You may be thinking about buying a new car for the new year, but money expert Clark Howard says used cars often offer the best deals.
That’s because used cars are cheaper on the front end since someone has already eaten much of the depreciation. To that end, car review site iSeeCars.com recently released an analysis of the best used cars for 2020.
The lists — which are made up of cars that “have demonstrated long-term reliability, hold their value the best, and have an average safety rating of at least 4.0 stars out of 5.0 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)” — cover a wide range of vehicle types, from SUVs to sedans and luxury cars.
In this article, we’ll reveal the best overall used cars for 2020, as well as breakdowns by two price points: vehicles under $15,000 and those under $20,000.
Some of the key findings from the survey:
- Overall, four out of the best nine cars for 2020 are Toyotas
- Among vehicles five years old and under $15,000, Toyota takes four of the top seven spots
- Among used vehicles under $20,000, Honda has three models that rank among the eight best
Let’s look first at the list of best overall used cars for 2020, according to iSeeCars.com:
Report: Best Used Cars for 2020
|Best Used SUV||Toyota 4Runner||Toyota Highlander|
|Best Used Passenger Car||Honda Civic||Toyota Corolla|
|Best Used Pickup Truck||Toyota Tacoma||Honda Ridgeline|
|Best Used Minivan||Toyota Sienna||Honda Odyssey|
|Best Used Sports Car||Ford Mustang||Dodge Charger|
|Best Used Hybrid Car||Toyota Prius||Toyota Camry Hybrid|
|Best Used EV||Tesla Model S||Chevrolet Volt|
|Best Used Luxury Car||Lexus ES 350||Mercedes-Benz E-Class|
|Best Used Luxury SUV||Acura MDX||Volvo XC90|
Now let’s look at two of the more specific lists — the best used cars under $15,000 and best under $20,000 — to see which of those vehicles offer the greatest value:
Report: Best Five-Year-Old Used Cars Under $15,000 for 2020
|Honda Accord||Passenger Car||$14,242|
|Subaru Legacy||Passenger Car||$13,151|
|Toyota Camry||Passenger Car||$13,033|
|Honda Civic||Passenger Car||$12,518|
|Toyota Corolla||Passenger Car||$11,599|
|Toyota Yaris||Passenger Car||$8,804|
If your budget is a little bigger, more models become available, including luxury cars:
Report: Best Five-Year-Old Used Cars Under $20,000 for 2020
|Ford Mustang||Sports Car||$17,226|
|BMW 3 Series||Luxury Car||$16,766|
|Audi A4||Luxury Car||$16,608|
|Buick LaCrosse||Luxury Car||$15,680|
For the other lists from the survey, see iSeeCars.com here.
Here’s Clark’s Experience Buying a Used Car
Clark says buying a pre-owned vehicle — even if it’s been out only two years — can save you a lot of money. In fact, he did just that.
“We bought [a minivan] two model years back — I guess four years ago, we bought a 2014 when the 2016s were on the lots and got an enormous discount,” he says.
And Clark says this is the key to making a pre-owned vehicle worth your while:
“The only way it works for you as a consumer is that you keep that vehicle for a very long time because vehicles depreciate quicker based on model year than they do based on the mileage on the odometer,” he says.
If you’re thinking about buying a pre-owned vehicle, here is all you need to know about buying a used car in seven steps.