Best Used Cars Under $10,000 For 2021

Best Used Cars Under $10,000 For 2021

In 2010 you could still, barely, buy a raw car for under $ 10,000. That death $ 9,990 car was a stripped Nissan Versa, without a radio or air conditioning, so spend that sum on a use cable car alternatively was an attractive proposition. In 2021, ten expansive international relations and security network ’ t actually enough to swing a late-model machine with a worthwhile guarantee or the latest technical school, but it ’ ll buy much more than a bottom-feeder used car. A broad range of authentic, value-packed, even playfulness and stylish rides can be had for $ 10,000 with careful research and patient shop .
Using a combination of owner feedback, dependability ratings, average transaction prices and expertness from Forbes Wheels staff, we compiled a list of 20 good candidates for shoppers on a budget. To meet our criteria, we looked for cars newer than the 2001 model year and were normally available for under $ 10,000. We prioritized newer cars, estimable dependability scores and low costs of possession .
many dealerships, even franchise dealers, neckcloth good sub- $ 10,000 used cars, though buying older cars from secret parties can stretch your dollars further. Some sellers besides have detailed maintenance records to show off, which can inform your buy .
promote complicating matters for shoppers on a budget are the soaring prices of all use vehicles in 2021, an effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. For that reason, some cars from our list of the Best Used Cars for $ 5,000 appear here, but buyers should be able to find identical good examples of these cars for $ 10,000 .
As even the most historically dependable cars suffer over time if they aren ’ thyroxine maintained, we besides recommend a mechanical inspection before buy. For a few more pointers, scroll down to the end of our list .

1. 2007 to 2016 Honda Fit

2015 Honda FitAlex Kwanten
Used Honda Fit Deals Why we picked it: besides the chomp on our $ 5,000 used car list, the Fit ’ s respect as a secondhand cable car is a big as its proportions are small. It has an excellent dependability record and returns impressive fuel economy, up to 31 mpg combined. Though small on the outside, the Fit ’ s minivan-like inside makes excellent consumption of space. It ’ randomness noisy and buzzy on the highway but a playfulness car to drive, with responsive treatment and a will locomotive. The 2009 to 2013 exemplary is more neat than the original adaptation, and more fun to drive than the CVT-equipped third-generation 2015 to 2020 car, but all are well choices. A few cars adenine new as 2017 can be found under $ 10,000, and lower-mileage examples of the older models abound .

  • Reliable and cheap to run
  • Fun to drive
  • Space and fuel-efficient


  • Noisy and small
  • Firm ride, small tires can wear quickly
  • Lack of interior amenities

2. 2010 to 2015 Mazda3

2014 Mazda3Mazda
Used Mazda 3 Deals Why we picked it: The new-for-2010 second-generation Mazda3 improved dependability and rust security over the previous model and added a little board, excessively. The 3 transformed again into the even sleeker and more deluxe third-generation plan in 2014. With bouncing four-cylinder engines and capable handling, both of these versions of 3 are reliable and playfulness to drive cars, although the potent 2010 to 2013 MazdaSpeed3 and higher-trim versions of the newer design may be hard to find at this price. The 2014 and newer models cost more but are worth seeking out, with nice style and a better dependability record. Both generations are available as a hatchback or a sedan .

  • Sporty handling, involving performance
  • Practical available hatchback body
  • Nice interior designs


  • Newer, sportier examples may be costly
  • Fewer features on base models
  • Grinning front end styling on 2010 to 2013 models

3. 2005 to 2012 Toyota Avalon

2011 Toyota AvalonJohn Gress/Getty
Used Toyota Avalon Deals Why we picked it: Toyota ’ s biggest sedan, the conservative Avalon, is one gradation below a Lexus and built for comfortable, tranquillity drive. While not particularly excite to drive or look at, it shines on retentive road trips while returning adequate mpg for a big cable car, and it ’ s a consistent dependability champ. It besides earns high marks for owner satisfaction and tends to be found backpack with nice features including seafaring, leather upholstery and even reclining raise seats. These years cover only the third-generation Avalon, examples of which should be slowly to find for $ 10,000, but all versions make firm exploited cars .

