The 8 Best Brands to Buy Used Cars From in 2021

The 8 Best Brands to Buy Used Cars From in 2021
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There is much to consider when you’re looking to buy a vehicle: reliability, style, fuel efficiency, safety ratings, even brand loyalty. Thanks to the internet, we are more informed than ever. Unfortunately, that can also lead to information overload. To help narrow down the pool, here’s a list of the best car brands to consider when taking this exciting step. 

According to Consumer Reports, a US organization that performs yearly automotive evaluations, you’re sure to find something that best suits your lifestyle among the following eight picks, several of which also double as some of the top-rated cars on the market today.

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Mazda

Mazda

First up: Mazda. This brand tops the 2021 Consumer Report as the overall best in class and the best in reliability. This Japanese automaker is known for its diversity in physical designs as well as being environmentally friendly. With prices from as little as $8,450 for the Mazda 2 to $31,950 for the Mazda MX-5 Miata, Shift has an impressive array of options no matter your budget. If you’re looking to drive one of the best quality car brands – Mazda has been consecutively voted on as one of the top 10 car makers year after year – without plunking down too much cash, then Shift has got you covered.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test DrivesButton Text
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Mazda
Mazda

First up: Mazda. This brand tops the 2021 Consumer Report as the overall best in class and the best in reliability. This Japanese automaker is known for its diversity in physical designs as well as being environmentally friendly. With prices from as little as $8,450 for the Mazda 2 to $31,950 for the Mazda MX-5 Miata, Shift has an impressive array of options no matter your budget. If you’re looking to drive one of the best quality car brands – Mazda has been consecutively voted on as one of the top 10 car makers year after year – without plunking down too much cash, then Shift has got you covered.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Mazda

Honda

Honda

Another Japanese automaker that's known for its consistency and reliability is Honda. Perpetually striving for innovative success, Honda's cutting-edge designs span from vehicles to motorcycles and power products for your home and yard. Regarding cars, it's all about spreading "the joy of driving," and upon sliding behind the wheel, you won't be disappointed. The Honda Civic and Honda Accord are two of the most popular models, and both are known for their reliability on the road. With prices that range from $6,590 for earlier-year base models to $40,250 for more recent top-tier trims, when it comes to a Honda, Shift has options for everyone.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test DrivesButton Text
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Honda
Honda

Another Japanese automaker that's known for its consistency and reliability is Honda. Perpetually striving for innovative success, Honda's cutting-edge designs span from vehicles to motorcycles and power products for your home and yard. Regarding cars, it's all about spreading "the joy of driving," and upon sliding behind the wheel, you won't be disappointed. The Honda Civic and Honda Accord are two of the most popular models, and both are known for their reliability on the road. With prices that range from $6,590 for earlier-year base models to $40,250 for more recent top-tier trims, when it comes to a Honda, Shift has options for everyone.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Honda

Nissan

Nissan

Moving along, we have Nissan. Nissans have a personality all their own as they stand out amongst other brands due to the breadth of their lineup. This brand is excellent because the overall look and feel of each car are simply classic. Additionally, Nissan is known for its progressive safety features, including forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking system. At Shift, the Nissan Murano in particular is one of the best deals for your dollar, and theNissan Versa, some of which sit at the most affordable price of $8,950, is one of the best compact cars currently available.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test DrivesButton Text
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Nissan
Nissan

Moving along, we have Nissan. Nissans have a personality all their own as they stand out amongst other brands due to the breadth of their lineup. This brand is excellent because the overall look and feel of each car are simply classic. Additionally, Nissan is known for its progressive safety features, including forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking system. At Shift, the Nissan Murano in particular is one of the best deals for your dollar, and theNissan Versa, some of which sit at the most affordable price of $8,950, is one of the best compact cars currently available.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Nissan

