Most Reliable Used SUVs in 2023

If you’re buying used, you absolutely care about reliability. You don’t want to be stuck with a problem model from a brand that won’t support your issues.

So that you can make an informed decision, we’ve assembled a list here of models we think you should consider if you’re keen to avoid problems and to deal with manufacturers who have a tried and tested philosophy of ensuring reliability in their SUVs.

Every one of these cars is very good, let’s be clear, but some have delivered incredible reliability ratings.

Versatility and Functionality Meets Peace of Mind

We buy our SUVs for many reasons – space, efficiency, hybridity, style, safety – but we need to know that we are also buying reliability, and this means knowing the track record. You don’t want to buy trouble. After all, utility means usefulness and there’s nothing useful about an unreliable SUV.

The confidence in knowing your SUV is going to be reliable is among the reasons J.D. Power’s reliability scores are so important. These scores are out of a possible 100.

They grade as follows.

0-69 = Fair
70-80 = Average
81-90 = Great
91-100 = The Best

All cars here are at scores of 89 or more, so every one of them will provide peace of mind. Be aware scores can change year on year as different models get tested, but these are scores from brands whose JD scores are almost always strong.

2017 Chevrolet Equinox

J.D. Power Reliability Score: 89/100

The Equinox is a small SUV with good seat space and a comfortable ride. Though acceleration with the base engine is a bit sluggish and handling is occasionally ponderous, it earns strong reliability scores and its low transaction prices make it a tremendous value.

The 2017 Equinox comes equipped with a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth connectivity and a 7-inch touch screen. Small by today’s standards, but still not bad. The Equinox is available with features such as a V6 engine, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat and automatic climate control, depending on the model you go for.

2021 BMW X4

J.D. Power Reliability Score: 89/100

The BMW X4 is a great compact SUV, and it’s still pretty fresh looking. Though it has a neater cargo capacity than many classmates, it gives you very adult-friendly seating in both rows. It also has the intuitive BMW iDrive infotainment system with Apple CarPlay.

The X4 comes standard with a 248-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It also comes standard with synthetic leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power liftgate and front and rear parking sensors. Upper end models have even more kit.

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

J.D. Power Reliability Score: 89/100

The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is an affordable and functional midsize SUV. It was completely redesigned for the 2019 model year, so this model still seems stylish enough. It has composed driving dynamics and an energetic V6 engine. That’s a worthwhile upgrade over the base 4-cylinder engine, which can feel underpowered, so check for this detail.

The Santa Fe comes equipped with alloy wheels, a USB port, remote keyless entry, and a 7-inch display screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which was ahead of the curve back in 2019. It also comes with forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring and driver-attention monitoring. In short, it’s safe.

2021 Nissan Murano

J.D. Power Score Reliability Score: 89/100

Still quite new, the 2021 Nissan Murano is a midsize SUV that puts two-row comfort first, with terrific headroom and legroom for passengers, wherever they are. The downside is the smallish 67 cubic feet of cargo space, which is among the meanest in the midsize SUV segment.

You get a great engine though. The Murano comes standard with a 260-horsepower V6 engine that sends power through a continuously variable transmission. It’s also strong with tech, and comes with helpful safety technology, an 8-inch touch screen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.

2020 Kia Soul

J.D. Power Reliability Score: 89/100

The Kia Soul is a forgivably funky looking compact SUV. Its design is still eye-catching three years on and its upright, boxy layout allows for tons of headroom and legroom, as well as a lot of practical cargo space. The only powertrain setup offered for the 2020 models was a 147-horsepower four-cylinder engine, which directs power to the front wheels through either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission.

The form-meets-function theme is inside too, and the Soul has an intuitive interior layout that still looks on trend. It comes standard with a USB port, Bluetooth and a user-friendly 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2019 Hyundai Tucson

J.D. Power Reliability Score: 90/100

The Tucson was always a handsome and comfortable compact SUV. It received fresh interior styling for the 2019 model year, as well as additional standard features and updated engine options. The base 4-cylinder engine delivers 161 horsepower, but if you opt for the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder you whack that up to 181 hp. It’s a notable difference.

Tucson standard tech is good and it comes with a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 7-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also comes with a strong safety line-up, with automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-keep assist and driver-attention monitoring.

