With more land area than France, Texas is a big, big place. It's also the second biggest state in the U.S., in both population (just behind California) and area (just behind Alaska). So having a vehicle that is up to the challenge of the state's sheer size and variety is essential to living and working in Texas. That's why we've come up with this list of the top five used cars for Texas.
Texas being Texas, several of the top used cars for the state are actually pickups. The first one is one of the most popular vehicles in the state--and the country: the Ford F-150. While you'll see plenty of these on the roads, they never get old, and thanks to Ford's huge variety of options from the factory--plus special editions made only for Texas--you'll be able to show your personality while still having one the most capable all-around vehicles available for both the daily drive and weekend warrior activities. Texans love their off-roading, after all, whether it's in the truck itself, on a mountain bike, or just on foot, hiking into the wilderness--or along Austin's Town Lake trail.
Another great choice for Texans, and one of the most popular, too, is the Ram 1500. Like the F-150, it's a rugged, go-anywhere vehicle that's in it for the long haul, but also good for exploring when the pavement stops--and as urban as the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin can be, most of the state is raw, untamed desert. Perfect for a Ram 1500 with a pair of dirt bikes in the bed.
Chevy's Silverado 1500 is also not to be overlooked, slotting right between the Ford and the Ram as the state's second best-selling vehicle when bought new--meaning all three of these trucks are plentiful on the used market, available in nearly every configuration you could dream of, and several you'd probably never imagine. Thanks to this widespread adoption in the new market, the F-150, Ram 1500, and Silverado 1500 can all be had for bargains, whether you're looking for a very inexpensive model from the 1990s or early 2000s, a sweet deal on a pre-2010 truck, or a lightly used example of the latest models. They're all there for the taking, and they're all pre-approved by Texas and the Texans who bought them.
But what if you're not a truck buyer? You might be better off in a Chevy Volt. There's a brand new version of the Volt out for 2016, but those in the know have their eyes on the first-generation Volt. American-engineered and built for both great gas mileage and durability, the Volt is a smart buy--and not just because of its federally mandated 10 year / 100,000-mile battery warranty. With about 40 miles of all-electric range, the Volt can get most commuters to work and back, even in a sprawling Texan city, without ever burning a drop of gas. Unlike a Tesla Model S or Nissan Leaf, however, if you do need to go outside that EV-only range, you just keep on driving--and the gas-powered on-board generator does the work, humming along at 37 mpg.
As useful as the Volt is for the typical Texan's needs, it can still be somewhat spendy for some budgets. That's where the Toyota Camry comes in. A Toyota?! Yes, a Toyota--one of the top five most popular cars in Texas, even amongst the tough field of big trucks. While the Camry is never an exciting option, for those needing reliable, affordable, comfortable transportation that's easy to maintain and cheap to repair, it's hard to beat the Camry.
Ready to pull the trigger on your new-to-you Texas special? Fire up the Instamotor app and locate a sweet deal near you! But don't forget to get an inspection from a certified mechanic to ensure you're getting what you are paying for.
automotive freelance journalist