Subaru

Subaru

Considered one of the most popular car brands, Subaru is yet another Japanese automaker that received high rankings on the Consumer Report – ranking third, specifically – and in customer popularity. Three simple words sum up Subaru and its extensive lineup of vehicles: all-wheel-drive, which comes standard on all models. But, if that isn’t quite your style, never fear: Subaru offers a diverse line of cars from compact sizes to a more sports-based design, such as the especially popular Subaru Crosstrek. At Shift, you can find Subarus that range from $12,500 for the Subaru Impreza to $41,250 for the Subaru Ascent.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test DrivesButton Text
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Subaru
Subaru

Considered one of the most popular car brands, Subaru is yet another Japanese automaker that received high rankings on the Consumer Report – ranking third, specifically – and in customer popularity. Three simple words sum up Subaru and its extensive lineup of vehicles: all-wheel-drive, which comes standard on all models. But, if that isn’t quite your style, never fear: Subaru offers a diverse line of cars from compact sizes to a more sports-based design, such as the especially popular Subaru Crosstrek. At Shift, you can find Subarus that range from $12,500 for the Subaru Impreza to $41,250 for the Subaru Ascent.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Subaru

Chevrolet

Chevrolet

Offering customers an array of options, from smaller, domestic-style cars to SUVs and trucks, Chevrolet has it all. Primarily known for having a ‘sporty’ reputation, Chevy is not just a cookie-cutter brand; as of late, they’ve improved their SUV lineup as well as begun to explore electric alternatives. 

Having a car that simultaneously reduces your carbon footprint while allowing you to go from point A to B is a win-win combination. If that sounds like something right up your alley, the Chevrolet Spark EV is the most suitable option. The Spark EV is small and easy to handle and offers many technological conveniences, including Bluetooth and Wifi. And with prices as low as $8,650, who says you need to splurge to help protect the environment? 

Furthermore, Chevy is also well-known as a truck brand. Not only are they some of the best pickups, but they’re also one of the most practical, too, and Shift offers several options. The Chevy Silverado 1500 is capable of hauling all sorts of cargo and neatly seats six people, and it can be yours for the price of $41,950. A brand-new 2021 model can cost up to $53,900; when you choose to buy used, you’ll be able to save money while getting the same, well-maintained product.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test DrivesButton Text
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Chevrolet
Chevrolet

Offering customers an array of options, from smaller, domestic-style cars to SUVs and trucks, Chevrolet has it all. Primarily known for having a ‘sporty’ reputation, Chevy is not just a cookie-cutter brand; as of late, they’ve improved their SUV lineup as well as begun to explore electric alternatives. 

Having a car that simultaneously reduces your carbon footprint while allowing you to go from point A to B is a win-win combination. If that sounds like something right up your alley, the Chevrolet Spark EV is the most suitable option. The Spark EV is small and easy to handle and offers many technological conveniences, including Bluetooth and Wifi. And with prices as low as $8,650, who says you need to splurge to help protect the environment? 

Furthermore, Chevy is also well-known as a truck brand. Not only are they some of the best pickups, but they’re also one of the most practical, too, and Shift offers several options. The Chevy Silverado 1500 is capable of hauling all sorts of cargo and neatly seats six people, and it can be yours for the price of $41,950. A brand-new 2021 model can cost up to $53,900; when you choose to buy used, you’ll be able to save money while getting the same, well-maintained product.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Chevrolet

Volkswagen

Volkswagen

One of the world’s leading European manufacturers, German-designed Volkswagens are all about being fun to drive and making the driver feel good while doing so. At Shift, Volkswagens are available starting at $9,950 for the Volkswagen CC, up to $40,950 for the Golf R

Like Chevrolet, this company is also branching off into alternative fuel sources, and the Volkswagen e-Golf is one such product. Equipped with modern comforts like heated seating and Bluetooth, you’ll have no problem going where you need to go in this compact, smooth-handling ride. What makes this vehicle even more enticing is that the e-Golf battery will recharge up to 80 percent in just 30 minutes, in case you’re in a rush to get out the door and on the road.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test DrivesButton Text
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Volkswagen
Volkswagen