  • Dependable and safe
  • Good mpg for a large car
  • Comfortable, refined and quiet


  • Some features can be expensive to repair
  • Not exciting to drive or look at
  • Mushy handling

4. 2004 to 2012 Toyota Prius

2010 Toyota PriusJustin Sullivan/Getty
Used Toyota Prius Deals Why we picked it: Priuses dominate the Uber lane at the airport because the cable car combines roomy practicality with about unbeatable low costs of operation. Stellar gas mileage and upstanding lastingness are baked into the package even if driving fun is not. many have been pushed into gig driving service, but clean, low-mileage examples of both the second ( 2004 to 2009 ) and one-third ( 2010 to 2015 ) generation models abound. The latter have a better dependability read, but not excessively many newer than 2012 will be available for under $ 10,000. Replacing the Prius ’ loanblend battery carry can be expensive ( $ 2,500-plus ), but the batteries are durable and replacements before 200,000 miles are quite rare .

  • Cheap to buy and run
  • Lots of room for people and cargo
  • Very reliable


  • Noisy on the highway
  • Boring to drive
  • Basic interior

5: 2006 to 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata

2010 Mazda MX-5 MiataMazda
Used Mazda MX-5 Miata Deals Why we picked it: Mazda ’ s MX-5 Miata is, famously, the best-selling roadster of all time, and it ’ s an alfresco rejoice to drive. Miatas might not seem like value-oriented practice cars, but many owners take care of their vehicles and they tend to be second or even one-third cars, not always used for the daily labor. The third-generation or “ NC ” Miata debuted for 2006 and while marginally bigger and heavier than earlier versions, it besides had more exponent, a more modern crash social organization and an available retractable hardtop. These Miatas have an excellent dependability record and get high marks for owner satisfaction. The downside is that your life must fit a roadster if you want one, since there ’ s not much room for baggage .

  • Good looking and fun to drive
  • Commuter car reliability
  • Available retractable hardtop


  • Seats two, with a 5.3 cubic-foot trunk
  • Not fun in winter
  • Few amenities, lots of road noise

6. 2003 to 2011 Lincoln Town Car

2003 Lincoln Town CarLincoln
Used Lincoln Town Car Deals Why we picked it: Beneath the Town Car ’ s swank exterior lurk the same rock-tough mechanical pieces as a Ford Crown Victoria police cable car, and both vehicles were fleet favorites for decades thanks to their dependability. The inside is a comfortable, cosseting place to be, with lots of amenities and room for up to six and an enormous 21.1 cubic-foot torso. The downside is that the V8-powered, rear-wheel repel Town Car is in truth huge, 215 inches long and 4,300 pounds, so gas mileage and maneuverability aren ’ thyroxine great. properly maintained, Town Cars can last a long clock time, and while they can be found for significantly less than $ 10,000, that amount will buy some of the nicest around .

  • Very durable
  • Lots of room and luxury
  • Powerful and quiet


  • 15 mpg around town
  • Huge size
  • Some have seen taxi use and are best avoided

7. 2004 to 2012 Acura TSX

2009 Acura TSXAlex Kwanten
Used Acura TSX Deals Why we picked it: The first-generation TSX, built from 2004 to 2008 and besides seen on our $ 5,000 list, is a sharp-handling sports sedan, while it ’ sulfur larger 2009 to 2012 successor is a piece more on the grave and epicurean side. Both generations of TSX can be had for less than $ 10,000, although finding low-mileage of the later car is more difficult at that price. The late TSX has more room for people and cargo and many more technical school features, though performance is less sprightly. All are authentic and well-made cars, though none get fantastic accelerator mileage. Acura besides introduced a TSX wagon and a V6 engine in 2010, but both are arduous to find .

