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These days, it’s all too common to invest your hard-earned money in a large purchase, like a new vehicle or a new appliance, just to end up frustrated with how it has held up a year later. Technology is the bane of our existence and while it helps in more ways it hurts, it’s easy to end up frustrated. That’s why many consumers turn to used vehicles instead of a new one.

Buying a used vehicle can give you most of the technology we’ve grown to love at a price we love even more. Buying used also gives you the chance to research the vehicle to your heart’s content, much more than you can with a new vehicle. Recently, Consumer Reports compiled a list of the best used car options and one stood out from the rest.

The best option under $20,000

2016 was a great year for the Mazda 6, so it makes sense that Consumer Reports picked it for the top option for a used car under $20,000. The 2016 Mazda 6 is rated highest out of all the other model years. It scored a 5/5 for reliability, which is the biggest area consumers look at when researching used vehicles, and a 3/5 for owner satisfaction.

Owners were underwhelmed with the comfort and convenience in the 2016 Mazda 6, accounting for the lower satisfaction score. They reported higher noise levels inside the car, lower-than-average quality in the interior features, and a bumpy ride at times.

While those details shouldn’t be ignored, they are mostly complaints that don’t reflect on the overall power and functionality of the vehicle, which is why Consumer Reports still chose it for their top selection in this price range.

The 2016 Mazda 6 is a reliable and safe used car option

When looking to buy a used vehicle, the most important aspect consumers take into consideration is its reliability. Drivers don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road shortly after buying a new (to them) car, even if it’s a few years old. The 2016 Mazda 6 is a reliable option for under $20,000. Consumer Reports ranked it excellent in all of their categories.

The 2016 Mazda 6 comes standard with a 184-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that was rated highly by other drivers and had very few problems reported in the four years since its debut. Drivers like the way this model feels sportier than its competitors, while offering the same space and reliability. It excels in its fuel efficiency, getting a class-leading 32 mpg overall.

And if that’s not enough, the Mazda 6 is even available with many of the latest safety features that you can see on most 2020 vehicles: lane departure warnings, a forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and automatic emergency braking. Safety is another vital aspect to research when shopping for a used car, and the 2016 Mazda 6 has plenty of fantastic options.

Where did the 2016 Mazda 6 struggle to impress?

Looking back at the 3/5 score given for owner satisfaction, the 2016 Mazda 6 certainly isn’t a perfect vehicle. Out of categories like acceleration and handling, value, style, and comfort, owners rated it the lowest in comfort.

One issue many drivers have with it is simply that it’s smaller than many of its competitors in the same class and the lack of leg room was a problem. Many also pointed out that the noise level was higher than average when driving over 25 mph.

While the 2016 Mazda 6 may not be the most comfortable option out there, it’s clearly still a contender if you’re looking for a reliable and affordable new car.


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