5 Bestselling Used Cars to Buy in 2021
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While 2021 may have been a banner year for the automotive market, pandemic-driven supply issues like the microchip shortage have lowered inventory at dealerships, increasing the popularity of used cars.
Whether you're looking at a used Subaru, Toyota, Audi, or Mitsubishi, you'll probably consider things like features, drivetrain, fuel economy, body style, and more. But another way to gauge a car's real-world appeal is used car sales figures.
Though just about any used vehicle today features excellent quality and engineering, specific makes and models sell at a quicker rate, validating their positive attributes on the road.
So what were the most popular cars in the pre-owned category in 2021? What were the best used sports cars? Let's explore the best-selling cars on the used market.
The benefits of buying pre-owned
Today, a well-maintained used car can often pass for a new vehicle due to increasing quality with each subsequent model year. Evidence of this durability is the fact that the average age of a car in the U.S. now stands at more than 12 years and continues to rise year in and year out.
Once upon a time, the standard expectation for a vehicle's life was 100,000 miles. Today, it's closer to 200,000 miles.
And with a depreciation rate of up to 20 percent during the first year of vehicle ownership, those who buy used have the chance to save big versus new car prices.
When you buy a used car, you can search nationwide for the make, model, color, and options you want, without having to wait on low dealer inventory caused by supply shortages. This has especially presented a problem in 2021, with the global microchip shortage that has left automakers unable to meet high demand on dealer lots.
While buying a used car offers many benefits like excellent prices and a wide selection, where can you go for vehicles that stand the test of time? Shift offers best-in-class service contracts at a fair price without sales pressure. You get the excellent price and value of a used car with the bumper-to-bumper protection of a new car. From electric SUVs to sports cars with a manual transmission, Shift has a wide selection of quality cars on its easy-to-use website. And with a Shift Vehicle Protection Plan, not only are essential components like the engine and transmission covered, but you also receive roadside assistance should you encounter unexpected trouble. Wherever you happen to be in the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada, help is only a phone call away, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Fastest-selling used cars
1.Mazda MX-5 Miata
Since its introduction more than 30 years ago, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has become known for its ideal combination of sporty performance, fun looks, and economical fuel efficiency. With the latest version offering up a healthy serving of those attributes, the MX-5 Miata is more appealing than ever, taking only 29.8 days on average to sell on the used market.
Featuring a low curb weight just above 2,000 pounds, a convertible top, and a spirited four-cylinder engine, the MX-5 Miata not only carves up back roads like a track athlete but also returns excellent fuel economy.
And with its swooping, dramatic bodywork, the MX-5 Miata cuts a striking silhouette wherever you drive.
2. Toyota Highlander
Over the years, Toyota’s become known for producing quality vehicles that stand the test of time. And the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is no different, with the added bonuses of exemplary fuel economy, go-anywhere utility, and minivan-like cargo capacity.
Since the hybrid vehicle era began, Toyota’s been a market leader with their Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) system that allows cars to conserve fuel while driving like regular gasoline-powered ones.
If you're like most car buyers, you'll want to finance your next vehicle. But though car buying can be fun, securing an auto loan is a hassle. But Shift makes financing easy. Shift works with a network of trusted lenders who compete for your business, so you get the best deal on financing. When you apply for financing with Shift, there's no cost or obligation. Financing with Shift is so convenient that nine out of 10 customers choose us when they need a loan.
3. BMW 2-Series
The BMW 2-Series has a little bit of everything: looks, performance, German engineering, and good fuel economy. So it's no wonder it's a popular choice on the used car market, selling on average in 32 days.
The BMW 2-series has two available engine options, both with turbocharging: a four-cylinder and also the company's well-known inline-six design. The four-cylinder is good for 248 horsepower, and the six-cylinder has an ample 335. Both are finely engineered and built powerhouses with good low-end torque, top-end power, and respectable gas mileage.
And with BMW's long-admired neutral handling and luxurious interior, chances are you'll rarely find yourself without a reason to take a drive.
4. Tesla Model 3
Tesla's been a leader in the electric car segment for years, and their Model 3 offers buyers the lowest cost of entry. But even though the Model 3 is the company's most frugal option, it still has the elements that make Teslas so interesting: a high-tech electric powertrain, excellent range, and futuristic styling.
With a new Tesla Model 3 taking three to five months to reach a buyer's garage, buying a used one just makes sense. Not only can you drive off without having to wait, but you can also save thousands in the process.
Have you decided to join the ranks and get behind the wheel of a plug-in hybrid vehicle? Or maybe you want to reduce your costs and buy a reasonably priced compact SUV? Either way, Shift has the best car for you. Shift's website has a large selection of fully inspected vehicles located across the country that are ready to go. The website is user-friendly, and you'll be able to find various makes and models to suit your needs and budget. Want to take a test drive before you buy? If you live in one of Shift's many service areas, a concierge will drive to you, letting you get a feel for the vehicle's performance before signing the papers.
5. Hyundai Palisade
The Hyundai Palisade has qualities that would make any customer happy: high-end features, excellent value, and cargo room to spare. With its third-row seating and upscale styling, the Palisade wades into waters usually occupied by luxury SUVs commanding a pretty penny.
The Palisade features a silky 3.8-liter V-6 engine and rides on the same excellent platform as the Kia Telluride. If you opt for a higher trim level, the well-appointed interior may make it feel as though you're driving a luxury car.
Because of these attributes, the Palisade only takes about 32 days on average to sell on the used market.
2019 Toyota Highlander XLE (from $36,350)
2016 BMW 2 Series (from $21,950)
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All prices are based on vehicle availability and pricing as of
April 15, 2022
Pricing shown is not guaranteed and does not include taxes or other product fees.