Owner Satisfaction
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Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the July 2019 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.