Best Cars to Find a Deal On, New or Used


Now is an excellent time to find big bargains on both new and used cars, so we've rounded up a list of our top picks for vehicles to shop either new or used. Each of these cars, trucks, and SUVs has been highly rated by our team of experts and has plenty of available used inventory.

Want to find out more about current incentives such as cash back and special interest rates? You can find offers on these cars, and from every other manufacturer, on our deals and incentives page. If you're looking for more great used car picks, you can read up on our list of the best used vehicles.

SUVs

Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V

Buyers looking for a well-rounded small crossover might start and end their search with the Honda CR-V. The CR-V has exceptional storage space and functionality, plenty of features, a comfortable ride and enjoyable performance. Best of all, this Honda costs the same as less sterling rivals.

If you decide the CR-V is right for you, seek out the midtier EX trim. It costs a little more than the base LX model, but its list of additional features is expansive. Blind-spot monitoring, keyless entry, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a touchscreen all come standard on the EX.

Used Honda CR-V
The current CR-V generation was introduced in 2017. Honda modified the exterior styling for the 2020 model, but all CR-Vs essentially look the same inside. Prior to 2020, the base LX trim did not come with the Honda Sensing suite of active safety features or the superior turbocharged four-cylinder engine, so we'd recommend looking at EX models or higher. The previous CR-V generation — which ran from 2012 to 2016 — was very competitive for its time, though you'll only find advanced safety features on the top-of-the-line Touring trim.

The Mazda CX-5 is one of the few crossovers to truly punch above its price class. The CX-5 offers a high-quality interior, exceptional handling skills, an intuitive tech interface and a competitive price. It's an outstanding compact SUV overall, though it comes up just a bit short in terms of rear passenger space, cargo capacity and fuel economy.

We think the Touring trim is a great way to go if you need to stay on a relatively tight budget. It comes with a pleasing collection of convenience features, including smartphone integration and a power-adjustable driver's seat. The CX-5 is more fun to drive with its turbocharged engine, but that means stepping up to the fairly pricey Grand Touring Reserve trim, so it's not for everyone.

Used Mazda CX-5
The 2020 Mazda CX-5 is part of the second CX-5 generation introduced for 2017. The CX-5 largely stayed the same throughout its lifespan, though trim features varied slightly over the years. Notably, a suite of advanced driving aids was added as standard equipment in 2020, and the optional turbocharged engine debuted in 2019. A diesel engine was offered for one year only, in 2019. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were first introduced in 2019 but can be added to earlier models via a dealer-installed upgrade.

The Honda Pilot is space-efficient, smooth-riding, suitably powerful and fuel-efficient. You also get a healthy list of features, a useful cargo area and smart interior storage. With so many strengths and just a handful of weaknesses, the Pilot is one of the most well-rounded three-row SUVs on the market.

Of all the Pilot trims, we're most drawn to the EX and the EX-L. The EX is a significant step up from the base LX and adds desirable tech features such as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and a touchscreen. The EX-L costs more, but it includes leather upholstery plus some useful extras such as an auto-dimming mirror (which helps reduce glare at night) and second-row USB ports to ensure your kiddos' electronics are juiced up at all times.

Used Honda Pilot
The current-generation Honda Pilot dates back to the 2016 model year. While the trim lineup largely stayed the same during its run, enhancements for the 2019 model make newer models more desirable. These additions include a revised nine-speed automatic transmission and an improved infotainment system. Examples between the 2016 and 2018 model years are still very desirable, though the nine-speed in the Touring and Elite models feels a little clunky.

The Atlas is not only Volkswagen's largest SUV, but it's also one of the biggest vehicles in its class. The Atlas is impressively roomy and earns high marks for passenger comfort and cargo-carrying utility. A lack of power is the only significant drawback to this big three-row crossover SUV.

If you need an SUV with room for adults in the back, it's hard to go wrong with any Atlas. But we suggest checking out the SE with Technology trim. It offers a good balance between price and features, especially when you factor in the standard advanced safety items. On top of that, we recommend the optional V6. It feels better suited to the large Atlas and also opens the door to all-wheel drive, should you want it.

