Best Used Cars and SUVs for $15,000 to $20,000
If the pandemic-caused chip shortage upended your new-car purchase, these reliable models did well when we tested them
Buying a pre-owned car is more than just a great way to save money. It could get you into a model that has safety and luxury features you couldn’t afford in a new car.
That is, if you can find a new car or SUV. With the pandemic-related, global shortage of the chips needed for car safety and infotainment systems, shipments of new cars are often delayed or coming in at lower-than-expected volumes. This means supply is short and new-car dealers are charging a premium.
We dug through years of test data and hundreds of thousands of survey responses to find the best used cars that cost $15,000 to $20,000.
The models below (listed alphabetically by segment) are the ones we'd recommend to our friends and family members. Each has standard electronic stability control, an important safety feature. Many are also available with active safety features such as forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and/or blind spot warning (BSW) as optional or standard equipment.
These vehicles performed well in our tests when new and consistently demonstrated multiple years of much better than average reliability in our Annual Auto Surveys for the 2011 to 2020 model years.