There are perhaps just as many used cars as there are new cars out on the roads. Many of these models are still being manufactured today; your popular sedans can still be found at places like King’s Automall, or any other big car dealerships out there. It’s simple why these older models are still running around next to the newer ones: they are reliable and cheap. With that being said, hopefully this list will give you some insight into the brand/model to buy if you ever need a used car. With a plethora of used cars out there, this top 10 list will focus exclusively on sedans, which is possibly the most popular type of car out there.
#10: 2010 Nissan Altima
The base trim of this model may be a little bland, with the bulk of features being optional, but it’s still good in terms of performance. Which is what people are looking for when it comes to used cars. They don’t want something fancy, just something that will get them from point A to point B for a decent amount of time. The 2.5 trim harbors a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that put out 175 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, paired naturally to an automatic CVT transmission. The 2.5 trim gets an EPA estimated fuel rating of 23 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined.
After looking through some consumer reviews from Edmunds, it’s apparent as to why this car made the list. People are saying this is one of the best Nissans they ever owned, it felt and handled better than most of the other ones. They also enjoyed the gas mileage, most agreeing that a full tank got them a lot of miles. The safety is praised as well, one reviewer saying they got in a four-car pile-up that resulted in him/her walking away unharmed with only repairs to their rear bumper and exhaust needed.
#9: 2010 Dodge Charger
The 2010 Dodge Charger is a nice blend of sedan and performance, and it shows. The base model Charger has a 2.7-liter V6 that produces 178 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque. With this base model, the four-speed automatic transmission comes standard. Since it’s a sports car, the mpg suffers a bit; it only gets 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined.
While the mpg is a low-point, many people loved this car for other reasons. One reviewer seemed to develop a close relationship with their Charger, and went so far as to name it. The Charger they had was bought lightly used at 11,000 miles and lasted them for five years, and the only reason they got rid of it was because they could afford a newer car, not because it was suffering from wear and tear.
#8: 2009 Toyota Camry
It should be no surprise that the Toyota Camry is on this list, it’s an icon in the sedan market. The trims of this model all come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 158 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque. This engine also carries a ULEV certification in most states, making it an eco-friendly choice in the used car market. Something worth mentioning is the Camry’s speed; it can do 0-60 mph in 8.9 seconds, which is rather impressive for a run of the mill sedan.
The fuel economy is decent too, it ranks in at 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. Numerous reviewers labeled this car as the most reliable car they have ever owned, one of them even breaking 200,000 miles with it in 2015, and they say it’s still going strong.
#7: 2008 Nissan Altima
This 2.5S comes standard with a 2.5-liter inline-4 with 175 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, and is paired with a six-speed manual transmission; a CVT is optional. This 2.5S gets the same fuel economy as the 2010 model, and has the same type of engine.
This trim is in a slightly higher class than the previous one mentioned. The 2010 Nissan Altima 2.5 was the trim before, now it’s the 2.5s. My only guess is that because this is a higher trim, it offers a little more than the 2.5 in 2010. Because of that, it only makes sense that consumers would prefer to buy this used over the previous trim mentioned.
#6: 2010 Honda Accord
The Honda Accord base trim holds a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that puts out 177 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque. This engine is mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission, but a automatic is optional. The fuel economy of the Accord is the standard for sedans of its time, around 21 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined (with the manual transmission it goes up a bit).
One thing that puts this average sedan above the Nissan and the others is the performance and space. It’s sporting an engine that is slightly stronger than the Altima and gets relatively the same fuel economy, but has a much bigger backseat. Multiple reviewers are saying how the space in the back is one of their favorite things about the Accord, so it’s only natural this vehicle has a one-up on the Altimas.
#5: 2009 Honda Accord
Placed right below (or above, depending on how you look at it) is the 2009 Honda Accord EX. The EX comes standard with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 190 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired naturally with a five speed manual, and the automatic is again optional. The EX trim also offers a 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 271 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. The V6 trim gets an above average fuel rating of 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 25 mp combined (slightly lower with an automatic), which is on par with the 2010 trim mentioned.
It’s no wonder this one ranks above the 2010 Accord. The fact that you can get a bigger engine with more power and still get the same fuel mileage creates a no contest situation. It’s also one of the only non-base trim levels to make this list.
#4: 2010 Kia Optima
The 2010 Kia Optima LX is sitting just above the Accord EX, and it has a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that puts out 175 horsepower with 169 pound-feet torque. Much like the rest of the cars around the 2010 mark, it has the same mpg that makes it competitive with other brands.
This Kia actually seems rather plain, so how is this beating out 6 other cars in this list? Because it has something the other previous base models don’t have: features. Many reviewers agreed that a big selling point for them is the abundance of “hoots and whistles” (as one reviewer called it) and how roomy/comfortable it was inside.
#3: 2010 Hyundai Sonata
The GLS trim on this Hyundai is what nabbed it the bronze in this top ten list. The GLS trim is outfitted with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that puts out 175 horsepower and 168 pound-feet torque. A five speed manual is, again, standard, with a automatic being optional.
This Sonata gets slightly above average fuel economy for a family-size sedan, which is the main selling point for this car. Reviewers are agreeing that it’s not necessarily a luxury car, but it melds the mpg and power of a smaller sedan to that of a family-sized vehicle. Creating a very comfortable vehicle for someone who needs to take the kids on a road trip.
#2: 2011 Toyota Camry
This number two Camry has it all. Roomy and quiet comfortable interior, astounding fuel efficiency, good performance, and all at a competitive price. This means that used it’s an even better deal, hence why it’s number 2.
The engine on the base trim is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that generates 169 horsepower, which is not what people were after I’m sure. They all wanted the 3.5-liter V6 on the other trims that ponied up 268 horsepower with 248 pound-feet of torque. If you thought the 26 mpg combined on the base trim was efficient, take that 3.5-liter V6 and match it to 23 mpg combined. With that increase of power and essentially the same fuel economy, I’d opt for the higher trim while buying used as well.
#1: 2011 Hyundai Sonata
Take every good aspect we have discussed so far; roomy/comfortable interior, power, fuel economy, top safety scores, good handling, trunk space, and a competitive price, and you are looking at the Sonata.
The base engine is what most people are after in this vehicle, and its powerful. It puts put 198 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, all while getting 28 mpg combined with a manual transmission (26 with automatic). This is not only the strongest model we have seen, but also the most fuel efficient. It ranks in at number 1 because it has that perfect balance of power, fuel economy, and space. Which seems to be a common combination that consumers love when looking for a used sedan.
As you can see, the top 3 used sedans are all classified as family-sized. They were all able to blend fuel economy and performance while having the space needed for a family. While the first 7 were not lacking in these departments, the top 3 just do it better. But, I think it’s a fair assumption that these sedans are this popular for because they all have that perfect combination of power, fuel economy, space, and reliability.