The Best Used Car Deals of April 2022

Here are four great picks to check out this spring.

Steven Lang | 
Apr 28, 2022 | 3 min read

Blue Chevy Spark EVChevrolet

Fear is a huge motivating factor in what cars people buy and how much they pay. When gas prices are high, as they are now, people tend to worry about mileage more and may sacrifice some of what they want—be it passenger volume or luxury accommodations—in favor of fuel efficiency. That might help explain why prices on compact cars have gone up nearly 45% from just a year ago, according to the Manheim Market Report, which tracks the transaction prices of millions of late-model vehicles nationwide.

But we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to give up what you want if you’re smart about your decision. In the used-car market, there are several vehicles—especially discontinued (and therefore overlooked) models—that offer unusually strong bang for the buck in a tough market.

Here are four that hit the sweet spot of long-term value.

 Cadillac XTSCadillac

Best Large Luxury Sedan Under $25,000: 2014-17 Cadillac XTS ($15,000 to $21,500)

The entry-level version of a 2015 Cadillac XTS with 50,000 miles on the odometer now costs $18,900, only $3,400 more than a 2015 Kia Forte5 EX with the same mileage, according to the Manheim Market Report. The difference between the two when they were brand new? Nearly $25,000. Yet that full-size Caddy gets only 1 mpg less on the highway and 3 less in the city than the compact Kia. Presuming each sees 15,000 miles of mixed driving a year, that cost difference at the pump would amount to less than $400 annually.

Thanks to a bulletproof powertrain, the Cadillac XTS also registers excellent long-term reliability, according to the Long-Term Quality Index. If you do a lot of driving and are looking for American luxury at a reasonable price, the XTS should definitely be on your test-drive list.

 Red Smart FortwoSmart

Best City Car Under $15,000: 2016-17 Smart Fortwo ($10,000 to $12,000)

In the city, many of us just want a fun, safe, and small car that is easy to park and gets excellent fuel economy. The pint-sized Smart Fortwo offers all of this without the stiff price premium plaguing many compact cars in the used market right now.

Engineered and built by Daimler, this aptly named Smart car is a great fit for those of us who need just enough seating for two and cargo space to take care of most city chores. The Fortwo also can get over 40 mpg with a light foot, according to, and the heavy-duty Tridion cage that surrounds the interior fares quite well in a collision with the much larger and heavier Mercedes S-Class.

 Gray Mazda5Mazda

Best Minivan Under $15,000: 2013-15 Mazda5 ($10,000 to $12,000)

Families often have to make a choice between fun, practicality, and frugality, but not with the Mazda5. Based on the same chassis as the Mazda3 compact, this now-discontinued sporty minivan handles well, seats six, and gets 28 mpg on the highway, a point better than the Honda Odyssey of the time. And because people in today’s market often overlook compact vans, you can find a 5 for ridiculously cheap, especially the base and mid-level versions. If you don’t need something large, the reliable Mazda5 is a hidden gem that’s well worth a look.

 Blue Chevy Spark EV at sunsetChevrolet

Best EV Under $10,000: 2014-15 Chevy Spark EV ($8,000 to $10,000)

In the early days of EVs, automakers struggled to imbue their affordable battery-powered cars with a sense of fun, and longevity was a concern on every buyer’s mind. But the Chevy Spark EV bucks these trends. Owners still rave about the car, appreciating its quick-for-the-time acceleration and low center of gravity that makes it handle well. Plus, its 21.3 kWh lithium-ion battery leverages liquid cooling, which is a good thing, as liquid-cooled packs tend to be more durable than air-cooled batteries from the same era, according to data from telematics-fleet-management company Geotab. Just make sure your driving habits fit with the Spark EV’s estimated 82 mile range.

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Edited by humans.

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