2018 Buick Envision

J.D. Power Reliability Score: 90/100

The Buick Envision’s 90 rating puts it among ‘The Best’. Though GM brands it as a luxury vehicle, it’s better thought of as mid-luxe, as it is pretty much in line kit-wise with others here. Though its base engine is a tad modest, the 252-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine provides a lot of fruity power. The Envision has a solid list of standard features, including heated front seats and an 8-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also comes with push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

2020 BMW X6

J.D. Power Reliability Score: 90/100

The BMW X6 is a potent, dynamic, luxury midsize SUV worth a look if you’re after reliability and stylish pep. Though its fastback profile cuts down on cabin room, it has 59.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, which is commendable, if not exactly fantastic. Rear headroom is also tighter than its X5 counterpart.

Though its 90 score is excellent, it’s not the cheapest to own, so check out costs. Some also find the infotainment a bit complicated compared to others on the market. But the engine is a true strength.

2019 Kia Sportage

J.D. Power Reliability Score: 91/100

The Kia Sportage has always been a great value proposition. It offers premium kit in its market, it’s reliable, as its score of 91/100 proves, and it is not expensive to own. It has a terrific interior design and is outfitted with easy-to-use features. The Kia UVO infotainment system is great.

The Sportage comes standard with 181-horsepower in a 4-cylinder engine. If you move up to the SX Turbo, its engine commands 240 horsepower and you get additional features, such as a hands-free power liftgate, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a panoramic sunroof. A truly great, reliable, value proposition.

2020 Nissan Armada

J.D. Power Reliability Score: 91/100

The Nissan Armada is a seriously good – and large – SUV with seating for up to eight and a standard V8 engine that puts out a whacking 390 horsepower. When properly equipped, the Armada can tow up to 8,500 pounds, which is an enormous capacity for what remains a family SUV. In addition, the Armada boasts a super high-end cabin that provides adult-friendly seating in all three rows. This big SUV provides up to 95.4 cubic feet of cargo space and it comes standard with push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control and an 8-inch touch screen with navigation.

2018 Lexus GX

J.D. Power Reliability Score: 91/100

This is a really great SUV. Some SUVs are designed as cosseting cruisers, and others are best as off-road vehicles, but few deliver both attributes as well as the Lexus GX. Though it doesn’t have the cabin comfort of other luxe Lexus vehicles, there is no other SUV in this list whose abilities offroad are as strong as those of the GX.

The GX comes standard with a hugely dynamic 301 horsepower V8 engine. It’s an engine that is confident everywhere, though maybe not as fast as you might imagine in zero to 60 mph driving styles. It’s also spacious and you get 64.7 cubic feet of cargo space. Its 91/100 score is class leading.

How Are Reliability Scores Determined?

The reliability scores offered here are based on the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) rating or, if unavailable, the J.D. Power Predicted Reliability (PR) rating. VDS ratings come from survey responses from original owners of three-year-old vehicles and they calibrate the results based on owner experiences over the preceding year.

The Predicted Reliability (PR) rating is a forecast of how reliable a car might be over time and is derived from historical data for a car or manufacturer in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study (IQS) ratings and VDS ratings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most reliable used SUV?

There’s a three-way tie for the most reliable used SUV. The 2018 Lexus GX, the 2019 Kia Sportage, and the 202o Nissan Armada each has a J.D. Power reliability score of 91 out of 100. This qualifies them in ‘The Best’ range, which JD Power evaluates as any score of 91-100.

What is the most reliable used small suv?

The most reliable used small SUV is the 2019 Kia Sportage with a score of 91 out of 100.

What is the most reliable used midsize SUV?

The most reliable used midsize SUVs are the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe and the 2021 Nissan Murano. Each has a JD Power ‘Great’ score of 89 out of 100.

What is the most reliable used large SUV?

The most reliable used large SUV is the 2020 Nissan Armada, with a score of 91 out of 100.

What is the most reliable used luxury SUV?

The most reliable used luxury SUV is the 2018 Lexus GX, with a score of 91 out of 100.

Reliable Used SUVs: the summary list

  • 2017 Chevrolet Equinox: J.D. Power Reliability Score 89/100
  • 2021 BMW X4: J.D. Power Reliability Score 89/100
  • 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe: J.D. Power Reliability Score 89/100
  • 2021 Nissan Murano: J.D. Power Score Reliability Score 89/100
  • 2020 Kia Soul: J.D. Power Reliability Score 89/100
  • 2019 Hyundai Tucson: J.D. Power Reliability Score 90/100
  • 2018 Buick Envision: J.D. Power Reliability Score 90/100
  • 2020 BMW X6: J.D. Power Reliability Score 90/100
  • 2019 Kia Sportage: J.D. Power Reliability Score 91/100
  • 2020 Nissan Armada: J.D. Power Reliability Score 91/100
  • 2018 Lexus GX: J.D. Power Reliability Score 91/100