Used Cars: Marvelous SUV Deals in May

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2014_Audi-SQ5-blueWith tax time behind us, the month of May offers some really great deals on low mileage, late-model, used sport utility vehicles. The latest news out of Detroit has Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge putting up their best sales numbers of the 2014 fiscal year (for April). That can only translate into a flooded used car market that provides greater savings and selection for you. If you know how to take advantage of used car websites like, you can save a stack of cash on a great used SUV. With over 690,000 used SUVs “ripe for the picking” there is bound to be one that strikes your fancy.


Here are some of the most popular late-model used compact/crossover SUVs for under $22k, revved up and ready to go for the month of May.


2010 Chevrolet Traverse LT

2010 Chevrolet Traverse LTThe Traverse is offered in three trim levels; LS, LT, and LTZ. Standard equipment on the LS includes eight passenger seating, split-folding second seat and third-row bench seat, tilting and telescoping steering column, 17-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, full-power accessories, and a six-speaker audio system with CD/MP3 player. The LT level has two sub-levels, the baser of which adds 18-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, eight way power adjustable driver’s seat, heated power adjustable side view mirrors, a trip computer, and a leather wrapped steering wheel. The “swankier” 2LT trim level adds rear audio controls, seven-passenger seating with second row captain’s chairs, tri-zone climate control, premium 10-speaker Bose audio system, a power rear-lift-gate, and a camera integrated into the rear view mirror. The luxurious LTZ trim adds 20-inch wheels, leather seating surfaces, rear-seat DVD entertainment devices, a navigation system, and heated and ventilated power adjustable front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, dual moon roofs, and remote engine start.

The interior features a two-tone format with brushed aluminum and chrome accents. Instrumentation is tastefully arranged with bright white numbers and a black background that makes them easy to read. The cabin is spacious and offers ample (24-cubic feet) of luggage space. The seating is comfortable and sturdy in the front with several adaptable variations available in the rear.

Both trim levels are equipped with a 3.6-liter V6, however engine output varies due to a single exhaust system on lower trim levels and a dual exhaust system on the higher trim levels. The LS and Lt trim level engine output is 281-horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque and the LTZ delivers 288-horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque to the front wheels, or optional all-wheel drive. All engines are mated with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Standard safety features include electronic stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, side curtain airbags (for all three rows of seating0, front seat side impact airbags, and side curtain airbags.


2013 Subaru Forester 2.5X

2013 Subaru Forester 2.5XThe Forester is offered in six trim levels. The 2.5X includes full power accessories, keyless entry, tilt steering column, cruise control, 16-inch steel wheels, a four-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player, and iPod/USB interface. Alloy wheels were also available as a stand alone option, as was a roof mounted luggage rack.

The Forester comes standard with an all-wheel drivetrain featuring a 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine that manages 174-horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque. A five speed manual gear box, with hill-hold included, is standard equipment on the 2.5X, which also offers a four-speed automatic transmission as optional. The 2.5XT came with a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that churned out 224-horsepower and 226 lb.-ft. of torque and was capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8-seconds, when equipped with the four-speed automatic transmission.

The Forester lists electronic stability and traction control, antilock brakes, front side impact airbags, and side curtain airbags as standard safety equipment. A rear view camera is available as optional equipment.

The Forester fits somewhere between a compact and a mid-size SUV and has plenty of passenger compartment space, as well as cargo area. Controls are straightforward and simple to understand.


2011 Honda CRV-EXL

2011 Honda CRV-EXLYou just can’t beat the reliability of a Honda vehicle. The CR-V features a cabin that is laid out in a manner that demanded a fair amount of forethought. The controls are simple and easy to reach and the overall quality of the components used is good. The front seats are as roomy as can be expected from a compact SUV but the rear seats recline and slide, which more than makes up for it. The rear doors open extra-wide to allow easy access and the lightweight rear cargo hatch is amazing. With four adults seated, the CR-V has over 35 cubic feet of luggage space and with the seats folded down, you get over 70 cubic feet.

The EX-L trim level is top-tier for the CR-V and offers a myriad of possibilities. Full power accessories, a split folding rear seat, tilting and telescoping steering column, air conditioning, cruise control, and 17-inch steel wheels are all standard on the base model, which also has a four-speaker audio system with CD/MP3 player. The SE trim level adds alloy wheels, and upgraded audio system (with a six disc CD player/changer), and rear privacy glass. EX trim gives you a sunroof, a dual level cargo area, and steering wheel mounted audio controls. The EX-L really loads your wagon with a seven speaker premium audio system (subwoofer, included), dual zone climate control, eight way power adjustable driver’s seat, heated and ventilated front seats, leather seating surfaces, and automatic headlights. The EX-L with Navigation package adds (yep, you guessed it) a GPS navigation system, voice controls, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rear view camera.

The ultra-efficient CR-V is powered by a 180-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that comes standard with a five-speed automatic front-wheel drive transmission but all-wheel drive is an option.

Standard safety fare includes front side impact airbags, side curtain airbags, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, and electronic stability and traction control. Dealer installed parking sensors were available on all trim levels.


2012 Ford Escape Limited

2012 Ford Escape LimitedThe Ford Escape Limited is a compact crossover SUV with room for five passengers. The Limited trim level is top-tier for this vehicle, so you can get a really comfortable little truck here without spending a ton of cash. It rolls out with specially designed 16-inch wheels, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, chrome exterior accents, a six-speaker premium audio system, dual zone climate control, rear parking sensors, a rear view camera, a rear seat entertainment system, and a GPS navigation system.


