Best used cars to buy this year offer affordable options

Photo credit: Subaru via Newspress USA
The 2016 model was among Subaru Outbacks recognized by CarGurus.

Used cars are all the rage.

With the prices of many new cars climbing past $35,000 – roughly the overall average transaction price – a lot of shoppers are looking for more-affordable alternatives.

But how do you find the best used cars to buy with thousands of choices available in 2019.

CarGurus online marketplace offers some ideas with its 2019 Best Used Car Awards, which identifies winners in 16 categories and reveals 32 more finalists for a total of 48 good choices. Those choices range from the subcompact/hatchback Honda Fit to the full-size crossover/SUV Ford Explorer.


These are among the best used cars to buy right now, U.S. News rankings show

‘Best Buys’ for 2019, plus where to find top used vehicles

The awards identify the best recent-year used models based on the company’s analysis of long-term projected value retention, driver satisfaction, expert reviews and both model popularity and availability.

“Research is the bedrock of a great car-buying experience, and we hope that our awards help today’s car shoppers in that process,” said Matt Smith, senior editor at CarGurus. “For people shopping for a great used car, these vehicles are certainly worth considering.”

Following are used-car categories and top three vehicles, including models years, in each category:

Subcompact Sedan/Hatchback

  1. 2015-2018 Honda Fit
  2. 2014-2018 MINI Cooper
  3. 2008-2018 Ford Fiesta

Compact Sedan/Hatchback

  1. 2014-2018 Mazda MAZDA3
  2. 2011-2016 Hyundai Elantra
  3. 2012-2018 Toyota Corolla

Midsize Sedan

  1. 2013-2017 Honda Accord
  2. 2013-2018 Ford Fusion
  3. 2012-2017 Toyota Camry

Full-Size Sedan

  1. 2011-2018 Dodge Charger
  2. 2011-2018 Chrysler 300
  3. 2014-2018 Chevrolet Impala

Station Wagon

  1. 2015-2018 Subaru Outback
  2. 2015-2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
  3. 2015-2018 MINI Cooper Clubman

Small Crossover/SUV

  1. 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler
  2. 2012-2016 Honda CR-V
  3. 2013-2016 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Midsize Crossover/SUV

  1. 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
  2. 2011-2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  3. 2013-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Full-Size Crossover/SUV

  1. 2011-2018 Ford Explorer
  2. 2013-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe
  3. 2009-2017 Chevrolet Traverse


  1. 2011-2017 Honda Odyssey
  2. 2011-2018 Toyota Sienna
  3. 2014-2018 Kia Sedona

Midsize Pickup Truck

  1. 2005-2015 Toyota Tacoma
  2. 2015-2018 Chevrolet Colorado
  3. 2015-2018 GMC Canyon

Full-Size Pickup Truck

  1. 2015-2018 Ford F-150
  2. 2011-2018 Ram 1500
  3. 2014-2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Luxury Compact Sedan

  1. 2013-2017 Lexus IS
  2. 2010-2018 Volvo S60
  3. 2013-2018 Audi A3

Luxury Midsize Sedan

  1. 2013-2018 Lexus ES
  2. 2013-2018 Lincoln MKZ
  3. 2015-2018 Acura TLX

Luxury Small Crossover/SUV

  1. 2015-2018 Lexus NX
  2. 2013-2018 Acura RDX
  3. 2015-2018 BMW X1

Luxury Midsize Crossover/SUV

  1. 2014-2018 Volvo XC90
  2. 2015-2018 Lincoln MKC
  3. 2014-2018 INFINITI QX60

Sports Car

  1. 2008-2018 Dodge Challenger
  2. 2014-2018 Chevrolet Corvette
  3. 2015-2018 Ford Mustang

The leading brands with three wins each in 16 categories are Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand, and Honda. Winning two categories each were Dodge, Ford and Jeep.

Chevrolet and Ford scored the most vehicles among the 48 finalists with five each, although all the Chevrolet picks were second or third in their categories. Toyota and Honda each placed four vehicles among the finalists. Overall, 22 brands are represented in the CarGurus rankings.

With each finalist representing a range of model years, there is no shortage of candidates for a vehicle purchase to fit your lifestyle, regardless of price point.

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