New report: The 10 best used cars to buy in 2018

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New report: The 10 best used cars to buy in 2018
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If you’re looking to buy a used car this spring, CarGurus is out with a brand new list of vehicles that you may want to consider.

The automotive research and shopping website identified the best used car models by analyzing factors like projected value retention, driver satisfaction, expert reviews, and model popularity and availability.

“CarGurus understands that buying a car is an important financial decision, and as a company, we aim to provide shoppers with all the information they need to make smart purchase decisions,” said Matt Smith, Senior Editor at CarGurus. “With our Best Used Car Awards, we’ve identified the vehicles that stand out in their categories in terms of value, quality and availability. For people shopping for a great used car, these award winners are definitely worth a close look.”

CarGurus announces 2018 best used cars list 

Here are the winners of the 2018 CarGurus Best Used Car Awards and the vehicles that came in second and third place in each of the 10 automotive categories:

RELATED: 10 vehicles most likely to last 200,000 miles

Compact Sedan

Toyota Corolla
Toyota Corolla

1. 2012-2018 Toyota Corolla
2. 2011-2015 Chevrolet Cruze
3. 2011-2015 Honda Civic

Midsize Sedan

Toyota Camry
Toyota Camry

1. 2012-2017 Toyota Camry
2. 2013-2018 Nissan Altima
3. 2011-2018 Dodge Charger

Full-Size Sedan

Chrysler 300
Chrysler 300

1. 2011-2018 Chrysler 300
2. 2014-2018 Chevrolet Impala
3. 2010-2016 Buick LaCrosse

Luxury Sedan

BMW 3 Series
BMW 3 Series

1. 2013-2018 BMW 3 Series
2. 2010-2018 Volvo S60
3. 2013-2018 Lexus ES 350

Sports Car

Dodge Challenger
Dodge Challenger

1. 2008-2018 Dodge Challenger
2. 2005-2014 Ford Mustang
3. 2014-2018 Chevrolet Corvette

Small Crossover/SUV

Jeep Wrangler
Jeep Wrangler

1. 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler
2. 2012-2016 Honda CR-V
3. 2014-2018 Jeep Cherokee

Midsize Crossover

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

1. 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
2. 2011-2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee
3. 2010-2017 Chevrolet Equinox

Full-Size Crossover

Ford Explorer
Ford Explorer

1. 2011-2018 Ford Explorer
2. 2009-2017 Chevrolet Traverse
3. 2007-2016 GMC Acadia

Luxury Crossover

INFINITI QX60
INFINITI QX60

1. 2014-2018 INFINITI QX60
2. 2010-2015 Lexus RX 350
3. 2014-2016 Acura MDX

Full-Size Pickup Truck

Ford F-150
Ford F-150

1. 2009-2014 Ford F-150
2. 2011-2018 Ram 1500
3. 2014-2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Clark’s car buying tips 

If there’s a vehicle on this list that you like, head to Consumer Reports to read detailed vehicle ratings and reviews.

In general, money expert Clark Howard recommends that you buy a car that’s two or three years old because brand new cars begin to lose value the second they’re driven off the dealer’s lot.

With a used vehicle, you don’t eat that depreciation — a key benefit to buying a pre-owned car.

Once you find a used car, follow these steps:

  1. Check the vehicle history report. Run the VIN through CARFAX.com to find out if it’s a flood vehicle or if it has been in a horrible accident.
  2. Have the used vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic. One of the key things to know about buying a used car is that you buy “as is.” CarFax alone is not enough of a check; you need to take this additional step.

Finally, arrange auto financing in advance! Look at credit unions, online banks or even traditional banks. Only take dealer financing if it beats any other offer you have.

RELATED: Buying gas from a station on this list is better for your car

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, MichaelSaves.com.
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