Best Used Cars Under $10,000

Due to ever-rising standards in reliably, safety and engineering, the average lifecycle for all cars continues to increase. This is great news for the used car buyer with a limited pocketbook. And in order to help you with your search for a used car that offers reliability, style and safety – but at a price that you can afford – has put together this list of the best used cars for under $10,000:

2006 – 2009 Kia Optima:

Too often, the Kia Optima gets overlooked because of an association with a lower price tag. However, if you are a used car buyer looking to find a car that is a virtual steal for less than $10,000, the Optima should be added to the top of your list. Not only have these cars been recognized for their reputation for reliability, but a roomy interior and sleek exterior styling adds a high-end appeal – just without that high-end price tag. 

  • Consumer Reports – 2007 Overall Test score: 75/100
  • NHTSA – 2007 Average crash rating: 4.75/5 .0
  • JD Power and Associates: 2009 Predicted reliability score: 4/5

 2006- 2007 Ford Fusion:

Making its debut to the car buying world in 2006, what the Ford Fusion set out to offer was a sophisticated driving experience that fell in the price range of the modern family-minded car buyer. And it’s this area where the Fusion continues to impress – even today. So if you are looking for a used car under $10,000 that offers enough room and comfort to meet your ever-evolving needs, not many other cars can match: 

  • Consumer Reports – 2010 Overall Test score: 84/100
  • NHTSA – 2006 Average crash rating: 4.25/5 .0
  • JD Power and Associates: 2006 Predicted reliability score: 4/5 

2005-2010: Nissan Versa: Available in a sedan or hatchback, what initially made the Nissan Versa so appealing was the sophisticated styling and engineering it offered, but at a moderate price. And now, just a little more than a half a decade later, the Versa continues to offer this same appeal. So when searching for that perfect combination of fuel economy, reliability, and spacious interior, you will be hard-pressed to find a better value: 

Test scores for the 2007 model year include:

  • Consumer Reports – Overall Test score: 64/100
  • NHTSA – Average crash rating: 4.25/5 .0
  • JD Power and Associates: Predicted reliability score: 2/5 

2002 – 2006 Audi A4: With average used car list prices hovering between $5,000 and $10,000, the Audi A4 is perfect for the luxury minded car buyer who doesn’t want to empty their bank account. With a handsome, well-finished cabin, sharp handling and turbocharged engine, this sophisticated sedan is capable of delivering luxury and comfort, while also placing a premium on acceleration and performance. 

  • Consumer Reports – 2002 Overall Test score: 75/100
  • NHTSA – 2002 Average crash rating: 4.1/5 .0
  • JD Power and Associates: 2006 Predicted reliability score: 4/5 

2001-2003 Mini Cooper: With its uniquely designed exterior and responsive handling, it’s easy to overlook the Mini Cooper’s reputation for reliability. What’s more is that with a light-weight design and five speed 121-horsepower engine, this fun and funky little compact car adds the appeal of performance: 

  • Consumer Reports – 2008 Overall Test score: 64/100
  • NHTSA – 2003 Average crash rating: 4.0/5 .0
  • JD Power and Associates: 2006 Predicted reliability score: 3/5

JD Power and Associates: 2006 Predicted reliability score: 3/

2 thoughts on “Best Used Cars Under $10,000

  1. Jessica

    Wheels, while I agree that the life expectancy for cars is increasing, I also believe that people like small change. Even if we can keep our car for 15 years, who would want to? I’m just throwing it out there that I love having the luxury of getting a new used car every few years. And granted I’ve been going to Palm for years, the best vehicles in the same price range but with different cars I’ve found were on


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