Best Used Cars for 2020

By Julie Blackley

The Safest, Most-Reliable Cars with the Best Value Retention Based on iSeeCars Analysis

There’s a lot to consider when buying a used car. Researching used cars to understand important factors such as reliability and value retention can help consumers find the right car at the right price. To help navigate the used car buying process, we’ve done the legwork for you, analyzing over 20 million cars, and narrowed down the Best Used Cars across all vehicle types.

The winners are cars that have demonstrated long-term reliability, hold their value the best, and have an average safety rating of at least 4.0 stars out of 5.0 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

Here are the iSeeCars Best Used Cars:

iSeeCars Best Used Cars

Safest, most reliable cars with the best value retention

Category Winner Runner-Up
Best Used SUV Toyota 4Runner Toyota Highlander
Best Used Passenger Car Honda Civic Toyota Corolla
Best Used Pickup Truck Toyota Tacoma Honda Ridgeline
Best Used Minivan Toyota Sienna Honda Odyssey
Best Used Sports Car Ford Mustang Dodge Charger
Best Used Hybrid Car Toyota Prius Toyota Camry Hybrid
Best Used EV Tesla Model S Chevrolet Volt
Best Used Luxury Car Lexus ES 350 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Best Used Luxury SUV Acura MDX Volvo XC90

Best Used Cars by Price

Here are the best used cars by price point. iSeeCars looked at five-year-old and three-year-old cars across budgets.

Best Used Cars Under $15,000

Here are the best five-year-old used cars under $15,000.
iSeeCars Best Five-Year-Old Used Cars Under $15,000
Vehicle Vehicle Type Average Used Car Price
Honda Accord Passenger Car $14,242
Toyota Prius Hybrid $13,460
Subaru Legacy Passenger Car $13,151
Toyota Camry Passenger Car $13,033
Honda Civic Passenger Car $12,518
Toyota Corolla Passenger Car $11,599
Toyota Yaris Passenger Car $8,804

Best Used Cars Under $20,000

Here are the best five-year-old used cars under $20,000.
iSeeCars Best Five-Year-Old Used Cars Under $20,000
Vehicle Vehicle Type Average Used Car Price
Honda Pilot SUV $19,677
Honda Odyssey Minivan $18,960
Toyota Sienna Minivan $18,523
Ford Mustang Sports Car $17,226
BMW 3 Series Luxury Car $16,766
Audi A4 Luxury Car $16,608
Honda CR-V SUV $16,013
Buick LaCrosse Luxury Car $15,680

Best Used Cars Under $30,000

Here are the best five-year-old used cars under $30,000.
iSeeCars Best Five-Year-Old Used Cars $20,000-$30,000
Vehicle Vehicle Type Average Used Car Price
Toyota 4Runner SUV $27,064
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Pickup Truck $24,829
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Luxury Car $23,650
Toyota Highlander SUV $23,211
Honda Ridgeline Pickup Truck $23,180
Toyota Tacoma Pickup Truck $22,360
Lexus ES 350 Luxury Car $20,024

Best Three-Year-Old Used Cars $20,000-$30,000

For shoppers who are interested in a three-year-old used car, there are cars in the $20,000 to $30,000 price range. 
iSeeCars Best Three-Year-Old Used Cars $20,000-$30,000
Vehicle Vehicle Type Average Used Car Price
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Pickup Truck $29,535
Toyota Highlander SUV $28,734
Toyota Tacoma Pickup Truck $28,296
Lexus ES 350 Luxury Car $26,984
Toyota Sienna Minivan $25,043
Honda Odyssey Minivan $24,444
BMW 3 Series Luxury Car $23,485
Ford Mustang Sports Car $23,464
Honda CR-V SUV $20,093

Best Used SUVs

The popularity of SUVs and crossovers continues to rise, and the number of SUV models hitting the marketplace grows each year. These are the best used SUVs: 

Best Used SUV: Toyota 4Runner

  • Ranked #1 Longest-Lasting Midsize SUV
  • 44.2% 5-Year Depreciation
  • NHTSA Safety Rating Average: 4.0
The best SUV is the midsize Toyota 4Runner. Built on a truck platform, this durable vehicle offers ample cargo room with an optional third row of seating for those who want a rugged family hauler. Demonstrating Toyota’s strong reputation for reliability, the 4Runner is a mainstay on iSeeCars longest-lasting vehicles list and is the midsize SUV with the best value retention after five years of ownership. 

Best Used SUV Runner-Up: Toyota Highlander

A second Toyota midsize SUV, the Toyota Highlander, earns a mention for being a long-lasting and safe SUV with high value retention.  A popular family hauler, it’s roomy and has an accessible third row of seating and ample cargo room. It also offers a suite of safety features to add to its solid reputation for reliability.

