Best Used Cars by Price

If you need new wheels but have to stick to a budget, buying a used car can be a way to get the biggest bang for your buck. After a year, a new car, on average, depreciates 27 percent from its sticker price. After three years, it’s worth about half.

Picking out a good used car from a sea of bad ones can be tricky. You want a vehicle that’s reliable, affordable, and equipped with modern safety features. 

We’ve created this guide to help you find the small cars, sedans, and SUVs that are most likely to fulfill your needs without breaking down and soaking you with ­repair bills.

more on used cars

The vehicles listed below performed well in CR road tests when they were new and had consistent above-average reliability for multiple years, according to our surveys of CR members. Even among the used cars we recommend, there can be stinkers because of a bad day at the factory or a neglectful owner who didn’t keep up with the required maintenance. Make sure to have the car you're considering thoroughly inspected by a certified mechanic before you sign on the dotted line.

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, the results below are available to you. If you're not a member, click below to join and access this full list of cars, pickup trucks, SUVs, and wagons. As a CR member, you'll also get access to our exclusive ratings and reviews for every product we buy and test, including cars, grills, mobile phones, and flat-screen TVs.

Once you're ready to shop, go to our Used Car Marketplace to browse local vehicle listings and see how their reliability and owner satisfaction scores stack up.

Under $10,000

2013 Nissan Leaf
2013 Nissan Leaf

Subcompact & Compact Cars
Mazda3 2011-2014
Nissan Leaf 2011-2013, 2015

The Mazda is a fun-to-drive and reliable hatchback with nimble handling but a ride that's firm. Electronic stability control (ESC) was standard starting in 2011. The Leaf is a very affordable electric vehicle, with a typical range of 75 miles.

Subcompact Cars
Honda Fit 2011-2013
Toyota Prius C 2012-2014

Compact Cars
Toyota Corolla 2010-2014
Toyota Prius 2010-2012

Midsized & Large Cars
Mazda6 2010
Mazda’s midsized sedan is a sporty four-door with nimble handling, good steering feel, and a supple ride. Reliability is excellent and the four-cylinder engine is fuel-efficient. ESC is standard. 

Other good choices: Toyota Avalon 2010-2011, Toyota Camry 2010-2012

Luxury Cars
Acura TL 2010
Acura TSX 2010-2011
Lexus CT200h 2011
Lexus ES 2010

Sports Cars/Convertibles
Mazda MX-5 Miata 2012-2011

Wagons & Minivans
Toyota Venza 2010

Small SUVs
Toyota RAV4 2010-2011


Used 2014-2016 Toyota Corolla.
2015 Toyota Corolla

Subcompact Cars
Honda Fit 2016-2017
Although it’s a bit noisy, the Honda Fit is a standout for reliable, fuel-efficient transportation. Its flexible interior makes it a practical choice among subcompact cars.

Compact Cars

Toyota Corolla 2015-2017
Dependable, fuel-efficient transportation is the Corolla’s strength. There isn’t anything flashy, but the interior is comfortable and roomy. ESC and curtain airbags are standard.

Other good choices: Mazda3 2015-2016, Nissan Leaf 2016-2017, Toyota Prius 2013-2015

Midsized & Large Cars
Toyota Camry 2013-2015
The Camry is a solid choice because of its outstanding reliability, strong value, and fuel-efficient powertrains.

Another good choice: Toyota Avalon 2012-2014

Luxury Cars
Acura TSX 2012-2013
You can stick to your budget and still get a reliable premium car if you choose the slick-handling TSX, which is a sporty car based on the European Honda Accord.

Other good choices: Acura TL 2012-2013, Lexus CT 200h 2012-2013, Lexus ES 2011-2013, Lexus LS 2010

Sports Cars/Convertibles
Mazda MX-5 Miata 2012-2014

Wagons & Minivans
Toyota Prius V 2012-2014
Toyota Venza 2011-2014
Volvo XC70 2012-2013

Small SUVs
Toyota RAV4 2012-2014
The RAV4 is available with four- and six-cylinder engines, both of which are very fuel-efficient. It's great for urban and suburban families, and its nimble, secure handling is a plus.

Another good choice: Mazda CX-5 2013-2015

Midsized & Large SUVs
Lexus RX 2010-2011
Toyota Highlander 2010-2012

Pickup Trucks
Toyota Tundra 2010-2012
Among full-sized pickups, the Tundra is a reliable option. There’s plenty of power from the V8 engine, off-road prowess and towing capability are impressive, and fuel economy is competitive. The damped tailgate is a nice convenience feature.


Used 2018 Chevrolet Impala
2018 Chevrolet Impala

Subcompact Cars
Honda Fit 2018-2019

Compact Cars
Toyota Prius 2016-2017
The Prius proves that you don’t have to give up space or ride comfort to get stellar gas mileage. Its 44 mpg overall is better than any vehicle that doesn’t plug in.

