Staff Picks: 3 Best Used Cars For 2018

It’s time-consuming and it can sap the life out of you. With so many considerations — everything from checking under hood to deciding on a color — across a range of many options, shopping for a used car can overwhelm you and you may just end up settling on the first decent one you spot. Thanks to our Shift team of drivers and buyers across San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego — the process just got a whole lot easier for you! Read on for our picks of the best used family, commuter, and luxury cars for the year ahead. Then, hop on to the comments and tell us what you think!

FAMILY CAR: TOYOTA SIENNA. As the only minivan in its class to offer an all-wheel drive, it is redefining the classic Soccer Mom car.

“I’ve noticed that a lot of parents get this car for their family.” — Jonah Arellano of San Francisco

“It’s 7-seater car with rear seats that are easy to access.” — Kyle Morioka of San Francisco

“It’s got plenty of space. It’s economical. It’s reliable.” — Nick  Wieland of Los Angeles

See the Toyota Sienna in the wild, as modern mommy blogger Kenya Rae lists the reasons why it’s the car that works for her and her family:

COMMUTER CAR: TOYOTA PRIUS. Known for its high fuel economy and quiet engine, this car will give any daily commuter some peace of mind for the long haul. It’s kind to the environment…and to  the wallet too.

Mileage, reliability, and cost make it almost a no-brainer to those who simply need an A-to-B-vehicle.” — JD Brobst of San Diego

“The maintenance cost is low. It costs less than $20 to fill up, +400 mile range per tank.” — Steven Ha of Los Angeles“It has become a staple in the Bay Area as the commuter mobile. It also has incredible gas mileage with its hybrid motor!” — Kyle Morioka of San Francisco

“Hands down — this is one of the best commuter cars in the market. Quiet ride, easy to repair, and very reliable.” — Chad Bordes of San Diego

See the Toyota Prius C in the wild, as The Fast Lane Car takes it for a spin for an entire day:

LUXURY CAR: LEXUS IS. This is what happens when sporty meets luxury.

“This Lexus model has always amazed me. It has all the amenities German sedans offer, but with better retail and long-term value. Buying this model used assures you that the car would be reliable for hundreds of thousands of miles.” — Andy Moore of Los Angeles 

“This is my dream luxury car and has literally every feature anyone could ever want.” — Holly Rickel of San Francisco“The cost of ownership is cheaper than other luxury brands. It is sporty, has a comfortable suspension, and comes loaded with features.” — Steven Ha of Los Angeles“The exterior has been updated to compete with German cars, but it has the dependable reliability of a Japanese car. It has a nice interior design, modeled after the Lexus LF-A supercar cockpit. It is luxury with a sense of security and dependability.” — Ryan Yap-Diangco of San Francisco


“The Lexus interface is great. The seats in that car are very comfortable. It is a reliable vehicle. It also has a bunch of great features.” — Derek Freeman of Los Angeles

See one of the Lexus IS models (the 350) in the wild, as seen in this video from Autotrader:

Recently, Consumer Reports released their 2018 ranking of the best cars in the United States. We saw Toyota dominate this list, landing four of the 10 category honors. With that, it’s clear why this Japanese automaker has also topped two out of three categories in our picks for the best used cars of the year.

Now it’s YOUR turn to share your picks of the best used cars! Comment below with your personal experiences of driving your family, commuting to work, or splurging on a luxury vehicle. Tell us what you think for a chance to be featured on our social media pages.