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Despite a generally higher cost of ownership, large SUVs have taken over sedans and minivans as the “family car” of choice for most Americans. But if spending that much is not a viable option, the used vehicle market has plenty of alternatives. We compiled a list of the best used large SUVs that deliver high marks on dependability and practicality without breaking the bank.
With regard to max towing capacity and the large SUVs on this list, even though some of the numbers might look high, they are relative. The more cargo, gear, and occupants you have in the vehicle (GVWR), the more the max towing capacity decreases.
With regard to pricing, we came up with an average range for each SUV here. Mileage and condition, as a general rule of thumb, will have the biggest impact on the asking price of a used vehicle. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for any potential red flags, and only purchase a pre-owned vehicle after test driving it first.
Our free and easy search tools will show dealer inventory in your area and will allow you to interact with dealers on your schedule. Further down, we offer some insight into extended warranty providers for used vehicles and a helpful auto loan comparison tool with average interest rates for each lender.
2010 Chevy Tahoe
The 2010 Chevy Tahoe is a great “bang-for-the-buck” option on this list of best used large SUVs.
Chevy discontinued the range-topping 6.2-liter V8 and the base 4.8-liter V8 for the Tahoe in 2010. However, the venerable 5.3-liter V8 with E85 flex fuel capability remained, pumping out 320 horsepower and 335 lb-ft. of torque. More importantly, the 2010 Chevy Tahoe received a consumer rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Kelley Blue Book, ranking highly in fuel economy and dependability.
Why We Chose The 2010 Chevy Tahoe
The Chevy Tahoe has been a persistent bestseller since replacing the Blazer in 1995. For 2010, the Tahoe was standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, available in rear or four-wheel drive (4WD), a offered a choice between a single or two-speed transfer case.
With plenty of torque on tap, the 2010 Tahoe could tow up to 8,200 lbs. (when properly equipped), and it’s one of the few three-row family SUVs that could return up to 20 mpg on the highway at the time. A minor caveat is the third-row seats that require manual removal to free up more rear cargo space (109 cubic feet in total). If equipped with a front bench seat, the 2010 Tahoe seats up to nine adults.
In 2010, the base Tahoe LS had 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a leather tiller, dual-zone manual climate control, rear air conditioning, satellite radio, and a six-speaker audio system. Meanwhile, the Tahoe LT and LZ had tri-zone automatic climate control, 20-inch wheels, navigation, and power seats.
The 2010 Chevy Tahoe returns an EPA-estimated 15 in the city, 21 on the highway, and a combined 17 mpg on regular gas. But with E85, the numbers drop to 11/16 city/highway and 13 combined.
Safety Ratings & Features
The 2010 Chevy Tahoe has a five-star rating from NHTSA in the frontal crash category. At the time, the Tahoe was standard with ABS brakes, front seat-mounted airbags, side curtain airbags, and stability control for a safer drive.
2010 Chevy Tahoe Average Price
The Tahoe is included on this best used large SUVs list mainly for its affordable price tag. Whereas a 2024 Tahoe starts at $55,000, you can get a 2010 Tahoe between $11,000 and $16,000.
2015 Ford Expedition
In the land of large SUVs, it’s hard to go wrong with the Ford Expedition. It delivers the space and comfort that buyers want from a hulking SUV. In 2015, the Expedition lost its standard V8 for a twin-turbo V6 and gained a four-wheel independent suspension with optional three-way adaptive dampers. The Expedition delivers on space, pace, and grace (sorry, Jaguar), earning 4.6 out of 5 stars (consumer rating) on Kelley Blue Book.
Why We Chose The 2015 Ford Expedition
We miss the older Expedition’s V8 engine, but the twin-turbo V6 delivers the goods with 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft. of torque. The 2015 Expedition could tow up to 9,200 lbs. when properly equipped, nice for those who have boats or other toys. Moreover, the Expedition offers seating for up to eight adults with plenty to spare for cargo behind the rear seats, especially if you choose the extended-length Expedition EL.
All 2015 Expeditions have a six-speed automatic gearbox with manual shift capabilities. A rear-wheel drivetrain was standard, but an optional four-wheel drivetrain with low-range gearing was available. And while it’s foolish to talk about speed when discussing the merits of a large SUV, the 2015 Expedition wasn’t exactly a couch potato with a zero to 60 mph time of under seven seconds.
