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buying advice

Looking for an SUV? Here are 4 underrated models on the second-hand market

Most buyers go for the same brands. Here are some others that are worth a look.

IF YOU’RE A buyer looking to get a used SUV, it’s good news – there has never been as much choice.

There are a few very popular models, like the Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai, but what other models are there which are more underrated (and possibly a bit cheaper)?

This week we take a look at some alternatives to the mainstream models. While this isn’t a definitive list, here are a few worth considering.

1. SsangYong Tivoli XLV

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There’s no point avoiding it, the SsangYong name isn’t held in the best regard, but its more recent models have improved in quality even if they remain highly priced. The Tivoli is still just about the best car it produces, and the XLV version offers loads of space inside. It isn’t as refined to drive as other SUVs, but it does reasonably well in the fuel economy stakes. Our advice if you plan to seek one out is to drive a hard bargain.

2. Honda HR-V

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The current Honda HR-V makes for a pretty practical small SUV, ideal for a smaller family. Despite its compact size, it does have a versatile interior and generous amounts of boot space. It remains one of the better SUVs to drive, with crisp handling, even if the suspension is a touch on the firm side. Our advice is to stick with the manual rather than the CVT automatic.

3. Subaru Forester

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We’re firm believers that Subaru doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, and the Forester is a prime example of that. When it comes to all-wheel drive, Subaru knows a thing or two. It also scores highly in global reliability surveys, and its boxer engine serves up reasonable levels of performance.

4. Suzuki Vitara

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The Vitara is a name that’s been around for decades, but it’s the current model that we’re looking at in this instance. It went on sale in 2015 in a wild variety of colours.

You can get front-wheel drive versions, but even the all-wheel drive models don’t cost much more to tax or run. The 1.6-litre diesel can return decent fuel economy and has enough power to cruise comfortably at motorway speeds. Good levels of equipment combined with what seems like a close-to-bullet-proof interior finish make us see this as a smart buy, especially if you’re planning on holding onto it for a few years.

Looking for reliability? Here are the top 10 cars for passing the NCT first time>

More: Audi used showdown: Should I go for an A4, or save up for the A5 or A6?>

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