Best Used Alternatives to Popular New Cars

2008 Dodge Charger

2008 Dodge Charger: a perfect family car?

What if the perfect new car for you isn’t new at all?

As one of your resident CarGurus, people occasionally ask my advice on what new car they should consider. My answer always begins the same: How will you use it?

Whether the intended use is family hauling, boat towing, weekend getaways or street racing, I always have an opinion and a recommendation. From there the discussion filters down through price, reliability, resale and performance of the vehicle in question.

While I’ll never hesitate to recommend a new car, there are usually some perfectly acceptable (and often forgotten) used options available that could save a buyer boatloads of money without much sacrifice.

Since family sedans are always near the top of the best-sellers list, here are five examples of used models that are proving their worth as alternatives to the perennial top sellers, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

Used Dodge Charger

2007 Dodge Charger

2007 Dodge Charger

Muscle-car looks and road-eating performance make the Charger the polar opposite of the Camry and Accord. It also offers good reliability and safety, especially when equipped with optional AWD.

Used Suzuki Kizashi

2010 Suzuki Kizashi

2010 Suzuki Kizashi

Even a new Kizashi offers savings when compared to its more popular competition. Value-minded used buyers will find the Kizashi’s sporty handling, sexy styling and overall quality quite compelling. Considering it won first place in the 2010 vehicle satisfaction awards, this one’s hard to ignore.

Used Hyundai Sonata

2008 Hyundai Sonata

2008 Hyundai Sonata

Buyers looking for value, safety, reliability and quality need to consider a Sonata that’s about two or three years old. Bringing home a used Hyundai won’t excite the neighbors like other choices, but your bank account will thank you many times throughout your years of trouble-free ownership.

Used Chevrolet Malibu

2008 Chevrolet Malibu

2008 Chevrolet Malibu

The Malibu became a serious contender in 2008 after a major redesign. Sexier styling, a much-improved interior and a refined ride make for a viable alternative for those looking to save money and buy American.

Used Nissan Altima

2008 Nissan Altima

2008 Nissan Altima

The Altima offers affordable luxury and youthful styling to buyers looking for some serious bang for the buck. From 2007 on, even base versions came standard with many power and convenience features, including push-button ignition. A sunroof, leather seats and ABS are added with the V6 versions. This Nissan should be on any sedan shopper’s list!

Would you consider these used options instead of a new Camry or Accord?


Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Toyota Camry
Used Honda Accord

1 Comment

  1. I definitely agree that all of your recommendations are great used car values. Most of them would also be good choices brand new, with the exception of the Dodge Charger. The first year depreciation on most Chrysler vehicles is sickening and the Charger is no exception.

    I’m a big fan of the Suzuki Kizashi! It’s one of the most under-rated, unknown new cars currently available. The feature content of each trim level is very impressive compared to similar vehicles. BUT the chances of finding a “used” 2010 Kizashi is very unlikely, at best. The handful that you will find consists almost exclusively of off-rental, entry-level models…

    Two other cars that deserve a spot on the list are the Hyundai Azera and the 2010 Kia Optima. Both suffer horrible depreciation right off the lot when new, but they’re very good cars and sell for less than comparable slightly used models!

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