SUVs and crossovers are a hot vehicle segment with families and those constantly on the go eagerly snapping them up to accommodate life’s busy pursuits. But consumers also want safe vehicles, not just those that sport all the bells and whistles.

Here we take a look at 10 of the safest used SUVs in a desirable price category – under $30,000.

2011-2014 Chevrolet EquinoxA popular small crossover SUV that families can enjoy safely is the 2011-2014 Chevrolet Equinox. New for 2012 is the addition to the options list of forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning systems. On Equinox 1LT, a rearview camera is standard as of 2012 model year, while rear parking sensors are standard on the LTZ. The Equinox earned an overall four-star rating from the NHTSA and an IIHS Top Safety Pick status. Expect pricing to range from $14,593 to $29,975 (and higher, for the 2014 Chevy Equinox LTZ).

2011-2012 Jeep Grand CherokeeEarning Top Safety Pick status from the IIHS for the 2011 and 2012 model years, the Jeep Grand Cherokee may prove to be a good choice for families looking for a safe midsize SUV that can go off-road or stay on the pavement and provide comfort and convenience to all occupants. The 2013 and 2014 models also earn Top Safety Pick status but miss out on the Top Safety Pick+ award due to “marginal” in the small overlap front test. Look for 2011-2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee prices ranging from $19,453 (2011 Grand Cherokee Laredo) to around $30,000 and higher for a 2012 Limited.

2012-2013 Honda CR-VStandard safety equipment on the 2012-2013 Honda CR-V small crossover SUV includes a multi-view reversing camera, SMS text-messaging capability, and an expanded-view driver’s side mirror to aid the driver’s ability to see in the vehicles’ left blind spot. The CR-V earned top crash-test ratings from both the NHTSA and the IIHS. Pricing ranges from $18,599 to $26,994.

2014 Mazda CX-5Introduced for the 2013 model year, the Mazda CX-5 for 2014 is an excellent choice for a safe used SUV. The CX-5 garnered the Top Safety Pick+ accolade from the IIHS for 2014, scoring a “good” in all test categories. This applies only to models with front crash protection and vehicles built after October 2013. Prices are reasonable, ranging from $23,300 to $28,995.

2010-2014 Subaru ForesterAnother standout safe SUV under $30,000 is the 2014 Subaru Forester which earned the IIHS’ top-tier safety designation of Top Safety Pick+ with “good” scores in all categories tested. The IIHS noted that with optional equipment, front crash protection is “superior.” Other model years to consider are the 2010-2013, where the Forester earned Top Safety Pick status across the board. Another bonus is that all-wheel drive is standard across the board. Prices range from $9,995 to $28,977.

2013 BMW X1 – Neat safety features standard on the 2013 BMW X1 include rain-sensing wipers and a braking system complete with brake-drying, brake stand-by and brake-fade compensation. The 2013 BMW X1 has received the IIHS Top Safety Pick award. Nearing the top end of the $30,000 price target, look for pricing starting from $27,999.

2013 Buick Encore – The entry-level luxury small crossover from Buick, the 2013 Buick Encore is not only an IIHS Top Safety Pick, but when equipped with all-wheel drive, also receives an overall five-star crash-test rating from the NHTSA. Standard safety features include 10 airbags, OnStar telematics with automatic crash response service, while options include front and rear park-assist sensors, reversing camera, forward-collision warning and lane departure warning systems. Savvy shoppers can find the 2013 Buick Encore with pricing ranging from $18,777 to $23,895.

2014 Mitsubishi OutlanderWith a Top Safety Pick+ designation for 2014 from the IIHS, the redesigned 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander small SUV may prove just right for those who are in the market for a safe used small SUV. A driver knee airbag is standard, while optional safety features (some in packages) include lane-departure warning and a forward-collision warning/mitigation system). Expect used pricing to range from $17,999 to $28,780.

2013-2014 Toyota HighlanderRated a Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ (2013, 2014, respectively), the Toyota Highlander is a top choice for a safe family SUV (that also has three rows of seating). Note that the 2014 Highlander is completely redesigned, so factor this into which model you’re shopping for. While 2013 models range in price from $23,900 to $28,405, if it’s a 2014 Highlander you’re after, coming in under $30K will be tough, as only a few meet our price target. An LE is the closest, right around $30,000.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe An IIHS Top Safety Pick, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is a six- or seven-passenger midsize crossover SUV available in GLS and Limited trims. A rearview camera is standard, while the Limited includes a blind-spot warning system. Pricing on GLS models ranges from $24,800 to $29,999.


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