The 15 Most Reliable Used Cars To Buy In 2023

SAVING & SPENDING - HOME & AUTO
Get the inside scoop on the 15 used cars that will never let you down in 2023.
Updated May 8, 2024
Fact checked
Handsome businessman buying used car

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Used cars may be a good option for those who want to save a little money so they can get ahead financially.

The good news is there are plenty of cars available on the used car market that are not only affordable but also reliable. Check out these options for a new-to-you car.

If you’re over 50, take advantage of massive discounts and financial resources

Over 50? Join AARP today — because if you’re not a member you could be missing out on huge perks. When you start your membership today, you can get discounts on things like travel, meal deliveries, eyeglasses, prescriptions that aren’t covered by insurance and more.

How to become a member today:

  • Go here, select your free gift, and click “Join Today”
  • Create your account (important!) by answering a few simple questions
  • Start enjoying your discounts and perks!

Important: Start your membership by creating an account here and filling in all of the information (Do not skip this step!) Doing so will allow you to take up 25% off your AARP membership, making it just $12 per year with auto-renewal.

Become an AARP member now

2016 Toyota Rav4

Courtesy of Car and Driver 2016 toyota rav4

Why you should buy it: Good hybrid for those on a budget

You can get a Toyota Rav4 hybrid that will trim your gas costs, and you won’t have to pay a fortune. The 2016 model comes in under $20,000, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Whether you buy a Rav4 or any other car on this list, one way to lower your vehicle costs even more is to shop around and find the best deal on auto insurance.

2014 Honda Pilot

Courtesy of Motor Trend 2014 honda pilot

Why you should buy it: Space for both people and cargo

One of the great things about the Honda Pilot is that it has plenty of space for everything and everyone.

The Pilot can seat eight and has plenty of room for cargo. It also has a reputation for being reliable.

2019 BMW 2 Series

Courtesy of Car and Driver 2019 bmw 2 series

Why you should buy it: Reliability

If you want a luxury car, purchasing one on the used car market can save you money without compromising on the luxury.

For example, the 2019 BMW 2 Series includes plenty of high-end finishes, performance, and reliability without the extra cost of buying a new one off your local dealer’s lot.

Resolve $10,000 or more of your debt

Credit card debt is suffocating. It constantly weighs on your mind and controls every choice you make. You can end up emotionally and even physically drained from it. And even though you make regular payments, it feels like you can never make any progress because of the interest.

National Debt Relief could help you resolve your credit card debt with an affordable plan that works for you. Just tell them your situation, then find out your debt relief options.1

How to get National Debt Relief to help you resolve your debt: Sign up for a free debt assessment here. (Do not skip this step!) By signing up for a free assessment, National Debt Relief can assist you in settling your debt, but only if you schedule the assessment.

Try it

2017 Ford Mustang

Courtesy of Car and Driver 2017 ford mustang

Why you should buy it: Sporty features

The Mustang is a well-known sporty car from an American carmaker with a solid reputation.

Just remember that, like other vehicles in its segment, the Mustang has rear-wheel drive, which can be an issue if you plan to drive it in snow or other nasty winter weather.

2012 Honda Civic

Courtesy of Car and Driver 2012 honda civic

Why you should buy it: Practical and reliable

Older models may not be as flashy as newer cars, but they can help you keep costs down if you’re on a tight budget. That’s why you might want to check out a 2012 version of the Honda Civic.

Kelley Blue Book estimates that the car will cost less than $10,000 on the used car market. Compare models to see if you can get one that’s been cared for and has lower mileage.

2009 Toyota Highlander

Courtesy of Car and Driver 2009 toyota highlander

Why you should buy it: Plenty of features

Another budget-friendly option is the 2009 Toyota Highlander mid-size SUV.

This vehicle also comes in at less than $10,000, according to Kelley Blue Book. That could make this Highlander an enticing option if you're on a tight budget.

2020 Audi A4

Courtesy of Car and Driver 2020 audi a4

Why you should buy it: Good ride and handling

Check out the Audi A4 if you’re in the market for a luxury used car.

The 2020 version of this car has great ride and handling features and a turbocharged engine that can get up to 27 miles per gallon in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway.

2017 Nissan Leaf

Courtesy of Car and Driver 2017 nissan leaf

Why you should buy it: Electric vehicle

You don’t have to settle for a gas-powered car: Check out the 2017 Nissan Leaf with its eye-catching design and electric engine.

It also gets higher marks for reliability than similar and better-known sedans such as the Toyota Prius.

2018 Toyota Avalon

Courtesy of Car and Driver 2018 toyota avalon

Why you should buy it: Comfort and space

The Avalon can be a good option if you want plenty of space from a large, four-door sedan that's also among the most reliable in its class.

It shares a platform with the Lexus ES.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!2

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

2020 Lincoln MKZ

Courtesy of Car and Driver 2020 lincoln mkz

Why you should buy it: Reliability

The Lincoln MKZ may not be as flashy as other luxury vehicles, but it can hold its own against others in its class when it comes to reliability.

The car comes in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, so find the model that best suits your climate.

2011 Toyota Prius

Courtesy of Car and Driver 2011 toyota prius

Why you should buy it: Hybrid engine

The Toyota Prius has a hybrid engine that can give you extra mileage compared to a typical gas-powered vehicle.

The 2011 version of this car is also reliable and practical.

2015 Subaru Forester

Courtesy of Car and Driver 2015 subaru firester

Why you should buy it: Off-road ability

The Subaru Forester allows you to take it off-roading and provides durability on rough roads.

The SUV also offers great gas mileage at an affordable price, according to Kelley Blue Book, at under $15,000 for this used model.

2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Courtesy of Car and Driver 2010 mazda mx 5 miata

Why you should buy it: Great gas mileage

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a good get-up-and-go option if you want something sporty without paying extra dollars to fill the gas tank.

The interior space and trunk, however, are a little tight. So, this might be a better car for fun drives than a trip to Costco.

2013 Porsche Boxster

Courtesy of Car and Driver 2013 porsche boxster

Why you should buy it: Sporty luxury

Consider picking up a used Porsche Boxster if your budget has some extra room. The Boxster offers sporty fun while also providing plenty of luxury inside with its eye-catching exterior.

This version of the Porsche is estimated to cost less than $40,000 on the used market, according to Kelley Blue Book, but offers the looks of a more expensive car.

2011 Chevrolet Volt

Courtesy of Car and Driver 2011 chevrolet volt

Why you should buy it: Plug-in hybrid

Try out a plug-in sedan without having to splurge. The 2011 Chevrolet Volt gets about 35 miles of range on its electric engine, with more than 300 additional miles on the gas-powered engine for longer trips.

Buying this car is a good way to try out an EV-related option for less than $10,000, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Bottom line

Stocksolutions/Adobe used car sales

A used car is a good option if you’re trying to keep more money in the bank. Just make sure to choose something reliable.

The cars on this list can be great candidates for a new-to-you car that won’t disappoint you. Make sure you test drive every car and get it checked out before buying, though, as every individual car's condition can vary quite a bit. 

  • You could save up to $500 with some companies
  • Compare dozens of providers in under 5 minutes
  • Fast, free and easy way to shop for insurance
  • Quickly find the perfect rate for you

Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

Want to learn how to make an extra $200?

Get proven ways to earn extra cash from your phone, computer, & more with Extra.

You will receive emails from FinanceBuzz.com. Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

  • Vetted side hustles
  • Exclusive offers to save money daily
  • Expert tips to help manage and escape debt