A rear-wheel drive Ford Expedition achieved an EPA-estimated 16 in the city, 22 on the highway, and up to 18 combined with the twin-turbo V6 engine. Meanwhile, opting for a 4WD variant delivers 15/20 city/highway and a combined 17 mpg at the pumps.
Safety Ratings & Features
The 2015 Ford Expedition has a five-star overall safety rating from NHTSA. The standard safety features included ABS brakes, traction and stability control, front-side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and trailer sway control.
2015 Ford Expedition Average Price
You can expect to pay about $20,000 for a base 2015 Ford Expedition XLT. However, you could find a low-mileage Expedition EL Platinum for under $30,000.
The base XLT had 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, automatic headlights, running boards, heated mirrors, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, and more. Meanwhile, the Expedition Platinum will usually have a sunroof, leather seats, wood grain interior trim, and 20-inch wheels.
2015 Toyota Land Cruiser
Photos: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
The 2015 Toyota Land Cruiser is the oddball on this best used large SUVs list. The premium price tag is not for everyone, and you could get two used Chevy Tahoes for just one Land Cruiser. It also eats gas like nobody’s business, but the standard V8 has 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft. of torque. Although the latest J300 Land Cruiser has a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 with more power and torque, we still prefer the V8.
Why We Chose The Toyota Land Cruiser
The better question is, why not the Land Cruiser. It rides smoothly on the tarmac, has a relentless feel when driven off-road, and has a max towing capacity of 8,200 lbs. when properly equipped. It’s luxurious enough for the daily drive (if you can live with the thirsty V8) while being an excellent wilderness machine with all the necessary go-anywhere hardware that any budding off-roader could want.
The 2015 Toyota Land Cruiser has a locking center differential, full-time 4WD, kinematic suspension, crawl control, multi-terrain drive settings, hill-start assist, and an off-road turn assist feature. Above all else is the Land Cruiser’s legendary reputation for durability and reliability, particularly its engine. The demerits include a cramped third row, a useless infotainment system, and the Land Cruiser’s prohibitive MSRP.
The rumor mills suggest Toyota is bringing the turbo V6-powered J300 Land Cruiser to America in 2024, but it’ll most likely carry a sub-$80k price tag. The 2015 Land Cruiser has a V8 for half that.
There’s no going around the fact the Toyota Land Cruiser is a thirsty beast. The EPA rated it at 13 in the city and 18 on the highway (combined 15 mpg). Hardly surprising with the stout V8 engine.
Safety Ratings & Features
The 2015 Toyota Land Cruiser did not receive a crash test rating from NHTSA. At the time, the big SUV was standard with traction and stability control, antilock brakes, parking sensors, trailer-sway control, hill-start assist, full-length side curtain airbags, knee airbags, and a rearview camera.
2015 Toyota Land Cruiser Average Price
The 2015 Toyota Land Cruiser was available in a single trim with a boatload of features. However, prepare to spend around $45,000, possibly more for a decent example. Standard features include 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, automatic Xenon headlights, privacy glass, a rear spoiler, a roof rack, fog lights, and keyless entry. Other features include four-zone automatic climate control, perforated leather seats, and a 14-speaker audio system.
2010 Toyota Sequoia
Photos: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
If the Land Cruiser is too rich for your blood, the 2010 Sequoia is the next best thing if you want a large Toyota SUV. There was no 2009 Sequoia, but it came back in 2010 with a more potent 4.7-liter V8, an optional 5.7-liter V8, and a roomier interior with adult-sized third-row seating. The 2010 Toyota Sequoia has 4.7 out of 5 stars (consumer rating) from Kelley Blue Book, getting high marks in performance, build quality, ride comfort, reliability, and practicality.
Why We Chose The 2010 Toyota Sequoia
The Toyota Sequoia is a more family-oriented option in the full-size SUV class. Unlike the Land Cruiser, the Sequoia excels in typical daily duties like grocery shopping or school runs, being able to ferry eight adults without skipping a beat. The standard 4.6-liter V8 has 310 horsepower and 327 lb-ft. of torque, about 34 more horsepower than the old 4.7-liter V8 it replaced at the time.
