Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A red 2017 Ford Taurus SHO is shown from the front at an angle while it drives down the road after leaving a Pueblo used car dealer.

5 Used Ford Models for Shoppers on a Budget

Ready to get into the seat of your next car but unsure where to start? Your local used car dealer is ready to answer all your questions about taking home an affordable vehicle. For instance, which are some of the best makes and models to buy used? When you’re shopping for a used car, the sheer quantity of choices can feel a little overwhelming at first glance.

Even if you choose to focus on one brand, like Ford, there are still a lot of options to check out. It might be easier if you stop to consider what exactly you hope to get out of your used vehicle. Do you need it for hauling or towing? Or, maybe you need something that gets good gas mileage to handle your long commute. Then again, perhaps you just need enough seats to accommodate your expanding family and need to upgrade to a 3-row vehicle within your budget.

Whatever the reason, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best used Ford models you can find today. Why Ford? It’s not just a name; it’s an iconic brand known for delivering some of the best, most reliable vehicles—new or used—on the market. So it’s time to start looking. From trucks to crossovers to sedans, there’s a used vehicle out there that fits your lifestyle, needs, and budget. And, when you consider a Ford, you know you’ll be getting the best bang for your buck—in more ways than one.

Ford Taurus

Ford has been producing the Taurus for six generations, only recently retiring the model in 2019. With so many decades under its belt, the Ford Taurus gives drivers plenty of options to take home. This full-size 4-door sedan seats up to 5 passengers with plenty of trunk space for anything from groceries to project supplies. When it comes to efficiency, the Taurus delivers both on the highway and in the city. For example, the 2018 Taurus delivers an EPA of 18 MPG city and 27 MPG highway.

The Taurus is considered a stylish and sophisticated daily ride, while giving drivers the reliable performance they need. On top of that, the Taurus is considered one of the best sedans on the market when it comes to safety, earning a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA in 2017. So, if you’re looking for an inspiring but practical used sedan, the Ford Taurus is set to deliver.

A red 2015 Ford Fiesta is shown from the front at an angle.

Ford Fiesta

Maybe you don’t have kids, a dog, or sports equipment to haul yet; instead, you’re looking for a smaller, sporty sedan to get you to and from work—plus away for a weekend of relaxation. It sounds like you might want to take a look at the Ford Fiesta. Only retired as recently as 2019, the Fiesta is still the life of the party. Whether you’re shopping on a budget or want to save a little at the pumps, this 5-seater subcompact delivers value and reliability that can often be tough to find.

This versatile car can be found as either a 2-door hatchback or a 4-door sedan. The Fiesta excels at fitting in wherever you go. With responsive and nimble steering, it’s great for navigating heavy traffic or fitting into tight parking spots. The 2019 Fiesta is considered a green choice, too, boasting an excellent EPA of up to 27 MPG city and 37 MPG highway. That’s more than enough to get you where you want to go, and faster than ever—since you’ll be skipping all those extra stops at the pumps along the way.

Ford Edge

Ready to upgrade to an SUV that will give you the smooth easy handling of a sedan—with the power to tackle mud and snow? The Ford Edge is here to give you a hand, whether you want to haul camping equipment or run errands around town. The 5-seater midsize SUV offers drivers and their passengers more than enough room to stretch out for a comfy drive, while still having plenty of cargo room leftover. The Edge gives you an edge over the elements with its powerful engine choices and reliable all-wheel drivetrain, so you’ll never have to worry about getting stuck when the snow falls or mud builds up.

The Edge does fairly well when it comes to fuel economy, too; for example, the 2019 model gets an estimated EPA of 22 MPG city and 29 MPG highway. Plus, with great entertainment and safety tech in all the right places, the Edge is sure to impress everywhere you go.

Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer is one of those SUVs that, when purchased used, offers drivers great value with a lower price tag. The Explorer is a versatile ride that seats up to 7 adult passengers with more than enough head and leg room. Meanwhile, enjoy ample cargo space for your hauling needs. The back two rows of seats conveniently fold down to expand the cargo area—for as much as 87.8 cu.ft. of storage in the 2020 model.

The 2019 Ford Explorer comes standard with a V6 engine, and upgraded trims offer as much as 365 horsepower—a generous rating for its size. Also, enjoy fuel economy as high as 27 MPG on the highway. No matter if you’re getting away for the weekend or taking a trip through the city, the Explorer is ready for adventure when you are.

Ford F-150

If you’re looking for a truck that will get the job done but still be able to keep up on the weekends, then you’re looking for the F-150. The iconic full-size truck from Ford is known as a workhorse—great for job sites or when conditions are less than optimal. Whether you use your truck as your portable office or you just like to get off the beaten path from time to time, the F-150 was created to meet and exceed expectations in all areas of work and play. The F-150 leads the pack when it comes to towing and hauling capabilities, which has much to do with its powerful engine selection. For example, the 2020 F-150 can tow over 13,000 lbs! But no matter the year, you know you’re getting a beast.

From the standard 3-passenger to cabins that hold up to 6, the F-150 also gives 3 different cabin options, so you can find a truck size to meet your needs. The full-size truck has a well-known reputation for having excellent handling, a surprisingly comfortable cabin, and low-maintenance components. Once you get into an F-150, you’ll see why it’s one of the most popular full-size trucks on the road today.

A red 2018 Ford F-150 is shown from the side parked on the dirt.

Choosing Just One

With so many great choices on the market when it comes to used Fords alone, how could you ever choose? Buying a vehicle is a large investment and you don’t want to get it wrong. When you pick a used vehicle, not only do you have to consider make and model, but you have to consider the car’s history and whether it will be dependable in the long run. It’s no wonder people can see car buying as stressful.

But it doesn’t have to be. When purchasing a vehicle, asking yourself a few simple questions can really help. First, research to find the best type of vehicle that fits your needs to help narrow the field.

Maybe you’re certain you want an SUV, but then you look at the market and see it’s still quite sizable. So then, it’s a good idea to research brands. Maybe you owned a Ford in the past, so you decide you want to stick with what you know. After all, there’s a reason the blue oval is so ionic—symbolizing quality, long-lasting vehicles that will continue to deliver outstanding value and reliability.

Once you have your make and model narrowed down, it’s best to look at specific years and see which individual features you need or want—and those you don’t. Why pay more for features you won’t use? So, whether you’re shopping on a budget or looking for a second vehicle, it’s always great to be prepared before you make that next big purchase.