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10 Best Used SUVs Under $15K - Subaru Outback, Forester Are The Top Picks

The Subaru Outback and Forester are now the best used picks for SUV shoppers under $15,000. Check out the top 10 used SUVs and which year is the best.


With used car prices rising, you want the best vehicle available. iSeeCars just announced its ten best used SUVs under $15,000. The Subaru Forester and Outback are the top two on iSeeCars' newly-updated rankings.

Vehicles had to score high on long-term reliability, value retention, and highest average safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to make a list. iSeeCars scored the cars on a scale of one to ten.

2013 Subaru Outback, Forester best used models

The 2013 Subaru Outback was the highest-ranked SUV with an overall quality score of 8.8 and an average price of $13,523.

iSeeCars says, "The best used SUV that can be found for under $15,000 is the Subaru Outback. It offers standard all-wheel drive, perfect for adventure seekers, can handle light off-roading, has class-leading cargo space, and comes standard with a roof rack."

2013 Subaru Outback, Forester best used models

The 2013 Subaru Forester is ranked the second-best used SUV with a score of 8.7 and an average price of $12,970. In addition, the Forester compact SUV has an overall quality score of 8.7.

iSeeCars says, "Like the Outback, the Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive and delivers excellent fuel economy. It also has more passenger and cargo space than what's typical for the compact SUV class."

The Outback and Forester are followed by the Hyundai Santa Fe, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, Mazda CX-5, Nissan Murano, Kia Sportage, and Mitsubishi Outlander.

What is the fuel mileage of the Subaru Forester and Outback?

The 2013 Subaru Forester with the 2.5-liter engine best an estimated 21/26 city/highway mpg and 23 combined mpg with the automatic transmission. The 2013 Subaru Outback with the 2.5-liter engine gets an estimated 24/30 city/highway mpg and 26 combined mpg with the automatic transmission and 18/24/20 with the 3.6-liter engine.

The study also ranked the 2014 Subaru Legacy the sixth-best used car under $15,000, with an overall quality score of 8.6. The average price of the 2014 Legacy is $13,365.

How safe are Subaru Forester and Outback vehicles?

Subaru's standard all-wheel-drive vehicles excel in all-weather driving, but the brand is also known for its exceptional crash protection and safety record. As a result, all Subaru models are IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus (Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and Legacy) or Top Safety Pick winners (Impreza.) The Subaru Outback, Forester, Legacy, and Impreza scored a perfect iSeeCars ranking of ten for safety.

Are you looking for a new car?

They also rank the 2022 Subaru Impreza the number one new car under $20,000. Impreza gets an overall quality score of 8.6 and a starting MSRP of $18,975. Read the complete report here.

iSeeCars says “The Subaru Impreza ranks first and is available as a sedan or hatchback. Unlike most compact cars, all-wheel drive comes standard on the Impreza. The Impreza achieves Subaru’s characteristic high safety score and includes standard safety features such as adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. Standard infotainment features include a 6.5-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth.”

Consumers looking for the best used SUVs under $15,000 have many choices. The Subaru Forester and Outback still rank number one and two best. The Legacy is the sixth-best used car under $15,000. Check out the used Subaru models to avoid below.

You Might Also Like: The Best Used Subaru Models To Buy Now And Those To Avoid - Ranked By Year

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA