We get asked almost weekly by readers for advice on used car purchases with the price that they can afford often the first criterion for consideration. Consumer Reports has just released a pretty comprehensive list of their recommended used vehicle (includes cars, sedans and SUV) choices from 2005-2014.
According to Consumer Reports, these are the best used cars to choose from – ranked in terms of price point – and based on the annual consumer satisfaction and safety survey work done by Consumer Reports on the respective vehicles since 2005.
Here are the recommended vehicles with comments by Consumer Reports staff:
LESS THAN $10,000
- Sedan: The slick-handling Acura TL (2005) allows buyers to stick to their budget and still get a reliable luxury car.
- Small Car: The Mazda3 s (2008) with available Electronic Stability Control, has everything most want in a small car: reliability, fuel efficiency, a fun-to-drive attitude, and an interior that feels upscale for the price.
- SUV: The Honda Pilot (2005) provides room for eight passengers, has smooth V6 acceleration and carlike handling.
$10,000 – $15,000
- Small Car: The boxy, yet stylish Kia Soul (2010-12) has tons of features for a small car and an expansive cargo space, making it a smart choice for recent grads.
- Sedan: The Infiniti G35 (2006-07) blends sporty handling with interior refinement.
- SUV: The Toyota Highlander V6 (2005-07) has rock-solid reliability and a family-friendly, seven-passenger interior, in a parking lot friendly size.
$15,000 – $20,000
- Small Car: The Toyota Prius (2010-13) has always proved that consumers don’t have to give up space or ride comfort to get stellar gas mileage, and the 2010 model brought a quieter engine and standard electronic stability control.
- Sedan: The Honda Accord (2008-12) is a perennial crowd pleaser with a cavernous backseat, responsive reflexes, and 23 mpg (25 mpg in 2011-12) from its four-cylinder engine.
- SUV: The Lexus RX (2006-08) is the go-to upscale SUV for used-car buyers, with its reliability, plush seats, and luxury ride. The hybrid version offers that plus 23 mpg overall.
$20,000 – $25,000
- Small Car: No recommendation
- Sedan: The Toyota Camry Hybrid (2012-13) has a composed ride, responsive handling, and a class-leading 38 mpg.
- SUV: The Nissan Murano (2011-12) has long been one of CR’s favorite SUVs with secure handling and a rich interior.
The Worst of the Worst as rated by Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports says the “Worst of the Worst” used cars list includes 2005 to 2014 models that have had multiple years of much-worse-than-average overall reliability, according to their Annual Auto Survey. Twenty-four cars from the following automakers made this year’s CR list: BMW, Buick, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Jeep, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Nissan, Saturn, and Volkswagen. Among the models included are the BMW 330i & 335i, Buick Enclave, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 (diesel), Ford Fiesta, and Volkswagen Tiguan.
The full report is available in Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Issue, on newsstands now, and at the 2015 Consumer Reports Autos Spotlight web page.
Source: Consumer Reports