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What are the Best Rated Used Cars?

The reputation of the used car industry has come a long way. In the past, the perception was that buying a used car meant dealing with unscrupulous persons only too willing to take advantage of you. With the advent of companies like Carfax and the increasing reliability of cars, this is hardly the case these days. Still, not all used cars are created equal. Some cars have developed a reputation for reliability regardless of age, which makes them good choices for used car buyers. No list of top rated used cars can ever be considered complete. As car companies come out with sturdier, more fuel efficient models, rankings are likely to change.

Best Rated Used Cars

Ranking used cars can be difficult as it is rare that one car has all the attributes that make it a good buy. Some cars are more fuel efficient than others while some are known for their reliability and good resale value. Assessing used cars is best done based on certain criteria. The ultimate decision rests on what is important to the used car buyer.

Fuel Efficiency

The best used cars based on fuel efficiency for under $10,000 include:

– Toyota Prius (2001 – 2003)
– Toyota Echo (2000 2005)
– Acura Integra LS (1999 – 2001)
– Scion xA (2004 – 2005)
– Hyundai Accent GS (2007)
– Honda Insight (2000)

Those in the same category for under $20,000 include:

– Honda Fit (2007 – 2008)
– Scion xD (2008)
– Honda Civic Hybrid (2004 – 2005)
– Toyota Prius (2004 – 2007)
– Nissan Altima Hybrid (2007 – 2008)


Some cars have become popular with the public for their overall reliability and good performance. Some of the top rated ones according to Consumer Reports are:

– Toyota Corolla
– Toyota Echo
– Toyota Matrix
– Scion xB
– Pontiac Vibe
– Honda Civic
– Mazda3
– Subaru Impreza
– Mercury Milan
– Toyota Prius
– Ford Fusion
– Nissan Altima
– Toyota Avalon
– Acura TSX
– Volvo S60

Highly ranked SUVs and trucks include:

– Honda CRV
– Toyota RAV4
– Toyota Highlander
– Infiniti FX35
– Lexus GX
– Hyundai Santa Fe
– Toyota Tundra
– Honda Ridgeline

Naturally the choice of a used car is heavily dependent on one’s budget. These lists are not set in stone as other variables come into play. These ratings are related to how the vehicles were used by their respective owners and the prevailing road conditions in each state. Even a car that sits at the top of the ranking can perform poorly as a used car if it is not properly maintained and handled recklessly.

Given the unpredictability of gas prices, many buyers are likely to opt for fuel efficient models. Reliability and safety should not be overlooked, however, some used car dealers offer their own rankings of used cars based on their years of experience in the industry. Keep in mind that lists by independent bodies like Consumer Reports are updated every year. Searching for good value is important, but finding the best rated used cars requires research and patience.

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