5 SUVs under $80k

PHOTO: Motorist

With their pervasiveness and the security its size offers, chances are that if you have plans to start a family and need a car, you’d be actively searching for Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs).

Road trip plans with family or friends? Check. Going from Point A to Point B efficiently? Check. Need extra cargo space to shuttle your groceries around? Check. SUVs have become some of the most ubiquitous vehicles on the road mainly for these reasons.

There is a problem though - they are quite pricey, with most of them retailing at over $100,000 brand new due to high demand. But if you are willing to shop used , there are many options available sans that absurd price tag. Here are five that we would like to recommend!

Honda Vezel - $78,000

This is a car that people have definitely seen before, and for good reason. The 1.5 litre DOHC I-VTEC engine might be lacking in the power department, but its efficiency helps it shift volumes. In tangible figures, its combined fuel consumption is rated at 20km/l - very respectable!

PHOTO: Motorist

The car comes equipped with traction control, cruise control, ABS, reverse cameras and auto headlights. Putting aside its suite of safety features, the car has other selling points too. And practicality is one of them; the car boasts 453 litres of boot space or 1,026 litres with the seats stowed away.

These are no ordinary seats though. Dubbed ‘Magic Honda Seats’, they can be knocked down to store many tall objects, adding an extra layer of practicality to the car!

Peugeot 3008 Active Puretech EAT8 - $77,800

Peugeot has an all-new lineup of SUVs, and the 3008 is a prime example of that new ethos done right. The turbocharged 1.2-litre PureTech engine delivers a respectable 128 horsepower, which is then coupled to an automatic gearbox. Owing to its smaller physical size, the 3008 is twice as efficient as the Forester, with a 22.7km/l fuel consumption figure.

PHOTO: Motorist

As for safety features, the car comes with a front and reverse camera, all-around sensors and lane departure warning. Some other niceties on the inside include Apple CarPlay and wireless charging for your mobile phone.

The cavernous boot has 591 litres of cargo space, which goes up to an eye-watering 1,670 litres with the seats folded down. Cabin space is generous too, and with a well-appointed leather interior, it makes for a comfortable car for longer journeys!

Volvo XC60 - $75,800

Volvo’s reputation for building sturdy and reliable cars definitely helps it to sell more vehicles in this country. The XC60 benefits from that image, and its powerplant, a 2-litre inline-four unit, helps cement its legitimacy as a family car too.

PHOTO: Motorist

Developing 241bhp, the car has more poke than its competitors in the same price bracket, though this power comes at the expense of efficiency - it does just 9.52km/l. But that is where the cons end; despite the potential issues, the car is safe to be in, and convenient to use, with rear park assist, ABS, EPS, 6 airbags and cruise control.

The interior features electric memory seats, factory Harmann Kardon sound system with Bluetooth connectivity. Packing a sizable 495 litres of boot space, the XC60’s cargo area is decent even when compared to other cars of its class!

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Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Limited - $74,500

The Toyota Land Cruiser Prado was uncommon even when it was new. It has a brute of a power plant hiding under the bonnet - a 2.7 litre DOHC VVTi, with 160 buff horses. Despite its size and age, the fuel consumption is decent, with a combined average of 10.2km/l.

PHOTO: Motorist

As you’d expect, the car lacks any modern amenities. It does come with a DVD player if you’d like to relive the good old days though! This is an easily fixable ‘issue’, as there are many aftermarket vendors willing to retrofit head units with all the modern creature comforts!

But where the car shines is its practicality. The boot space is massive, 620 litres, which is by far the biggest on this list with the seats up. To add to that, the Prado has a roof rack for additional storage. You can carry up to seven people, and being a true off-roader, literally go anywhere you so wish!

Subaru Forester XT - $64,800

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The Subaru Forester XT makes for an affordable and powerful SUV. It’s equipped with a 2-litre turbocharged engine making 237 bhp, enough to traverse steep hills and have some B-road fun in.

This example is equipped with a CVT auto gearbox for peak efficiency without sacrifices on the power front. But there is no escaping from physics - this is a heavy SUV, and its fuel economy figure of 11.8km/l reflects it.

From the factory, the car comes with multi-function steering, reverse sensors, and SRS airbags. It has also been optioned with Bluetooth connectivity and memory seats for maximum comfort and convenience. To top it off, this particular model comes with a sunroof attachment, which is a nice touch!

As for practicality, the boot offers 520 litres of boot space with the seats up, and 1,170 litres with the seats down.

PHOTO: Motorist

SUVs need not cost you an arm or a leg to put on your drive. Well maintained used offerings can afford you the experience without the financial burden.

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This article was first published in Motorist.