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Best Used Cars to Look For in 2020

A red 2019 Toyota Camry is parked next to a dark grey one in front of buildings with lots of windows.

With 2019 behind us, and moving ever further in the past, cars that were once brand new in the previous year, are slowly starting to crop up in used car lots across the country. This is hardly an issue, particularly for a driver who’s hoping to drive home in something that is almost as good as new. 2019 was a big year for cars and left drivers with a pick of the litter in terms of various options. From the ever-growing popularity of the compact SUV to the steady rise of hybrid powertrains across a wide variety of automaker lineups, the 2019 year model introduced a lot of great features and additions that are bound to be carried over into 2020. So, needless to say, if you’re shopping for used cars in 2020, you’ll have more than enough options to choose from, to the point of being nearly overwhelmed. Fortunately, we’ve put together this brief guide of the best used cars to look out for in 2020.

The Consistent Sedan that Can Go the Distance

While the compact SUV commanded attention in the 2019 model year, the sedan remained a staple of auto lineups across the industry. When it comes to purchasing a used sedan from 2019, there are plenty of contenders, but near the top of our recommendation list is the 2019 Toyota Camry. Toyota has already earned a reputation for creating vehicles, sedans, in particular, that last well beyond expectation, and the 2019 model is no different, which is why it is our top pick for used sedans.

The 2019 Toyota Camry can be found in either the L, LE, SE, XSE, and XLE trim options. On top of these five different trim levels, drivers can also purchase hybrid variants that extend the fuel economy of this already gas-conscious sedan. Powering the 2019 Toyota Camry is a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine that is rated for 200 horsepower and is saddled alongside an 8-speed automatic transmission and a front-wheel drivetrain. Remarkably, drivers can also try out a version of the Toyota Camry tweaked for performance, and it takes shape in the form of a 3.5-liter V6 engine that churns out 301 horsepower, which is quite a lot of power given the Camry’s size. The hybrid variant of the Toyota Camry is also worthwhile, using a 176 horsepower 2.5-liter inline-4 engine and a CVT to whip around at a rate of 208 horsepower. The combined electric and gas fuel economy of the hybrid Toyota Camry is also quite spectacular, coming in at a max of 52 mpg combined.

There is also no shortage of technology to be had in the 2019 Toyota Camry. Even base models come with a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen that is integrated with Apple CarPlay. Additional entry-level features include a sweeping range of active safety features, with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and active lane control. When upgraded to its top-tier trim, the Toyota Camry is no joke in terms of tech, sporting a keyless ignition, an intuitive head-up display, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a bigger infotainment and instrument display.
All totaled, the 2019 Toyota Camry is a well-rounded sedan that would make a great choice for any commuter, or driver looking for something small, simple, and effective.

A Compact SUV Built to Last

A red 2019 Hyundai Kona, which is new among used cars, is parked in the desert.

Compact SUVs are beginning to crowd automaker lineups, which makes competition a big deal across the board. The 2019 year saw a bounty of compact SUVs, and sitting near the top of them all is the 2019 Hyundai Kona. Known for its quirky styling, this SUV is more than just a charming face. Measured at only 164” in length and 71” in width, calling the Hyundai Kona small is somewhat obvious. However, thanks to the Kona’s small size, the near equally compact engine provides more than enough power. The base 2.0-liter inline-4 engine zips out 147 horsepower through a 6-speed automatic transmission and can be purchased with either a front-wheel or all-wheel drivetrain. While this engine may seem small, don’t let its size fool you. Driving the Hyundai Kona is a nimble venture, and thanks to the small engine, you’ll get to enjoy 30 mpg combined in this standard drivetrain.

The Hyundai Kona may be small, but drivers will still find plenty of cargo space, measuring in at around 45.8 cubic feet in total. And anyone who sits behind the wheel of the 2019 Hyundai Kona will get to enjoy plenty of active safety features as base models all get forward-collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, and active lane control. A 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen that’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integrated comes in all base models, as does two USB ports, and some comfy cloth upholstery.

Large and in Charge

A dark grey 2020 Hyundai Palisade is driving on a highway next to the ocean.

Of the larger SUVs that came out in 2019, the 2020 Hyundai Palisade is certainly one of the more impressive vehicles out there. Although you’d be hard pressed to find one used already, we chose this as our pick to look out for next year. Available in three streamlined trim options aptly named the SE, SEL, and Limited, the Hyundai Palisade doesn’t waste any time in providing a great driving experience right from the start. Performance in the Hyundai Palisade is solid, especially considering the size of this three-row behemoth. All models get a 3.8-liter V6 engine that doesn’t hesitate in delivering 291 horsepower. The 8-speed automatic transmission makes for some tight driving, and thanks to the ability to adjust drive modes based on the terrain or road conditions, the Hyundai Palisade is certainly far more capable than it looks. And if you want to take that capability to new heights, you certainly can with the all-wheel-drivetrain available on all models.

If you measure the Hyundai Palisade from one end to the other, you’ll find about 196.1 inches of car. Step inside, it’s clear that you’re given access to every available inch. 86.4 cubic feet make up the max total of cargo space behind the rear seats, and with three rows of seating to utilize, the Hyundai Palisade should have no issue transporting people either.

What makes the 2020201 Hyundai Palisade particularly worthwhile is the level of technology packed into every trim level. Let’s start with safety. Each model of the Hyundai Palisade gets automatic emergency braking, rear parking sensors, and active lane control, a package that dwarfs even some top-tier competitor models. Upgrade that basic package, and you’ll certainly find more than enough to protect you on the road, with additional features like blind-spot monitors, a head-up display, blind-spot cameras, and a nifty surround-view camera system. Infotainment deserves focused attention as well, as even base models get a sprawling 8.0-inch infotainment touch-display that is compatible with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Higher trims expand this screen to a dazzling 10.3-inch display and add in additional convenience features such as second-row USB ports, a wireless phone charger, keyless ignition, and power-folding second and third rows.

Buying Used in 2020

These are just three of the vehicles that we think deserve extra attention from used car buyers in 2020. In truth, the 2019 lineup is filled with vehicles that are bound to make an excellent used car purchase. We urge every interested buyer to check out these vehicles up close and personal during a test drive at your used car local dealership.

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