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10 Best Used Car Values

Kiplinger Top 10 Used Car Values

If you’re in the market for a used car, you’ve probably noticed that great deals have been a bit harder to find. The first few months of 2012 saw a big run-up in used car prices as gas prices rose and demand for economical used car increased accordingly. Used car prices stabilized as gas prices dropped early summer, but are still subject to fluctuations in the marketplace.

So when you pick your used vehicle, you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Kiplinger crunched the numbers, and picked their top 10 used car values based on performance, value, safety, and reliability. Here are their choices:

2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS

This is the Sonata that immediately preceded Hyundai’s “fluidic sculpture” design phase, so it’s not quite the looker that the current Sonata is, but it’s still a conservatively handsome sedan with very good gas mileage. An affordable alternative to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

Price when new: $19,545 (automatic)

Dealer used price: $9,902

Private-party price: $8,731

Certified used price: $11,480

MPG (city/hwy): 21/30

 

2009 Subaru Impreza 2.5i sedan

If all-wheel-drive is a prerequisite for secure foul weather driving, but you don’t want to suffer with SUV handling and gas mileage, the Subie is your best bet. The AWD gives you a slight penalty in MPG compared to other compacts, but the extra traction is worth the trade-off.

Price when new: $18,190

Dealer used price: $12,191

Private-party price: $10,967

Certified used price: $12,859

MPG (city/hwy): 20/27

 

2009 Chevrolet Malibu 1LT

The Malibu experienced a rebirth in 2008, going from rental fleet standby to bona fide award-winning midsize contender. Nicely styled inside and out, it reestablished Chevrolet as a maker of not just good trucks, but appealing passenger cars as well.

Price when new: $23,225

Dealer used price: $13,114

Private-party price: $11,937

Certified used price: $14,141

MPG (city/hwy): 22/33

 

2009 Nissan Rogue S

The Rogue has proven itself to be a popular and competent competitor in the compact crossover segment against mainstays such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. You’ll get strong performance and decent gas mileage from the 2.5 liter 4-cylinder. Kiplinger named it their best-in-class in 2009.

Price when new: $21,020

Dealer used price: $14,971

Private-party price: $13,435

Certified used price: $16,123

MPG (city/hwy): 22/27

 

2008 Honda CR-V LX

Like we said, the CR-V is a mainstay in this segment, so you’ll need to go a year older to get the same type of deal as the Rogue, but that’s because the Honda holds its value so well. This is the 3rd generation CR-V, and it moved from the blocky styling of its predecessor to a much swoopier design.

Price when new: $21,370

Dealer used price: $15,135

Private-party price: $14,089

Certified used price: $16,402

MPG (city/hwy): 20/27

 

2008 Subaru Outback 2.5i

Another Subaru makes the Kiplinger list, this time in wagon form. The Outback will give you more space than the Impreza, plus it has an elevated ride height to give it more off-road capability. Like all Subarus, you get AWD standard, so the Outback has SUV chops with car comfort.

Price when new: $25,240 (automatic)

Dealer used price: $15,218

Private-party price: $14,068

Certified used price: $16,256

MPG (city/hwy): 20/26

 

2009 Ford Taurus Limited

If it’s a fullsize sedan you’re after, Kiplinger recommends the Taurus. Initially known as the Five Hundred, Ford resurrected the Taurus nameplate after it failed to resonate with the buying public. It’s a spacious 4-door with a huge trunk and very good highway mileage for a car its size.

Price when new: $31,495

Dealer used price: $16,634

Private-party price: $15,271

Certified used price: $17,653

MPG (city/hwy): 18/28

 

2008 Mazda CX-9 Sport

Moving up to a vehicle with 3 rows of seating, the CX-9 is a stylish crossover with versatile interior configurations and Mazda’s usual attention to driving dynamics. The CX-9 also scores big in safety, with roll stability control and a side curtain airbags that extend across all three rows.

Price when new: $30,035

Dealer used price: $18,315

Private-party price: $16,689

Certified used price: $20,424

MPG (city/hwy): 16/22

 

2009 Toyota Sienna LE

Nothing matches the space efficiency of a minivan, and the Sienna is one of the standard-bearers, featuring the usual Toyota reliability. The seats perform all sorts of tricks to maximize passenger comfort or cargo space. Bonus points go to the availability of all-wheel-drive.

Price when new: $26,865 (7-passenger)

Dealer used price: $18,463

Private-party price: $16,692

Certified used price: $19,882

MPG (city/hwy): 17/23

 

2009 Infiniti G37x AWD

Want to make the step up to entry-level luxury? The G37x is Kiplinger’s choice. The Nissan-family V6 is one of the most well-regarded engines in the world. Paired with a 7-speed automatic and AWD, the Infiniti is a very credible performer in all seasons. Standard leather seating completes the premium picture at a bargain price.

Price when new: $36,615

Dealer used price: $23,889

Private-party price: $22,308

Certified used price: $26,174

MPG (city/hwy): 18/25