However, we prefer the optional 5.7-liter V8, which came standard in the Sequoia Limited and Platinum. It has 381 horsepower, 401 lb-ft. of torque, and helped offer the 2010 Sequoia a 9,100 lbs. max towing capacity when properly equipped. Moreover, the 2010 Sequoia was available in real-wheel drive and 4WD, with the latter getting low-range gears.
The good news is the Sequoia is not as thirsty as the Land Cruiser. The EPA rated the 2010 Toyota Sequoia at 16 in the city, 19 on the highway, and 16 combined with the standard 4.6-liter V8. Meanwhile, the larger 5.7-liter V8 delivers an EPA-estimated 14/19 city/highway and 15 combined.
Safety Ratings & Features
The 2010 Toyota Sequoia did not receive a crash test rating from NHTSA. At the time, standard safety features included stability control, antilock brakes, curtain airbags, front knee airbags, and front-seat side airbags. In addition, Sequoia Platinum and Limited had a rear camera and parking sensors for the front and rear.
2010 Toyota Sequoia Average Price
Like the Chevy Tahoe, the 2010 Toyota Sequoia is a budget alternative that usually lands between $10,000 to $14,000 in the used market. In terms of features, the base Sequoia SR5 had a roof rack, 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, and an eigh-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity. The Limited and Platinum had leather upholstery, adaptive shock absorbers, and heated second-row chairs.
2011 Cadillac Escalade
Although riding on similar underpinnings as the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon at the time, the Escalade’s interior was as elegant as any Cadillac, with plenty of bespoke equipment to fortify its posh countenance. Today, the 2011 Escalade maintains 4.3 out of 5 stars (consumer rating) on Kelley Blue Book.
Why We Chose The 2011 Cadillac Escalade
The primary reason we like the 2011 Escalade is what’s under the hood, a stout 6.2-liter V8 with 403 horsepower and 417 lb-ft. of torque. Power goes to the rear or all wheels using a six-speed automatic transmission. With its engine, adjustable suspension, and an 8,300 lbs. max towing capacity, the Escalade was quite vigorous for a large family SUV in 2011.
However, the Escalade’s appeal goes beyond its posh and performance-oriented nature. There’s no denying its imposing style is one of the main reasons SUV buyers flock to the Escalade, both now and in 2011. And while it did carry about a $65,000 MSRP in 2011, you can find a used Escalade for much less today.
The 2011 Cadillac Escalade returns an EPA-rated 14 in the city, 18 on the highway, and 16 combined on regular gas. The numbers drop to 10/15 city/highway and 12 combined on E85. If it’s any consolation, the 2011 Escalade had a zero to 60 mph time of 7.5 seconds.
Safety Ratings & Features
The 2011 Cadillac Escalade was standard with traction control, stability control, antilock brakes, front-side airbags, full curtain side airbags, rear parking sensors, OnStar telematics, and a rearview camera. In addition, all 2011 Escalades but the base model have a blind-spot warning system. The 2011 Cadillac Escalade received an overall safety rating of four out of five stars from NHTSA.
2011 Cadillac Escalade Average Price
The average price of a 2011 Cadillac Escalade is $14,000 to $26,000. The base variant was standard with 18-inch wheels, automatic Xenon headlights, fog lights, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, and a 10-speaker audio system. The mid-tier Escalade Luxury and range-topping Escalade Premium had 22-inch rims, active damping, LED headlights, premium leather chairs, and power-folding second-row seats.
Best Warranty Options for Pre-Owned SUVs
Best Extended Warranty Options
Get a free quote for any pre-owned SUV that has run out of factory warranty.
The likelihood is high that any pre-owned SUV will have run out of its factory warranty. While dealers may provide a brief in-house warranty following the sale, it’s not the same as having factory-level coverage. Depending on your driving habits, an extended warranty can protect you from expensive, unforeseen repair bills. Top extended warranty companies offer customizable coverage plans, from full bumper-to-bumper to powertrain only. Likewise, top providers will offer additional benefits like roadside assistance.
After conducting thorough market research and competitive comparisons, our team picked the providers listed above, along with a small handful of others, as the best used vehicle warranty companies today. If you are considering an extended warranty, ask for sample contracts upfront and look for the area where the claims process is explained in detail. Avoid contracts that are not transferable or cannot be canceled easily. To help get the most out of any extended warranty, see these insider tips from a repair shop owner.
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