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Best used-car deals

Save money on Consumer Reports recommended models

Last updated: May 2014

A late-model used car can be one of the best values you'll find when buying a car. With relatively low mileage, modern safety and convenience features, and usually a much lower price than similar new vehicles, these used cars are in the sweet spot of auto deals.

We've scoured through the used car options and put together this list of best deals on 2009-2013 vehicles in a variety of categories. Each of the vehicles featured are models recommended by Consumer Reports. In making these selections, we focused on models that show the greatest depreciation from their original retail price and their current value, then culled the list to just those vehicles that meet our stringent criteria to be Recommended, including good performance in our tests, average or above safety scores, and average or better reliability. For some car types, this may mean limited diversity in the recommendations, though in all cases, we have focused on balancing the quality of the deal and that of the vehicle.

2012 Subaru Forester

Current price from dealer: $18,895 (original MSRP: $21,795)

The Forester has been one of our top-rated Small SUVs with a quiet cabin, very good fit and finish, and a roomy backseat. It has the most comfortable ride of any small SUV yet also has agile and secure handling.  Fuel economy is 22 mpg overall with the 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine. Safety equipment includes standard curtain air bags and stability control, and crash-test results are excellent.

Small cars

Vehicle Mileage MSRP When New Buying From Dealer Avg Price Drop In Retail Value vs. MSRP
2009 Mazda3
66,000 $15,590 $9,725 38%
2010 Honda Civic
51,000 $18,405 $12,575 32%
2011 Subaru Impreza
40,000 $18,495 $15,525 16%
2012 Honda Fit
22,000 $16,125 $14,625 9%
2013 Toyota Corolla
11,000 $18,180 $16,325 10%

Family cars

Vehicle Mileage MSRP When New Buying From Dealer Avg Price Drop In Retail Value vs. MSRP
2009 Ford Fusion
66,000 $19,035 $9,200 52%
2010 Honda Accord
51,000 $24,630 $16,025 35%
2011 Mazda6
40,000 $20,990 $13,375 36%
2012 Nissan Altima
22,000 $22,570 $15,475 31%
2013 Toyota Camry
11,000 $22,680 $20,125 11%

Small SUVs

Vehicle Mileage MSRP When New Buying From Dealer Avg Price Drop In Retail Value vs. MSRP
2009 Honda CR-V
66,000 $24,695 $16,800 32%
2010 Mitsubishi Outlander
51,000 $20,840 $11,075 44%
2011 Nissan Rogue
40,000 $20,810 $14,275 31%
2012 Subaru Forester
22,000 $21,795 $18,875 13%
2013 Toyota RAV4
11,000 $24,700 $22,825 8%

Midsized SUVs

Vehicle Mileage MSRP When New Buying From Dealer Avg Price Drop In Retail Value vs. MSRP
2009 Acura MDX
66,000 $40,990 $24,375 41%
2010 Honda Pilot
51,000 $27,895 $17,625 37%
2011 Mazda CX-9
40,000 $29,135 $19,825 32%
2012 Toyota Highlander
22,000 $35,300 $29,700 16%
2013 Lexus GX460
11,000 $58,590 $55,650 5%

Wagons

Vehicle Mileage MSRP When New Buying From Dealer Avg Price Drop In Retail Value vs. MSRP
2009 Pontiac Vibe
66,000 $16,100 $9,450 41%
2010 Toyota Matrix 51,000 $17,510 $12,075 31%
2011 Scion xB
40,000 $16,950 $14,200 16%
2012 Toyota Venza
22,000 $27,425 $21,150 23%
2013 Kia Soul 11,000 $16,200 $15,050 7%

Upscale cars

Vehicle Mileage MSRP When New Buying From Dealer Avg Price Drop In Retail Value vs. MSRP
2009 Acura TSX
66,000 $34,955 $20,400 42%
2010 Infiniti G37 51,000 $33,250 $20,850 37%
2011 Acura TSX 40,000 $30,960 $22,000 29%
2012 Lincoln MKZ
22,000 $34,645 $22,500 35%
2013 Lexus IS 250
11,000 $37,525 $35,125 6%

Luxury cars

Vehicle Mileage MSRP When New Buying From Dealer Avg Price Drop In Retail Value vs. MSRP
2009 Infiniti M35
66,000 $45,800 $21,400 53%
2010 Lexus GS 350
51,000 $45,000 $29,200 35%
2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
40,000 $49,400 $35,150 29%
2012 Infiniti M56 22,000 $59,100 $43,175 27%
2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 11,000 $53,500 $46,975 12%

Minivans

Vehicle Mileage MSRP When New Buying From Dealer Avg Price Drop In Retail Value vs. MSRP
2009 Toyota Sienna CE 66,000 $24,540 $13,375 45%
2010 Toyota Sienna LE
51,000 $26,725 $17,675 32%
2011 Toyota Sienna Ltd
40,000 $38,800 $29,725 23%
2012 Toyota Sienna LE 22,000 $29,700 $24,775 17%
2013 Toyota Sienna SE 11,000 $33,725 $29,600 12%

Pickups

Vehicle Mileage MSRP When New Buying From Dealer Avg Price Drop In Retail Value vs. MSRP
2009 Honda Ridgeline
66,000 $28,200 $17,175 39%
2010 Toyota Tundra
51,000 $25,655 $15,400 40%
2011 Toyota Tacoma
40,000 $16,365 $15,100 8%
2012 Honda Ridgeline
22,000 $29,350 $24,825 15%
2013 Toyota Tacoma
11,000 $18,525 $17,575 5%

Continue your research by comparing ratings, reliability, reviews, fuel economy, performance, and much more (available to subscribers). For a list of the most reliable used cars covering ten model years, see our best and worst used cars report.

To get detailed pricing on a used car or for vehicle comparisons, subscribe to our ConsumerReports.org Cars Best Deals Plus and used car price reports.

   

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