The Best Used Cars to Buy Right Now
It's that time of year again, when Edmunds.com trots out its annual Used Car Best Bet Awards.
Criteria for voting: reliability, safety and availability.
Only used cars originally sold from 2004 to 2009 are eligible for these awards. Older vehicles usually have logged too many miles, and newer ones haven't yet felt the large depreciation that makes a low mileage 2- or 3-year-old car the best value.
Editors looked first at consumer ratings, as well as personal experience and judgment.
Second, they considered how these vehicles performed in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests.
Third, they looked at availability; the bigger the model year spread the better.
The following vehicles won for 2011:
|Compact Sedan||2004-2009 Hyundai Elantra|
|Midsize Sedan||2004-2009 Nissan Altima|
|Large Sedan||2006-2009 Hyundai Azera|
|Coupe||2004-2009 BMW 3 Series|
|Convertible||2004-2009 Mazda Miata|
|Wagon||2004-2009 Pontiac Vibe|
|Compact SUV/Crossover||2004-2009 Honda CR-V|
|Midsize SUV/Crossover||2004-2009 Ford Explorer|
|Large SUV/Crossover||2004-2009 Chevrolet Tahoe|
|Minivan/Van||2004-2009 Honda Odyssey|
|Compact Truck||2004-2009 Toyota Tacoma|
|Large Truck||2004-2009 Ford F-150|
|Luxury||2004-2009 Infiniti G35/G37|
|Hybrid||2004-2009 Toyota Prius|
|Sport Compact||2004-2009 Subaru Impreza WRX|
My Recommendation for Car ShoppersTrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
California Residents - Important:There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.
- Gregg Fidan
About: Gregg Fidan
Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.
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