Used cars are the way to go for most American buyers.
Nearly 40 million a year, in fact, considerably more than twice the number of new cars sold each year.
“But picking out a good used car … has never been easy,” according to Consumer Reports in an article “Used cars we recommend to family and friends” at consumerreports.org. “You want to buy one that’s reliable, affordable, and equipped with modern safety features. Add in the desire to avoid a car that has been damaged in an accident or natural disaster, and the process can feel overwhelming.”
To help make your life easier, CR has named 30 vehicles in 11 categories – from small cars, sedans and SUVs costing less than $10,000 to sedans and SUVs at $20,000 to $25,000 – as its best used cars to buy. In each of its categories, CR names two to five vehicles and provides a comment on each.
Models listed among the best used cars to buy range from the 2005 Pontiac Vibe; Acura TL, TSX, RL and MDX; Toyota Avalon and Highlander V6; Honda CR-V and Pilot to 2014 Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic.
“Every vehicle on [the] list performed well in our tests when it was new and has had above-average reliability for the model years shown, based on our latest Annual Auto Survey,” said Consumer Reports. “Consider these the used cars we’d recommend to our family and friends.”
The list is dominated by Toyota Motor Corp. products (Toyota and Infiniti) with nine vehicles among the best used cars to buy and Honda Motor Co. (Honda and Acura) with eight vehicles. Other brands represented on the list and the number of vehicles are Hyundai/Kia Motor Group (four), Lexus (three), and Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Subaru and Volkswagen (one each).
Here is the Consumer Reports list by price range and category:
Less than $10,000
Small cars – Mazda 3s (2008), Pontiac Vibe (2005-08) and Volkswagen Rabbit (2007-09)
Sedans – Acura TL (2005), Acura TSX (2005), Toyota Avalon (2005), Hyundai Sonata 4-cyl. (2006-08) and Kia Optima 4-cyl. (2007-08)
SUVs – Honda CR-V (2005), Mitsubishi Outlander (2007) and Honda Pilot (2005)
Small cars – Subaru Impreza (2010) and Kia Soul (2010-12)
Sedans – Infiniti G35 (2006-07) and Acura RL (2005-06)
SUVs – Acura MDX (2005-06) and Toyota Highlander V6 (2005-07)
Small cars – Toyota Prius (2010-13), Hyundai Elantra (2013-14) and Honda Civic (2013-14)
Sedans – Honda Accord (2008-12), Toyota Camry (2010-12) and Lexus ES (2007-08)
SUVs – Lexus RX (2006-08) and Toyota RAV4 (2009-11)
Sedans – Toyota Camry Hybrid (2012-13) and Infiniti M (2009)
SUVs – Lexus GX (2006-07), Nissan Murano (2011-12) and Toyota Highlander Hybrid (2009)
“There are so many safe and reliable used cars for buyers to choose from no matter what they plan on spending,” said Mark Rechtin of Consumer Reports.
More on “Used cars we recommend to family and friends” is available online.