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Best Used Cars Under $20,000

August 2, 2012

If you're thinking about buying a car and have less than $20,000 to spend, you'll get way more for your money if you buy a reliable used vehicle rather than a small, less-equipped new vehicle.

Consumer Reports recently put together a list of the best used cars to buy for under $20,000. They all scored well in tests, have proven reliability, and perform well in crash tests.

Here's the list. It shows the average price dealers are charging along with the original MSRP and the average discount from original MSRP. Keep in mind you should be able to negotiate better deals than the "average".

VehicleAverage PriceMSRP (new)Discount from MSRP
2007 Suzuki SX4$10,025 $16,099 38%
2007 Mitsubishi Outlander RWD$10,875 $21,370 49%
2007 Kia Sportage$11,150 $18,895 41%
2007 Ford Fusion FWD$12,300 $21,085 42%
2007 Mazda6 i sedan$12,375 $22,520 45%
2007 Mazda6 s wagon$12,575 $26,180 52%
2007 Ford Fusion AWD$12,725 $22,935 45%
2007 Mitsubishi Outlander 4WD$13,150 $23,770 45%
2007 Mercury Milan$13,200 $25,225 48%
2007 Honda Accord$13,475 $25,300 47%
2007 Mazda MX-5 Miata$13,900 $23,390 41%
2007 Toyota Avalon$14,275 $26,875 47%
2007 Kia Sportage$14,475 $22,895 37%
2007 Honda Pilot$14,500 $27,095 46%
2007 Toyota Camry Solara$14,625 $26,905 46%
2007 Toyota Tundra$15,725 $27,440 43%
2007 Honda Accord Hybrid$16,225 $31,090 48%
2007 Lincoln MKZ$16,275 $31,175 48%
2007 Toyota Camry$16,625 $28,020 41%
2007 Toyota Highlander$17,075 $28,965 41%
2007 Acura TSX$17,075 $30,090 43%
2007 Acura TL$19,525 $36,125 46%

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.

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

Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
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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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