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10 Best CPO SUVs Under $40,000

10 Best CPO SUVs Under $40,000

2018 Acura MDX

We’re not surprised that you are interested in buying an SUV. You are certainly not alone. They used to say that the 1990s was the decade of the sport-utility vehicle, but the argument could be successfully made that this is the SUV decade. We don’t have to tell you why, either. Pretty much everybody is aware of how useful and versatile most SUVs are. For those who have people to transport or stuff to carry, an SUV will get the job done for them. If the SUV has an Achilles’ heel, it is cost. SUVs are typically expensive vehicles. Some of the vehicles on this list had suggested retail prices well over $60,000 when they were new. No matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of money for a vehicle. The answer to that is buying a certified pre-owned SUV, because that can drop the price by thousands of dollars while still offering you new-car-like warranty protection. Here are the 10 best CPO SUVs under $40,000.

2018 Acura MDX

1. 2016 Chevrolet Suburban

The Chevrolet Suburban full-size SUV is the longest-running model in the country. It’s been on sale for 85 years now, and it keeps going strong. The magic formula as a full-size SUV is that it will seat up to nine and still provide room for a significant amount of cargo. Based on the full-size Silverado pickup truck, the Suburban has what it takes to be a people-hauler without equal. The 2016 Suburban is part of the generation that debuted in 2015 and includes all Suburbans through the 2020 model year. Old enough to meet our under-$40K target and new enough to have a lot of features, the 2016 is a good target. All 2016s have Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system with an 8-inch display and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Tri-zone climate control is another valuable standard feature.

2018 Acura MDX

2. 2018 Nissan Armada

2018 Acura MDX

3. 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe

The Chevrolet Tahoe has been the leader in full-size SUVs for more than a decade, and the 2017 model-year version is the most recent that will fit in the under-$40K category. (If you can’t find one that fills the bill in your locale, a 2016 or 2015 is a reasonable substitute.) The Tahoe can seat up to nine, but the third-row passengers won’t be quite as comfortable as those in the Chevy Suburban. The group won’t have as much luggage space either. But the Tahoe’s shorter length makes it more maneuverable and garageable. Powered by a 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V8 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Tahoe can be had in rear-drive and four-wheel-drive versions. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity are standard, and the 2017 Tahoe was the first to be equipped with the Teen Driver monitoring system.

2018 Acura MDX

4. 2016 Lincoln Navigator L

The Chevrolet Tahoe has been the leader in full-size SUVs for more than a decade, and the 2017 model-year version is the most recent that will fit in the under-$40K category. (If you can’t find one that fills the bill in your locale, a 2016 or 2015 is a reasonable substitute.) The Tahoe can seat up to nine, but the third-row passengers won’t be quite as comfortable as those in the Chevy Suburban. The group won’t have as much luggage space either. But the Tahoe’s shorter length makes it more maneuverable and garageable. Powered by a 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V8 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Tahoe can be had in rear-drive and four-wheel-drive versions. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity are standard, and the 2017 Tahoe was the first to be equipped with the Teen Driver monitoring system.

2018 Acura MDX

5. 2018 Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is a mid-size three-row SUV that competes with the Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer, among others. In addition to a conventional powertrain, it can be purchased with a hybrid drive system. A conservatively styled but good-looking vehicle, the Highlander isn’t as large as vehicles like the Chevrolet Tahoe, but its crossover chassis endows it with plenty of interior space. For 2018, the base LE trim is powered by a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine, but we recommend upgrading to the 3.5-liter V6 engine teamed with an eight-speed automatic. Both front-drive and all-wheel-drive Highlanders are available. A big plus for the 2018 Highlander is the standard Toyota Safety Sense suite of electronic driver and safety aids. Included are adaptive cruise control, a lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, forward collision warning and braking, and pedestrian detection. 

2018 Acura MDX

6. 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Toyota Highlander is a mid-size three-row SUV that competes with the Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer, among others. In addition to a conventional powertrain, it can be purchased with a hybrid drive system. A conservatively styled but good-looking vehicle, the Highlander isn’t as large as vehicles like the Chevrolet Tahoe, but its crossover chassis endows it with plenty of interior space. For 2018, the base LE trim is powered by a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine, but we recommend upgrading to the 3.5-liter V6 engine teamed with an eight-speed automatic. Both front-drive and all-wheel-drive Highlanders are available. A big plus for the 2018 Highlander is the standard Toyota Safety Sense suite of electronic driver and safety aids. Included are adaptive cruise control, a lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, forward collision warning and braking, and pedestrian detection. 

2018 Acura MDX

7. 2018 Honda Pilot

While the Honda Pilot looks like an SUV in many ways, it seems more like a minivan. For those who want to transport people and their stuff, that’s a good thing. Even with all-wheel-drive, the Honda Pilot is not intended for serious off-road duty, and to most SUV buyers that’s just fine. It is among the roomiest and most comfortable of the mid-size three-row SUVs. Power comes from a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine. Base 2018 Pilots were front-wheel-drive and had a six-speed automatic transmission, while all-wheel-drive versions typically have nine-speed automatics. The Pilot seats up to eight, and one valuable added feature is the one-touch-folding second row that gives easy access to the third row. Most 2018 models have 8-inch infotainment displays with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

2018 Acura MDX

8. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

While the Honda Pilot looks like an SUV in many ways, it seems more like a minivan. For those who want to transport people and their stuff, that’s a good thing. Even with all-wheel-drive, the Honda Pilot is not intended for serious off-road duty, and to most SUV buyers that’s just fine. It is among the roomiest and most comfortable of the mid-size three-row SUVs. Power comes from a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine. Base 2018 Pilots were front-wheel-drive and had a six-speed automatic transmission, while all-wheel-drive versions typically have nine-speed automatics. The Pilot seats up to eight, and one valuable added feature is the one-touch-folding second row that gives easy access to the third row. Most 2018 models have 8-inch infotainment displays with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

2018 Acura MDX

9. 2018 Acura MDX

The 2018 Acura MDX three-row SUV might be a little light on luxury by premium-brand standards, but it is certainly a bargain. Unlike many of its competitors, it offers a sporty driving experience and a comfortable ride. Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) is more tailored for on-road than off-road conditions, and it adds to the MDX’s handling prowess. The MDX is powered by a 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine routing its go-power through a nine-speed automatic transmission. In base trim, the MDX is a front-driver, and it has heated front seats, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a rearview camera among its standard features. Those seeking active safety equipment will appreciate the AcuraWatch suite of safety features. The MDX has an optional surround-view parking camera system and front and rear parking sensors.

2018 Acura MDX

10. 2018 Buick Enclave

Buick redesigned the Enclave for the 2018 model year, so it is a great choice you’re seeking a CPO SUV at under $40,000. The Enclave’s updates included 8-inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear parking sensors, and available safety features like automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. The venerable 3.6-liter V6 engine was upgraded to offer 310 horsepower, and it is fitted with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Designed to offer luxury and a smooth, quiet ride, the Enclave is very much at home as a suburban people-conveyance. Its available all-wheel-drive is street-oriented. Acceleration is not sporty but certainly more than adequate, and the interior is well-designed, good-looking, and easy to use.