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5 best bargain used cars you can find now

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Used-car prices have risen sharply, but you can still find bargains among newer used cars three years old or less.

Edmunds.com says used-car prices overall rose 7.6 percent in the quarter ending in June as more newer, pricier cars came on the market. That resulted principally from three-year-old cars being returned at the end of leases. Paradoxically, this influx pushed up overall prices but depressed prices in that newer class because of the extra supply.

"Because there's a growing inventory of newer used cars, the prices on those cars are more consumer-friendly," said Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis for Edmunds. "Three-year-old cars are selling for less than they did just one year ago."

CBS MoneyWatch asked Edmunds to find some bargains among 2012 models on sale now. Their analysts picked five whose price trends make them appear good values. For the sedans, that means selling for less than their three-year old counterparts a year ago. Among large SUVs and pickups, where all 2012 used models are up in price, the analysts cited models that gained less than their competitors compared with a year earlier.

Click ahead for a look at these five bargains.

Small car: Subaru Impreza

Kurt Niebuhr/Edmunds

The Impreza was redesigned for 2012 and got a new, 148-horsepower four-cylinder engine rated to get 27 MPG in city driving and 36 on the highway. Reviewers sampled by U.S. News reported adequate acceleration, crisp handling and a comfortable ride.

Edmunds' analysts say at a target price of $17,995, the Impreza's cost has dropped by 6.2 percent compared with its three-year-old counterpart a year ago.

Like all Subarus, the Impreza has all-wheel drive, especially useful if you live in a northern climate.

Midsize sedan: Nissan Altima

Nissan

Always a competent contender in the midsize sedan class, the 2012 Altima is praised by reviewers for a comfortable ride, handling curves well and responsive steering and braking. The base Altima comes with a four-cylinder engine rated at 23 MPG for city driving and 32 on the highway. Test drivers also like the well-appointed interior and spacious trunk.

Reflecting overall slow sedan sales, the Altima is down 6.7 percent from a year earlier with a target price of $14,890.

Compact crossover SUV: Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai

The Tucson comes with a choice of four-cylinder engines, and reviewers much prefer the larger, 2.4-liter version. With it, you get better acceleration without much gas mileage penalty vs. the smaller engine. The larger four is rated for 21 MPG city, 25 highway.

Test drivers liked the stylish interior with roomy back seats. Standard equipment includes a six-speaker stereo and a USB port for plugging in your phone or iPad.

The Tucson is down 2 percent from last year's equivalent price, with an Edmunds target of $17,326.

Large SUV: Dodge Durango

AJ Mueller/Dodge

The Durango is for those who like their SUVs powerful for towing a boat or trailer or just because they like powerful SUVs. The standard engine is a 3.6-liter V-6 rated for 16 MPG in city driving and 23 on the highway. If you need even more oomph, the optional 5.7-liter V-8 is rated for 14 MPG in the city and 20 on the highway.

Test drivers praised the 2012 Durango's smooth ride and nimble handling as well as a roomy, well-designed cabin. The Durango price is up 1 percent from a year earlier, with an Edmunds target of $25,206.

Pickup: Honda Ridgeline

David Dewhurst/Wieck/Honda

Among compact pickups, the Honda Ridgeline rated tops among critics sampled by U.S. News. Those test drivers found the Ridgeline to have a car-like ride -- a major advantage in this class.

The Ridgeline comes standard with a V-6 engine with satisfying power and rated for 15 MPG in the city 21 on the highway. Inside, reviewers said the Ridgeline had spacious seating for up to five and useful storage space for small items. They also praised the utility of its tailgate, which opens either down or to the side.

Most Honda models have strong resale value. But the Ridgeline has gained just 0.6 percent over a year earlier, with an Edmunds target of $25,458.