Tax season is approaching, and for many, rebates and credits will be plentiful. If you’re expecting a sizable tax refund, you can apply it to a used SUV or crossover. There’s no doubt that SUVs and crossovers are the most popular vehicles on the market these days. They offer space for nearly every size of household, a commanding view of the road and available AWD. SUVs and crossovers offer something for everyone, whether you need good fuel economy, off-road capability or just plenty of space for the family.
Get your tax refund ready and check out some of the top SUVs and crossovers available on the used market.
Top Small Crossover SUVs
If your primary vehicle for the last few years has been a small car and you want to use your tax refund to upgrade to more cargo space and a higher profile without trading fuel economy, then a small crossover-style SUV might be a perfect choice. This type is also great for people who want to get rid of a larger SUV but still hold onto that commanding road view.
The CX-5 is one of the more popular compact crossovers on the market, and it has enjoyed that position for years. It offers plenty of cargo space, a classy and stylish design, a comfortable ride and spacious accommodations for passengers. It also features top-notch interior quality, which makes it feel a lot more luxurious than its price range would suggest.
Two engines are available on the CX-5, including a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Both offer good EPA gas mileage ratings, but the larger engine has better horsepower and acceleration. When you buy a used CX-5, it’s easier to move up to the top trims that offer a larger engine.
The CR-V is another well-rounded and very popular compact crossover. It’s notably fuel-efficient, quite roomy for its size and comfortable. The CR-V first debuted in the 1990s, but Honda has continued refreshing and updating it so that it never feels dated. The interior is spacious enough for four adults and at least four full-size pieces of luggage. The CR-V is also known for holding its value very well, so if you’re looking for a crossover that you can hold onto for a long time, the CR-V is a great choice.
Like the CR-V, the RAV4 got its start in the 1990s, and it continues to be a popular and top-selling small SUV. The RAV4 offers typical Toyota reliability, a rugged design in the newer models and loads of comfort and space for adults. The RAV4 holds a lot of its value, so going back to used models can save you money on the higher trims.
Top Midsize SUVs and Crossovers
If a compact SUV is just a bit too small for your family, then using your tax refund to step up to the midsize category makes perfect sense. The midsize category offers a large range of choices, too. Whether you want something sporty and luxurious or rugged and big, the midsize category has a wide range of choices for everyone.
Even though the Outback is in the midsize crossover category, it’s styled more like a station wagon. It continues to be one of the most popular midsize crossovers thanks to its roomy interior, standard AWD and impressive driving experience. For those who want crossover height and capability while retaining car-like handling, it’s hard to beat the Outback. It’s also a great car for families thanks to its top safety ratings.
Similar to the smaller CX-5, the CX-9 offers a luxury experience that belies its price range. It features three rows of seating and a quality interior with well-made materials. The exterior styling is classy and sleek. Tech and the infotainment system are smooth, intuitive and very user-friendly. Even with its space and size, the CX-9 drives like a much smaller vehicle, which is perfect for navigating city streets and tight urban areas.
The Edge offers a lot of choice with three different engines and several trims. Even though the Edge has only two rows of seating, the cabin is spacious and comfortable enough for adults in both rows. Inside, you’ll find that the Edge is thoroughly modern with quality cabin materials and the Ford Sync 3 infotainment system.
The Sorento received a significant redesign in 2016, which gives you the opportunity to find used versions with extra cargo room and more passenger space. It also comes with upgraded modern tech. You can buy the Sorento in both two- and three-row versions, which makes it a versatile choice for many families. The Sorento boasts high safety ratings and a comfortable ride for long road trips.
The rugged Wrangler is definitely not the most civilized SUV on the market, but it’s undeniably popular and fun with its removable doors and top. The only SUV listed here with body-on-frame construction, the Wrangler gets its reputation from its nearly unbeatable off-road ability. On-road, it rides more like a truck.
However, modern Wranglers offer four-door models and competent towing capability. If your family likes to enjoy the great outdoors and go off the beaten path, it’s difficult to find a more fitting use for your tax refund than the Wrangler.
Top Full-Size SUVs
These behemoths exist for when you need the maximum amount of interior room as well as towing ability. They may not be the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the road, but it’s hard to beat a full-size SUV when it comes to pure utility.
One of the most popular and venerable full-size SUVs, the Expedition has a reputation as a durable family-hauler. You can get used versions that tow a respectable 6,600 pounds when properly equipped.
The Suburban has a long history like the Expedition. It’s also one of the biggest SUVs on the road. Towing ability is among the best in its class. With a wide range of trims to fit almost any taste, the Suburban can be decked out for off-road use and towing, or it can be dressed up almost to the level of a luxury SUV. If you need big, the Suburban has you covered.
The Armada has a shorter history and is less of a rugged SUV than the previous two entries. However, it offers a sleek design and a modern interior. With three rows of seating, the Armada can comfortably seat up to eight people. Depending on the year and trim, the Armada can tow up to 8,500 pounds. It features a calm and comfortable ride, which is perfect for family road trips.
Choosing the right SUV or crossover for you depends on the size of your family and what you need it for. If you need excellent fuel economy and don’t require a lot of room, the smaller crossovers fit the bill. If you need a lot of room and/or towing ability, then you’ll want to move up to the midsize or full-size category.