Other good choices: Mazda3 2017-2018, Toyota Corolla 2018

Midsized & Large Cars
Toyota Avalon 2015-2016
Toyota Camry 2016-2017

Luxury Cars
BMW i3 2017
This BMW is a four-seat EV that's best for urban use. An optional gas engine expands the BMW’s range from 70 to 150 miles.

Other good choices: Acura TL 2014, Lexus CT 200h 2015, Lexus ES 2014-2015, Lexus GS 2013, Lexus IS 2014, Lexus LS 2011-2012

Sports Cars/Convertibles
Mazda MX-5 Miata 2015-2017

Wagons & Minivans
Toyota Venza 2015
Part wagon, part SUV, the Venza has a quiet interior, a roomy rear seat, and a generous cargo area. Handling is secure, though not sporty. Reliability is rock-solid, making this a wise choice.

Other good choices: Toyota Prius V 2015-2016, Volvo XC70 2015

Compact SUVs

Nissan Rogue Sport 2017-2019
The Rogue Sport uses a four-cylinder engine that's relatively fuel-efficient. It’s great for urban and suburban families, and its nimble, secure handling is a plus.

Other good choices: Mazda CX-5 2016-2017, Toyota RAV4 2015-2018

Midsized & Large SUVs
Toyota 4Runner 2010-2012
The 4Runner is a serious off-roader with a well-finished and quiet interior, smooth V6 or V8 engines, and an available third-row seat.

Other good choices: Lexus RX 2012-2014, Toyota Highlander 2013-2014

Pickup Trucks
Toyota Tundra 2013-2015


2018 Toyota Tundra
2018 Toyota Tundra

Compact Cars
Toyota Prius 2018-2019
Toyota Prius Prime 2017-2018

Midsized & Large Sedans
Toyota Avalon 2017-2018
For less than the price of a new sedan, you can buy a Toyota Avalon. It features a generously sized cabin, luxury features, and an available hybrid powertrain for a non-luxury price.

Another good choice: Toyota Camry 2018-2019

Luxury Sedans
Lexus LS 2013
The LS is the flagship of the Lexus line, a competent cruiser that floats over bumps and ruts. It’s supremely comfortable, emphasizing quietness and luxury over sportiness.

Other good choices: Lexus ES 2016, Lexus GS 2014-2015, Lexus IS 2015-2016

Sports Cars/Convertibles
Mazda MX-5 Miata 2018-2019

Wagons & Minivans
Toyota Prius V 2017
Volvo XC70 2016
Longer and more versatile than a standard Prius, the V still returns excellent fuel economy despite its extra weight and larger size. This efficient hybrid takes the best attributes of the Prius but adds a roomier rear seat and expanded cargo capability. The Volvo is very comfortable, relatively enjoyable to drive, and has a raised ride height for use on gravel roads.

Compact SUVs
Mazda CX-5 2018-2019
Mazda’s small SUV is one of the sportier offerings. It has taut, agile handling and well-weighted steering, although the ride is choppy and the cabin gets loud. Reliability is very good.

Another good choice: Audi Q3 2016

Midsized & Large SUVs
Toyota Highlander 2015-2016
The Highlander is a roomy three-row SUV available with four- and six-cylinder gas engines as well as a V6-powered hybrid version. It has a quiet interior, room for seven, straightforward controls, and top-notch reliability.

Other good choices: Lexus NX 2015, Lexus RX 2015, Toyota 4Runner 2013-2015

Toyota Tundra 2016


2016 Lexus CT 200h.
2016 Lexus CT 200h

Compact Cars
Toyota Prius Prime 2019

Midsized & Large Cars
Toyota Avalon 2019

Luxury Cars

Lexus ES 2017
Lexus GS 2016
The ES takes the platform of the reliable Toyota Camry and adds luxury appointments, road-trip-worthy front seats, and a quiet cabin. The GS was transformed with its 2013 redesign. It became a true sports sedan yet had a supple ride. Its roomy, comfortable, and luxurious cabin is an excellent place to spend time as the miles tick by.

Other good choices: Lexus IS 2017, Lexus LS 2014

Small SUVs
Audi Q3 2017-2018

Midsized & Large SUVs
Lexus RX 2016
The RX offers a cabin that's quiet, comfortable, and luxurious; fuel-efficient gas and hybrid powertrains; and a plush ride. Reliability has been stellar.

Other good choices: Lexus GX 2014-2015, Lexus NX 2016-2017, Toyota 4Runner 2016-2017, Toyota Highlander 2017-2018

Pickup Trucks
Toyota Tundra 2018

Tips for Buying a Used Car

There are a lot of things you need to check when shopping for a used car. On the "Consumer 101" TV show, Consumer Reports expert Keith Barry explains to host Jack Rico how to evaluate a pre-owned vehicle and negotiate with the dealership to get the best possible deal.