Buying a used car doesn’t have to be a complicated process. There are a lot of great cars on the road just waiting for a new owner. In their annual reliability survey, Consumer Reports took a look at the best deals in three-year-old used cars. The following is a breakdown of what they found to be not only the safest and most reliable vehicles but also the most versatile. Interestingly, there was a particular brand that stood out among the others.
What cars give you the most for your money
Consumer Reports claims that “three-year-old cars are the Goldilocks of the used-auto market.” That is because the vehicle still has updated features and styling, combined with the latest safety systems.
It is not unheard of to get a sweet deal on a three-year-old used car. The original owner bears most of the depreciation endured from the original purchase price. This allows the new owner to take advantage of a price that is sometimes half of what the original owner paid.
The Toyota Corolla was ranked as the best compact car. The reliability factor combined with safety features, stable handling, and fuel efficiency makes this a great option for a used car.
The versatility of the Honda Fit made it a top choice in the $15,000 and under subcompact car category. For used compact cars priced from $15,000 to $20,000, the Toyota Prius was selected, mostly because of the incredible 52 mpg it gets from the improved engine. The Toyota Prius Prime took home the prize for the best used compact car in the $20,000 to $25,000 range.
Midsized and large cars
The Toyota Camry was a favorite for the midsized and large car category. This is attributed to the comfort of the ride, quality interior features, and ease of driving.
The Toyota Avalon was also selected as a solid used car choice due to its reliability and fuel efficiency. Consumer Reports selected the Lexus ES as the best-used car choice in the $25,000 to $30,000 midsized and large sedan category. The car offers an enjoyable ride and utilizes state-of-the-art safety features.
A favorite among compact SUVs is the Toyota RAV4, offering responsive handling and 24 mpg overall. The Audi Q3 is also a great choice for a compact SUV. The above-average reliability and turbocharged engine make this a great used car.
For those looking for a larger SUV, the Toyota Highlander is the number one option for midsized and large SUVs because of the unique seating options, standard safety features, and excellent resale value.
The BMW i3 was selected as the best value for someone looking for an electric vehicle. The above-average reliability rating combines nicely with the ability to drive 72 to 150 miles on one charge.
In the sports car category, the Mazda MX-5 Miata ranked the best because of its optimal handling capabilities. The Toyota Prius V rounds off the list, ranking as the top option for minivans and wagons.
Consumer Reports loves Toyotas
It is obvious that Consumer Reports is fond of the Toyota brand, and has been for many years. Most of the vehicles found at the top of their list are from the extensive Toyota product line.
Known for their reliability, a Toyota is a solid choice for anyone looking for a used car. Jake Fisher, who is the director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, attributes this to the fact that Toyota “keeps its product updates simple and doesn’t try to do too many things at once with new or redesigned models.”