Used Volkswagen Atlas
Volkswagen introduced the Atlas as a new model for the 2018 model year, so there are fewer used model years available than other vehicles on this list, but we've still found plenty of inventory. The Atlas hasn't changed much during its production run, though older models have fewer features and trim levels.

Trucks

Toyota Tacoma

Toyota  Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma is the best-selling truck in its segment for a reason. It enjoys a long-standing reputation for durability and go-anywhere capability, but it's also smooth, efficient and surprisingly pleasant to drive on the road.

We think the TRD Off-Road offers a nice blend of comfort and off-road performance at an agreeable price. The V6 and 4x4 powertrain are standard, as are several performance upgrades. You might not need all of its off-road upgrades on the pavement, and the removal of the front airdam comes with a slight fuel economy penalty. But the Bilstein shocks and smaller wheels pay off in day-to-day driving as they soak up road imperfections and make the ride more agreeable.

Used Toyota Tacoma
The third-generation Tacoma first bowed in 2016. The Tacoma has added trim levels and other tweaks throughout its lifespan, including newly standard safety equipment for 2018 and extra off-road equipment for the 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro. But the most significant enhancement has really been the revised transmission calibration, new features, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration introduced for 2020.

The Ram 1500 offers uncommonly smooth driving manners because of its distinct rear suspension design. You also get a unique interior punctuated by rich materials and an available high-tech 12-inch infotainment display. The V6 and V8 gasoline engines are both solid choices, but the reintroduced second-generation EcoDiesel V6 has even more going for it.

This upscale workhorse comes in many flavors, but no matter the trim, the Ram 1500 is a great blank slate to begin building your dream truck. To make the most of its many amenities at a reasonable price, choose the Laramie for its massive leap in standard equipment. An 8.4-inch touchscreen, heated and ventilated front seats, and access to features that aren't available on lower Tradesman and Big Horn trims put it over the top.

Used Ram 1500
The Ram 1500 was redesigned just last year, but there's plenty of inventory on the market for buyers looking to save some cash. There are also tens of thousands of Ram 1500s available from the previous generation (also a top-rated pick), which dates back all the way to 2009 — when it was still called the Dodge Ram 1500. Of particular note are models produced from the 2013 model year onward: Revisions to the 2013 model include a new V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, additional convenience features, and the excellent Uconnect infotainment system.

The Ford F-150 is a perfect example of the tough yet modern full-size pickup truck. Towing and payload capacities are at the top of the class, yet the F-150 also offers a vast range of luxury and technology features. The combination makes the F-150 one of the most versatile trucks available and justifies its status as the top-selling vehicle on the market.

Of all the myriad trims and configurations, we think the F-150 Lariat SuperCrew with rear-wheel drive and a short bed is a great place to start. This midlevel trim grants you standard equipment such as the punchy 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford's suite of advanced driver safety aids, called Co-Pilot360, is also included. And going with the Lariat allows you to customize your truck with some choice options while keeping pricing in check.

Used Ford F-150
The current F-150 was fully redesigned for the 2015 model year. It didn't change much over the years, with powertrain enhancements and a mild styling refresh in 2018 the most notable exception. If technology is important to you, we recommend starting with the 2016 model, when the MyFord Touch infotainment system was replaced by the superior Sync 3 system.

Cars

Kia Forte

Kia Forte

The Kia Forte offers practicality and value in equal measure. Other highlights include a plush, quiet interior and an extensive list of available features. The Forte, however, lags top competitors in driving dynamics, ride quality and rear legroom.

Given the Forte's affordable price tag relative to other cars in the class, we think it's worth spending a little more to upgrade to the GT-Line model. It has numerous features that you might expect in a modern car, from keyless entry to blind-spot monitoring. A better sound system and a sportier exterior are also on the menu, and it still costs less than rivals.

Used Kia Forte
The Forte was redesigned in 2019, and hasn't really changed for 2020. But the previous-generation Forte, produced between 2014 and 2018, was also a strong contender, wowing us with its cabin materials, which were not only great for a Kia but above average for this price-conscious class. Advanced safety features began appearing on models for the 2017 model year, as did Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Though the 2.0-liter engine on the EX is thirstier than the base motor, we prefer its quicker acceleration.

The Honda Civic is as good as it gets in the world of compact cars, topping the class in almost every category. Fuel economy and acceleration are particularly impressive, as are interior space and build quality.

