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The Best Used Cars to Buy Right Now

July 21, 2011

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:

Vehicle ClassWinner
Compact Sedan2004-2009 Hyundai Elantra
Midsize Sedan2004-2009 Nissan Altima
Large Sedan2006-2009 Hyundai Azera
Coupe2004-2009 BMW 3 Series
Convertible2004-2009 Mazda Miata
Wagon2004-2009 Pontiac Vibe
Compact SUV/Crossover2004-2009 Honda CR-V
Midsize SUV/Crossover2004-2009 Ford Explorer
Large SUV/Crossover2004-2009 Chevrolet Tahoe
Minivan/Van2004-2009 Honda Odyssey
Compact Truck2004-2009 Toyota Tacoma
Large Truck2004-2009 Ford F-150
Luxury2004-2009 Infiniti G35/G37
Hybrid2004-2009 Toyota Prius
Sport Compact2004-2009 Subaru Impreza WRX


My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar, Edmunds, 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.
- Gregg Fidan

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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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