Where SUVs used to be the vehicle of choice for families and empty-nesters alike, the more efficient and less truck-like crossover has taken that title over in a big way. Just about every automaker makes at least one CUV, and they come in all shapes and sizes. And while buying new is exciting, taking a look at the used vehicle market can lead to equally exceptional vehicles with a lot less impact on your bank account. We trained our watchful eye on the $15,000 crossover market, and we think you'll like what we've found.

2006 Acura MDX

2006 Acura MDX

Price: $14,986
Mileage: 89,243
If You Bought It New: $37,125
Engine: 3.5-liter V6, 253 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 4.5

 

Selling Points: The Acura MDX is big, chock-full of luxury amenities and it boasts a JD Power Dependability Rating of 4.5. Enough said.

 

2004 Cadillac SRX

2004 Cadillac SRX

Price: $14,991
Mileage: 68,146
If You Bought It New: $37,995
Engine: 3.6-liter V6, 260 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 3

 

Selling Points: The Cadillac SRX is a crossover sleeper; combining tons of interior space with lots of features and a fun-to-drive demeanor. There aren't too many of these on the road, either, so you'll look distinctive.

 

2008 Chevy HHR SS

2008 Chevy HHR SS

Price: $14,995
Mileage: 28,090
If You Bought It New: $22,925
Engine: 2.0-liter four cylinder, 260 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 3

 

Selling Points: Is the HHR a wagon or a crossover? The argument can be made either way, but more important is the fact that you can score an almost-new HHR with low miles and plenty of room for under $15,000. Heck, we found a high-revving, 260 horsepower HHR SS with under 30,000 miles for less than 15-large.

 

2009 Dodge Journey

2009 Dodge Journey

Price: $14,441
Mileage: 43,778
If You Bought It New: $23,925
Engine: 3.5-liter V6, 235 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 2

 

Selling Points: You can score a nearly-new 2009 Journey under $15,000. For that price you get three rows of seating, a V6 engine and lots of room. If the Journey has one chink in it's armor (besides its cheap interior and low resale value) it's a JD Power Dependability Rating of 2.

 

2008 Ford Edge

2008 Ford Edge

Price: $14,994
Mileage: 67,306
If You Bought It New: $25,735
Engine: 3.5-liter V6, 265 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 3.5

 

Selling Points: The Edge may not have a third row of seating and it can't boast best-in-class fuel economy, but it does feature great-looking sheet-metal and terrific handling for a vehicle its size.

 

2006 Honda CR-V LX

2006 Honda CR-V LX

Price: $14,995
Mileage: 61,484
If You Bought It New: $20,395
Engine: 2.4-liter four cylinder, 156 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 5

 

Selling Points: The CR-V is a crossover all-star, with terrific fuel economy, great resale value and a bullet-proof JD Power Dependability Rating of 5 out of 5. The only drawback? You can score a larger, far more luxurious Acura MDX with only 25,000 more miles for the same price.

 

 

2008 Hyundai Tuscon

2008 Hyundai Tuscon

Price: $14,793
Mileage: 15,777
If You Bought It New: $17,235
Engine: 2.0-liter four cylinder, 140 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 3.5

 

Selling Points: The Tuscon is the budget-special of this bunch, which means you can find a low mileage model with great fuel economy and surprisingly good reliability for under $15,000.

 

2007 Mazda CX-7

2007 Mazda CX-7

Price: $14,792
Mileage: 45,241
If You Bought It New: $23,750
Engine: 2.3-liter four cylinder, 244 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 2

 

Selling Points: The Mazda scores points for unique styling and solid driving dynamics, with a bit of compromise coming from its so-so fuel economy and its JD Power Dependability Rating of only 2.

 

2007 Mercury Mariner

2007 Mercury Mariner

Price: $14,991
Mileage: 41,784
If You Bought It New: $25,100
Engine: 3.0-liter V6, 200 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 2.5

 

Selling Points: The Mariner is just like the Ford Escape: attractive, functional and relatively fun to drive. But at the same time the Mariner doesn't quite look like the Escape, which earns it bonus points for standing out.

 

2006 Nissan Murano

2006 Nissan Murano

Price: $14,995
Mileage: 56,707
If You Bought It New: $27,600
Engine: 3.5-liter V6, 245 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 3.5

 

Selling Points: The Murano is a fun-looking crossover with a solid interior, solid dependability and excellent resale value. In a class filled with cookie-cutter vehicles, it's a standout.

 

2005 Toyota Highlander

2005 Toyota Highlander

Price: $14,995
Mileage: 68,775
If You Bought It New: $24,280
Engine: 2.4-liter four cylinder, 160 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 4

 

Selling Points: The Highlander isn't the prettiest crossover on the planet but it boasts terrific reliability and equally spectacular resale value. It's also roomy, smooth and reasonably efficient.

 



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