7 Award-Winning Used Cars From Recent Model Years

A woman drives a Jeep Wrangler
Photo by 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.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

The 9 Best Home Insurers for Customer Satisfaction
The 9 Best Home Insurers for Customer Satisfaction

These are the only homeowners insurance companies to earn above-average scores for customer satisfaction.

5 Surveys For Money Sites To Get Paid For Your Opinion
5 Surveys For Money Sites To Get Paid For Your Opinion

Yes, you can earn extra cash by taking online surveys. But some websites are better than others for this. Here are a few of our favorites.

How to Get the Best Possible Deal on Car Insurance
How to Get the Best Possible Deal on Car Insurance

This is the last article on understanding and shopping for car insurance that you’ll ever need.

What is the Cheapest Grocery Store?
What is the Cheapest Grocery Store?

Aldi, Kroger and Walmart: Which grocery store is the cheapest?

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect
Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect

Your third coronavirus payment will be the biggest yet — and possibly even bigger than you realize.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles
The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.