Consumer Reports Used Car Buying Guide 2023

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Buying a used car can be a daunting task, but with Consumer Reports Used Car Buying Guide 2023, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to make an informed decision. Our comprehensive guide provides everything you need to know, from finding the right car to negotiating the best price.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned pro, Consumer Reports Used Car Buying Guide 2023 has something for everyone. We’ll help you navigate the complex world of used car buying and find the perfect vehicle for your needs and budget.

Vehicle Recommendations: Consumer Reports Used Car Buying Guide 2023

Finding a used car that meets your needs and budget can be a daunting task. Consumer Reports’ annual Used Car Buying Guide is a valuable resource for car shoppers, providing expert ratings and recommendations for a wide range of used vehicles.

Based on their extensive testing and analysis, Consumer Reports has identified the top 10 used cars in different categories, including sedans, SUVs, trucks, and more. These vehicles offer a combination of reliability, performance, fuel efficiency, and value.

Top 10 Used Cars

Here is a table summarizing the top 10 used cars in different categories, as recommended by Consumer Reports:

CategoryMake and ModelYearPrice RangeOverall Score
SedanToyota Camry2018-2020$22,000-$30,00085
SUVToyota RAV42019-2021$25,000-$35,00083
TruckFord F-1502018-2020$28,000-$40,00082
HybridToyota Prius2016-2018$18,000-$25,00081
ElectricTesla Model 32018-2020$35,000-$50,00080
Luxury SedanLexus ES2019-2021$30,000-$40,00079
Luxury SUVBMW X32018-2020$35,000-$45,00078
Sports CarMazda MX-5 Miata2016-2018$20,000-$28,00077
MinivanHonda Odyssey2018-2020$25,000-$35,00076
Pickup TruckToyota Tacoma2016-2018$22,000-$30,00075

Buying Process Guidance

Purchasing a used car can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of finding a reliable and affordable vehicle.

The key steps involved in buying a used car are:

  • Research
  • Inspection
  • Negotiation
  • Financing


The first step is to do your research. This will help you narrow down your choices and make more informed decisions.

Here are some things to consider when researching used cars:

  • What type of car do you need?
  • What are your budget and financing options?
  • What are the most reliable and fuel-efficient cars in your price range?
  • What are the common problems associated with the cars you’re considering?


Once you’ve found a few cars that you’re interested in, it’s time to inspect them. This will help you identify any potential problems and make sure that the car is in good condition.

Here are some things to look for when inspecting a used car:

  • The exterior of the car
  • The interior of the car
  • The engine and transmission
  • The tires and brakes
  • The electrical system

Negotiation, Consumer reports used car buying guide 2023

Once you’ve found a car that you’re interested in and have had it inspected, it’s time to negotiate a price.

Here are some tips for negotiating a good price on a used car:

  • Do your research and know what the car is worth.
  • Be prepared to walk away from the deal if you can’t get a fair price.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate on the price, financing, and other terms of the deal.


If you’re not paying for the car in cash, you’ll need to finance it. There are a few different ways to finance a used car, so it’s important to shop around and compare rates.

Here are some things to consider when financing a used car:

  • The interest rate
  • The loan term
  • The monthly payment
  • The down payment

Inspection and Maintenance

A comprehensive vehicle inspection is crucial before making a used car purchase. It helps identify potential issues, ensuring an informed decision. Regularly maintaining a used car extends its lifespan and maintains its value.

Thoroughly inspecting key components is essential, including the engine, transmission, brakes, and tires. Inspect the engine for leaks, unusual noises, and smoke. Check the transmission for smooth shifting and any grinding or slipping. Examine the brakes for worn pads, rotors, and fluid leaks.

Ensure the tires have adequate tread depth and no uneven wear.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is vital for keeping a used car in optimal condition. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, including oil changes, filter replacements, and fluid checks. Address any minor issues promptly to prevent them from escalating into more significant problems.

Warranty and Protection

Purchasing a used car is a significant investment, and it’s essential to protect yourself against unexpected repairs. Warranties and protection plans provide peace of mind and can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Let’s delve into the different types of warranties available and guide you in choosing the right one for your used car.

Manufacturer’s Warranties

Manufacturer’s warranties are offered by the automaker and typically cover major components of the vehicle for a specified period or mileage. They vary in length and coverage, so it’s crucial to read the fine print carefully.

Extended Warranties

Extended warranties are sold by third-party companies and provide coverage beyond the manufacturer’s warranty. They can be purchased at the time of purchase or later and offer varying levels of protection.

Certified Pre-Owned Programs

Certified pre-owned (CPO) programs are offered by dealerships and provide a comprehensive inspection and warranty for used cars that meet specific criteria. CPO vehicles typically come with longer warranties than standard used cars.