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HomeCar Insurance ResourcesBest used cars to buy in Canada

The best used cars often balance reliability, longevity, fuel economy, and cost. When considering the Canadian market, one must also factor in the harsh winter conditions, which makes features like all-wheel drive (AWD) and heated options more appealing. Here’s a list of used cars often recommended for Canadian buyers, based on various factors:

  1. Honda Civic
    • Description: A compact car known for its durability and longevity.
    • Reason: The Civic boasts a strong reputation for reliability. It offers good fuel economy, comfortable interiors, and a smooth ride. Maintenance costs are generally low, and the car tends to retain its value over time.
  2. Toyota Corolla
    • Description: Another compact car with a longstanding reputation for reliability.
    • Reason: Similar to the Civic, the Corolla is known for its dependability and often lasts well beyond 300,000 kilometers with regular maintenance. It also offers good fuel economy.
  3. Mazda3
    • Description: A sporty compact car with engaging driving dynamics.
    • Reason: In addition to its fun-to-drive nature, the Mazda3 has proven to be reliable. The car also boasts good fuel economy, and newer models come with advanced safety features.
  4. Toyota Camry
    • Description: A mid-size sedan with a strong history of reliability and comfort.
    • Reason: The Camry offers spacious interiors, smooth ride quality, and efficient engines. Its reputation for low-cost maintenance and long-lasting reliability makes it a solid choice.
  5. Honda Accord
    • Description: Another mid-size sedan known for its balanced performance and durability.
    • Reason: The Accord, like the Camry, has a history of long-term reliability. It also offers a comfortable interior and more spirited driving dynamics than some of its competitors.
  6. Hyundai Elantra
    • Description: A compact car with modern styling and a value-oriented price tag.
    • Reason: Hyundai has improved its quality over the years, and the Elantra stands as a testament to this. It offers good fuel economy, a comfortable ride, and a lengthy warranty for peace of mind.
  7. Subaru Impreza
    • Description: A compact car with standard all-wheel-drive.
    • Reason: For those who face Canadian winters, the Impreza’s AWD can be a significant advantage. The car is also known for its safety features and robust build quality.
  8. Ford Fusion
    • Description: A mid-size sedan with a comfortable interior and variety of engine options.
    • Reason: The Fusion offers a good balance of comfort, driving dynamics, and technology features. While Ford has discontinued its sedan lineup in North America, the Fusion remains a popular used car choice.
  9. Chevrolet Malibu
    • Description: A mid-size sedan with a spacious interior and smooth ride.
    • Reason: The Malibu offers a lot of car for the money, with a comfortable ride and a roomy interior. Recent models also come with a suite of technology and safety features.
  10. Volkswagen Golf
  • Description: A versatile compact hatchback with European flair.
  • Reason: The Golf offers a balance of driving pleasure, practicality, and solid build quality. It’s also versatile, thanks to its hatchback design, making it easy to haul larger items.

Best used luxury cars to buy in Canada

mercedes e class

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    • Description: Compact luxury sedan with a richly appointed cabin and advanced tech.
    • Reasons: Diverse engine options, intuitive infotainment system, strong safety features, and respectable resale value.
  2. BMW 3 Series
    • Description: Compact executive car known for its athletic performance and premium features.
    • Reasons: Balanced handling, powerful engine line-up, and the xDrive models offer solid traction in winter conditions.
  3. Lexus ES
    • Description: Midsize luxury sedan blending comfort and value.
    • Reasons: Stellar reliability, premium cabin, advanced safety features, and more affordable maintenance than European peers.
  4. Audi A4
    • Description: Compact luxury sedan combining tech and performance.
    • Reasons: Renowned Quattro AWD system, upscale materials, cutting-edge infotainment, and solid resale value.
  5. Cadillac ATS
    • Description: Compact luxury sedan or coupe, focusing on sporty performance.
    • Reasons: Engaging driving dynamics, premium cabin, and state-of-the-art tech features.
  6. Infiniti Q50
    • Description: Midsize luxury sedan with a mix of performance and style.
    • Reasons: Potent engine options, high-quality interior, and a range of tech amenities.
  7. Jaguar XE
    • Description: Compact luxury sedan known for its distinctive style and agile handling.
    • Reasons: Unique British design, engaging ride, and advanced safety features.
  8. Tesla Model S
    • Description: Luxury electric sedan that redefined EV performance and range.
    • Reasons: Impressive acceleration, long electric range, and cutting-edge tech features, including Autopilot.
  9. Acura TLX
    • Description: Midsize luxury sedan blending value, comfort, and performance.
    • Reasons: Reliable, advanced safety features, sporty handling, and the SH-AWD variant offers superior winter traction.
  10. Volvo S60
  • Description: Compact luxury sedan known for its safety and elegant design.
  • Reasons: High safety ratings, luxurious cabin, efficient engines, and an intuitive infotainment system.

