Jan 30, 2021
Texas, as we all know, is one big state. Second largest in the Union, and the largest in the contiguous USA. Why does that matter? It matters because it means that at any one time, there are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of used cars available across the state, from Amarillo to San Antonio, from Dallas to Houston and back again.
While Texas is most certainly the land of the truck, that is not the focus of this list (if you’re looking for a truck, check out the top-10 trucks in Texas as of January ). Instead, we’re looking at their often smaller cousins, the venerable machine that Americans love so dearly: the car. Due to the long distances that may need to be driven, cars in Texas are often of the fuel efficient, utilitarian kind that look good and feel good to drive. And, of course, they have to have really, really good air conditioning for when the mercury tops 100 F in the summer!
The Honda Civic, despite being around for decades now, is still the go-to first car for many Americans. That also means they are very easy to find on used listings as when people move up to their second car, the Civic usually goes.
Easy on the bank balance, extremely fuel efficient, and wearing multiple guises, it is one of those cars that any owner can be proud of. As well, Honda’s legendary reliability comes to the fore, and with standard maintenance, we’ve seen 20 year old Civic’s running as smoothly as the day they left the dealer’s lot.
And if the performance bug bites you, there are some pretty quick models available across the Si names, and the utterly bonkers Type-R. However, the Type-R does carry a premium, even used, that makes it not exactly a budget friendly option.
Much like the Civic, the Honda Accord is one of the known go-to cars for the small family. As well, it can carry more stuff in the larger trunk it gains over the Civic. Where it wins out for Texan’s, however, is that it can devour inter-city trips on a single tank of fuel, thanks to Honda’s excellent engine management systems and engines that quite literally sip fuel when cruising.
As well, the Accord is known for being durable and reliable in all weather conditions, something those in Austin experienced a few days ago with record snowfall in the city. We’re willing to be that every Accord owner that needed to drive that day had a reliable car with a setting they may not have used before: the heater. And it worked flawlessly.
We honestly had a bit of a bet going on here at Autodigg: which CUV or SUV would top the list as the most common used car in Texas? A lot of bets were placed on the Ford Edge or Chevy Blazer, so imagine the eyebrows that went up when it turned out the unassuming Toyota RAV4 came up the winner!
As has been said before, however, it just makes sense for a Texan to have a RAV4. Even the base model is dirt-track capable, which encompasses the rural side of Texas. It can carry a family of four and all the cargo they need, which encompasses the city side. Combined, it can work in the city, and then get dusty on the weekend, then get you home again during the rainy season.
But mostly, it’s not garish, but it has a strong posture. While Alabama might harp on about being “Alabama strong,” we here in Texas prefer our strength to be of the friendly kind. The “I can bury you in this dirt road without a second thought, but I won’t, because we’re nice like that” kind of strength.
The Toyota Corolla comes in second place because it speaks the language of Texan’s. Where other family sedans and small commuter cars try to find the balance that will get them the most sales across the USA, Toyota threw all their eggs in one basket and aimed for the consumer that needed to move big, drive big, and do so while being quite comfortable.
Known for having massive legroom in the rear seats, the Corolla is also a gas-sipping economical maniac that can quite possibly drive East to West, from state line to state line, without needing to stop for gas (if driven with hyper-miling in mind). It also has a trunk big enough for 95% of daily challenges, and has some of the most comfortable front seats you can get for a car that starts under $20,000 new, which makes it great value if you can find a low- or mid-mile ranged one.
This one came as a bit of a surprise to us, but averaging out the number of used Nissan Altima’s listed across the state showed that it was #1 by an order of magnitude. Then again, if one reads the reviews, it’s suddenly no surprise at all.
The Altima has a 5 star NHTSA safety rating across the board. The base model has a 2.5L inline four engine that is fuel efficient but full of grunt when you need it. It was designed from the outset to be a comfortable highway cruiser along the coasts of Japan, so it makes sense that it’s a more-than-competent interstate cruiser in the good ol’ US of A.
And, as we Texans like things to either be big or useful, the trunk on the Altima is both. You can stuff away enough in there for a full weekend getaway and have room for the rest of the week.
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