The auto industry was a much different place five years ago. For one thing, people still were buying more new cars than SUVs and trucks in 2013. The top 20 best-selling vehicles back then included 11 cars. Four months into 2018, there were only six cars among that 20. But the automakers responded in each case. Today, companies are meeting customer demand by shifting their focus to new pickups, sport-utility vehicles and crossovers. In 2013, they were introducing an impressive run of fresh sedans, sports cars and hatchbacks.
And some of them now are equally impressive choices if you’re shopping for used cars.
1. 2013 Chevrolet Malibu
Midsize sedans were especially hot in 2013, with automakers bringing expressive designs and advanced technology to the segment. The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is a case in point. All new for the 2013 model year, the Malibu combines an aerodynamic exterior with an attractive, detailed cabin. The Malibu also set a new benchmark in terms of noise reduction. At the time of its launch, the Malibu was the quietest Chevrolet ever.
New safety technology debuting for the 2013 Malibu includes a rearview camera, lane departure warning and forward collision warning. Bluetooth for hands-free calling is standard for all Malibus, while Bluetooth audio streaming is standard in all but the entry trim. It’s part of the Malibu’s MyLink audio system, which has a 7-inch touch screen and enhanced voice recognition. As a handy bonus, the screen flips up to reveal a hidden storage area. Navigation and heated front seats are available, too.
Fuel-economy ratings for the 2013 Malibu can be as high as 25/36 mpg city/highway in models with Chevy’s “eAssist” mild-hybrid technology.
2. 2013 Honda Accord
Another all-new midsize sedan from 2013 is the Honda Accord. Also available as a coupe, the Accord ups the ante for standard technology. It provides a rearview camera and full Bluetooth connectivity in all models.
Higher trim levels bring upgrades for safety and infotainment. The Accord’s optional driver-assistance features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and Honda’s “LaneWatch” blind spot system. This relies on a small camera mounted on the passenger-side exterior mirror. The camera sends a live, expanded-view video feed to the car’s infotainment display. Other content highlights for the 2013 Accord range from heated front seats to a navigation system to LED headlamps.
The new-for-2013 powertrains boost performance and efficiency for the Accord as compared to previous models. As a result, the 2013 Accord can achieve EPA ratings of 26/35 mpg with a standard four-cylinder engine and optional continuously variable transmission (CVT).
3. 2013 Lexus GS
For a pre-owned luxury car, you should consider the 2013 Lexus GS. Lexus completely redesigned the GS for the 2013 model year, adding new levels of technology and performance. The cabin shows that with features such as an available 12.3-inch infotainment display with split-screen capability. This lets you see navigation information on one side of the screen and use the other side for audio, climate and other functions.
To see better in the evening, a night-vision system is optional. So is technology such as automatic forward emergency braking, a head-up display, a backup camera, lane departure warning, lane keeping assistance, a blind spot monitor and adaptive cruise control.
The 2013 Lexus GS also benefits from a new emphasis on driving dynamics. All models come standard with a 306-horsepower V6 engine and an updated suspension. The 2013 GS F Sport raises the bar with a sport-tuned setup, high-performance driving modes and a “Dynamic Handling” system with rear-wheel steering.
4. 2013 Lincoln MKZ
The premiere of the 2013 Lincoln MKZ marked a turning point for the “MKZ” nameplate. The 2013 model still rides on the same platform as the Ford Fusion, but the MKZ now takes on a clear identity of its own. With a low sculpted shape and distinctive split-wing grille, Lincoln’s midsize luxury sedan is never going to be mistaken for its corporate cousin.
The same holds true inside of the MKZ. There, you can find real-wood accents and plenty of leather, including for options such as heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. The MKZ also offers a massage function for the front seats, along with one of the largest sunroof openings in the industry.
One feature the MKZ does share with the Fusion is an available hybrid powertrain. The technology helps the MKZ earn EPA grades of 38/37 mpg. Just remember that when the 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid was new, it had the same price as the standard model. So keep that in mind if you’re negotiating on a used version.
5. 2013 Porsche Boxster
The 2013 model year saw the launch of the third-generation Porsche Boxster, which remains a popular commodity in the used-car marketplace. That’s because even though the Boxster is the “entry-level” Porsche sports car, it’s still the real deal when it comes to performance.
Everything starts with the car’s powertrains. Two six-cylinder engines are available, both in Porsche’s classic “boxer” configuration. They’re sort of like V6s with their cylinder banks pushed flat. The layout, and the engines’ position behind the seats, are keys to the Boxster’s incredible handling. Giving the Boxster a further edge is a standard rear wing that automatically deploys as needed. For acceleration, you can count on 315 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque in the car’s bigger, 3.4-liter engine. That unit allows the fastest Boxster models to run from 0-60 mph in fewer than 5 seconds.
The two-place cabin also can supply the upscale content you expect in a Porsche, such as heated and ventilated sport seats.
6. 2013 Subaru Impreza
Subaru’s compact sedan and five-door hatchback were redesigned for 2012, but there were important changes for 2013 that make this model year a better choice for used-car shoppers. In the 2013 Subaru Impreza, Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming becomes standard, and a backup camera is a new option.
All the advantages from the 2013 redesign also stay intact, so you can enjoy Subaru hallmarks, such as a surprisingly efficient all-wheel-drive system. The technology can increase traction in many different driving conditions. Yet when configured with a CVT, the Impreza’s fuel economy ratings are 27/35 mpg. Those are slightly better than for a front-wheel-drive 2013 Toyota Corolla.
Nor is the Impreza lacking for premium equipment. Like all the cars here, it’s available with heated leather seats.