Best Used Passenger Cars

Passenger cars such as sedans, coupes, and hatchbacks appeal to drivers who want a more efficient vehicle and don’t require the cargo space of SUVs. Here are the iSeeCars picks for Best Used Passenger Cars. 

Best Used Passenger Car: Honda Civic

  • Ranked #1 Longest-Lasting Compact Car
  • 36.5% 5-Year Depreciation
  • NHTSA Safety Rating Average: 4.65
Because the popularity of sedans has waned in recent years, many automakers have dropped sedans from their lineups, but the demand for the compact Honda Civic remains strong. The Honda Civic is known for its reliability and longevity, with many original owners passing the model down to their children as they reach driving age. The Civic is one of the longest-lasting vehicles to reach 200,000 miles, and it depreciates far less than the segment average to make it a good value for consumers. It also has among the best MPG estimates in its class.

Best Used Passenger Car Runner Up: Toyota Corolla

Joining the Honda Civic as the second small car to make the list, the compact Toyota Corolla is also known for its reliability and longevity. It is more likely than vehicles in its class to reach 200,000 miles and maintains more of its value than its competition. The Corolla boasts excellent fuel economy to make it a practical option as a daily driver, and is also among the top of its class for safety scores with a suite of standard safety features that were introduced for the 2017 model year. 

Best Used Pickup Trucks

Whether they are driven for business or pleasure, pickup trucks drivers want a rugged and capable hauler. Beyond performance, the best used pickup trucks are proven to last long and retain their value so drivers can put more money towards their next pickup truck purchase.

Best Used Pickup Truck: Toyota Tacoma

  • Ranked #2 Longest-Lasting Pickup Truck
  • 32.0% 5-Year Depreciation
  • NHTSA Safety Rating Average: 4.0
The compact Toyota Tacoma earns the distinction as the iSeeCars top pick for the Best Used Pickup Truck. Toyota has a reputation for building indestructible trucks, which is proven by the performance of the Tacoma. The pickup is among the top trucks to last 200,000 miles and even goes the distance as the top truck to reach the 300,000-mile mark. Along with its high reliability and safety ratings, the Tacoma holds its value better than any other pickup truck.

Best Used Pickup Truck Runner-Up: Honda Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline is the runner-up as the best used pickup truck. As the only pickup truck built on a unibody platform, it provides the function of a pickup with the comfortable handling of a crossover SUV. It also achieves the reliability ratings characteristic of the Honda Brand and is the pickup truck that is most likely to reach 200,000 miles. The unique Honda Ridgeline is also one of the lowest-depreciating vehicles after five years across all vehicle categories.

Best Used Minivans

The consummate family hauler, minivans are beloved by families who require extra passenger and cargo room in a vehicle that’s easy to transport children in or out of. 

Best Used Minivan: Toyota Sienna

  • Ranked #2 Longest-Lasting Minivan
  • 50.6% 5-Year Depreciation
  • NHTSA Safety Rating Average: 4.76
iSeeCars’ Best Used Minivan is the Toyota Sienna. As the only minivan to offer all-wheel drive, the Sienna is a popular choice among families who want a reliable, safe, and functional family hauler. The Sienna is among the longest-lasting vehicles to reach 200,000 miles, which means that it will stand the test of time for family hauling and road trips. It tops the minivan segment for five-year value retention. 

Best Used Minivan Runner-Up: Honda Odyssey

Earning the designation as the runner-up for the Best Used Minivan is the Honda Odyssey. As the longest-lasting minivan, the Odyssey proves Honda’s reputation for reliability. It also boasts a perfect 5-star NHTSA safety rating and is among the top passenger cars for five-year value retention. The Odyssey is praised for its agile handling and convenient family-friendly features including an optional built-in vacuum. 

Best Used Sports Cars

For many, sports cars are often dream cars for their owners. Whether they are used as daily drivers or reserved for weekend drives in nice weather, these are the best used sports cars.

Best Used Sports Car: Ford Mustang

  • Ranked #3 Longest-Lasting Sports Car
  • 44.4% 5-Year Depreciation
  • NHTSA Safety Rating Average: 4.75
The American classic Ford Mustang tops the list as the Best Used Sports Car. While sports cars typically don’t reach 200,000 miles because they are often not daily drivers, the Mustang is one of the sports cars most likely to reach this milestone. Praised for its smooth ride and agile handling, the Mustang also retains more of its value after five years when compared to other sports cars. 

Best Used Sports Car Runner-Up: Dodge Charger

The runner-up for the best used sports car is the Dodge Charger. The consummate muscle car, the Charger performs like a sports car with a powerful V8 engine and agile handling while offering the spaciousness of a family vehicle.  The Charger also earns a perfect 5-star safety rating from NHTSA, proving to be an attractive option as a family car for those who require more power. 

Best Used Hybrid Cars

For more eco-minded drivers who want a fuel-efficient vehicle, hybrid cars are a wise choice. Here are iSeeCars’ picks for the Best Used Hybrid Cars.

