Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A blue 2020 Toyota Tundra is shown after leaving a certified pre-owned Toyota dealer.

Best CPO Toyota Models To Consider

Envision this: you’re at an auto dealership, and you have your eye on a pre-owned model. But, one problem arises: you don’t know the history of the automobile you’re considering—and, most importantly, it comes with little-to-no protection in the form of warranties. How do you remedy this issue? It’s simple; you invest in a CPO Toyota model from a Certified pre-owned Toyota dealer. With all of the models that Toyota currently produces, though, how do you know which one suits you best?

CPO Toyota models offer a high level of protection, even compared to other used Toyotas. They not only come with a CarFax report that details the vehicle’s full history, but they undergo a 160-point inspection, have less than 85,000 miles, and were released within the last six years. Those last two are important to note. Not only are the models released in the last six years bound to offer performance ratings similar to those of 2022 entries, but these CPO vehicles will likely include a host of amenities commonly found in current-year models.

The vehicles in this list of highly recommended CPO Toyotas includes the low-cost Avalon, versatile Tundra, and venerable Prius. Every model listed has been a part of Toyota’s success over the years. To date, these vehicles are still produced annually—uniting millions of drivers under one cohesive fandom anyone could easily get behind. With that out of the way, let’s start with one of Toyota’s most beloved sedans, the Avalon.

A maroon 2020 Toyota Avalon is shown driving past a body of water.

Toyota Avalon

The Toyota Avalon has been a brand favorite since the early 1990s. If you want a highly affordable sedan with luxurious undertones, the Avalon is a great choice. As it goes with the Toyota CPO program’s six-year rule, Avalon models from 2016 upward are available.

If you purchase a 2016 Avalon, you’ll not only save the most money, but gain access to a host of modern-day Toyota amenities. For example, the 2016 Avalon can be fitted with the Safety Sense-P package, which is an assortment of industry-leading safety features like a pre-collision system. With models released in 2017 and after, Toyota Safety Sense-P comes standard on each Avalon trim.

Earlier Avalon models that you’ll find on the CPO market, such as the 2016 to 2018 models, are available with a 3.5L V6 engine that provides 268 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. These models are also available in a hybrid variant if you want to save money on fuel while reducing your carbon footprint. In hybrid models between 2016 and 2018, EPA-estimated ratings come in at 40 MPG city and 30 MPG highway! On a full tank of gasoline, you can travel up to 680 miles before your next trip to the gas station; this makes a CPO Hybrid Avalon ideal for commuters and road trip enthusiasts alike.

Later models, such as the 2020 Avalon, give drivers a more powerful and far more connected experience. The 2020 Avalon includes features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa—all wrapped in a large, 9-in. touchscreen. Avalon models such as the 2019 and 2020 variants can be fitted with heated leather seats for optimal comfort. You and the passenger to your right will each have comfortable, 8-way power-adjustable seats—so you can easily find a seating position that’s perfectly supportive. As for performance, the 2019 and 2020 models have more powerful powertrains for both the hybrid model and the base Avalon, which now reaches 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque.

Toyota Tundra

Let’s talk about a completely different kind of Toyota vehicle: the Tundra. This full-size truck is Toyota’s strongest offering, especially when it comes to towing power. Models released between 2016 and 2020 will provide a maximum of 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque thanks to a 5.7L V8 engine, which also grants a maximum towing capacity of 10,200 lbs.

Chief differences between the latest Tundra and its predecessors are striking. For one, its standard turbocharged V6 delivers up to 389 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. A hybrid option is also on the table—and, most impressively, the maximum towing capacity is increased to 12,000 lbs in the 2022 model. While this model won’t make it into CPO lots quite yet, it’s only a matter of time until a new entry takes its place.

If you need a truck for commercial jobs or prefer the option to carry around heavy cargo, the Tundra will give you the space you require. Some truck drivers need ample bed volume, and that’s exactly what you can get with the Tundra: a generous bed up to 8.1 ft. long. You also won’t have to worry too much about weighing your Tundra down if you’re mindful of its excellent payload ratings: up to 1,730 lbs on models released between 2017 and 2021. Throughout Toyota’s lineup, no truck is as durable or versatile for the price as the Toyota Tundra. It’s one of our top CPO recommendations whether you’ve owned a truck in the past or not.

A red 2020 Toyota Prius is shown driving through a city at night.

Toyota Prius

Practically synonymous with fuel economy, the Toyota Prius was Toyota’s first foray into the world of hybrid vehicles. At the time of its release, competitors were far and few between, and hybrids were initially met with skepticism. (In some ways, this mindset hasn’t changed for everyone.) However, more drivers than ever have made the switch to driving hybrids—and they’re enjoying the experience.

Any doubt leveled at hybrid cars has been remedied in one way or another. They’re now graciously performant, exceedingly efficient, and never short on enviable entertainment or connectivity features.

Like any hybrid, the Prius pairs a gas engine with an electric motor. Older models found on the CPO lot, such as the 2016 Prius, provide a total of 121 hp from this combo—alongside 105 lb-ft of torque. The money you’ll be saving on fuel is the real selling point for the Prius, though.

With the 2016 model, you can expect efficiency ratings of 54 MPG city and 50 MPG highway. The Prius also received the Toyota Safety Sense package before many other models, which says a lot about how mindful Toyota has been about the Prius’ reliability. Because of this, you can expect advanced safety features such as collision assistance with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams that react to outdoor lighting conditions, and more.

Thanks to the Toyota CPO program, you can find pre-owned vehicles such as the 2021 Prius with ease—which not only increases the torque output to 120 lb-ft, but achieves fuel economy ratings as high as 58 MPG. Alternatively, if you were looking to save some more money (and that extra surge of torque doesn’t matter too much to you), then the 2020 model remains a great choice.

2020 was the year when the Prius became far more feature-packed at a lower cost, and models from the 2020 Prius onward include a built-in infotainment center with beloved features like Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa integration. Interestingly, Android Auto took longer to arrive on the Prius—not arriving until the 2021 model year, so if you’re into connectivity and own an Android phone, this will be important to know.

When it comes to shopping the Toyota CPO lot, the newer you go, the better your experience will be. However, every Prius model available as a CPO will give you a fully enjoyable experience leaps and bounds beyond what anyone thought possible not too long ago. This consistent level of quality is not limited to the Prius, either; all Toyota CPO vehicles deliver a like-new experience—whether you want reliable performance, tech, safety, versatility, or sheer size. Not to mention, Toyota’s excellent warranty and protection programs offer an additional layer of consumer confidence. Simply put, CPO models are the future of the automotive market, and Toyota’s program is far more generous than its competitors’.