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Best Used Car Purchases for 2018:

Helping You Get Into the Best Vehicle!
       Used cars are the way to go for most Canadian buyers.
       Canadian citizens buy over 1.4 million a year, in fact, considerably more than twice the number of new cars sold each year. Picking out a good used vehicle usually isn’t easy if you want to buy one that’s reliable, affordable and equipped with up-to-date electronic and safety features. There are hundreds of models from which to choose each year. Go back 10 years and we’re talking about, well, a lot. To help make your life (and shopping) a little easier, we consulted Consumer Reports and World Report lists of the best-used cars to buy in 2018.

 

Consumer Reports      

 Consumer Reports (CR) has named 36 vehicles in 23 price/segment groupings – from less than $10,000 up to $30,000 – as its best-used cars to buy in 2018, along with “other good choices” in many categories totaling 46 models. But you had better like Toyotas, because that manufacturer dominates CR’s top selections, with 20 between the Toyota nameplate and its Lexus luxury brand among the 36 best, although Honda/Acura, Pontiac, Scion, Infiniti, BMW, and Subaru brands also are represented on the list. (https://www.consumerreports.org/used-cars/best-used-cars-by-price/)  

World Report 

World Report takes a different approach with its recommendations, getting down to the nitty gritty with rankings in 89 prices/segment groupings from under $10,000 to vehicles costing $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 and up. These include 48 car groupings, 35 for SUVs, four for trucks and two for minivans. The rankings, which are based on a 10-point grading scale, also include a strong representation of Toyota and Lexus brands but spread the wealth a bit more.

Here is an example of how the two reports differ, focusing on SUVs costing less than $15,000: Consumer Reports: Honda CR-V 2008-11 small SUVs, with Toyota RAV4 2008-10 listed as a good choice. Acura RDX 2009-10 midsized SUVs, with the Lexus RX 2008 also considered another good choice. World Report: Five vehicles, Buick Encore 2013, Encore 2014, MINI Cooper Countryman 2013, FIAT 500X 2016 and Chevrolet Trax 2014 subcompact SUVs, scored above eight of a possible 10 points. And four vehicles, Honda CR-V 2010, GMC Terrain 2012, Honda CR-V 2011 and Toyota RAV-4 2010 compact SUVs, scored nine or better on the 10-point scale.

If your budget maximum for a used-vehicle purchase was $15,000, the strongest contenders appear to be the Honda CR-V 2010 and 2011 models and the Toyota RAV-4 2010 model, all of which are represented on both the Consumer Reports and the U.S. News lists. However, there also are more options you could consider on the U.S. News list of best SUVs to buy. Here are the complete Consumer Reports listing based on price range and segments, along with several of our more stand-out choices: Under $10,000 Compact:

  • *Chevrolet Cruze Hatch LT 2010-1

The Cruze Hatchback and its similar counterpart, the Toyota Matrix, are reliable and spacious compact hatchbacks. Both have fairly nimble handling, with rides that are borderline jittery. AWD was available as an option, and ESC was standard starting in the 2010 model year.

  • Toyota Matrix 2008-10

  Sedans:

  • *Mazda6 2009-10 Mazda’s mid-sized sedan is a sporty four-door, with nimble handling, good steering feel, and a supple ride. Reliability is excellent, and the four-cylinder engine is fuel-efficient. ESC was standard starting in 2009.

  $10,000-$15,000 Subcompact:

  • Honda Fit 2013

Compact:

  • Toyota Corolla 2012-2015,

Sedans:

  • Acura TSX 2008-11
  • Toyota Camry 2010-13
  • *Hyundai Elantra 2014-17

The Elantra delivers the roominess and fuel economy to compete in this crowded class. User-friendliness is an Elantra strong point, aided by a relatively spacious interior. Open and airy feeling inside, the cabin features a broad cockpit and one of the most spacious rear seats in the class. Controls are super simple, combining familiar buttons and knobs with a touch screen for the infotainment system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available in select models. Small SUVs:

  • Honda CR-V 2008-11

Midsized SUVs:

  • Acura RDX 2009-10

$15,000-$20,000 Compact:

  • Toyota Prius 2014-15

Sedans:

  • Honda Accord 2013-15,
  • *Chevrolet Cruze 2013-2017

       A used 2016 Chevy Cruze is an excellent choice for compact car shoppers. It has a smooth ride, a powerful engine, and some of the highest fuel economies estimates in the segment. Additionally, the Cruze has an upscale interior with roomy, supportive front seats. However, it has an average reliability rating, and tall passengers won’t be happy with its poor back-seat headroom. Sporty:

  • Scion FR-S 2014-15
  • Subaru BRZ 2014

Wagons:

  • Toyota Venza 2010-12

SUVs:

  • Toyota RAV4 2011-13
  • Toyota 4Runner 2008-09

Pickups:

  • Honda Ridgeline 2008-10

$20,000-$25,000 Sedans:  

  • *Honda Civic 2015-18

         The Honda Civic is back—recapturing its position as a mature, substantial economy car with enough elegant touches that make you feel like you spent more money than you did. Inside, the Civic’s interior has been thoroughly updated. The 2012 version looked furnished by discards from Honda’s House of Plastic. The 2016 model features higher-grade materials, and the cabin is quieter and has clever cubbies and nooks. It’s easy to stash an iPad under the armrest.

  • *Ford Fusion 2016-2018

       The 2018 Ford Fusion’s comfortable ride makes it a good commuter vehicle. For a midsize car, it has a weaker base engine, but there are plenty of turbocharged engine options that up to the power. The Fusion has a roomy, comfortable interior and one of the most spacious trunks in the class. Although its standard features list is lacking, the Fusion offers a user-friendly touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Sporty:

  • Scion FR-S 2016
  • Subaru BRZ 2015-16

Wagons:

  • Toyota Venza 2013-14

SUVs:

  • Mazda CX-5 2016
  • Toyota Highlander 2011-12

Pickups:

  • Toyota Tundra 2010-11

  $25,000-$30,000 Sedans:

  • Lexus CT 200h 2016
  • Lexus GS 2013-14

Sporty:

  • BMW 2 Series 2015-16

Wagons:

  • Toyota Prius V 2017
  • Toyota Venza 2015

SUVs:

  • Lexus RX 2013-14
  • Toyota Sequoia 2011

Pickups:

  • Honda Ridgeline 2013-14
  • Toyota Tundra 2012-13 Armed with some of the best information available on used cars, you’re ready to shop at local dealerships for the vehicles you want to test drive and the one you ultimately may purchase. Finding the right used vehicle still may be a challenge, but now it’s one you are prepared to meet. Or, for more help, see our blog “Must-know tips before purchasing a used vehicle” And if you’re planning to shop for one of the best cars to buy used and need financing, learn more about in-house vehicle financing with us!
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