New report: The best used cars to buy in 2019

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If you’re looking to buy a used car soon, 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 recent-year used car models by analyzing factors like projected value retention, driver satisfaction, expert reviews, and model popularity and availability.

“CarGurus knows that research is the bedrock of a great car-buying experience and we hope that our third annual Best Used Car Awards help today’s car shoppers in that process,” said Matt Smith, Senior Editor at CarGurus. “These award-winning vehicles are popular, plentiful, well-reviewed and—based on our projections—should retain their value for years to come. For people shopping for a great used car, these vehicles are certainly worth considering.”

CarGurus announces 2019 best used cars list 

Here are the winners of the 2019 CarGurus Best Used Car Awards and the vehicles that came in second and third place in each of the 16 automotive categories:

Subcompact Sedan/Hatchback

  1. 2015-2018 Honda Fit
  2. 2014-2018 MINI Cooper
  3. 2008-2018 Ford Fiesta

Compact Sedan/Hatchback

  1. 2014-2018 Mazda MAZDA3
  2. 2011-2016 Hyundai Elantra
  3. 2012-2018 Toyota Corolla

Midsize Sedan

  1. 2013-2017 Honda Accord
  2. 2013-2018 Ford Fusion
  3. 2012-2017 Toyota Camry

Full-Size Sedan

  1. 2011-2018 Dodge Charger
  2. 2011-2018 Chrysler 300
  3. 2014-2018 Chevrolet Impala

Station Wagon

  1. 2015-2018 Subaru Outback
  2. 2015-2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
  3. 2015-2018 MINI Cooper Clubman

Small Crossover/SUV

  1. 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler
  2. 2012-2016 Honda CR-V
  3. 2013-2016 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Midsize Crossover/SUV

  1. 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
  2. 2011-2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  3. 2013-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Full-Size Crossover/SUV

  1. 2011-2018 Ford Explorer
  2. 2013-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe
  3. 2009-2017 Chevrolet Traverse


  1. 2011-2017 Honda Odyssey
  2. 2011-2018 Toyota Sienna
  3. 2014-2018 Kia Sedona

Midsize Pickup Truck

  1. 2005-2015 Toyota Tacoma
  2. 2015-2018 Chevrolet Colorado
  3. 2015-2018 GMC Canyon

Full-Size Pickup Truck

  1. 2015-2018 Ford F-150
  2. 2011-2018 Ram 1500
  3. 2014-2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Luxury Compact Sedan

  1. 2013-2017 Lexus IS
  2. 2010-2018 Volvo S60
  3. 2013-2018 Audi A3

Luxury Midsize Sedan

  1. 2013-2018 Lexus ES
  2. 2013-2018 Lincoln MKZ
  3. 2015-2018 Acura TLX

Luxury Small Crossover/SUV

  1. 2015-2018 Lexus NX
  2. 2013-2018 Acura RDX
  3. 2015-2018 BMW X1

Luxury Midsize Crossover/SUV

  1. 2014-2018 Volvo XC90
  2. 2015-2018 Lincoln MKC
  3. 2014-2018 INFINITI QX60

Sports Car

  1. 2008-2018 Dodge Challenger
  2. 2014-2018 Chevrolet Corvette
  3. 2015-2018 Ford Mustang

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 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.

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