Most people would be hard pressed to find a new car for under $20,000. If you have a limited budget of $5,000 or less, you will likely be shopping for a used car with some mileage on it. There are car manufacturer’s that have models that have performed well consistently over time. Be sure to do some research before driving out to the used car lot, so you make a smart choice. After researching on J.D. Powers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Auto trader, here are 15 of the best used cars under $5,000.
Image Credit: By Dropping k - Own work, CC0
Ford’s Focus offers tech- savvy features like Bluetooth audio and is offered in a 4-door sedan and a 2-door coupe. It boasts a 140HP 4-cylinder engine and is fuel efficient and reliable.
The Civic has a 1.8-liter VTEC engine and is a compact car known for its reliability. It comes in several models, a 2-door coupe, a 4-door sedan and a hybrid version. It is also very fuel-efficient.
The Mazda 3 comes as a 4-door sedan, and a hatchback with a reliable 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. It has a smooth ride and high-quality interior and offers fuel efficiency.
The Scion Tc is a compact sports coupe and is backed by Toyota. It offers features usually found in luxury vehicles such as a sunroof, pioneer audio system, etc.It is a reliable and fun car to drive.
Image CreditIFCAR [Public domain]
Acura’s TL comes equipped with a 3.2-liter V6 engine and is a luxury sedan. It also offers fuel efficiency of 27 mpg.
Chevy’s Impala received the highest ratings from the NHTSA for safety and has a 3.5 liter V6 engine, comfortable seating and a roomy trunk.
The Optima earned top ratings from safety agencies and has a 2.4-liter V6 engine. The EX version offers luxury features such as climate control, leather seats, power driver seat, auto dimming rear view mirror, etc.
The Camry is Toyota’s luxury midsize offering with a 3.0-liter V6 engine. This car has an excellent safety rating and reliability that can last well beyond 200,000 miles.
Image Credit:IFCAR [Public domain]
The MDX is a midsize SUV with a powerful V6 engine and all-wheel drive. The MDX offers three rows of seats and a luxury interior, cruise control, full entertainment system, and leather seats.
The Escape is a compact SUV with either a four or six-cylinder3.0-literengine and front-wheel drive. Handles well and has excellent fuel efficiency.It can seat five passengers and has a fair amount of cargo room.
The Explorer has a 4.6-liter V8 engine and offers a 3rd-row seat, cruise control, MP3 and DVD players, and leather seats. It is essentially a large car on a truck frame and handles well.
Nissan’s Xterra has a strong 170 HP V6 engine and is more of a sports utility vehicle than a luxury SUV. Sturdy and reliable, the Xterra offers off-road capability.
Image Credit: IFCAR [Public domain]
The Town & Country has a 3.3 Liter V6 engine and some excellent luxury features. Chrysler was know to be an innovator in the minivan market and introduced the “Stow ‘n Go” second and third-row seats in the 2005 model. These seats can quickly fold up and store in hidden compartments in the cabin floor.
The Caravan has a 3.3-liter V6 engine and has a roomy interior with the ability to carry seven passengers. Comfortable seating and reliable handling.
The Quest has a 3.5-liter V6 engine and handles well with tight steering. It can seat seven, has lots of cargo room, and features power sliding doors and nice trim packages.
The biggest hurdle to overcome in buying a low cost used car is your expectations. The vehicle you can afford will likely have several years on it, higher mileage and won’t contain many of the newer safety features like a backup camera or automatic braking, etc.What you should expect to find is a clean, reliable, well-maintained vehicle.
Here are eight things to do to make sure you end up with a reliable used car.
If you take your time and do your homework, you can find an excellent, reliable car with a few extra features thrown in.