Cheapest Maintenance SUV in Nigeria [Used for Sale]

Three things Nigerians consider when buying an SUV are fuel consumption, cost of maintenance and cost of replacement parts. However, you can’t own an SUV and not spend some money. But we have cheap SUVs for sale that are not fully SUVs, and won’t cost a lot of money in terms of fuel economy and general maintenance.

It’s true that owning an SUV doesn’t come cheap but some of them are cheaper to run than others. Some enthusiasts even believe that buying an SUV when you don’t have much money to spare is an added problem. Some Nigerian mechanics and spare part dealers will automatically think you are a “big man” for owning an SUV, and will bill you much higher than usual. But anyways, we have some really cheap SUVs that you’ll really love to own.

Cheapest SUV in Nigeria

The first three vehicles here are the cheapest we have in Nigeria. They are generally small, come with small engines and their fuel economy and body parts are relatively cheaper.

Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V is built for Nigeria. This is a compact crossover SUV that is cheap to maintain without causing a hole in your pocket. We have the 2004 model which is rugged for Nigerian roads, and climbs rocky terrains with ease.

Honda CR-V has good fuel economy for an SUV. The handling is good, the seats are comfortable, and the interior is spacious for tall drivers and passengers. You can buy this 4×4 variant if you are concerned about rocky terrains in your area.

It has a strong, working engine that can travel anywhere and anytime, as long as you properly maintain it. However, the CR-V is very selective of transmission oil. You should only use the recommended oil such as ATS DW1. If you travel a lot, use full synthetic oil 5w 30 products such as Valvoline, Castrol, and Mobil. You won’t have problems with this car if you routinely maintain it every 6 months with a qualified mechanic and install original/OEM replacement parts when needed.

Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage is another cheap option for anyone who fancies an SUV. However, it doesn’t have a good resale value when compared to products like Toyota RAV4.

It’s a rugged and reliable carn but you might have difficulty changing stuff like the oil pressure switch since you might not find it in the market. In fact, the problem with the Kia Sportage is availability of spare parts and mechanics, if you live outside the city. Otherwise, it’s a very good car to own in Nigeria.

Toyota RAV4

You can buy a compact crossover SUV like the RAV4. Toyota RAV4 is reliable, and will last one or two decades with good maintenance. This car can run over 200,000 miles if you buy one below 100k miles. It doesn’t have the newest technology but a RAV4 will run, run, and run.

Get a 4WD 3.5L V6. It’s a V6, so it consumes fuel but that’s V6 for you. However, it doesn’t guzzle too much of it. Apart from routine maintenance, you won’t face any issues. It is even an easy car to maintain and very economical compared to many other SUVs of its class.

Lexus RX350

If your concern is packaging inside an SUV with a much cheaper cost of maintenance, get the RX350. In comparison to German cars, maintenance is much cheaper and this car will outlast the German brands. The replacement parts and labor are a bit more expensive than a Toyota but a Lexus shares many of its parts with a Toyota.

Don’t abuse this car with random roadside mechanics. Look for an independent auto shop with experience in Lexus and Toyota, and you’re good to go with basic maintenance.

If you encounter much more complicated mechanical issues, take your car to a Lexus or Toyota dealership. However, you’ll seldom face such problems. You can’t go wrong with Lexus RX350—it has a track record of reliability and cheap maintenance compared to SUVs in its class.

Toyota Highlander

Toyota Highlander is typically considered a family vehicle. On Nigerian roads, you’ll see a lot of the 2002-2006 models, which are usually with the 2nd to 4th local owner, so it’s an SUV confirmed for durability. Highlander is fuel efficient for its ability. It’s one of Toyota’s SUVs in the market known for speed and balancing. It’s a rugged vehicle anyday, and the replacement parts are readily available for any of its models.

Toyota Highlander is a cheap maintenance vehicle with good second hand value. Not the cheapest but definitely more affordable than many SUVs out there. If you fancy a luxury interior, Highlander won’t give you that—it’s a vehicle with a bland interior.

Acura MDX

An Acura MDX is a great, cheap SUV with little or no maintenance required. All you really need are minor maintenance works on the brake, oil and pads. MDX 04, for example, is a 3.5 liter capacity engine, so you can’t compare the fuel consumption with other basic SUVs like the Highlander, Pilot, CRV, etc. MDX is in the Toyota Lexus category.

This car has room for up to 7 passengers and a serious amount of cargo, V6 engine, and well-balanced suspension. Acura MDX is also top-rated in crash test scores.

Not everyone will agree but MDX has limited off-road capability and below-average tow rating. Nevertheless, it’s a nice, reliable car that won’t dig up a hole in your spending pocket.

Nissan Pathfinder

Nissan might be delicate but it is a strong car. Just maintain it well, and you will enjoy your time with it. Pathfinder is an SUV, and so it isn’t easy on the gas. The 3.5 liter engine guzzles more fuel compared to the 3.3 liter. However, the 3.5L on the 2001-2004 models are more appropriate on fuel consumption since they’re chain driven against belt driven of the 3.3 on 1997-2000 models.

Avoid mechanics who know nothing about this car. If you experience electrical issues, try to troubleshoot it, which can sometimes be frustrating. You’ll need a scanner just in case you need to run a scan. Otherwise, you have no problem. The Pathfinder is a good car overall, and very reliable on Nigerian terrains.

Hyundai Santa Fe

The Santa Fe is a good crossover SUV that is not expensive to maintain. This is a V6 SUV, so you can’t compare the cost of maintenance to a Corolla of the same model year. This Santa Fe has good fuel efficiency and power, but will build up carbon over time. You can forestall the carbon buildup with an injector cleaner every 3k miles or after every changing the oil.

The replacement parts are available in Nigeria. They are not the cheapest but also not so expensive. The Santa Fe parts are as cheap as its Toyota equivalent.

You need a specialty Hyundai or Kia mechanic/electrician to service this car for the best experience. A Nigerian used Santa Fe is okay but tokunbo will more likely bring you peace of mind although much more expensive.

That said, bring a certified technician for your pre-purchase inspection before making payment, whether you’re buying a Nigerian used SUV or tokunbo.

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