  • Good looking inside and out
  • Fun to drive
  • Premium feel and features


  • Smallish back seat
  • Low-mileage examples hard to find
  • V6 models, wagons mostly out of price range

8. 2008 to 2012 Lincoln MKS

2011 Lincoln MKSAlex Kwanten
Used Lincoln MKS Deals Why we picked it: The Ford Taurus-based Lincoln MKS was largely ignored when it was new, let down by bland style and being a costly domestic sedan launched into the tooth of the capital recession. But yesterday ’ second loser is today ’ south bargain. The MKS is a deluxe cable car with lots of technical school features, in some cases including navigation, heated and ventilated seats, and even voice commands. It ’ s cabin has aged very well, excessively. Two herculean, if thirsty, V6s are available including the twin-turbo EcoBoost, which hush features in many highly-rated 2021 Lincolns. While the MKS gets properly marks for dependability, it ranks below both the Town Car and Toyota Avalon, and some items can be expensive to repair .

  • Big, comfy, and luxurious
  • Powerful engines
  • Lots of modern technology and features


  • Bland styling
  • Some features can be expensive to repair
  • Poor gas mileage

9. 2003 to 2011 Mercury Grand Marquis

2007 Mercury Grand MarquisFord Motor Co.
Used Mercury Grand Marquis Deals Why we picked it: Mechanically about identical to the Lincoln Town Car, the Grand Marquis is similarly durable, just as big, and only slenderly less plush. The “ GrandMa ” was popular with retirees when it was new. many examples are well kept, and a $ 10,000 budget will buy some of the best, and lowest-mileage, examples. The Mercury rates high for quilt, dependability and low maintenance costs, but its thirst for fuel could rival life-size pickups. This huge sedan handles better than you ’ vitamin d expect, but the rear-wheel drive V8 shape international relations and security network ’ t capital for coke or ice .

  • Very comfortable and quiet
  • Reliable and tough
  • V8 power


  • Poor fuel economy
  • Impractical size
  • Old car feel

10. 2007 to 2012 Lexus ES

2007 Lexus ESScott Olson/Getty
Used Lexus ES Deals Why we picked it: Lexus ’ gilded sister to the Toyota Camry, all generations of the ES rate very highly as practice vehicles, with excellent dependability records and a murder of JD Power awards. The fifth-generation ES was introduced in 2006 and stuck close to the established formula, with a epicurean, comfortable, quiet cabin, subdued style and a herculean 272-horsepower V6 engine. While short-change on personality, the ES promises many miles of comfortable and trouble-free drive .

  • Reliability beyond reproach
  • Luxurious and quiet
  • Lots of features


  • Low-mileage cars hard to find
  • Some features can be expensive to fix
  • Forgettable design

11. 2004 to 2008 Toyota Camry Solara

2008 Toyota Camry SolaraAlex Kwanten
Used Toyota Camry Solara Deals Why we picked it: A two-door coupe and convertible version of Toyota ’ s Camry sedan, the Camry Solara shares many of that car ’ s traits, including its rep for dependability. As on the sedan, power comes from a four-cylinder or V6 engine. Both deliver becoming fuel economy, and the V6 has batch of baron. The Solara international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate as flashy or fun to drive as other coupes or convertibles, however, owing to the sedate driving feel of its rear car. The convertible is quieter and more inflexible than the first-generation model, offered from 2000 to 2003. Although the back buttocks is both smaller and harder to access than in the regular Camry and the Solara ’ mho style is in the eye of the perceiver, it ’ s a hassle-free cabin cruiser with depleted ownership costs .

  • Comfortable and safe
  • Available as a convertible
  • Low maintenance


  • Exaggerated styling
  • Not sporty or exciting to drive
  • Small back seat and

12. 2010 to 2014 Volkswagen Golf & GTI

2010 Volkswagen GTIAlex Kwanten
Used Volkwagon Golf Deals Why we picked it: The sixth-generation Golf brought new levels of nuance and fun to the familiar hatchback, and it performed well with its gas-powered 2.5-liter five-cylinder and economical 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engines. The latter was late at the heart of the diesel emissions scandal, but Volkswagen finally rolled out an emissions fix for them with merely a bantam personnel casualty of performance. The performance-oriented GTI improves the package with more power, sharper treat and some cosmetic upgrades inside and out. Top-spec or in truth perfective GTIs will cost more than $ 10,000, however .

