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Used Car Best Bets
2007 Used Car Best Bets

Updated June 2007

Edmunds.com's annual Used Car Best Bet Awards are based on the following criteria: reliability, safety and availability (wider availability means more competitive prices and better value). Eligibility is limited to used cars originally sold from 2000 to 2005. (About Used Car Best Bets)

The following vehicles are our winners for 2007:

Compact Sedan | Midsize Sedan | Large Sedan | Coupe | Convertible | Wagon | Compact SUV/Crossover | Midsize SUV/Crossover | Large SUV/Crossover | Minivan/Van | Compact Truck | Large Truck | Luxury | Hybrid

Compact Sedan: 2001-2005 Hyundai Elantra

2005 Hyundai Elantra

A complete redesign in 2001 earned the Hyundai Elantra our respect, which was bolstered further by a tough tour of duty in our long-term fleet. In addition to peppy performance and a smooth ride, the Elantra offers solid build quality, reliability and operating economy. The GT version came in a useful hatchback body style that provided added cargo capacity in addition to standard leather seating, a moonroof and a sport-tuned suspension that improved the car's handling. Impressive crash test scores are another feather in the Elantra's cap.

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2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005

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Midsize Sedan: 2000-2005 Toyota Camry

2005 Toyota Camry

Fine build quality, legendary reliability and a hushed ride characterize the Camry. Though the arch rival Honda Accord may offer a more sporting drive, we picked the Camry based on its more serene cabin and compliant ride, qualities that are typically more appreciated in a family midsize car than apex-strafing ability. The Camry was redesigned in 1997 and this generation lasted through the 2001 model year, meaning all of these years are equally strong picks. An all-new Camry bowed for 2002, offering even more refinement and better driving dynamics.

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2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005

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Large Sedan: 2000-2005 Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis

2005 Ford Crown Victoria

Ever wonder why police departments and taxi companies use these "old-tech" V8, rear-wheel-drive sedans? Because they're basically bullet-proof. Really, could a car have a tougher job than serving cab duty in New York City? Or cruiser duty in Los Angeles? Not only that, but these traditional American full-sizers are also very comfortable to ride in, have plenty of luggage capacity and are cheap to keep in light of their low maintenance requirements and commendable fuel efficiency (highway ratings are as high as 25 mpg). They also have very good crash test scores.

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Ford Crown Victoria:
2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005
Mercury Grand Marquis:
2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005

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Coupe: 2000-2005 BMW 3 Series

2005 BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series embodies everything a coupe should be: sporty, stylish and with a level of practicality closer to that of a sedan than a dedicated sports car. Even if you go with the entry-level 323Ci (which has the smaller engine), there's still plenty of performance to be had from the smooth inline-6. Communicative steering coupled to an athletic chassis provides a very satisfying drive and validates why these cars remain highly popular with enthusiasts.

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2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005

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Convertible: 2000-2005 Mazda Miata

2005 Mazda Miata

Anyone who wonders how car enthusiasts can be so passionate about driving need only take a spin in a Miata. With its ultraresponsive and communicative steering, an exuberant engine and a manual transmission with short, precise throws, Mazda's little two-seater wins over even those who don't know a camshaft from a half shaft. Nothing within the average Joe's means represents affordable all-around automotive athleticism better than a Miata. Factor in great reliability, frugal fuel usage and plenty of aftermarket accessories and it's easy to see why so many Miata owners love their car as much as (maybe even more than) their significant other.

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2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005

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Wagon: 2003-2005 Pontiac Vibe

2005 Pontiac Vibe

With more than a touch of style, impressive space-efficiency, compact dimensions and a smooth, reliable powertrain courtesy of Toyota, the Vibe makes for a very practical choice. Although it shares its mechanical components with the Toyota Matrix, the Vibe is arguably more attractive. In addition, it will likely be a better value, as chances are you can get this Pontiac for less money than a comparable Matrix due to the high resale prices the Toyota name commands.

