Edmunds.com, my favorite online resource for automotive information, has announced the Used Car Best Bets for 2010. The annual Used Car Best Bets are chosen based on reliability, safety, value, and availability. This year all cars and trucks from the 2003 to 2008 model years are eligible.
According to the press release announcing the awards, "In general, we recommend used car shoppers choose a vehicle between two and three years old, if financially possible, and no older than seven years." stated Edmunds.com editor John DiPietro. "A focused search should yield a good car with minimal wear and tear."
Well, yeah, we'd all like to be able to afford a two- to three-year old used car but fortunately Edmunds has some great seven-year-old used cars on this list. Let's run down the list with some of my thoughts on each car.
Compact Sedan 2003-2008 Hyundai Elantra - Good call on this car. It's not flashy and a two- to three-year old model is probably affordable.
Midsize Sedan 2003-2008 Toyota Camry - Can't argue with the best-selling midsize sedan but I'd recommend a Hyundai or Ford Fusion.
Large Sedan 2006-2008 Hyundai Azera - This is a true sleeper of a used car. It's nice to see it (pictured above) getting some respect.
Coupe 2003-2008 BMW 3 Series - Frankly, I'm not a fan of the 3 series coupe. I'd steer people towards the Nissan Altima coupe because it's more affordable and less expensive to maintain.
Convertible 2003-2008 Mazda Miata - Give me a Ford Mustang any day - more room, better performance, and better looking.
Wagon 2003-2008 Pontiac Vibe - It's a little noisy but otherwise than that this is a great choice, even with the demise of Pontiac, because it was basically built as a Toyota.
Compact SUV/Crossover 2003-2008 Honda CR-V - Can't really quibble with this choice.
Midsize SUV/Crossover 2004-2008 Mitsubishi Endeavor - People much smarter than I love the Endeavor. I respect their opinions. It's a sleeper and should be available at a good price.
Large SUV/Crossover 2003-2008 Chevrolet Tahoe - Again, no quibbles here.
Minivan/Van 2003-2008 Honda Odyssey - A practically perfect vehicle that you hear few complaints about.
Compact Truck 2003-2008 Toyota Tacoma - Trucks aren't my area of expertise. Check out our truck site for more info.
Large Truck 2003-2008 Ford F-150 - Again, trucks aren't my area of expertise. Check out our truck site for more info.
Luxury 2003-2008 Infiniti G35 - I highly recommend this model, especially in all-wheel drive.
Hybrid 2004-2008 Toyota Prius - It's the king of the hill in the hybrid world. Granted, it's a small hill, but it's still the best of the pack.