Used Cars You Should Buy (And Avoid) in 2024

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Considering millions of cars flood the automotive market every year, making the right decision on a used car purchase can be daunting. In this guide, we’ve curated a list of cars that stand out as exceptional choices for the used car buyer, offering reliability, affordability, and performance. Conversely, we’ll highlight models that, despite their initial appeal, may prove to be something other than prudent investments in the pre-owned market.

Honda Civic


One of the best vehicles produced, we have the trusty Honda Civic. Famous for its reliability, fuel efficiency, and timeless design, buying a preowned Civic is like hitting the jackpot. Whether you opt for a sedan, coupe, or hatchback, you’re in for a smooth ride.

Toyota Camry


Another car that is an absolute steal is the Toyota Camry. The vehicle is adored for its durability and low maintenance costs, and a used Camry delivers a winning combination of comfort and reliability that’s hard to beat.



Zooming into view is the Mazda3. This compact car offers a sporty driving experience without sacrificing practicality. A secondhand Mazda3 is a budget-friendly choice that doesn’t compromise on quality and provides a stylish exterior and an upscale interior.

Subaru Outback


For those craving adventure, the Subaru Outback is a top contender. With its standard all-wheel drive and rugged versatility, this wagon-turned SUV is perfect for tackling city streets and off-road trails.

Ford F-150


Need a truck that can handle tough tasks? Look no further than the Ford F-150. Known for its sturdy performance and towing capabilities, a used F-150 is a workhorse that won’t disappoint you.

Toyota Prius


Eco-conscious drivers, rejoice! The Toyota Prius offers impressive fuel efficiency and a reputation for longevity. Snagging an old Prius means you can reduce your carbon footprint while saving some green.

Honda CR-V


If you’re in the market for a reliable crossover, the Honda CR-V has you covered. With its spacious interior, substantial resale value, and stellar safety ratings, a preowned CR-V is a smart choice for families on the go.

Lexus RX


Luxury meets affordability with the Lexus RX. This upscale SUV boasts a plush ride, refined interior, and advanced tech features. Opting for an old RX lets you enjoy premium comfort without breaking the bank.

Volkswagen Golf GTI


Get ready to turn heads in the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Famous for its spirited performance and nimble handling, this hot hatch delivers driving excitement in a practical package. Buying a pre-owned unit means you can enjoy German engineering at a fraction of the cost.

Jeep Wrangler


The Jeep Wrangler is a dream come true for those craving open-air adventures. The car has an iconic design and off-road prowess, with features that promise endless thrills on and off the beaten path.

Now, let’s pump the brakes for a moment and talk about five cars you might want to think twice about buying used.

Dodge Dart


While the Dodge Dart may have caught your eye with its sporty looks, it’s plagued by durability issues and subpar performance compared to its rivals. You’re better off exploring other options in the compact car segment.

Fiat 500


The Fiat 500 may charm you with its quirky styling, but its lackluster dependability and cramped interior make it a less-than-ideal choice for secondhand car shoppers. Plus, Fiat’s limited presence in the US can make finding parts and servicing a hassle.

Mini Cooper


The Mini Cooper’s iconic design and playful driving dynamics may be tempting, but its high ownership costs and frequent repairs can dent your wallet. Unless you’re prepared for the maintenance expenses, you might want to look elsewhere.

Volkswagen Jetta


While the Volkswagen Jetta offers a comfortable ride and upscale interior, it’s notorious for its mechanical issues and costly repairs. With plenty of other options in the compact sedan segment, it’s wise to steer clear of the Jetta.

Chrysler 200


We also have the Chrysler 200, which, despite its stylish looks and affordable price tag, isn’t as great as it seems. The 200 suffers from subpar performance, small rear seats, and below-average infallibility ratings. Your money is better spent on a more reliable midsize sedan.


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