New Report: The Best Used Cars to Buy in 2020

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used cars including sedans and SUVs on sale at dealership lot
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CarGurus is out with its fourth annual Best Used Car Awards to help you pick a winner in a crowded marketplace. And this year, for the first time ever, the automotive research and shopping website has named an Editor’s Choice winner.

See Who Tops the 2020 CarGurus Best Used Car Awards Tally

CarGurus took a deep dive into the following data to determine its rankings:

  • CarGurus user reviews
  • Professional test drive reviews
  • Expert reviews
  • Projected 12-year value retention
  • Driver satisfaction
  • Model popularity and availability

After weighing all that data, the editorial team at CarGurus named the 2016-2020 Kia Sorento as the recipient of its first-ever Editor’s Choice award.

Meanwhile, here’s a look at win, place and show for each of 10 body style categories in the 2020 CarGurus Best Used Car Awards:

Midsize Crossover

  1. 2016-2020 Kia Sorento
  2. 2013-2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
  3. 2014-2018 Toyota Highlander

Luxury Crossover

  1. 2016-2020 Volvo XC90
  2. 2016-2020 Lexus RX 350
  3. 2015-2020 Lexus NX Hybrid

Small Crossover

  1. 2012-2016 Honda CR-V
  2. 2014-2020 Jeep Cherokee
  3. 2016-2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Sports Car

  1. 2014-2019 Chevrolet Corvette
  2. 2015-2020 Ford Mustang
  3. 2016-2020 BMW M2

Full Size Pickup Truck

  1. 2015-2020 Ford F-150
  2. 2014-2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  3. 2014-2018 GMC Sierra 1500

Midsize Pickup Truck

  1. 2016-2020 Toyota Tacoma
  2. 2015-2021 Chevrolet Colorado
  3. 2015-2021 GMC Canyon

Minivan

  1. 2011-2017 Honda Odyssey
  2. 2011-2020 Toyota Sienna
  3. 2014-2020 Kia Sedona

Luxury Sedan/Hatchback

  1. 2011-2018 Volvo S60
  2. 2013-2020 Lexus IS 350
  3. 2015-2016 Hyundai Genesis

Sedan/Hatchback

  1. 2011-2020 Dodge Charger
  2. 2016-2020 Honda Civic
  3. 2013-2017 Honda Accord

SUV

  1. 2011-2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  2. 2011-2020 Toyota 4Runner
  3. 2011-2020 Dodge Durango

Keep This in Mind When Buying a Used Car

Any time you’re considering buying a used car, money expert Clark Howard says there’s some homework you need to do:

  1. Research good used models
  2. Check the VIN number
  3. Get a mechanic’s inspection

First, Clark says you should always check reliability ratings. While the research CarGurus has done is good, you’ll want to go a step further and check the annual Consumer Reports auto reliability survey, published every April.

The magazine features detailed reliability ratings for past model years on more than 30 brands. Visit ConsumerReports.org to get digital access to the used car ratings starting at $10 a month. Or check your local library to see if it has a copy available for free.

Second, check the vehicle’s history report to find out if it’s a flood car or has been in a horrible accident. We’ve got good free options for that here.

Finally, 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.”

That’s why you want an ASE-certified (Automotive Service Excellence) mechanic to really kick the tires. Garages that participate in the Blue Seal program typically feature the most highly trained ASE-certified mechanics. Visit ASE.com to find one near you.

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