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Buying a car in 2021 has been different than any other year. The pandemic, the global chip shortage, and the resulting new and used car inventory shortages have made buying cars a tricky affair. These events have turned the automotive marketplace into a “seller’s market,” which means that many buyers have had a tough time scoring really good deals on used cars. However, CarGurus recently put together a list of the “Best Used Cars for 2021,” which can come in handy if you’re in the market for a used car this year.

CarGurus did its research to find the best used cars for 2021

Thousands of F-150 pickups await chips before completion
Numerous 2009 Ford F-150 trucks are parked in a lot before being shipped. | (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

CarGurus is well-known for its classifieds section that guides users to finding fair, good, and great deals. But did you know that the editors at CarGurus provide plenty of insights and reviews to accompany those listings? It’s all in an effort to help you find the right car at the best price possible.

As such, CarGurus researched reviews from users and their editors, in addition to researching various depreciation rates, to compile a list of the most popular vehicles among CarGurus shoppers.

“CarGurus’ Best Used Car Awards have become an industry mainstay for the last five years, and the extra layer of guidance and trust they provide is even more important this year, as car shoppers consider purchasing a used vehicle due to the current new-vehicle inventory shortage,” said Matt Smith, Deputy Editor at CarGurus.

“Each of this year’s winners and finalists earned their accolades through our data-driven analysis that looked into several factors such as availability, value retention, and reviews from both industry experts and consumers.”

The Best Used Car Awards for 2021

Here are the awards that were given by CarGurus for 2021, listed in order by vehicle categories:

Best Used Small Crossover/SUV Award:
First place: 2017-2021 Mazda CX-5
Second place: 2017-2021 Kia Sportage
Third place: 2017-2021 Honda CR-V

Best Used Small Crossover Award:
First place: 2011-2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Second place: 2016-2020 Kia Sorento
Third place: 2013-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Best Used Large Crossover/SUV Award:
First place: 2011-2019 Ford Explorer
Second place: 2015-2020 Chevrolet Tahoe
Third Place: 2017-2021 GMC Acadia

Best Used Luxury Crossover/SUV
First place: 2016-2021 Volvo XC90
Second place: 2016-2020 Lexus RX
Third place: 2016-2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

Best Used Sedan/Hatchback Award
First place: 2017-2020 Hyundai Elantra
Second place: 2016-2020 Kia Optima
Third place: 2016-2020 Honda Civic

Best Used Luxury Sedan Award
First place: 2014-2020 Lexus IS
Second place: 2011-2018 Volvo S60
Third place: 2015-2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Best Used Pickup Truck Award
First place: 2016-2021 Toyota Tacoma
Second place: 2015-2021 Chevrolet Colorado
Third place: 2017-2020 Honda Ridgeline

Best Used Full-Size Pickup Truck Award
First place: 2015-2020 Ford F-150
Second place: 2013-2018 RAM 1500
Third place: 2014-2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Best Minivan Award
First place: 2017-2021 Chrysler Pacifica
Second place: 2011-2017 Honda Odyssey
Third place: 2011-2020 Toyota Sienna

Best Used Sports Car Award
First place: 2015-2021 Ford Mustang
Second place: 2014-2019 Chevrolet Corvette
Third place: 2016-2018 Ford Focus RS

CarGurus has buyers in mind

2019 Ford Mustang
2019 Ford Mustang 5.0 is on display at the 111th Annual Chicago Auto Show. | (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

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The award nominees were selected based on CarGurus consumer reviews, professional test drive reviews, popularity, availability, and CarGuru’s projected 12-year value retention. The models with the highest rankings were the winners.

This goes to show that CarGurus is not only dedicated to helping you find the right used car using its classifieds listings, but it can also help you from a well-rounded approach like these awards.