SUVs aren’t just for exploring uncharted territories, and if you’re in the market for an SUV, you may be more concerned with how it handles the curves of the road rather than how it tackles uneven terrain. Buying used is a top choice nowadays because buyers know that they’re able to get more for their money as opposed to buying a new car that’s just hit the lot. As you take in all your options at the used car lot near you, you may be wondering which SUV will provide you with phenomenal performance, responsive handling, and excitement on the streets. And when you’re looking at the fastest used SUVs under $25,000, we’ve compiled a list of some of our faves, known for their reputations for being high-performance vehicles.
#1 – Volkswagen Touareg
With its strong engine, the Volkswagen Touareg has a little pep in its step when it comes to acceleration and handling on the streets – that is because it actually shares a platform with the Porsche Cayenne. Although this SUV was discontinued after 2017, you’ll still find these energetic travelers on used lots near and far.
Older models from 2005 to 2010 were offered with a dynamic 4.2L V8, which provides this spirited streetcar with an impressive 310 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. An even rarer option was the massive 5.0L V10 diesel with 313 horsepower and an impressive 553 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately, the 12-cylinder variant with its 450 horsepower never made it to the United States.
Built like a sturdy SUV, ready and willing to take on any journey, the Touareg is a fun ride on any type of roadway. If you want something a bit more modern while remaining affordable, the second-generation offered a reasonably capable V6 engine. Either way, when you’re interested in the perfect used SUV to hit the pavement, the Volkswagen Touareg is a surefire way to get attention, and it won’t break the bank either. You can find many of these options, especially older models, for under $20,000.
#2 – BMW X5 M
You may think to yourself that there’s no way any type of BMW is anywhere near affordable, but you may be pleasantly surprised. Although prices will vary depending on the model year and available features, you should be able to find an affordable BMW to cruise around town in with finesse like no other. And when you want an SUV that can take to the streets like a natural, the BMW X5 M is it.
The first-generation X5 M hit the market back in 2007 and came with a 4.4L twin-turbo V8 engine pumping out 555 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. Such a strong engine will provide you with enough speed and agility to whip around town like it’s nothing, and with its pure athleticism, there’s nowhere you can’t go without pure adrenaline surrounding you.
The BMW X5 M starts out with a pretty high sticker price, but when you’re looking at models that are a few years old, you’ll be able to save a lot. Able to accommodate those who just want to get up and go or even families that need a strong everyday vehicle, the BMW X5 M appeals to many types of drivers. You’ll find selectable drive modes in many of its newer models, which can really help you maintain control on any road surface or condition. The X5 M is exceptional when it comes to its street performance, making it perfect if you’re looking for a fast and enthusiastic vehicle.
#3 – Acura RDX
For those who want to feel the wind rushing past them as they speed down the highway, the Acura RDX can deliver a thrilling ride. Armed with a capable engine, providing it with superior acceleration and strength, the RDX is more than enjoyable; it’s exhilarating. Fun to drive, easy to handle, and good-looking, the RDX is an affordable take on the everyday street-ready crossover. Although its base price itself is naturally affordable, buying used will allow you to save even more.
Paired with a sleek, stylish aura and equipped to take you anywhere you dare to go, the Acura RDX is a top choice for those who are looking for a top-performing SUV. Its strong design allows it to take on any road with precision, and with all-wheel drive capabilities available, there’s no stopping this excited traveler. Sporty and ready for anything, the Acura RDX showcases impeccable skill and a poise that just can’t be replicated. When you want to hit the highway in style, you’ll be able to do so effortlessly in the RDX.
#4 – Infiniti FX50
Sometimes, you want to travel in upscale luxury while also taking advantage of unmatched performance. This is exactly what you can expect when you’re riding around in the Infiniti FX50, with its durability, capable engine, and strong performance on the road. Gliding around curves and becoming one with the pavement, the finesse that you’ll find while driving the FX50 is unlike anything you’ve experienced before. A lower center of gravity allows for incredible handling on roadways everywhere, and if power is what you’re seeking, rest assured that it has enough of that and then some.
With the agility of a sports car in the body of a sturdy SUV, the Infiniti FX50 is ready to handle any drive with careful attention to detail. But most importantly is its powerful 5.0L V8, which generates 390 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. This high-horsepower naturally aspirated design is something you’d expect to find in a muscle car, not an SUV. When you’re ready to harness superior power and precise handling to enjoy the ride of a lifetime, this lively vehicle is a top pick.
#5 – Mazda CX-5
Perhaps one of the best SUVs for the money, the Mazda CX-5 is waiting to thrill you. With a handsome design and loads of power-packed under its polished exterior, the CX-5 is a versatile and extremely spirited traveler, ready to be a part of any journey. Responsive steering and easy maneuverability make driving the CX-5 a breeze. With a high-end look without the high-end price tag, the Mazda CX-5 is a popular choice for those who want to stretch their dollar further.
However, if you have a need for speed, the CX-5 option for you is a 2019 or later vehicle with the optional 2.5L turbocharged engine. While its 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque may not be the fastest in the world, being able to enjoy that level of performance in a luxurious and reliable three-year-old SUV for under $25,000 is something special. Spacious and comfortable, you can buy a used CX-5 and not worry about high repair bills down the road. And when you’re feeling the need for speed, you’ll still be able to enjoy an exciting performance out of this pleasing traveler.
Is Your SUV Street-Ready?
So, how does it feel as you hug the twists and turns of the road in your current vehicle? You may be searching for your next thrilling SUV, or you may just want to know what’s available, but either way, one thing is certain… you’ve got options, and they’re pretty exciting. The best part about used vehicles is the options out there that are offered at a much more reasonable price than if you were to buy them brand new. Take the BMW X5 M, for example, as this SUV retails for over $100,000 new; however, you’re able to find a used model for under $25,000 with comparable performance.
Not everyone is jumping in their SUVs to go explore the trails, the desert, or backcountry roads. Some just want to have a good time behind the wheel, even when they’re cruising around town. When you stick with some of these models mentioned above, there’s no doubt about it… you’re in for an amazing ride. With strong engines, capable performance features, and not to mention ultra-sleek designs, these SUVs pack some serious power beneath their chiseled exteriors. If speed and agility are what you’re searching for, these top options will deliver.