Looking for a good used car buy? If you have ever driven a new car off the lot, you can almost feel the price of the car sink right along with your heart as it dips into your stomach. Avoid this feeling by buying smart and buying used. If you need a little help sorting out the good and the bad used cars, here is a quick list of 5 really good used car buys!
Honda Accord: $4,000 – $11,000
As far as midsize cars are concerned, you can’t really go wrong with the trusty Honda Accord. If your primary concerns are cost, safety, and dependability; the Accord has them all in spades. Though all Accords models you encounter are very good options (besides maybe the 2005 Accord Hybrid), most used Accords on the market will probably be from the 7th generation of the car, which was produced between 2003 and 2007. It was for many years a favorite of the JP & Associates Long-term Dependability Study, while also having side airbags and side curtain airbags.
You can decide between a coupe or sedan with the 160-horsepower 2.4liter inline-4 or the 240-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 engine. Though the sticker price for a new 2007 Honda Accord was higher than a similar Toyota Corolla, it can now often be found for less than the Corolla on the used car market.
The used Honda Accord is an ideal complete package featuring a roomy and comfortable ride making it a great used car buy!
Hyundai Elantra: $2,600 – $9,000
The Hyundai Elantra has hit its share of bumps during its tenure as the Korean automaker Hyundai’s compact model. It started with a “dubious,” debut—impressing neither critics nor drivers. However, since then it has made the necessary improvements to become one of the best used cars on the market and one of our recommended good car buys! Because of this rocky introduction, we recommend you stick with a 2001 model or later.
Things you will notice about the Elantra are that it is incredible roomy, has a very fuel-efficient engine (around 27mpg on the 4th generation 2007 model, with an okay amount of giddy-up for its size), and a nicely designed interior. However, you may not notice any of these features because you are too busy marveling at its low, low price! Coming standard along with this basement bargain is full power, a/c, side airbags, and AM/FM cassette radio just in case your girlfriend or boyfriend made you a mixed tape.
The Hyundai Elantra is a sleek, sexy used car, albeit with some skeletons in the closet, but it’s a good used car buy for a great price.
Toyota Corolla: $4,000 – $10,000
The best-selling nameplate in the history of automotive nameplates, the Toyota Corolla sells more than 200,000 vehicles in America every year. Introduced first in 1968, the Corolla, beginning in 2009, is now in its 10th generation. If you are shopping for a good used car buy, chances are you will be finding a generation 9 (’03-’08) or generation 8 (1998-’02) Corolla.
Toyota has for a long time now been the king of making long-lasting, durable vehicles, and the Corolla is no exception. On top of that, the Corolla is one of the safest used cars available, coming standard with side airbags, while still boasting a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder 126-horsepower fuel-economy engine. If safety is a priority, the Corolla cannot be overlooked.
Though competing automakers have gained ground on the once-king Corolla, Toyota’s compact wonder hasn’t lost a step and is one of the best used car buys available.
Infiniti G35 (luxury): $10,000 – $20,000
If you have some extra money to spend and would rather dip your feet into the luxury pool instead of buying a fast-depreciating new car, the Infiniti G35 could not be a better used car buy. Offered in both a coupe or sedan and featuring a powerful 298-horsepower V6 engine, the G35 has generally come in at $5,000 less than the comparable BMW 3-series over the last half-decade.
Originally introduced in 2003, the Infiniti G35 was always a good new or used car buy. Sitting on the Nissan 350Z sports car platform, the Infiniti G35 is a roomy luxury car at an affordable price—and since the Infiniti G35 is now being eclipsed by the new and really amazing G37 (basically the same, just en even bigger engine), you can pick up the rear-wheel G35 for even less! While the coupe provided a sportier feel, the sedan became a staple of bargain luxury vehicles and set the standard for room and comfort.
If you like safety and durability, and can afford performance, power, and don’t mind people staring, the G35 is the best used luxury car buy out there.
Acura Integra (sporty 1990-2001): $1,500 – $9,000
If you are in the market for a good used sports car buy, something small and sleek, that will hug the road and make you feel 2 Fast 2 Furious without making you feel 2 Broke 2 Poor, the Acura Integra is an amazing alternative to the more expensive German imports.
A Honda-developed brand, unleashed in 1986, Acura’s Integra boasts a sporty 2-door hatchback and 4-door sedan. But the Integra really hit its stride in the early 1990s when, capitalizing on Formula 1 technology, it incorporated the “VTEC variable valve timing system” which buffed the already impressively powerful 4-cylinder engine, while keeping the same fuel efficiency as previous generations.
We recommend the Integra’s third and final generation (it was not longer produced after 2001) for a fun-to-drive, 170-horsepower, used sports car that is not just affordable, but downright cheap!