Luxury cars can have higher-than-average repair and maintenance costs, especially for European models. Ensure that you’re familiar with the car’s history, get a detailed inspection, and research any known issues or recalls for the specific model year you’re considering.

Best used cars and minivans for families in Canada


Here’s a list of some of the best used family cars based on these factors:

  1. Honda Odyssey
    • Description: A minivan with seating for up to eight passengers.
    • Reason: The Odyssey has consistently been rated high for safety, reliability, and family-friendly features. It offers versatile seating configurations, a spacious interior, and user-friendly tech features.
  2. Toyota Sienna
    • Description: Another reliable minivan with optional all-wheel drive.
    • Reason: Like the Odyssey, the Sienna is known for its reliability and family-friendly features. The availability of all-wheel drive makes it a unique choice for families in areas with adverse weather conditions.
  3. Subaru Outback
    • Description: A wagon with standard all-wheel drive and a rugged design.
    • Reason: The Outback offers a combination of car-like driving dynamics and SUV utility. It’s also equipped with safety features, making it an excellent choice for families.
  4. Toyota Highlander
    • Description: A mid-size SUV that combines reliability with seating for up to eight.
    • Reason: Toyota’s reputation for reliability extends to the Highlander. It offers a comfortable ride, ample cargo space, and advanced safety features in newer models.
  5. Honda CR-V
    • Description: A compact SUV known for its spacious interior and reliability.
    • Reason: The CR-V provides a good balance of size, fuel efficiency, and interior space. It’s also equipped with family-friendly features and boasts excellent safety ratings.
  6. Ford Edge
    • Description: A mid-size SUV with a roomy interior and modern tech features.
    • Reason: The Edge offers a spacious cabin, comfortable seating, and a smooth ride. Its suite of tech features makes long drives more enjoyable for the family.
  7. Mazda CX-5
    • Description: A compact SUV with agile handling and upscale interior.
    • Reason: The CX-5 is not only fun to drive but also offers a premium-feeling interior at a non-luxury price. Safety features and reliability are also strong points.
  8. Chevrolet Traverse
    • Description: A mid-size SUV with seating for up to eight and ample cargo space.
    • Reason: The Traverse is known for its spacious interior, making it great for larger families. Its smooth ride and intuitive infotainment system are added bonuses.
  9. Kia Sorento
    • Description: A mid-size SUV offering a balance of space, features, and value.
    • Reason: The Sorento is a versatile choice for families, with seating configurations for five to seven passengers. It’s also equipped with modern safety and tech features.
  10. Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Description: A mid-size SUV known for its value proposition and warranty.
  • Reason: The Santa Fe offers a lot of features for the money. It also boasts a comfortable ride, a spacious interior, and a long warranty for peace of mind.

When shopping for a used family car, always consider the specific needs of your family, such as the number of seats, storage needs, and the types of trips you frequently undertake. It’s also recommended to get a pre-purchase inspection to ensure the used vehicle you’re considering is in good condition.

About the Author: Valerie D. Hahn

Valerie is an insurance editor, journalist, and business professional at RateLab. She has more than 15 years of experience in personal financial products. She strives to educate readers and ensure that they are properly protected.

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