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2003 | 2004 | 2005

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Compact SUV/Crossover: 2003-2005 Honda Element

2005 Honda Element

Tall and boxy, yet shorter than a Civic, the Honda Element offers a lot of room within its small footprint. Ideal for active people, the Element's four-passenger cabin allows easy stowage of mountain bikes and quick cleanup thanks to water-resistant seats and a urethane floor covering. Honda's strong reputation for reliability and longevity seals the deal.

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2003 | 2004 | 2005

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Midsize SUV/Crossover: 2004-2005 Mitsubishi Endeavor

2005 Mitsubishi Endeavor

After winning an Edmunds' comparison test, the Endeavor won us over again as a reliable and comfortable addition to our long-term fleet. Peppy performance, carlike ride and handling, solid build quality and good crash test scores make the Endeavor a fine choice for a family vehicle. Though some shoppers may bemoan the lack of a third-row seat option, there is no denying its value proposition for families of four or five, as the Endeavor is typically thousands less than the more popular picks in this category.

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2004 | 2005

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Large SUV/Crossover: 2000-2005 Chevrolet Tahoe

2005 Chevrolet Tahoe

Strong performance, a comfortable ride and attractive styling are a few of the Tahoe's assets. Others include a roomy cabin that can seat up to nine and fairly nimble handling for such a bulky vehicle. A Tahoe equipped with the torque-rich 5.3-liter V8 is a good choice for towing duty.

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2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005

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Minivan/Van: 2000-2005 Honda Odyssey

2005 Honda Odyssey

Before 1999, the Odyssey couldn't compete with the more powerful V6-powered minivans from Dodge and Toyota. A four-cylinder engine, no matter how refined, isn't going to cut it when the van is loaded up with seven passengers and their belongings. That all changed when Honda brought out the completely revamped Odyssey in 1999. Boasting the most powerful V6 in the segment, along with a huge interior, hide-away third-row seat, top safety scores and Honda's solid reputation for quality and reliability, the Odyssey quickly jumped to the head of the class. You'll probably have to lay out a few more greenbacks for one of these vans, even in the used market, but consider it money well spent.

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2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005

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Compact Truck: 2000-2005 Toyota Tacoma

2005 Toyota Tacoma

In addition to the well-known strengths of impressive overall quality and a rock-solid reliability record, the Tacoma offers a pickup for most any need or personality. There's even the PreRunner edition which offers the suspension, ride height and aggressive tires of a 4WD truck without the added complexity and fuel appetite. Whether you're looking for a sporty street truck, an aggressive off-roader or a crew-cab family truck, we're willing to bet that the Tacoma lineup has something with your name on it.

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2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005

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Large Truck: 2000-2005 Ford F-150

2005 Ford F-150

There must be a very good reason that the Ford F-150 has been the top-selling vehicle in America for the last two decades. We can think of many: a huge variety of cab styles and trim levels, a comfortable interior with sound ergonomics, a compliant ride, communicative and precise steering, smooth power plants and best-in-class brakes.

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2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005

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Luxury: 2003-2005 Infiniti G35

2005 Infiniti G35

With rear-wheel drive, a ripping V6 and sporty suspension tuning, the G35 is Infiniti's answer to the BMW 3 Series. As compared to that German benchmark, the G's much roomier cabin and lower acquisition and maintenance costs make the Infiniti a smart choice for savvy enthusiasts. While the sedan will make the most sense for most folks, the rakish coupe offers Nissan 350Z (the G35's platform mate) intenders more practicality with virtually identical performance.

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2003 | 2004 | 2005

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Hybrid: 2004-2005 Toyota Prius

2005 Toyota Prius

After testing the hybrid waters with the cramped first-generation Prius, Toyota pulled out all the stops with this, the second-generation version. The Prius' snub-nosed hatchback design devotes most of the car's body to passenger and cargo space. The result is a large cabin that provides midsize sedan room within a relatively small body, making the Prius a snap to park in tight spaces. Of course it gets excellent fuel economy, but not at the expense of respectable performance, as there is more than adequate power on tap for dealing with city traffic as well as passing and merging on the freeway.

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2004 | 2005

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