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Consumer Reports Best Used Cars and SUVs for Every Budget

Consumer Reports Best Used Cars and SUVs for Every Budget

Used cars recommended for friends and family

A recent Consumer Reports analysis of older used cars dating back to 20 years ago was recently released by CR analysts who say their current choices “…the one we would recommend to our friends and relatives.”

Those models were chosen with a focus on their performance when new and their reliability as they age based on data from their annual car surveys of CR members. The advantage of mining data from previous annual surveys is that it provides used car buyers with information about which models have proven reliable and could be a good buy if their maintenance and care were properly managed.

Related article: Mechanic talks candidly about the best used car not to buy

Be warned, though, as older vehicles require some personal concessions when it comes to road noise and comfort. Especially for rides longer than a few hours, let alone a road trip that can get harder than fun in these old cars.

That said, here’s a rundown of CR’s list, ranked from most expensive to least expensive within their price range values ​​of the best used cars, ranging from just over $20,000 to just under $5,000 you can buy right now. In addition, the summary includes the added benefit of discovering how reliable these choices have generally proven in three areas critical to used car shopping: overall performance, engine reliability and fuel economy.

Keep in mind that there is a 10-year difference between the more recent used cars and the oldest used models worth considering.

Related Article: The Best and Worst Used Toyotas to Buy Recently Reviewed

Visit the CR website for a more detailed breakdown of each vehicle. Keep in mind that while access to some information requires a CR membership, the potential savings make it negligible by comparison when you’re looking for the latest information to facilitate your car purchase research.

Used car selection finds from just over $20,000 to just under $5,000

1. 2012 Lexus IS
Price Range: $13.250 – $29.525
Owner-reported MPG: 22 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel economy rating: 3/5

2. 2014 Toyota Highlander
Price Range: $17,175 – $22,400
Owner-reported MPG: 21 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 4/5
Fuel economy rating: 2/5

3. 2016 Nissan Murano
Price Range: $17.125 – $22.300
Owner-reported MPG: 22 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel economy rating: 3/5

4. 2018 Nissan Leaf
Price Range: $19,600 – $21,975
Owner Reported MPG: N/A
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel economy rating: 5/5

5. 2016 Toyota Prius
Price Range: $20,200
Owner-reported MPG: 52 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel economy rating: 5/5

6. 2015 Honda CR-V
Price Range: $16,250 – $20,150
Owner-reported MPG: 27 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 4/5
Fuel economy rating: 3/5

7. 2016 Toyota Camry
Price Range: $16,725 – $19,675
Owner-reported MPG: 28 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel consumption rating: 4/5

8. 2013 Audi A5
Price Range: $12,000 – $19,125
Owner-reported MPG: 24 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 4/5 overall reliability with major engine repair reliability of 4/5
Fuel economy rating: 3/5

9.Toyota Corolla 2017
Price Range: $16,600 – $18,375
Owner-reported MPG: 31 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel economy rating: 5/5

10. 2014 Toyota Siena
Price Range: $14,200 – $18,050
Owner-reported MPG: 20 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 4/5
Fuel economy rating: 3/5

11. 2017 Ford C-MAX
Price Range: $15,675 – $18,000
Owner-reported MPG: 42 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel economy rating: 5/5

12. 2014 Toyota Venza
Price Range: $14,150 – $17,875
Owner-reported MPG: 22 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 4/5
Fuel economy rating: 2/5

13. 2016 Mazda 6
Price Range: $14.350 – $17,475
Owner-reported MPG: 29 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 4/5
Fuel economy rating: 5/5


14. 2012 Lexus RX

Price Range: $15,150 – $17,425
Owner-reported MPG: 20 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel economy rating: 3/5

15. 2016 Mazda CX-5
Price Range: $14.375 – $17.250
Owner-reported MPG: 26 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 4/5 overall reliability with major engine repair reliability of 5/5
Fuel economy rating: 2/5

16. 2015 Toyota Prius V
Price Range: $17,150
Owner-reported MPG: 41 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 4/5
Fuel economy rating: 5/5