Best Used Hybrid Car: Toyota Prius

  • Ranked #1 Longest-Lasting Hybrid
  • 56.1% 5-Year Depreciation
  • NHTSA Safety Rating Average: 4.81
As the most popular hybrid car, the success of the Toyota Prius paved the way for automakers to introduce hybrid vehicles into their lineups. The Prius is among the longest-lasting passenger cars to reach 200,000 miles and is a top hybrid model for value retention. It also boasts stellar safety ratings and abundant cargo space to make it a practical option for a family vehicle or a comfortable car for commuting.

Best Used Hybrid Car Runner-Up: Toyota Camry Hybrid

The Toyota Camry Hybrid is the runner-up for the Best Used Hybrid Car. The Toyota Camry is one of the best-selling sedans, and its hybrid version appeals to Camry loyalists who want a more fuel-efficient version of the vehicle. Proven to be safe and reliable, the Camry Hybrid is one of the longest-lasting passenger cars to reach 200,000 miles and is one of the top hybrid models for value retention.

Best Used Electric Vehicles

For drivers who want a low- or zero-emission vehicle, electric vehicles suit their needs. These are the Best Used Electric Vehicles.

Best Used Electric Vehicle: Tesla Model S

  • Ranked #1 Longest-Lasting EV
  • 61.5% 5-Year Depreciation
  • NHTSA Safety Rating Average: 5.0
The Tesla Model S revolutionized the EV segment since its introduction in 2012 with its long list of innovative features including over-the-air software updates and its 17-inch touchscreen display. It also raised the bar for its all-electric range that far surpasses its rivals. It retains the most value in its segment and has perfect 5-Star NHTSA safety ratings.

Best Used Electric Vehicle Runner-Up: Chevrolet Volt

The Chevrolet Volt is the runner-up for the Best Used Electric Vehicle. It is proven to go the distance for its drivers as the EV with the highest average mileage.  A plug-in hybrid, the Volt provides the efficiency of an electric vehicle, but drivers won’t have range anxiety thanks to its gasoline engine that kicks in when the battery is low. The Volt also earns a 5-Star NHTSA safety rating.

Best Used Luxury Vehicles

Because luxury vehicles are often leased, off-lease versions are usually in abundance on used car lots. For buyers who want a premium vehicle, here are iSeeCars’ Best Used Luxury Vehicles.

Best Used Luxury Car: Lexus ES 350

  • Ranked Top 10 Longest-Lasting Luxury Car
  • 57.0% 5-Year Depreciation
  • NHTSA Safety Rating Average: 4.88
The midsize Lexus ES 350 is among the more affordable cars in the luxury midsize segment, and has a suite of safety features and leading cargo space for its class. It is also one of the luxury sedans that best holds its value and is among the longest-lasting cars in its segment. 

Best Used Luxury Car Runner-Up: Mercedes-Benz E-Class

A second midsize luxury car, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, earns the runner-up position. It is among the longest-lasting luxury cars to reach 200,000 miles proving that it can go the distance for its drivers. It also retains its value far better than the average for the segment and has good safety ratings thanks to its list of safety features.

Best Used Luxury SUV: Acura MDX

  • Ranked #3 Longest-Lasting Luxury SUV
  • 58.2% 5-Year Depreciation
  • NHTSA Safety Rating Average: 4.89
The Acura MDX is one of the longest-lasting SUVs to reach 200,000 miles. As Honda’s luxury marque, Acura shares Honda’s strong reputation for reliability.  It also is among the luxury SUVs that retain the most value and has stellar safety scores. The luxury vehicle is not as expensive as its rivals and also offers more standard safety features. The midsize SUV also has an optional third-row of seating making it a good choice for a family vehicle.

Best Used Luxury SUV Runner-Up: Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90 is the runner-up for the best Used Luxury SUV. The XC90 is one of the longest-lasting luxury cars to reach 200,000 miles, and it boasts Volvo’s characteristic safety ratings and a suite of standard active safety features to make the XC90 a safe and reliable family vehicle. 

If you’re in the market for a used car, consider a used car from the above list when visiting the dealership. These cars are proven to be reliable and safe, while maintaining their value for their drivers.

Methodology analyzed over 20 million cars from their 2019 studies on Longest-Lasting Cars and Cars that Hold their Value and combined the results with crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from 2011-2020.  Only cars which were included in both studies and had at least one overall crash test rating from NHTSA between 2011-2020 were eligible for inclusion in this study. Cars which ranked better than their segment average in the Longest-Lasting Cars Study and had an average NHTSA crash test rating of 4.0 or higher were then ranked by their 5-year value retention. For electric vehicles, a mileage threshold of 100,000 miles was used instead of 200,000 miles to determine which were the longest-lasting.

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