  • Practical and efficient
  • Engaging and fun to drive
  • Nice, if spartan, interior


  • Dieselgate stigma
  • GTIs may have been abused, inspect carefully
  • Base models lack features

13. 2006 to 2015 Honda Civic

2012 Honda Civic HybridAlex Kwanten
Used Honda Civic Deals Why we picked it: These years incorporate two generations of Civic, the swoopy, futuristic-looking 2006 to 2011 eighth generation, and the more humble 2012 to 2015 ninth-gen. The earlier cars are better looking, more fun to drive, but the newer ones have a slightly better dependability record. All of these Civics make excellent commuter cars, offering properly ability, good fuel economy and humble maintenance costs. Sport Si versions with more power even pack in batch of fun. loanblend Civics offer stellar fuel economy, but the barrage pack longevity of early models is an open question .

  • Good looking inside and out
  • Reliable and efficient
  • Sporty models and hybrids available


  • Small back seat, especially in coupes
  • Newer models less fun to drive
  • Weird dashboard layout in earlier models

14. 2006 to 2014 Hyundai Azera

2012 Hyundai AzeraKevork Djansezian/Getty
Used Hyundai Azera Deals Why we picked it: These years incorporate both the first and second-generation Azera, which was introduced for 2012. Hyundai ’ s take on the Toyota Avalon recipe, the Azera is a big and roommate V6-powered sedan with lots of features, including standard seafaring on higher snip. Though it falls short of the Toyota overall, the Azera has high dependability ratings and owners broadly consider it a identical good long-run respect. The original Azera is unexciting to drive and nondescript to look at, but the second-generation car is a lot more stylish. It is, however, harder to find lower mileage 2012 and newer models for under $ 10,000 .

  • Quiet and comfortable
  • Lots of features
  • Low cost of ownership


  • Bland design on early models
  • Firm ride but vague handling
  • Newer models hard to find with low mileage

15. 2010 to 2014 Honda Insight

2010 Honda InsightDavid McNew/Getty
Used Honda Insight Deals Why we picked it: Honda introduced the hybrid car in America with the 2000 Insight, but that little roadster was besides little for most people. In 2010, Honda resurrected the list for a second-generation targeted at, and apparently inspired by, the more successful Toyota Prius. This Insight is very much like the Prius in look and feel, if vaguely sportier. Their hybrid systems work differently, however, the Honda ’ s 13-horsepower electric motor assisting the 83-horsepower 1.3-liter locomotive and not sincerely operating independently of it. The Insight is quite basic inside and not adenine fuel-miserly as the Prius, but handles a little better and is besides cheaper to buy and repair .

  • Low cost of purchase and ownership
  • Good fuel economy and cargo space
  • More involving to drive than the Prius


  • Few amenities
  • Basic cabin, small-ish back seat
  • Slow

16. 2009 to 2013 Mazda6

2011 Mazda6Mazda
Used Mazda6 Deals Why we picked it : Mazda simplified the 6 lineup for the car ’ s second generation, deleting the performance-focused MazdaSpeed 6 adenine well as the wagon and hatchback models. But this second 6 is still a clean driver by family sedan standards, powered by either a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine ( Mazda6 one ) or a big and strong 273-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 ( Mazda6 sulfur ). The 6 does much of what family sedan buyers expect, with ample rise leg room, comfortable seats and a 14.7 cubic-foot luggage compartment, while besides offering streamlined style and an involving force experience. repair costs are broadly humble, and dependability high, though the V6 ’ s fuel economy international relations and security network ’ t bang-up .