17. 2015 Subaru Legacy
Price Range: $13,625 – $17,075
Owner-reported MPG: 27 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 4/5 overall reliability with major engine repair reliability of 4/5
Fuel consumption rating: 4/5

18. 2016 Mazda 3
Price Range: $13,800 – $17,050
Owner-reported MPG: 31 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel economy rating: 5/5

19. 2014 Buick LaCrosse
Price Range: $12,100 – $16,950
Owner-reported MPG: 23 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 4/5 overall reliability with major engine repair reliability of 5/5
Fuel consumption rating: 4/5

20. 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Price Range: $12,925 – $16,850
Owner-reported MPG: 27 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 4/5 overall reliability with major engine repair reliability of 5/5
Fuel consumption rating: 4/5

21. 2014 Honda Accord
Price Range: $13.700 – $16.750
Owner-reported MPG: 29 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 4/5 overall reliability with major engine repair reliability of 4/5
Fuel consumption rating: 4/5

22. 2013 Toyota RAV4
Price Range: $13,925 – $16,375
Owner-reported MPG: 24 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel economy rating: 3/5

23. 2013 Lexus ES
Price Range: $15,900 – $15,950
Owner-reported MPG: 24 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel consumption rating: 4/5

24. 2013 Toyota Avalon
Price Range: $13,850 – $15,850
Owner-reported MPG: 25 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel economy rating: 3/5

25. 2014 Infiniti Q50
Price Range: $13,600 – $15,475
Owner-reported MPG: 22 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel economy rating: 3/5

26. 2004 Toyota RAV4
Price Range: $4,575 – $5,275
Owner-reported MPG: 24 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel economy rating: 3/5

27. 2005 Honda Pilot
Price Range: $4,550 – $5,225
Owner-reported MPG: 18 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 4/5 overall reliability with major engine repair reliability of 4/5
Fuel consumption rating: 1/5

28. 2004 Toyota Camry
Price Range: $4,575 – $5,075
Owner-reported MPG: 25 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 4/5 overall reliability with major engine repair reliability of 4/5
Fuel economy rating: 3/5

29. 2005 Toyota Matrix
Price Range: $4,225 – $4,900
Owner-reported MPG: 27 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 3/5
Fuel consumption rating: 4/5

30. 2004 Toyota Avalon
Price Range: $4,550 – $4,800
Owner-reported MPG: 24 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 4/5 overall reliability with major engine repair reliability of 4/5
Fuel economy rating: 3/5

31. 2005 Toyota Corolla
Price Range: $4,375 – $4,800
Owner-reported MPG: 30 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel consumption rating: 4/5

32. 2005 Toyota Prius
Price Range: $4,775
Owner-reported MPG: 43 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 4/5 overall reliability with major engine repair reliability of 4/5
Fuel economy rating: 5/5

33. 2004 Honda Accord
Price Range: $3,550 – $4,650
Owner-reported MPG: 25 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 4/5 overall reliability with major engine repair reliability of 3/5
Fuel economy rating: 3/5

34. 2003 Lexus ES
Price Range: $4,650
Owner-reported MPG: 23 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 5/5 Overall Reliability with Major Engine Repair Reliability of 5/5
Fuel economy rating: 3/5

35. 2005 Pontiac Vibe
Price Range: $4,100 – $4,550
Owner-reported MPG: 28 mpg
Reliability Ratings: 4/5 overall reliability with major engine repair reliability of 5/5
Fuel consumption rating: 4/5

And finally…

Deciding whether a used car is worth your hard-earned money is not a decision to be taken lightly. For more used car articles, see the following related articles on “How to Recognize a Used Car Being Overturned After a Hurricane” and “If the Smell of Gas in Your Car Is an Immediate Problem.”

For more information on current automotive news involving many makes and models, bookmark our site and keep up to date with the latest information on new and used cars.

Timothy Boyer is a car reporter for Torque News, based in Cincinnati. He has experience with early car restorations and regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for better performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily Tesla and electric vehicle news.

Image source: Pixabay