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Best used car deals on family sedans under $20,000

Consumer Reports News: March 25, 2013 12:08 PM

As we thaw out in time for spring, it's a great time to look for deals before the upcoming travel season. Our analysis shows that despite price fluctuations, there are plenty of bargains in used cars, particularly in the family sedans category. To make it easier to find what you're looking for, we have identified some of the best used-car deals on family sedans.

Sedans tend to offer good fuel economy, ample room for families and cargo, comfortable ride, and good driving dynamics. A used sedan allows you to reap these benefits for less money than buying new, as the original owner already took the costly initial depreciation hit. (New cars lose much more value in the first and second years than those that follow.)


Visit our used-car buying guide for quick access to advice, Ratings, and pricing.

When shopping, look for cars that scored well in Consumer Reports' tests when new, have proven reliability, and perform well in government and insurance industry crash tests, such as the recommended models below. And before handing over the cash, have the vehicle inspected by a trained and trusted mechanic to make sure there are no hidden problems.

Check out our top deals for recommended used sedans from the 2008-2010 model years. We placed the vehicles in order of the lowest price you might be able to get when buying from the dealer and all are under $20,000. The models listed below are between 29- and 59-percent less than the retail price when the vehicle was new. Plus, all of the models have at least average reliability, according to our latest subscriber survey.

Make & model Buying from dealer avg price MSRP (new) Drop in retail value vs. MSRP Used-car pricing
2008 Mazda6 i $9,775 $20,800 53% View detailed pricing
2008 Mercury Milan $9,875 $24,195 59% View detailed pricing
2008 Ford Fusion SE $10,025 $19,060 47% View detailed pricing
2009 Mercury Milan $10,500 $22,995 54% View detailed pricing
2008 Nissan Altima $11,750 $20,580 43% View detailed pricing
2009 Mazda6 s $12,075 $24,130 50% View detailed pricing
2009 Ford Fusion SE $12,450 $24,345 49% View detailed pricing
2008 Toyota Camry LE $12,700 $21,075 40% View detailed pricing
2008 Toyota Prius $13,175 $22,475 41% View detailed pricing
2010 Mazda6 $12,625 $20,470 38% View detailed pricing
2010 Mercury Milan $13,325 $24,320 45% View detailed pricing
2010 Ford Fusion SE $13,900 $20,900 33% View detailed pricing
2010 Nissan Altima S $14,500 $21,840 34% View detailed pricing
2010 Mazda6 s $14,775 $26,600 44% View detailed pricing
2009 Nissan Altima SL $15,075 $23,000 34% View detailed pricing
2009 Toyota Prius $15,125 $23,375 35% View detailed pricing
2008 Honda Accord EX $15,200 $23,860 36% View detailed pricing
2010 Toyota Camry LE $15,350 $21,900 30% View detailed pricing
2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid $15,625 $26,150 40% View detailed pricing
2009 Honda Accord EX-L $16,325 $26,405 38% View detailed pricing
2010 Honda Accord EX $17,525 $24,630 29% View detailed pricing

See our complete list of used-car deals across a variety of vehicle categories.

Liza Barth

   

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