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The Best Used Cars of 2013

by Carl Boykin

The new year is a time for resolutions. Drivers who resolved to upgrade their day-to-day vehicles have plenty of options, and it's easy to get pulled in different directions. Used cars offer the chance to upgrade on a budget, and as cars are becoming more reliable, now is the time to upgrade to the newer model that fits your needs. Whether you're a child-toting mom or an eco-friendly college grad, you'll be able to find a reliable ride at the right price. These models are known for their price, performance and long-term durability:

2006-11' Toyota Tacoma - The Working Truck

Construction professionals and home-improvement hobbyists alike know the value of a reliable truck. The Toyota Tacoma is one of the all-time most successful small pick-up trucks for a reason: it gets the job done. Functional, affordable and reliable to a fault, a wide range of used Tacomas can serve your transportation needs. Right now, you'll get top value on 2006-11' models. Opt for Tacoma Double Cab if you'll be transporting people often, and check out the PreRunner if you're looking for an extra-strength suspension.

2010 Toyota Prius - The Green Machine

Drivers looking to reduce gas costs are reaping the benefits of burgeoning hybrid technology. The Toyota Prius has been the most popular hybrid for more than a decade, and the third generation, introduced in 2009, offers unprecedented performance and reliability. Hybrid shoppers no longer need to count on $40,000+ price tags to drive green. Used 2010 Toyota Prius hybrids list for around $13,000. Buy from an authorized dealer and you can protect yourself with a factory warranty. Not only are these hybrids easy on gas, they also feature mid-size sedan room and Toyota's renowned safety features. If you're worried about reliability, third-party companies can provide financial protection, and resources like Carchex offer free auto warranty quotes on the Prius or any other used vehicle.

2005 Honda Civic - The Penny Pincher

A used car may not always be a sexy purchase, but if you choose right, a resale might get you from A to B for the next decade. Japanese auto manufacturer Honda is a titan of reliable, economical cars, thanks in large part to the Honda Civic. This line of compact sedans is a model of consistency, producing efficient, affordable cars year-in and year-out. If you're looking for a workhorse vehicle on a tight budget, opt for the older 2005 Civic. It may not have some of the bells and whistles available in newer cars, but you can count on it for a well-made engine.

2004 Honda Odyssey- The Family Wagon

Growing families need an appropriate amount of car space to get through day-to-day activities. If you're looking for an affordable family van, the 2004 Honda Odyssey is a decade-old vehicle that continues to impress drivers. Spacious, reliable and safe, the Odyssey provides peace of mind to road-warrior parents. It seats seven and features a V6 engine. Like the Honda Civic, Odysseys are known for their reliability. A lightly-used older model offers great value at a discounted rate.

About the Author:
Carl Boykin is an insurance agent and diehard Ravens fan. He is married with three kids.

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