Trim levels for sedan, coupe and hatchback body styles are slightly different, but the EX model is our recommendation across all variants. It adds the excellent turbocharged engine to sedan and coupe models (the turbo comes standard on every hatchback), alongside heated front seats and a blind-spot camera.

Used Honda Civic
The 10th Civic generation was first introduced in 2016. Honda modified the exterior styling slightly for all body styles between the 2019 and 2020 model years and added a physical volume knob to the infotainment interface. Honda added the sporty Si and Type R models in 2017. No matter which year or body style you get, we recommend selecting one with the powerful and fuel-efficient turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

From a base EcoBoost all the way up to the immensely powerful GT500, the Ford Mustang provides ample amounts of style and performance. It also makes the appropriate nods to the Mustang's heritage yet stays current with the latest technology features. Among today's muscle cars, the Mustang is hard to beat.

If a sporty muscle car is up your alley, the Mustang offers a variety of configurations to fit your wants and wallet. The EcoBoost Mustang is better than ever thanks to options such as the High Performance package. The four-cylinder is a great pick if you want to keep the price manageable, but we'd still go with the Mustang GT if money allows. The Mustang experience is at its best thanks to the sound, feel and overall performance with the 5.0-liter V8 under the hood.

Used Ford Mustang
The Ford Mustang is now in its sixth generation, which launched for the 2015 model year. In 2016, the MyFord Touch infotainment system was replaced with the far superior Sync 3 interface, so we'd recommend looking for 2016 or newer models. The Mustang was restyled in 2018, a year that also brought revised suspension tuning, the discontinuation of the V6, and a new 10-speed automatic transmission.

Luxury Vehicles

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

Mercedes-Benz  GLC-Class

The Mercedes-Benz GLC can get pricey if you start checking option boxes. Still, the impressively engineered, ultra-refined and stylishly rendered GLC looks, feels and drives like a step above the pack.

In the interest of keeping the price tag in check, most drivers will find all they need in the entry-model GLC 300. Its hearty list of options allows for further tech upgrades and customization. There's nothing essential you need to add, but the Multimedia and Driver Assistance packages include a wealth of advanced technology and safety features.

Used Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class
This GLC generation dates back to 2016, but the GLC didn't receive a significant refresh until 2020. With only minor modifications to feature content throughout, early models are essentially identical to newer versions, although Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration first appeared as an option on 2018 models. Note that this option was incompatible with the Multimedia package, so models with built-in navigation will not feature smartphone integration.

The versatile, well-made and feature-packed Acura MDX is arguably the most sensible choice in the midsize luxury SUV segment, especially given its impressive handling. For what you get compared to what you have to pay, it's a fantastic value.

Given the MDX's emphasis on value, it might come as no surprise that we think the base MDX is the best buy. It is well equipped and attractively priced by luxury SUV standards. We also think the top-trim Advance justifies its price given its substantial amount of luxury content. That price is only high compared to other MDX models. Against other three-row luxury SUVs, even the Advance is a bargain.

Used Acura MDX
This Acura MDX generation has lasted quite a while, with its last redesign in 2014. That means you can save a bundle by going with a used model since they are nearly identical to newer iterations. Major changes to the MDX include the adoption of a nine-speed automatic in 2016 and an exterior refresh in 2017, which also brought new standard and optional features. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration was added in 2018.

The well-rounded Audi A4 should be just right for shoppers looking for an entry-level luxury sedan. It offers the same levels of performance, efficiency, driving dynamics and interior quality as top-rated German rivals, plus a lower price and easier-to-use electronics. Your heart and head should be equally pleased.

We think the Audi A4 in its Premium trim offers a good amount of Audi's newest technology without breaking the bank. We strongly suggest springing for the 45 TFSI engine — the more powerful of the two engines offered — as well as the Navigation and Driver's Assistance packages.

Used Audi A4
The Audi A4 received a few revisions for the 2020 model year; older models have slightly different exterior styling, and the central display screen doesn't have touchscreen capability. Instead, there's a remote touchpad in front of the shifter. The list of standard features increased year over year, but otherwise the Audi A4 has more or less been the same since this generation debuted in 2017.