Forbes reveals its picks for the best used cars

The latest issue of Forbes features a list of the publication’s picks for best used cars, which can be a great resource for drivers who are shopping for a vehicle with a used car loan. New cars often lose about half of their value after the first three years of ownership, according to the publication, so drivers who are looking for used cars can find relatively new models at affordable prices. The vehicles that made the cut were chosen based on their resale values, performance and how they stack up against the latest models

The Honda Fit is the first car on Forbes’ list because it is inexpensive, reliable and gets 34 miles per gallon on the highway. Edmunds reports that the 2008 model sells for about $12,000 on average. The sport model, which has a smoother ride due to bigger tires and wheels, costs around $1,000 more than the base model.

Drivers who are looking for something a bit bigger can check out the boxy Scion xB. Forbes reports that the engine of the 2008 midsize SUV is the same one being loaded into the latest model. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine generates about 158 horsepower and gets 28 mpg on the highway. According to Edmunds, the True Market Value of a 2008 xB is around $11,900 and plenty of used models will have amenities such as a premium sound system with an mp3 player hookup. The cabin of the Scion is also roomy enough that tall passengers don’t feel cramped in the backseat.

Sports car enthusiasts and convertible lovers alike can find a 2008 Mazda MX-5Miata for roughly $15,000. This little two-seater made the list because it’s fun to drive, affordable and cute, Forbes states. For the most part, Miatas are equipped with manual transmissions, but there are a few automatics to be found.

Other 2008 model vehicles that made the list include the Toyota Sienna ($17,000), the Ford Fusion ($12,200) and the Honda CR-V ($16,600).

Regardless of which vehicle you desire, it is important to have an independent mechanic inspect the vehicles you are considering to ensure that there is no preexisting damage. It is also a good idea to run the VIN through a title-search service, such as carfax.com, to make sure that the car has not suffered any major damage.