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Want an SUV for €15k? 4 lesser-known brands to consider

Skip the big-name models and you’ll get far more bang for your buck.

EVEN IF YOU don’t know much about the SUV market, you’ll no doubt have heard of household names like the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai.

But there is a broader choice out there than those heavily-marketed models, and if you’re on a tight budget, you should be ready to expand your search.

This week we take a look at some of the less well-known crossovers and SUVs on sale – from the brands you might not expect.

1. Peugeot 2008

MjVjY2I2MmYxZjc5M2Y5ZDA1ZTg3OGI1NzBiNTI0NTJpB5eAPHsdSWVi6Zrzv_TJaHR0cDovL3MzLWV1LXdlc3QtMS5hbWF6b25hd3MuY29tL2RvbmVkZWFsLmllLXBob3Rvcy9waG90b185NzU3NzU1NXx8fDYwMHg2MDB8fHx8fHx8fA== Source: DoneDeal

The French brand may be better known for its small hatchback and larger people carriers, but its 2008 crossover strikes the right balance between drivability and functionality. It’s not too bad looking either.

While Peugeot doesn’t offer all-wheel drive in this model, it is possible to get one with Grip Control. It is a smart traction control system that provides better levels of grip in more challenging conditions like mud, sand and snow.

Compared to many rivals, the equipment levels on Peugeot’s 2008 is often higher than a similarly priced competitor, which does add to its appeal.

2. Citroen C4 Cactus

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You either love Citroens or you hate them. Yes, the Citroen C4 Cactus may be as close to automotive Marmite as you can get, but this is a car that comes with a few surprises.

First up, it’s relatively affordable. When this model was new, a fully-loaded one cost less than an entry-level Qashqai. It’s a light car too, so opting for the 1.2-litre petrol engine means you’ll still get pretty decent fuel economy.

3. MINI Countryman

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The MINI Countryman isn’t so mini, but for some, the badge alone is enough to make it a desirable car. When new these cost quite a bit considering their size and performance, but now the used market has seen prices come down.

Find the right one with a high spec, and you can nab something of a bargain. The Countryman doesn’t have quite the same crisp handling as the smaller MINI Hatch, but it does feel substantial enough on the move, a feature that will appeal to some. Do be prepared for some thirsty engines though.

4. Suzuki Jimny

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The Suzuki Jimny is one of the smallest SUVs you can buy on the used market, but that doesn’t stop it being a cracking little car. It won’t win many drag races but its venerable 1.3-litre petrol engine shouldn’t give much bother as you rack up the mileage.

As an off-road machine, the plucky Jimny has the ability to embarrass many larger and seemingly capable SUVs. It’s not a car for those with larger families but if you’re after something with bucketloads of character, the Jimny is worth a look.

More: Investing in a family car? Here are 6 questions you should ask

More: How to buy an exceptionally quick car on a €10k budget – and 4 you should see first

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About the author:

Dave Humphreys

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