10 Best Values in Used Cars, 2012

Bargains in used cars are tougher to find.

Bargains in used cars are tougher to find. A dip in new-car sales and leases during the Great Recession means fewer three- and four-year-old used cars are entering the market. Plus, in the wake of the recession, buyers turned to used cars in a big way, tightening supply even more.

We picked ten vehicles -- five sedans, three crossovers, a wagon and a minivan -- that received top scores in Kiplinger\'s rankings for performance, value and safety, plus got high marks for reliability. We didn\'t pick super-fuel-efficient models, such as the Toyota Prius, because prices have soared to stratospheric levels. If you\'re in the market for a small car with high fuel-economy numbers, do the math and see whether a new model is a better value. For tips on finding bargains, check out our article on how to get the best deal on a used car.

Dealer and private-party prices are based on actual transactions reported by Edmunds.com for previously owned vehicles considered to be in \"clean\" condition and driven an average of 12,000 miles a year. We also include the certified used price of each vehicle, based on actual sales. Certified vehicles pass a rigorous inspection and include a warranty that goes beyond the car\'s original warranty.