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The coronavirus pandemic led to a supply chain disruption that limited automakers’ ability to maintain a consistent production schedule. This delay led to a shortage of new vehicles, leading many consumers to look at used cars. The increased demand fueled a significant price increase, enticing some drivers to hold onto their current vehicles for longer than expected, further limiting supply.

When looking for a used car, there is a sweet spot regarding mileage, price, and age. Currently, three Hyundai Tucson model years meet the requirements and are worth checking out.

The sweet spot in used car shopping

A red 2018 Hyundai Tucson driving down a highway.
2018 Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai Motor Company

Finding a well-maintained car is worth its weight in gold. The last thing you want is to purchase a used car that leads to expensive repairs. However, the age and mileage of a vehicle should not be a deterrent if it’s in good condition since improved industry standards have significantly increased quality and extended a vehicle’s lifespan.

According to Forbes, “The average car in the United States is now 12.2 years old, and fully one-quarter of the cars are over 16 years old. It’s common now to see quality used cars with over 100,000 miles, but typically below 150,000 to 170,000.”

Regarding pricing, the sweet spot for a used car ranges between $15,000 and $20,000. It gives potential owners access to vehicles with modern features and low mileage without breaking the bank.

U.S. News compiled a list of the “Best Used Compact SUVs $15K to $20K for 2023.” Three Hyundai Tucson model years dominated the list, offering a good deal when shopping for a used vehicle.

The Hyundai Tucson ranks among the best used compact SUVs

The Hyundai Tucson 2016 to 2018 model years were all selected by U.S. News as some of the best compact SUVs between $15,000 and $20,000. The 2016 Hyundai Tucson secured the first spot on the list due to its spacious, quiet interior and “respectable performance.”

Earning an overall score of 9 out of 10, the four-door compact SUV received high safety and reliability ratings with a plethora of advanced safety features. For less than $20,000, you can take advantage of a powerful turbocharged engine that generates between 164 and 175 hp with an EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 21 to 26 mpg in the city and 26 to 33 mpg on the highway.

Fully redesigned for the 2016 model year, the Hyundai Tucson accommodates five passengers, and when it originally debuted received the “2016 Best Compact SUV for the Money” award from U.S. News.

Impressive features found in other model years of the Hyundai Tucson SUV

The 2018 Hyundai Tucson ranked second on the U.S. News list, receiving an overall score of 8.6 out of 10. Excellent reliability ratings, advanced safety features, and a “peppy turbocharged engine option” made the SUV a top choice in the compact SUV used vehicle segment. The five-passenger SUV features a comfortable interior with plenty of room in the second-row seats and a quiet cabin with little noise from bumpy roads or wind.

Car and Driver claims, “The 2018 Hyundai Tucson delivers good value while still competing with rivals by offering a roomy and comfortable interior and a long list of available features.”

The 2017 Hyundai Tucson also earned a spot on the U.S. News list, ranking at fourth, just below the 2017 Ford Escape. The spacious Tucson is available in seven trims and two styles ranging in price between $17,401 and $20,905. The standard features on the base SE trim include a power-adjustable driver’s seat, hands-free phone system, rearview camera, daytime running lights, and stain-resistant cloth seating. As long as the vehicle is well maintained, the 2017 model year should be able to last for approximately 200,000 miles, or 16.5 years if driven 12,000 miles annually.


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