One of the world’s leading European manufacturers, German-designed Volkswagens are all about being fun to drive and making the driver feel good while doing so. At Shift, Volkswagens are available starting at $9,950 for the Volkswagen CC, up to $40,950 for the Golf R

Like Chevrolet, this company is also branching off into alternative fuel sources, and the Volkswagen e-Golf is one such product. Equipped with modern comforts like heated seating and Bluetooth, you’ll have no problem going where you need to go in this compact, smooth-handling ride. What makes this vehicle even more enticing is that the e-Golf battery will recharge up to 80 percent in just 30 minutes, in case you’re in a rush to get out the door and on the road.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Volkswagen

Toyota

Toyota

Well-known and well-loved, Toyota has a vehicle for any occasion. The Corolla reigns as one of the best small cars available, the Prius as the best hybrid, and the Camry as one of the best sedans on the market. These three models have also garnered plenty of popularity over the years. As a result, they are some of the company’s most beloved; additionally, the Prius and the Camry are two of the best-ranked models available under $10,000 available for purchase at Shift. 

Toyotas also have a reputation for being eco-friendly. Depending on the model, these cars release some of the lowest carbon emissions compared to other brands. 

Offering more than 470 different models and prices ranging from $7,700 for the Toyota Matrix up to $49,650 for the Toyota 4Runner, Shift is sure to have a Toyota that is right for you.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test DrivesButton Text
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Toyota
Toyota

Well-known and well-loved, Toyota has a vehicle for any occasion. The Corolla reigns as one of the best small cars available, the Prius as the best hybrid, and the Camry as one of the best sedans on the market. These three models have also garnered plenty of popularity over the years. As a result, they are some of the company’s most beloved; additionally, the Prius and the Camry are two of the best-ranked models available under $10,000 available for purchase at Shift. 

Toyotas also have a reputation for being eco-friendly. Depending on the model, these cars release some of the lowest carbon emissions compared to other brands. 

Offering more than 470 different models and prices ranging from $7,700 for the Toyota Matrix up to $49,650 for the Toyota 4Runner, Shift is sure to have a Toyota that is right for you.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Toyota

Ford

Ford

Last but certainly not least is Ford. This all-American brand has an outstanding reputation, thanks to the Mustang and its rich racing history. But Ford isn’t just about flashy cars. Ever the pioneer brand, Ford Motors has adjusted its efforts into improving other models. Above all, Fords are dependable and offer customers a wide range of hybrid designs, SUVs, and trucks. 

At Shift, more than 200 selections are available, with the most affordable vehicles starting at $7,500 with the Ford Fiesta, up to $58,950 as is the case for the F-150.  The F-150 is also a heavy hitter in the realm of pickups, with its versatility and fuel efficiency.


30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test DrivesButton Text
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Ford
Ford

Last but certainly not least is Ford. This all-American brand has an outstanding reputation, thanks to the Mustang and its rich racing history. But Ford isn’t just about flashy cars. Ever the pioneer brand, Ford Motors has adjusted its efforts into improving other models. Above all, Fords are dependable and offer customers a wide range of hybrid designs, SUVs, and trucks. 

At Shift, more than 200 selections are available, with the most affordable vehicles starting at $7,500 with the Ford Fiesta, up to $58,950 as is the case for the F-150.  The F-150 is also a heavy hitter in the realm of pickups, with its versatility and fuel efficiency.


30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Ford

Whether you’re looking for a modest car for life in the city, a snazzier ride, or one better suited for a family, there is most definitely a brand for you out there. Shift boasts a wide selection of make and models that offer 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. Shift’s mechanics are certified and perform a 150-point inspection on every vehicle, too, so you know it’s as good as new from the second you first turn the key. And if you’re unsatisfied with your purchase, Shift’s has a seven-day return policy guarantee. 

So, rest assured, whatever brand catches your eye, it will be smooth sailing. 

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Author
Shift Editorial Team