The Best Used Cars in Every Category

Americans buy an enormous number of cars, yet our cars are becoming more reliable. The average age of the car on the road today is over 11.5 years and used cars make up three out of every four car sales. By the time you buy a car use, it’s had an average of three owners. It’s easy to find low cost cars at your used car dealer, but which used cars are the best?

Small Cars

If you are in the market for low cost cars that are compact and reliable, one of the best used vehicles to search for are Honda Civics from 2013 to 2015. The Honda Civic consistently performs well, is available in a variety of trims and performance tunings, and regularly earns top safety awards. The other car to watch out for in this category is the Toyota Corolla, 2012 to 2018. The Corolla is also reliable, efficient, valuable, and regularly gets good safety ratings. If you are looking for pre owned vehicles in the small and compact car category, these are your best bets.

Midsize Cars

If you’re in the market for something a little bit bigger, you can go in one of two directions: The Toyota Camry or the Dodge Charger. If your main consideration is getting the best car value, Toyota Camrys made between 2012 and 2017 are the right choice, though they are more expensive. They are safe, reliable, and come in a variety of suspensions and stylings. You can also find four-cylinder engines, V6 engines, and hybrids. if you’re looking for less expensive low-cost cars that still have good safety ratings and are reasonably reliable, Dodge Chargers made between 2011 and 2018 are the ones to watch out for.

Family Cars

If you looking for car that can comfortably fit a family of four with space for the kid’s stuff, then there are a of couple cars to look for. Both the Chrysler 300 (2011 to 2018) and the Chevrolet Impala (2014 to 2018) could be the answer for low cost cars that can fit a family. If you grew up with a Chevy Impala of the 80s, you remember it was a popular family car because of price but not a standout in any other respect. But the Impala was redesigned in 2014 and interior space, comfort, and engineering were vastly improved. Both these cars are a good bet, but you should be aware that neither have gotten anything more than an “acceptable” rating for offset, front impact collisions.


If your family is in need of something a bit bigger, you might be looking at a the used SUV. There’s so much choice in this category that it can be practically overwhelming. If you’re looking at smaller SUVs, your best bets for a combination of cost, reliability, and safety will be the Honda CRV (2012 to 2016 models) or the Jeep Cherokee (2014-2018). If you want something a bit larger, the Chevrolet Equinox has more passenger space and is safe and reliable. If you’re looking for an Equinox, however, look for ones made between 2013 and 2017 and go ahead and level up to the V-6 engine. Otherwise, you’ll find it slow and unresponsive.

Pickup Trucks

Pickup trucks are always a big seller in the pre owned vehicles category. Ford is the big winner in this department and Ford has been the best-selling pickup truck in the United States for a very long time. You can’t go wrong with the Ford F150 (2009 to 2014). Of course, no pickup truck gets the same high safety ratings as other vehicles, but that’s not really what pickup trucks are for. Another viable option is the Chevy Silverado 1500.

Luxury Cars

If you’re looking for low cost cars in the luxury category, this can be a great way to get an especially fine make at a good price. One standout in this category is the Lexus ES (2013 to 2018). It’s big, has good handling, and gets good safety ratings. It’s also worth checking out the BMW 3 series. BMW regularly sets the luxury standards.

These are some of your best options in the different categories. Get out to your local used car dealership and see what’s available!

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