The Escape offers two engine options. Lower trim levels list a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine as standard equipment but the Limited features a 240-horsepower 3.0-liter V6, coupled with your choice of  front or all-wheel drive and a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.


Standard safety equipment on the Ford Escape includes antilock disc brakes, electronic stability and traction control, front-seat side impact airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags.


2010 Honda Pilot EXL

2010 Honda Pilot EXLThe Pilot is a mid-size crossover SUV powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 250-horsepower and 253 lb.-ft. of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is the only available option and front-wheel drive is standard but all-wheel drive is also available.

As with the CR-V, the Pilot’s top-tier trim level is the EXL. Keyless entry, a split-folding rear seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, tilting and telescoping steering column, full power accessories, cruise control, fog lamps, steering wheel mounted audio controls, heated, power adjustable front seats with leather seating surfaces, sunroof, rear view backup camera, tri-zone climate control, and a 10-speaker audio system with Bluetooth capability and a CD/MP3 player. A DVD rear entertainment system is also available as an option.


Antilock brakes, electronic stability and traction control, front seat side impact airbags, and full length side curtain airbags are all listed as standard safety equipment for the Pilot.


The interior of the Pilot is spacious if a little plain. Thoughtfully designed storage areas abound and the navigation system is second to none. Seating configurations are adaptable with room for five adults and there is 87-cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats retracted.


2008 GMC Acadia SLT

2008 GMC Acadia SLTThe Acadia is a full size crossover SUV that provides sedan style comfort for up to eight passengers. Seating capacity varies with configuration options; the standard bench second row seat allows for eight and the optional captain’s chair second row cuts passenger capacity down to seven. Cargo capacity is a strong point for the Acadia which offers 117-cubic feet with the rear seat retracted or 19-cubic feet with passengers seated.

The SLT trim level comes comfortably equipped with front and rear climate control, full power accessories, cruise control, 19-inch alloy wheels, heated sideview mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators, heated and powered (including lumbar support) front seats with leather seating surfaces throughout the vehicle, second row captain’s chairs, head-up windshield instrumentation display, a premium Bose 10-speaker audio system with steering wheel mounted controls, a six-disc CD player/changer, keyless remote entry/start, DVD entertainment system, rear parking assist, a power rear lift-gate, a rear view camera, a two panel sunroof, a navigation system, and rear audio controls.

The 2008 Acadia is powered by a 275-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine mated to your choice of a front-wheel or all-wheel drivetrain. The Acadia, even in all-wheel drive is not intended as an aggressive off-roader and is more inclined to tackling severe weather on paved roads.

Full length side curtain airbags, electronic stability and traction control, front seat side impact airbags, and antilock disc brakes are among the safety features that are listed as standard on the Acadia.


2012 GMC Terrain SLE

2012 GMC Terrain SLEThe Terrain is a mid-size crossover SUV that is available in three trim levels. Each trim level is then subdivided into two trim levels. The SLE 1/2 trim level lists a premium eight speaker Pioneer audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player, and iPod USB interface, 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, tinted windows, heated power adjustable side view mirrors, cruise control, a sliding and reclining second row seat, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, tilting and telescoping steering column, a rear view camera, a roof mounted luggage rack, automatic climate control, a leather wrapped steering wheel, eight way power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, upgraded cloth upholstery, and a seven-inch LCD touchscreen among its laundry list of standard equipment.

The SLE-1 is equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 182-horsepower and 172 lb.-ft. of torque. The SLE-2 uses a 3.0-liter V6 engine that generates 264-horsepower and 222 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, available in either front or all-wheel drive configurations.

Standard safety features on the Terrain are above average and include: a blind-spot warning system with a visual warning indicator integrated into the side view mirror, antilock disc brakes, electronic stability and traction control, front seat side impact airbags, side curtain airbags, and a rear view camera that projects to the dash mounted seven-inch LCD screen.

The Terrain is decidedly cluttered in the dash and console area with a variety of buttons and switches. However, the overall interior feel is spacious and well designed and the adjustable seating is easy to manipulate for maximum passenger comfort.


2011 Dodge Durango Crew

2011 Dodge Durango CrewThis large-size crossover SUV is offered in five trim levels. “Crew” is positioned right in the middle. It lists power adjustable heated folding side view mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless ignition/entry, rear park assist, a rear view camera, power adjustable front seats with driver’s memory function, 20-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, power accessories, tilt and telescoping steering column, tri-zone automatic climate control, a fold flat front passenger seat and reclining rear passenger seat, a nine-speaker premium audio system with LCD touchscreen and CD player, sport tuned suspension, and Bluetooth capability as standard equipment.

The Crew package is available with either a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 290-horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque or the 360-horsepower 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which also throws down 390 lb.-ft. of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is the only one available and the Durango is available in on-demand four-wheel drive, as well.

Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, electronic stability and traction control, trailer sway control, front side impact airbags, and side curtain airbags.

S.M. Darby

S.M. Darby

I am a freelance author with over 25 years of experience as a professional, ASE certified automotive technician and shop owner, muscle car enthusiast, avid street racer, and classic car restoration specialist.