Cars under $10,000 don’t have to suck. Here’s proof:
Cars under $10,000 don’t have to be bland econoboxes. You can land a cool car and a great deal with some detective work, a finely-tuned BS radar, and patience. Here are five more cars for under $10,000.
2005 Honda CR-V: The predecessor to the wildly popular current model is a sturdy, reliable people mover. This is a great little SUV for around town or for a cross-country haul: this “cute ute” features 1500-lb towing capacity. While less stylish than the current models, the 2005 CR-V is all about practicality.
You won’t find tons of extras, but you will get 23 mpg along with Honda reliability. The 2005 CR-V features a 2.4 liter 160-hp engine paired with a 5-speed automatic. While the mpg is among the lowest in its segment, the CR-V is a sure bet for reliability and durability.
2008 Kia Optima LX: This mid-size favorite introduced better safety features and reliability in 2008, making it a good bet for a used car. Kia has stepped up their game over the past 10 years. It shows in better workmanship, improved style, and enhanced safety features. The 2008 Optima LX earned a coveted 5/5 stars from NHTSA. This is an ideal first car or a daily driver for commuters.
The 2008 Optima features a 2.4 liter 4-cylinder paired with a 5-speed automatic. This popular sedan gets 26 MPG combined. While it doesn’t generate as nearly as much power as similar cars in its segment, the 162-hp is strong enough for daily driving but not too overpowering (or tempting) for a younger driver.
2008 Pontiac Vibe: Built on a Toyota Matrix platform, this popular model demonstrates Toyota-like reliability. Featuring a 1.4L 4-cylinder mated to a five-speed manual, the Vibe’s 126 hp essentially guarantees a young driver won’t be drag-racing in it any time soon. This workaday hatchback offers 19.3 cubic feet of cargo space, making the perfect grocery-hauler or people mover. 29 MPG combined.
2005 Acura TL sedan: Here is a chance to drive a car that has all the bells and whistles, but none of the luxury car payment headaches. The 2005 Acura TL sedan features a full power suite (power everything) along with Bluetooth, satellite radio capabilities, and many more features you won’t find on entry-level used cars.
Combine the Honda luxury brand’s sense of style with a 270hp six cylinder, 5-speed automatic, and you have a car that will offer more sass and power than your basic econobox. 22 MPG combined. If you’re looking for a used full-size luxury sedan, the Acura TL could be your pick.
Geo Prizm: This mid-90s favorite shares its DNA with the ever-reliable Toyota Corolla. This best kept used car secret features a 1.6L inline four matched with a 5-speed manual transmission. The Geo can be hard to find in some markets, but if you’re lucky enough to find one in good shape, you can expect to pay from the low to mid $2,000 range.
Smart sellers are holding onto to these gems. They’re tough, reliable, and fuel-efficient (26/31 mpg). The Prizm is a fantastic find for the savvy used car buyer looking for a sturdy commuter car. Easy to maintain and relatively cheap to fix, the Prizm is a good bet if your budget won’t allow for anything beyond $3,000.
Older used cars don’t have to suck. The good news is there are plenty to choose from in the lower price brackets, which could save you the headaches of car payments if you’re able to come up with enough cash for the sale.