I need some help and suggestions on buying a reliable used 4WD SUV for under $13,000. I would prefer one that gets at least 19 MPG.
You are probably looking at something as new as 2008; probably older. At this age, condition is more important than brand. I’ll assume that you want a SUV that gets an average of 19 MPG and has an automatic transmission. A 2.5L Subaru Outback or Forester gets 22 MPG combined.
I bought an 03 trailblazer used, in 08,11k in 08 w 86 k miles. have done some repairs myself, replace thermostat for too cool error codes, clean maf sensor, cannot fillup the last 2 gallans without gas burp so do the last 2 gallons on slow, have changed all fluids, and am really happy overall. Love the 4wd auto, or off to save gas, 16 city 23 highway mpg, and I can tow my boat or trailer with 5500 lb capacity. You really need to decide what is important, and decide from there. 147 k miles now and looking to go to 200k.
Ford Escape, Mazda Tribute, Hyundai Sante Fe, Hyundai Tuscon, Toyota Rav4, Honda CRV
Car based SUVs are your best bet like the ones suggested by bscar2 and appear in consumer reports recommendations if you aren’t into towing or goingnoff road. Start there. If you want reliability in that price range, Asian branded seem to have the advantage. It’s not unusual to see Honda CRV and Rav4 go over 200 k with few problems.
If you are into towing much, get 6 cyl pick up truck instead of a truck based suv for the best bang for the buck. Then, all brands are in play.