Costco Wholesale

Yes, You Can Buy a Car Through Costco — And These Are the Most Popular Models

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Sure, Costco is our favorite place to buy jumbo packs of toilet paper and juicy rotisserie chickens, but cars? Maybe so: The Costco Auto Program, which aims to save members money on new and pre-owned vehicles from more than 3,000 dealerships nationwide, is more popular than ever. It fielded nearly 45% more new-vehicle requests in 2021 than 2020, and members saved an average of $1,100 to $1,200 off the average transaction price for their vehicle in their local market. But which cars are shoppers scoping out? Here are the top 10 new and pre-owned vehicles requested through Costco for 2020. 

Related: Is Costco the Best Place to Buy a Car?

Chevrolet Traverse

10. New: Chevrolet Traverse

The Traverse, which starts at $29,800, is one of six midsize SUVs that have proved popular among Costco shoppers, but it’s the only one from Chevy. It’s particularly roomy for a midsize, MotorTrend reports, with a third row that can actually fit adults fairly comfortably. The main downside: Its cabin just isn’t quite as refined as its competitors’. 

Related: Legendary and Iconic Chevys Through the Decades

Mazda CX-5

10. Pre-Owned: Mazda CX-5

The lone Mazda on Costco shoppers’ radar is the perennially popular CX-5, a compact SUV starting at $25,370. It’s a darling of auto critics, too, who give it nearly universal high marks for its zippy, sporty feel in a segment not typically known for fun-to-drive vehicles. Car and Driver also praises its “luxury aura without the luxury price,” saying the cabin feels a lot more upscale than the price suggests. 

Related: Popular Cars for Drivers Over 50

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Blue car Subaru Forester standing on asphalt road at daytime

9. New: Subaru Forester

Chances are high that most CX-5 buyers also considered the Forester, which starts at $24,795. It might not be quite as sexy as the Mazda, but critics say it makes up for that with loads of practicality. U.S. News lists crowd-pleasing strengths including space, comfort, fuel economy, and nimble handling, making the Forester a go-to for buyers of all stripes.  

Related: Cars, Trucks, and SUVs With the Best Resale Value

Honda Pilot

9. Pre-Owned: Honda Pilot

Here’s another popular vehicle for the practicality-above-all-else crowd. The Honda Pilot, which starts at $32,550, has been a longtime favorite because it has a roomy cabin (yes, even adults can fit in the third row) and a smooth ride. Just don’t mind its ho-hum exterior, which Car and Driver knocks as “dorky.”

Related: These Cars are the Most Likely to Surpass 200,000 Miles

Chevrolet Traverse

8. New: Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500

We don’t blame Costco shoppers for trying to suss out a deal on this beefy full-size pickup, which starts at $34,600 and can cost more than $70,000 when fully loaded. It’s capable of towing 18,500 pounds (the 2500) or a staggering 36,000 pounds (the 3500). Car and Driver praises the diesel powertrain and trailer-assist features on these beasts, but notes that some rivals offer nicer cabins. 

Related: The Greatest American Trucks of All Time

2020 Subaru Outback

8. Pre-Owned: Subaru Outback

Yep, they still make station wagons — and they’re a lot more practical than the ones you got hauled around in as a kid. Case in point, the much-admired Subaru Outback, which starts at $26,795 and looks and feels like a small SUV. It’s adept at off-roading, U.S. News notes, but still has all the room and cargo space any self-respecting Costco shopper needs to haul home their latest bulk buys.

Related: Station Wagons We Miss From Childhood

Kia Telluride

7. New: Kia Telluride

Kia’s only vehicle to crack Costco shoppers’ list of favorites, the Telluride starts at $32,190 and is yet another strong competitor in the crowded field of midsize SUVs. And if you still think Kias are also-rans, take note: Car and Driver gives the Telluride a 10 out of 10 rating, praising its roomy, “utterly lavish cabin.” 

Related: “Foreign” Cars That Are Actually Made in America

Pre-Owned: Lexus RX

7. Pre-Owned: Lexus RX

Are Costco car buyers too practical to spend big on luxury vehicles? Maybe — the Lexus RX, starting at $45,220, is the only luxury model on this list. The RX was the No. 2 selling luxury vehicle overall in 2020, according to MotorTrend, eclipsed only by the Tesla Model 3. Car and Driver says it blends a sporty look with a comfortable ride, but notes that it might not have enough power to satisfy some luxury buyers. 

Related: Luxury Cars Under $50K That Are Totally Worth Owning

2019 2020 Honda Pilot Elite

6. New: Honda Pilot

The Pilot is the first of four cars that are so beloved that they make this list twice. Costco buyers are more interested in buying this beefy SUV new instead of pre-owned.

Related: Classic Family Cars of the Past 50 Years

Toyota Camry

6. Pre-Owned: Toyota Camry

Costco shoppers like to go big, so we’re not surprised the Toyota Camry is the only sedan on this truck- and SUV-heavy list. But as sedans go, it’s hard to go wrong with a Camry. The car starts at $24,970 and is a bestseller year after year. One of the top reasons to buy one, other than its legendary reliability: unbeatable safety features, according to U.S. News.

Related: Bestselling Cars From the Past 42 Years

Toyota Highlander

5. New: Toyota Highlander

The Honda Pilot’s chief competitor, the Toyota Highlander, gets just a little more love from Costco buyers. And it’s not hard to understand why: The Highlander, starting at $34,910, has a sleeker design and most of the Pilot’s practical features. Still the cramped third row is comfortable for kids only (and maybe those bulk packs of cereal you just couldn’t resist).

Related: Reliable Cars You Can Drive Into the Ground

Best Mid-Size Pickup Truck: Toyota Tacoma

5. Pre-Owned: Toyota Tacoma

Starting at $26,250, the Tacoma is the cheapest of Costco buyers’ most-requested trucks, and it has always been a brisk seller. But take note: Critics say there are better buys. For instance, Motor Trend is no fan of the cramped cabin and relatively rough ride, though it does say the Tacoma is a very capable truck for off-roading

Related: Most Reliable Trucks of All Time

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Pickup Truck

4. New: GMC Sierra 1500

This light-duty pickup that starts at $30,100 is plenty capable of hard work: It can tow up to 11,800 pounds and has more than enough engine power for most buyers. But it’s a hair pricier than the very similar Chevy Silverado 1500, which places a bit higher on Costco shoppers’ automotive wishlist.

Related: The Most Popular Trucks in America

Subaru Forester

4. Pre-Owned: Subaru Forester

Like the Honda Pilot, the Subaru Forester is so popular that it makes this list twice. Buying pre-owned might not save Costco shoppers as much as they’d like, though: It’s among the cars with the best resale values out there.

Related: Least Expensive SUVs to Own

3. New: Honda CR-V
Toyota Highlander
Wikimedia Commons

3. Pre-Owned: Toyota Highlander

Given its beefy price tag — a fully loaded Highlander can cost more than $50,000 — this is definitely a vehicle where buying pre-owned can be a practical decision. And given its popularity, we’re not surprised to see the Highlander rank for new and pre-owned vehicle requests.

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2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime
Honda CR-V
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Toyota RAV4