If you are shopping for a late model used car and you have a budget of up to $25,000, you will find excellent choices in several high quality models. Whether you buy directly from a current owner or choose a certified pre-owned model (CPO) from a car dealer, these are some of the quality models you can get for under $25,000. Here’s our list of mainstream and luxury models for your review.
2014 Toyota Camry
America’s best-selling car for most of the new millennium is the 2014 Toyota Camry. This five-passenger, front-wheel drive sedan is prized by owners for its excellent quality, roomy interior, advanced technologies and high residual values.
A one-year old CPO Camry SE with 20,000 miles on the odometer can be had for about $23,000, and will include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 173 horsepower paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Moreover, at this price point you should receive power accessories, air conditioning, navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio and a moonroof. Alternative models to consider include the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and the Ford Fusion.
Take over the balance of the Camry’s warranty, including free maintenance for up to 25,000 miles or two years. And if you finance through Toyota, you can receive a low-interest auto loan to pay for your purchase.
2013 Ford Taurus
If you prize full-size room and sportiness, the 2013 Ford Taurus may be right for you. It offers seating for five and when the Limited edition is selected, you get a 3.5-liter V6 engine making 288 horsepower paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
A two-year old CPO Taurus Limited with 33,000 miles on the odometer can be purchased for about $24,000. This front-wheel drive model comes with keyless entry and push-button start, power accessories, climate control, satellite radio, navigation and a backup camera. Alternative models to consider include the Chevrolet Impala, Toyota Avalon and the Dodge Charger.
Take over the balance of the basic three-year/36,000 mile warranty and have the powertrain covered for up to five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.
2014 Subaru BRZ
Subaru’s lone rear-wheel drive model is the BRZ, a 2+2 sport coupe that is fun to drive. Powered by a 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, the BRZ offers thrills at a price that you can afford. Alternative models to consider include the Scion FRS, Ford Mustang and the Subaru WRX.
Choose a Subaru BRZ Limited with the manual transmission and you get a model that comes with power accessories, air conditioning, a tilt wheel, satellite radio and navigation. With approximately 20,000 miles on the odometer, you can find a CPO Subaru BRZ for about $25,000.
By purchasing this model you can have the original warranties transferred to you. Furthermore, you may qualify for 0.99 percent financing directly from Subaru.
2013 Cadillac ATS
If you aspire to luxury, you understand that higher prices come with the territory. Fortunately, the entry level for luxury cars is attainable, especially for one- or two-year old CPO models. The 2013 Cadillac ATS sedan is one model that you might want to consider.
This rear-wheel drive sedan can be had for about $25,000 with an average of 25,000 miles on the odometer, provided you choose the standard ATS with the 202-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. This model comes well equipped with keyless entry, push-button start, leather seats, dual power front seats, alloy wheels and daytime running lights. Alternative models to consider include the Lexus ES 350, Lincoln MKZ and the Buick LaCrosse.
You will also receive the balance of Cadillac’s four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.
2012 Nissan Frontier
In your mind you may be thinking “new car,” but what you really need is a pickup truck. Trouble is, the large trucks you have been reviewing are fairly pricey when they come loaded. Fortunately, the 2012 Nissan Frontier is a midsize pickup truck with plenty of room. Furthermore, you have a choice of 4×2 and 4×4 configurations, as well as two cab layouts and bed lengths.
A CPO 2012 Nissan Frontier 4×4 Crew Cab SV pickup with a 6-foot bed and about 35,000 miles on the odometer may be right for you. This model is powered by a 4.0-liter V6 engine making 261 horsepower and paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. Choose one with keyless entry, power accessories, hill descent and hill start assist control, a backup camera and a towing package, and your price should come in just under $25,000. An alternative model to consider is the Toyota Tacoma.
At 35,000 miles, the Frontier’s basic warranty coverage may have expired, but you still have 60 months or 60,000 miles on the powertrain warranty.
Deal and Drive
With so many models to consider, you have choices on your side. Negotiate the best price with your salesperson, secure financing through the manufacturer or your lender, and then drive off the dealer lot in a late-model used car that can provide you with years of driving satisfaction.