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Picks for Best Used Cars for 2021

It’s a new year and iSeeCars.com has come out with the best picks for used cars for 2021. The car search engine studied over 24 million cars and combined the results with crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Their scores on reliability and value retention were aggregated with their NHTSA average safety ratings for an overall final score of which 10 points was highest score and a highest safety rating average of 5.

Best Compact Car: Honda Civic, overall score 9 of 10; NHTSA safety rating average 4.8 of 5

Best Midsize Sedan: Honda Accord, overall score of 9.1; NHTSA safety rating score of 5

Best Full-Size Sedan: Toyota Avalon, overall score of 8.5; NHTSA safety rating average of 5

Best Compact SUV: Honda CR-V, overall score of 8.7; NHTSA safety rating average of 4.8

Best Midsize SUV: Toyota Highlander, overall score of 8.9; NHSTA safety rating average of 5

Best Full-Size SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe, overall score of 7.9; ranking #1 in its category for value retention
Best Compact Pickup Truck: Toyota Tacoma, overall score of 8.2; ranked #1 for value retention and #2 for longest lasting compact pickup truck
Best Full-Size Pickup Truck: Toyota Tundra, overall score of 8.2; ranked #1 longest lasting full-size pickup truck

Best Electric Car: Tesla Model S, overall score 9.6; NHTSA safety average of 5

Best Sports Car: Ford Mustang, overall score 8.8; NHTSA safety rating average of 5

Best Hybrid Car: Toyota Prius, overall score of 8.9; NHTSA safety rating average of 4.8

Best Hybrid SUV: Toyota Highlander Hybrid, overall score of 9.1; NHTSA safety rating average of 5

Best Used Minivans: Honda Odyssey, overall score of 9; NHTSA safety rating average of 5

The list shows automakers Honda and Toyota earned top honors on most models and styles. Among those earning top honors in luxury categories are Acura RDX (Luxury Compact SUV), Acura MDX (Luxury Midsize SUV), Lincoln Navigator (Luxury Full-Size SUV), Buick LaCrosse (Luxury Large Sedan). Noted runners-up in selected categories include the Subaru Outback (Compact SUV), Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (Full-Size Truck), Chevrolet Impala (Large Sedan).

See the iSeeCars study for the complete list of categories and winners including the best luxury used vehicles for each category and second runners-up, and best used cars under $5,000, $10,000 and their runners-up.


When in the market for a used car, stop by Carousel Preowned. CarouselPreowned serving Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, North Liberty, Marion, and Coralville, IA, is proud to be an automotive leader in our community. We do our best to ensure your complete satisfaction every time you step into our car dealership. This is why we offer the widest selection of used and pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs and provide true ease of purchase in Iowa