Four of the Best Used Car Deals of May, 2022
With gas prices hovering above $4, hybrid cars and SUVs are in high demand, but there are still deals to be had if you know where to look.
Seeking out a fuel-efficient car right when gas prices spike is a good way to overpay for a used vehicle. But if you’re adamant about buying a car or SUV that is easy on your wallet both at the time of purchase and every instance you refuel it, there are a few deals that can still be found.
While electric vehicles (EVs) are tops in fuel economy, they’re not always practical, particularly if you want to avoid range anxiety on long trips. Hybrids, on the other hand, provide the best of both worlds: They tend to be much more efficient than their gas-powered counterparts, but don’t need to sit at a plug for hours in order to run.
With proper care and preventive maintenance, a hybrid can last hundreds of thousands of miles, and the four on our list are real bargains right now. Take a look.
2006-2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid: $8,000 to $40,000
Compared with its gas-powered sibling, the 2006-2013 Highlander Hybrid performs up to 47% better in combined fuel economy, with the later years of that generation seeing 28 mpg. That’s also much better than what minivans and other three-row SUVs from that time period achieve on the EPA’s combined cycle.
Toyota significantly improved on the Highlander Hybrid’s fuel economy with the 2020-2022 models, which return 36 mpg in front-drive form; that beats the front-drive, non-hybrid’s rating by a whopping 12 mpg. And while a gas-only Highlander may cost less on the used market than a hybrid model, you can expect the hybrid version to save you enough in fuel costs to make up for its premium within five years.
2010-2020 Ford Fusion Hybrid: $10,000 to $22,000
Discontinued models often sell for thousands less than the competition, not because they’re necessarily inferior, but because people don’t think to search for them. The Fusion Hybrid is a prime example. For most of its production run, this mid-size sedan beat the Toyota Camry Hybrid in fuel economy. And yet today on the used market, it sells for anywhere between $3,000 and $13,000 less than a contemporary Camry despite providing comparable levels of performance.
Those who want luxury along with frugality should consider the range-topping Titanium trim, which features leather-trimmed front bucket seats with heating and ventilation, adaptive cruise control, a power sunroof, and a 12-speaker Sony audio system. It’s a lot of bang for your buck.
2019-2022 Honda Insight: $23,000 to $30,000
When shopping for a fuel-efficient ride, people tend to overlook Honda’s compact Insight, which is a shame because the most recent generation not only boasts a five-star safety rating and up to 52 mpg in combined fuel economy, but it routinely receives good reviews from automotive outlets.
One reason for this sedan’s relative obscurity could be that the Insight is something of an undercover fuel-sipper, with an upscale, conservative look. It doesn’t shout to the world that it’s a hybrid quite like the distinctively styled Toyota Prius does. But that’s all the better for you, if you’re shopping for one on the used market. According to the Manheim Market Report, a base 2020 Insight goes for $25,500 on average, whereas the lowliest 2020 Prius costs some $4,000 more.
2011-2015 Chevrolet Volt: $10,000 to $15,000
Considering that 95% of car trips are under 30 miles and that the first-generation Chevy Volt can cover between 35 and 38 miles on electricity alone, it’s no surprise this plug-in hybrid can go for quite a while without needing to stop for gas: In fact, in 2013, owners were averaging 900 miles between fill-ups. Plus, those who buy them usually love them, with the Volt topping Consumer Reports’ owner satisfaction survey during its first two years in production. The thermal management system of the liquid-cooled battery has helped many of these early Volts see upwards of 200,000 miles without issue, and models equipped with the Premium package provide a surprising level of luxury.