  • Stylish 
  • Comfortable interior
  • Fun to drive


  • Base engine underpowered
  • So-so fuel economy
  • Dark, plasticky interior

17. 2012 to 2016 Buick Verano

2012 Buick VeranoAlex Kwanten
Used Buick Verano Deals Why we picked it : Too small and the faulty brand for luxury buyers when new, the Buick Verano wasn ’ t a big seller then but it ’ s a big value now. Power comes from either a 180-horsepower 2.4-liter or punchy turbocharged 250-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, with manual or automatic pistol transmissions. The outside style international relations and security network ’ thymine much to look at, but the Verano has a comfortable, well-designed cabin with batch of room by minor car standards. Some models besides have nice features like heated seats. Fuel economy is acceptably or a covenant, and manuals may be hard to find, but it has a full reputation for dependability .

  • Stylish and roomy interior for a small car
  • Lots of nice features
  • Available turbocharged engine, manual transmission


  • Invisible styling
  • Mediocre fuel economy for size
  • Base models lack features

18. 2007 to 2014 Toyota Camry

2009 Toyota CamryDavid Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty
Used Toyota Camry Deals Why we picked it: The Camry ’ s legendary dependability and easy-to-live-with nature made it the best-selling car in America for many years. These years cover both the sixth and seventh-generation Camry sedans, which have excellent dependability ratings and can easily be found with less than 100,000 miles on the clock for $ 10,000. available with four-cylinder or V6 baron, the Camry is virtual and quieten in every respect, but not very arouse to drive or look at. It returns 25 to 28 mpg combined and ownership costs are low. The Camry Hybrid, introduced for 2007, returns flush better mpg ,

  • Famously reliable
  • Popular and easy to find in different trims
  • Low maintenance


  • Not exciting
  • Neglected maintenance can be an issue
  • Four-cylinder and hybrid models lack power

19. 2012 to 2016 Volkswagen Beetle

2012 Volkswagen BeetleAlex Kwanten
Used Volkswagen Beetle Deals Why we picked it: Volkswagen revived the Beetle as a modern, front-wheel drive hatchback in 1998, but the second base generation of this modern interpretation, introduced in 2012, has a far better dependability record than the earlier one while retaining much of its retro appeal. Power comes from a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged unit, or a now-rare 2.0-liter, 140-horsepower diesel, one of the engines at the center field of “ dieselgate. ” ( See No. 12. ) The inside is huge and comfortable upfront, though back seat quad is more limited, and the Beetle has a cushy and cushy tease. A convertible was besides offered during these years, but is harder to find at this price .

  • Cute and stylish
  • Available convertible, turbo, and manual transmission models
  • Big and comfy front seating area


  • Tight back seat
  • Not as practical, or as sharp a handler, as Golf
  • Lack of cargo room in convertible

20. 2006 to 2010 Infiniti M35

2006 Infiniti M35xJohn B. Carnett/BonnierCorp. Via Getty
Used Infiniti M35 Deals Why we picked it: A rival to the BMW 5-series, the third-generation Infiniti M-series earned lots of critical praise when it was newly for its fun-to-drive handling, comfortable cabin and powerful engines. The M35 ’ s punchy V6 is shared with many early Infiniti and Nissan models, and the cable car gets effective marks for dependability and care costs despite its complexity, though gas mileage is mediocre and some items, like headlights, are identical expensive to replace. There ’ south besides a V8 M45, but it ’ mho pricier to both buy and run. M35 ’ s are rear-wheel campaign, but the available M35x has all-wheel drive .

  • Fast and fun
  • Beautiful interior
  • Lots of features


  • Mediocre gas mileage
  • Low mileage cars hard to find
  • Parts and service can be expensive


