The Top 3 Used Compact SUV’s to look for in 2022

January 21st, 2022 by

The Top Used Compact SUV’s to look for in 2022

The Top Used Compact SUV’s to look for in 2022


As the New Year rolls around, we wanted to share with you our top 3 picks for the best Used Compact SUVs that you can pick up and are sure to enjoy. This list is based mostly on 2021 models, that model year’s features, and how they compare in the used market. The rest of the years are good to look at too because body stylings and technical features are very similar. At the end, we will tell you our thoughts of each model and what would be the best based off specific capabilities each vehicle produces. It is important to note that the purpose of this list is for you to decide what you like or dislike about a specific vehicle. Also, note that each car has its own characteristics that may or may not be important to you, but our hope is that this helps give you a sense of ease when making your decision.

2017- 2021 Honda CR-V

For a long time the CR-V from Honda has been the best and most reliable flagship SUVs in their line up. For decades the CR-V had a track record for being in the top of every SUV list and for good reason. They are compact SUVs but the interior feels spacious with equally spacious cargo space. It makes around 24 MPG City and around 34 Hwy for a combined 30. It sports a 4-Cyl 1.5 Liter Turbo engine that makes around 190 horsepower (based on the 2021 model). This model specifically has driver assist and forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assist. This adds on to the legacy of the CR-V being a reliable daily driver. Mechanical and Electrical peace of mind is a big push that most auto manufacturers are making and there’s no exception for the Honda team. The only gripes that most drivers have is that the SUV has a low towing capacity, there are not a lot of changes with the previous model year, and base models lack Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. So if you are in the market for a base model 2021 CRV, be wary that these features are only available at higher models. Other than that, the CRV won KBB’s 2020 Best Buy Award, 2021 Best Compact SUV for the Money, and a finalist for Families.

2021 Honda CR V

2017 – 2021 Toyota RAV4

It would not be just to mention the CRV without mentioning its Archrival: the Toyota RAV4. The RAV4 equally has a long history of being a reliable and durable car. Just like its rival, the RAV4 is their flagship model in the SUV realm. This SUV makes 27 MPG in the city and around 35 on the highway for a combined 30. The 2021 RAV4 sports a 4-Cylinder Dynamic Force 2.5 Liter engine that makes around 203 horsepower. The Toyota team created this Dynamic Force engine to allow more air into the motor while being better for the environment. This allows it to be very gas efficient and you get a sense of helping the environment. 

This isn’t the only feature that should stand out on the RAV4. It also has a roomy interior, has light off-road capabilities, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard features across all models of the RAV4. The only thing that drivers gripe about is the fact that the navigation systems are only available in top level trims, there are no leather options, and it is more expensive than some of their competitors (based off 2021 models). However this model year won 2021 Best Buy Award and #1 Best Compact SUVs for 2021.

2021 Toyota Rav4

2016-2021 Mazda CX-5

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 has been on multiple top 10 lists and for good reason. The Mazda team has been making a big push towards sporty and stylistic cars that are also reliable. This SUV makes 187 horsepower from the 4 Cylinder Skyactiv-G 2.5 liter engine. This simple yet attractively styled SUV defines sportiness and with higher trim levels you have the option of a powerful turbocharged engine. Out of all the trims, the Grand Touring and Signature are the epitome of the classy sportiness that their brand is pushing for. The capabilities of these two models will make your driving experience super fun while having a world class interior. Even the Carbon Edition, the interior black honeycomb trim, is super interesting to see on a daily basis. Paired with the Red Leather seats, this model makes it feel like you’re driving a sports car. The Mazda team shines when it comes to their uniqueness and their upgradability in trim levels.

2021 Mazda CX-5


The gripe of the car is that it is on the smaller side. The back seat gets somewhat cramped and the cargo space is not too big. So if you’re a person that believes a spacious cargo space is ABSOLUTELY necessary, then this might not be the car for you. Another thing that gets brought up amongst reviewers is that the infotainment system is not very intuitive. All in all rates this car the #2 Compact, Crossover, and 2 Row SUV, was a finalist for 2021 Best Compact SUV for the Money and for Families, making it a serious competitor for the top 2 cars.

Honorable Mention: 2017 – 2019 Lexus NX

Like the Mazda team, Lexus and the Toyota team have been focusing a lot on their QC and brand image. Like the early 90’s, Toyota Auto Group dominated the sports and luxury classes of cars. The Lexus Brand made outstanding luxury executive cars that are still very much appreciated in today’s modification culture. These sparks have been reignited in the last decade and the NX is evidence of their ever-increasing focus on premium car manufacturing. The NX as well as a lot of Lexus cars offer great reliability, they tend to hold their value well, and they are very gas efficient.

Lexus NX

The outstanding features of this model are their build quality, tech features, and the F Sport trim level. The build quality is rated amongst the best across the compact SUV class. Tech features like Real-time traffic info, Proximity keyless entry, voice recognition, and audible text messaging make this SUV a heavy hitter for its class. Finally, the F Sport trim level is amongst the top of sport models. In the last decade, Lexus has pulled a great deal of focus into their sports models and released multiple models in this F Sport class. This class makes almost 100 more horsepower than their base model. However, all these models make excellent miles per gallon. This vehicle earned the Tops Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, #2 in Compact Premium SUV, and has been consistently in the top 3 for those 3 model years given by JDPower. 


So in conclusion, these are some of the best models of SUVs to look at when buying in the used market. There will always be things that you may like in other brands and they will be covered, but this is what we hear good feedback from and read about on a regular basis. If some of these models are not in your price range because of how new the models are, we will release our top list for SUVs priced within a certain price range. Overall, these cars will serve your needs while being reliable and dependable. At the end of the day, most consumers look for reliability, and with these 4 options you are almost guaranteed to have a super reliable car. Just make sure to do your regular maintenance and treat your car well.

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