What are our most popular used SUVs? - Enterprise Motor Group

Our best selling second-hand SUVs

25 November 2021 Buying A Used Car

Our best selling second-hand SUVs
Car buyers guide to NZ’s top second-hand SUVs: Nissan X-Trail, Murano and Mitsubishi Outlander

SUVs have become incredibly popular over the last decade, overtaking more traditional types of family cars likes hatchbacks and sedans. That means a lot of choice when it comes to buying a second hand SUV, to the point where it can become confusing. There are so many variations on SUV cars for sale.

But if you look to our most popular used SUV models, some clear favourites emerge. The Nissan X-Trail, Nissan Murano and Mitsubishi Outlander are our three most sought-after SUV models, albeit for slightly different reasons. So let’s take a closer look at each.

Why the Nissan X-Trail offers so much SUV choice

Nissan X-Trail SUV
2016 Nissan X-Trail SUV


The Nissan X-Trail is a groundbreaking model that has taken on a different character through each of its generations. The first generation (2000 - 2007) is one of the earliest “crossover” SUVs, blending a 4x4 look and some off-road ability with the comfort and practicality of a conventional car; it’s closely related to Nissan’s Primera, rather than being based on a strictly off-road or truck-type platform. Good engine choices too, with both petrol and diesel offered.

The original X-Trail is the perhaps the ultimate in durability and functionality for this type of vehicle. Its upright body shape, fold-flat seats and low loading lip at the back make it a hugely practical lifestyle SUV. The tall cabin and large glass areas also make it a favourite for rear-seat occupants, especially kids.

The second-generation X-Trail (2007 - 2013) maintains a similar profile and that versatile interior space, but it’s even more useful thanks to a slight increase in size. There’s also a bit more focus on comfort and equipment, symbolized by some softer edges to the styling.

The third-generation X-Trail (2013 - 2021) moves completely to a crossover-SUV style of vehicle, with sleek styling, more refinement and more luxury equipment. Although it moves up in size again compared with the second-generation model, it’s also more aerodynamic and therefore quieter for motorway and open-road driving.

This version of X-Trail was also offered with the option of 7 seats, making it a true family SUV – while still being compact enough for easy city driving and parking.

It seems like there’s an X-Trail for every taste. Little wonder it’s our most popular second hand SUV for sale right now.

The Mitsubishi Outlander offers SUV space and EV technology

Mitsubishi Outlander SUV
2017 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV


The Mitsubishi Outlander is another massive success story. This Mitsubishi SUV started life as the Airtrek in Japan (2001), and that original model is also still seen here in New Zealand on occasion.

But Mitsubishi introduced the Outlander name for export after a few years and the second-generation model (2006-12) is the one Kiwis are most familiar with. It looks very stylish (a “jet fighter” style grille was introduced as a facelift) and offers not just four-cylinder engine options, but also a throaty sounding V6. The AWD model also boasts a very sophisticated drivetrain, with electronic control helping maintain great traction.

But perhaps the Outlander’s biggest claim to fame is the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) version, introduced in 2013. A PHEV combines a small plug-in battery and motor for commuting-distance pure-electric driving (30-50km is typical), but retains a petrol engine for hybrid operation, meaning longer distances are just as easy as conventional SUVs.

The Outlander PHEV was the world’s first SUV-PHEV at launch and the world’s top-selling PHEV of any kind in 2014. It has introduced a huge number of Kiwis to EV motoring and continues to do so, which is why it’s a massively popular and sought-after used SUV.

The Outlander PHEV can be easily recharged overnight at home, either with a portable charger (which plugs directly into a domestic power point) or a “quick charge” Wallbox-type unit, which many EV owners are now having installed in their garages, carports or in a convenient outdoor location.

The Nissan Murano is an SUV with high style

Nissan Murano SUV
2012 Nissan Murano SUV


Our final top-seller is another Nissan SUV, the Nissan Murano. But this Nissan is a different proposition again: still a crossover, but more a blend of luxury car and 4x4. Even the name suggests something a bit special: it comes from the Murano island in Venice, which is famed for its glass art.

In fact, the Murano was designed as Nissan’s first-ever crossover model for the United States, hence the emphasis on comfort and refinement. You can probably imagine yourself cruising the coastal roads of California in this sleek SUV.

Introduced in 2002, the Murano’s sleek looks are most common with petrol-V6 performance, although four-cylinder versions can be sourced from Japan. It employs continuously variable transmission – an unusual choice for such a large and powerful vehicle, but one which gives it uniquely smooth driving characteristics. It also brings benefits for fuel economy, as the flexible gearing (it has no set ratios, instead simply sliding up and down a gearing scale) ensures the big engine is always running at optimum efficiency.

You can choose from two generations of Murano in NZ, the original (2002-07) and the second-generation model produced from 2007-14. They look quite similar, with the same futuristic “monoform” styling and emphasis on comfort and luxury. While the styling suggests indulgence, it’s also a really practical family SUV, with excellent rear-seat and luggage space.

Google the Murano and you might find there’s actually also a third-generation model; but it’s for the American market only and is not produced in right-hand drive.

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