For some, car shopping is the biggest headache; it’s easy to get overwhelmed at the sight of all the latest vehicles parked in one lot, just waiting to catch your eye. I’m no stranger to these sentiments myself. However, the key to avoiding the headache is knowing what to look for, especially when it comes to buying the best used cars.
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If you’re like me and believe ‘newer’ doesn’t always mean ‘better,’ you’d definitely be doing yourself a favor by looking into the best used cars of years past, including the best cars 2017 offered us. Having said that, it’s important to define what you want in terms of size, style, fuel economy, etc., and to plan your budget accordingly before you begin looking. This way, you don’t get your heart set on a vehicle only to have to walk away from it.
Before we start, I’d like to point out that some of our research was conducted on U.S. News & World Report, whose 2017 rankings are based on data that falls specifically within that year. We realize that car-buying trends are subject to change over time, and would like you to keep that in mind as you read our review.
So, let’s begin!
In the market for one of the best cars 2017 has to offer? Here’s where to start:
First, consider the following car types: fully electric, hybrid, or gasoline-powered. If you’re looking for a car that suits your ‘green’ initiatives, keep an eye out for the best electric cars of 2017. Also, for those who aren’t aware, purchasing a fully-electric vehicle entitles you to up to a $7,500 federal tax credit, meaning you could end up spending only a fraction of the sticker price!
Without further ado, here’s a list of 2017’s best electric cars (“EV” for short):
- Nissan Leaf (Range: 107 mi)
- Ford Focus Electric (Range: 115 mi)
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric (Range: 124 mi)
- Volkswagen e-Golf (Range: 125 mi)
- Chevrolet Bolt (Range: 238 mi)
While most of these don’t boast ranges quite like those of Tesla (except Chevy – I mean, wow), each one embodies clean energy, tons of personality, and a tech-savvy interior. I think it’s also worth mentioning these brands outdid the range of even some of their luxury counterparts.
What about the best hybrid cars?
Let’s back up; for those of you who aren’t familiar, a hybrid is powered by both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. As a result, these cars achieve way better fuel efficiency (about 40+ mpg) than their non-hybrid counterparts; they also pollute less. At the end of the day, better fuel efficiency means better savings. So for all you money-conscious shoppers who aren’t quite sold on the idea of driving fully electric, a hybrid car could end up being an excellent compromise.
Here are the best hybrid cars of 2017:
- Toyota Prius Prime (55 mpg city / 53 highway)
- Toyota Camry Hybrid (42 mpg city / 38 highway)
- Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid (49 mpg city / 43 highway)
- Toyota Prius (58 mpg city / 53 highway)
- Toyota Avalon Hybrid (40 mpg city / 39 mpg highway)
- Hyundai Ioniq (57 mpg city / 59 highway)
As far as being the best, these cars out-ranked other brands for three reasons: 1) excellent fuel economy (either in general or for their class), 2) affordable pricing, and 3) above-average reliability ratings.
Incidentally, some of the best hybrid cars in the above list also fall under the category of ‘best gas-mileage cars.’ In this case, the Hyundai Ioniq and Toyota Prius take the cake, with Hyundai’s class-leading fuel efficiency snagging the #1 spot.
Here are a few more hybrids from 2017 that offer the best gas mileage:
- Kia Niro (52 mpg city / 49 highway)
- Chevrolet Volt (43 mpg city / 42 highway)
- Ford Fusion Hybrid (43 mpg city / 41 highway)
- Honda Accord Hybrid (49 mpg city / 47 highway)
- Toyota Prius c (48 mpg city / 43 highway)
Whether you spend the majority of your ride in the city or on the highway, these highly reliable cars are designed to take you the distance.
Size matters. Tell me about the best compact cars, sedans, and SUVs of 2017.
You got it. For starters, I appreciate your candor. With all of the technology available to us today, it’s easy to get swept up by the latest and greatest advancements in automotives and disregard the size of the vehicle altogether. However, if size catches your eye first and foremost, here’s what I can offer in terms of the best compact cars and best sedans of 2017:
- Chevrolet Cruze
- Toyota Prius and Prius Prime
- Kia Soul and Forte
- Hyundai Elantra and Ioniq
- Honda Civic
Yes, in addition to ranking among the best hybrids and best gas-mileage cars, the Toyota Prius and Prius Prime are featured in this ‘best of 2017’ list as well. Furthermore, the cars above are featured due to either their above-average fuel economy, high predicted reliability ratings, and/or their roomy, upscale interiors.
But, perhaps you’d like to kick it up a notch with a larger vehicle that offers a bit more cargo space. If so, take a look at some of 2017’s best SUVs (compact and midsize):
- Ford Escape
- Kia Sorento
- Hyundai Santa Fe
- Mazda CX-5
- Honda Pilot and CR-V
Ratings of ‘Good’ in Highway Safety crash tests, as well as responsive handling and more-than-enough cargo space, ensure these vehicles will exceed drivers’ expectations. However, if you plan to drive with a trailer or heavy cargo in tow, a large SUV like the 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe or the 2017 Ford Expedition, is certain to get the job done (the Tahoe comes with more standard features, while the Expedition is better equipped to handle more cargo).
For more on SUVs, including some of the best crossover SUVs, check out The Best SUVs That Won’t Burn a Hole In Your Pocket!
The best pickup trucks of 2017:
Alright, alright. For the best trucks of 2017, I decided to focus exclusively on whether or not the vehicle met the following criteria: 4X4 driving capabilities and smooth on-/off-road handling, a powerful V6 or V8 engine, and above-average towing capacity. Afterwards, I was able to narrow my findings down to these five pickups (compact and full-size):
- Ford F-150
- Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado
- GMC Sierra
- GMC Canyon (also available in the All-Terrain X off-road setup)
Of course, I realize power and durability aren’t the only factors to consider when shopping for the best truck, so for anyone interested in the look and feel of the cabin, know that every one of these pickups boasts a stylish, upscale interior.
And there you have it! My hope for all after reading this is that you’ll be able to approach the car-buying process with complete confidence, and maybe even with some extra reassurance that the vehicle you’ve had your sight set on is, indeed, one of the best used cars on the market.