7 Award-Winning Used Cars From Recent Model Years

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

A woman drives a Jeep Wrangler
Chantal de Bruijne / Shutterstock.com

Buying a new car is a common money mistake — a new car depreciates 10 percent when you drive it off the dealer’s lot, and another 10 percent by the end of the first year.

Finding a trustworthy used car can be a challenge, but reviews, analyses and awards can help guide you. CarGurus recently announced the winners of its first Best Used Car Awards, for example.

These awards recognize three used vehicles from recent model years in each of seven categories. The awards are based on:

  • Vehicles’ projected depreciation over 12 years
  • Consumer reviews by CarsGuru users
  • Professional test-drive reviews

Matt Smith, editor for CarGurus.com, notes:

“Most car shoppers are looking for quality and reliability in a used vehicle, as well as some assurance that the car they are buying is worth the investment. The winning models certainly have a lot to offer drivers once they get behind the wheel.”

The vehicles that took first place in each of the seven categories are:

  • Luxury sedan: 2013-2016 Lincoln MKZ
  • Compact Sedan/Hatchback: 2013-2016 Dodge Dart
  • Midsize sedan: 2011-2017 Dodge Charger
  • Small crossover/SUV: 2007-2016 Jeep Wrangler
  • Midsize crossover/SUV: 2010-2016 Toyota 4Runner
  • Full-size crossover/SUV: 2013-2016 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Full-size truck: 2011-2017 Ram 1500

For the second- and third-place vehicles in each of the seven categories, check out CarGurus’ Best Used Car Awards.

The Toyota 4Runner is apparently on a roll. It was also recognized last month, when iSeeCars.com cited it among 14 vehicles most likely to last for 200,000 miles. Last fall, Consumer Reports listed the Toyota 4Runner among the 10 most reliable cars.

The Dodge Charger has been recognized by J.D. Power as one of the most gratifying cars to drive. But it might be a little too gratifying, as Insurance.com has cited it among 10 cars most likely to get traffic tickets.

Are there any used cars you’d recommend to others — or caution them against? Let us know below or on our Facebook page.

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.