Jun 252012

Can’t afford a new car?  Check out the best used car buys, for model years 2005-2010, according to the experts at Edmunds.com. Recommendations are based on a combination of federal crash testing ratings, cost of ownership and reliability.

Best used car buy: 2009 Pontiac Vibe

  • Compact Sedan: Hyundai Elantra
  • Midsize Sedan:  Nissan Altima
  • Large Sedan:  Hyundai Azera
  • Coupe:  BMW 3 Series
  • Convertible:  Mazda Miata
  • Wagon: Pontiac Vibe
  • Compact SUV/Crossover:  Honda CR-V
  • Midsize SUV/Crossover:  Ford Explorer
  • Large SUV/Crossover:  Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Minivan/Van: Honda Odyssey
  • Compact Truck:  Toyota Tacoma
  • Large Truck:  Ford F-150
  • Luxury: Infiniti G35/G37
  • Hybrid:  Toyota Prius
  • Sport Compact:  Subaru Impreza WRX

Best used car buy: 2010 BMW 3 Series


Be sure to get a vehicle history report, which includes repairs, whether the vehicle was part of a rental or corporate fleet, and more,  from a service like CarFax. Many dealers provide this; if not, ask.  If you are buying privately, directly from an owner, have an independent mechanic check it out before you sign on the dotted line.

I also recommend certified pre-owned vehicles of any model year.  These normally come with a new car warranty.  They cost more than ‘regular’ used cars, but that’s because of the extra TLC.

Find more auto articles by ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter on Living on the Cheap, where I am automotive editor.

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