2019 Hyundai Sonata SEL for Sale in Tucson, AZ TECH PACKAGE 02
2019 Hyundai Sonata SEL for Sale in Tucson, AZ TECH PACKAGE 02

7 Most Reliable Cars Under $20,000

No wonder more car buyers are buying used cars instead of leasing or buying a new one. According to market insights from Cox Auto Inc., the average price of a new car in May 2022 was $47,148. To put things in perspective, that’s only a few dollars short of the average house cost in 1980. We understand inflation and other factors increase prices for just about everything year after year, but come on!

Instead of risking potentially life-changing sticker shock and then taking a big hit from depreciation on the way home, we have a better idea. In fact, we have an idea that is more than twice as better as going into debt by buying a new vehicle. What if we told you that you could buy a reliable and desirable used car for under $20,000?

It may sound too good to be true, but we promise it is, and to prove it, here are seven of the most reliable used cars you can buy today for less than $20,000.

  1. Toyota Camry
    Toyota is almost always near the top of the best-selling and most reliable used cars around, and the Toyota Camry is no exception. Top-notch reliability and consistently high resale value make the Camry a top pick for any list. Roomy, comfortable, and a pleasure to drive, there’s not much to dislike about a Camry or any other Toyota.
  2. Honda Accord
    It should be no surprise to anyone that the Honda Accord continues to rank highly for reliability and quality. The Accord’s reliability rating is 4.5 out of 5.0, which ranks it 1st out of 24 midsize cars, according to Repair Pal. The ridiculously low $400 average annual repair cost alone should tell us that it’s one of the most reliable used cars to buy.
  3. Subaru Legacy
    Known for its all-wheel drive and rugged good looks, the Subaru Legacy is an excellent example of reliability and drivability in one package. Exceptional fuel economy and a well-designed interior make the Subaru Legacy a used car choice that checks all the boxes.

    Due to the impressively few recalls and other issues, there doesn’t seem to be a lousy model year in the bunch. Year after year, the Legacy quietly holds its own as one of the most reliable cars you can buy at any price.
  4. Toyota Avalon
    There are quite a few reasons the Toyota Avalon makes lists like Car and Driver’s best-selling cars of 2020 so often. Innovative powertrains, roomy cabins, a comfortable ride, and a reputation for being easy to maintain seem to be pretty popular features!

    If you’ve never driven a Toyota Avalon and are in the market for an affordable and desirable reliable used car, you owe it to yourself to give one a spin. But you better hurry if you want the best pick because sadly, 2022 will be the last model year for this iconic mid-size car.
  5. Kia Optima
    4.4 out of 5 for reliability according to Kelly Blue Book and was named the best midsize car of 2018 by J.D. Powers. High marks for quality and reliability are not all you get with the newer Kia Optimas. You get all that dependability and the latest technology, safety features, and performance in a sharp-looking package. Best of all? You can get a well-appointed Optima for under $20,000.
  6. Hyundai Sonata
    If you’re surprised to find a Hyundai on a most reliable used car list, we get it. But the current-day Hyundai Sonata is a far cry from its troubled past prior to 2018. The later Sonatas are fun to drive and offer surprising power and handling for a car with such an economical engine. Most of all, the new and improved Hyundai Sonatas since 2018 are very reliable and offer the most popular bells and whistles. From the latest ADAS to advanced infotainment systems, the Sonata is an affordable and modern midsize.
  7. Toyota Corolla
    Yes, yet another Toyota—it’s not our fault they make some of the most reliable used cars. Repair Pal ranks the Toyota Corolla as 4.5 out of 5.0 for reliability, an impressive first-place finish out of 36 compact cars. For an average of $362 per year, you can expect to get many thousands of miles out of a Corolla. That’s about half of the $652 average annual maintenance costs for all vehicle models.

If you want the most reliable used cars for under $20,000, our top seven list should fit the bill for most drivers. Getting the most reliable used car for less than half the price of a new one is quite a deal. Let Car Time Supercenter help you find the ideal used car for your driving needs and budget. Check out our inventory online and fill out a short form or call 520-750-0505 to get started.

Shane Vossough

There are good reasons people will buy their next used car in Tucson from Car Time Supercenter. But I think we are one of the most trusted used car dealerships mainly because we treat everyone like family. My family has provided quality, dependable local used cars to Tucson customers since 1984, and I'm proud to be a part of our continued success. Like many family-owned businesses, I grew up going to work with my dad. Falling in love with cars was natural because of my father's passion, and eventually, I came to love the car business just like him. I officially joined the Car Time Supercenter team in 2012, starting in the finance department. Over the past decade, I've learned the used car business and how to treat customers from my family and industry resources. Today, I oversee marketing, social media, inventory, and reconditioning, so I play an essential role in delivering local Tucson used car buyers the best experience possible. I also help our family business keep up with the times while providing old-fashioned customer service. From attending NADA classes to becoming Allstate certified for back-end products, I continue to learn and add skills to serve our customers better.