Friends and Family Used Car Picks from Consumer Reports
Timothy Boyer's picture

Best Low Cost Used Cars and SUVs That Consumer Reports Analysts Would Recommend for Their Own Family

Based on years of test data and hundreds of thousands of survey responses to find the best used cars that cost between $15,000 to $20,000, here are Consumer Reports analysts' picks that they say they would recommend for their own friends and family members.
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THE GOOD USED CAR ALTERNATIVES

According to Consumer Reports analysts, shipments of new cars are still delayed resulting in inflated prices and hard-to-find models that many car shoppers are looking for, but with little success in finding the exact new vehicle they want---especially those with safety and luxury features that can make some popular new car models outside of their budget---even if they were available.

However, one option right now is the “good used car alternative” option where although used, these vehicles come with those desired extra features at a lower cost. Features that include:

• Electronic stability control
• Forward collision warning (FCW)
• Automatic emergency braking (AEB)
• Blind spot warning (BSW).

To help consumers find that “good used car alternative,” CR analyst recently dug through years of accumulated data and came with this list of vehicles that performed well when new; and, consistently demonstrated better than average reliability over the years in models ranging from 2011 to 2020.

Related articles: Consumer Reports on How to Assess a Used Vehicle’s True Value and Mechanic Talks Candidly About the Best Used Car You Should Not Buy

BEST USED CARS AND SUVS

That said, here is a summary of their recent listing of the Best Used Cars and SUVs for $15,000 to $20,000 with reported mileage specs and price range to expect with each model.

Small Cars

1. Honda Fit, 2017 to 2018
Price Range: $15,900 - $18,925
Owner Reported MPG: 35 mpg

2. Mazda3: 2017 to 2018
Price Range: $16,275 - $19,450
Owner Reported MPG: 30 mpg

3. Toyota Corolla, 2017 to 2018
Price Range: $16,750 - $19,000
Owner Reported MPG: 32 mpg

4. Toyota Prius, 2016 to 2017
Price Range: $17,750
Owner Reported MPG: 52 mpg

5. Toyota Prius C, 2018
Price Range: $17,125 - $19,575
Owner Reported MPG: 50 mpg

6. Toyota Prius Prime, 2017
Price Range: $20,900 - $24,325
Owner Reported Mpg: 82 mpg

7. Toyota Prius V, 2016 to 2017
Price Range: $17,575
Owner Reported MPG: 41 mpg

8. Volkswagen Beetle, 2017 to 2018
Price Range: $17,450 - $24,825
Owner Reported MPG: 27 mpg

Midsized & Large Cars

1. Honda Accord, 2015 to 2016
Price Range: $15,500 - $20,825
Owner Reported MPG: 29 mpg

2. Mazda6, 2017 to 2018
Price Range: $18,725 - $29,175
Owner Reported MPG: 27 mpg

3. Toyota Avalon, 2015 to 2016
Price Range: $17,200 - $21,775
Owner Reported MPG: 25 mpg

4. Toyota Camry, 2016 to 2017
Price Range: $16,500 - $20,775
Owner Reported MPG: 27 mpg

Luxury Cars

1. Acura TLX, 2015 to 2016
Price Range: $18,225 - $22,550
Owner Reported MPG: 26 mpg

2. Infiniti Q50, 2014 to 2015
Price Range: $15,000 - $17,650
Owner Reported MPG: 23 mpg

3. Lexus ES, 2013 to 2015
Price Range: $16,450 - $17,550
Owner Reported MPG: 24 mpg

4. Lexus GS, 2013
Price Range: $19,475 - $21,525
Owner Reported MPG: 22 mpg

5. Lexus LS, 2011 to 2012
Price Range: $17,225 - $19,900
Owner Reported MPG: 21 mpg

Small SUVs

1. Honda CR-V, 2015 to 2016
Price Range: $16,300 - $21,950
Owner Reported MPG: 27 mpg

2. Honda HR-V, 2016 and 2018
Price Range: $15,875 - $19,050
Owner Reported MPG: 29 mpg

3. Hyundai Kona, 2018 to 2019
Price Range: $20,125 - $26,200
Owner Reported MPG: 29 mpg

4. Mazda CX-5, 2016 to 2017
Price Range: $15,875 - $18,825
Owner Reported MPG: 26 mpg

Midsized SUVs

1. Lexus RX, 2013 to 2014
Price Range: $18,575 - $19,825
Owner Reported MPG: 21 mpg

2. Toyota 4Runner, 2011 to 2012
Price Range: $18,350 - $22,375
Owner Reported MPG: 18 mpg

3. Toyota Highlander, 2013 to 2014
Price Range: $18,050 - $24,125
Owner Reported MPG: 21 mpg

And finally…

For additional article about some recommended SUVs, be sure to take a look at these Consumer Reports Recently Rated Best New SUVs and What Popular Midsized SUVs to Avoid and Which to Buy Instead.

Timothy Boyer is Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily automotive-related news.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash


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Comments

Car reliability.