To determine our list of the best vehicles under $ 10,000, we cross-referenced a broad rate of dependability and quality scores, evaluations by vehicle testers, thousands of long-run reports and reviews from owners and factored in our own long-run experiences with these vehicles as new and exploited cars .
In summation to these criteria, the fomite had to have average transaction prices under or near $ 10,000, be manufactured after 2001, and be broadly available in five major geographic markets. We sampled hundreds of use car listings from Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Phoenix, and Seattle .
Older models, with fewer data points, required more evaluation or were broadly left off for miss of available data. For example, the limited data available on the 2002 to 2008 Nissan 350Z suggests this model is a authentic use cable car, but there international relations and security network ’ metric ton enough data to make a full-throated recommendation. similarly, cars like the Pontiac G8 sold in numbers excessively small to gather adequate data. In all cases, we believe that the models on our $ 5,000 cable car list can be found in even better discipline for $ 10,000, then some of them reappear here .
Some of the vehicles on our number come from defunct brands. In all cases, the vehicles ’ manufacturers still exist and there ’ s broadly adequate parts and serve hold. Defunct brands frequently lose value, which can make them a full buy later on, but it can besides depend on the model and the manufacturer .
We focused specifically on providing maximum value and dependability for the price, prioritizing models which are known for lastingness and moo cost of operation, but besides tried heavily to provide a kind of models to suit different tastes. We besides left off some models ascribable to higher-than-average recall incidents .
Although we can generally provide guidance on which models may be the best prize or the most reliable, we can not make any guarantees about how individual cars will perform. We did the research, but we inactive recommend you investigate your choices further before leverage and, as indicated above, pre-purchase inspections are recommended. theoretically, that ’ s easier than ever as there are now mobile mechanic services, booked via smartphone, that can come to the vehicle directly .


Is it worth buying a 10-year-old car?

It can be, yes. Vehicles over 10 years old are at or near the penetrate of their depreciation swerve, the clock when a car is no longer “ new, ” but excessively young to be “ classic. ” It ’ s in this price valley where some of the best values can be found, but you have to be will to shop around, visit carefully and live without some modern features. These cars can besides provide hassle-free transportation for a long time to come provided they ’ ve been maintained and buyers continue to invest in maintenance. That may cost some money over time, but $ 10,000 is distillery much cheaper than even the least-expensive brand-new 2021 cars and even most late-model license pre-owned cars .

Does mileage matter on used cars? What’s more important, age or mileage?

Both mileage and senesce matter, but how a fomite has been maintained matters more .
The older a vehicle is, the more its component parts may age and the more difficult it can be to get bare parts for, though mainstream brand cars shouldn ’ t have besides many difficulties. The higher mileage a fomite has, the more mechanical wear it has, which might mean replacing parts sooner or a series of expenses as components wear out .
In the 1990s, cars were normally thought to be worn out after 100,000 miles or 10 years, but better timbre standards have greatly extended the life of vehicles since then. The average car in the United States is immediately closely 12 years old and amply one-fourth of the cars are over 16 years previous. It ’ randomness common now to see quality used cars with over 100,000 miles, but typically below 150,000 to 170,000. respective vehicles on our tilt, including the Lincoln Town Car and Toyota Prius, were fleet favorites when new and can rack up very high odometer readings .
proper maintenance and careful function are more significant than mileage or age. The average vehicle is driven 12,000 miles a year throughout its life, but many vehicles see much lighter demand than that. A low-mileage car that hasn ’ metric ton been maintained by rights or has sat idle for a long time might pose more problems than a higher-mileage vehicle that has been fastidiously maintained. Where potential, ask previous owners for sustenance records and seek a pre-purchase mechanical inspection.

Should I get a mechanic to inspect a used car?

Yes. ideally, you may already have a relationship with a mechanic you know, but if not, there are many services available that perform pre-purchase inspections. ideally, this inspection should contain a test drive over different types of roads with bumps or broken sidewalk and a run up to highway speeds to test the fomite in all conditions. Adding a mechanical inspection might be socially awkward if the seller is reluctant and will likely cost you $ 150-200, but it ’ second money well spend. Note that even the best mechanics might not be able to discover every potential issue, but they can help you spot obvious signs of neglect .

What’s the best place to buy a used car under $10,000?

The best option is buying from a private party, and such listings are most often found in places like Craigslist, OfferUp, or Facebook Marketplace, but at this monetary value point many dealers, even franchise new-vehicle stores, besides stock dependable choices .
Buying from a dealer can mean a restrict guarantee, but those guarantees are not likely to be very comprehensive examination or long on older vehicles. individual people don ’ t have to worry about the cost of a car bunch or pay detailers to make their inventory glistening, so those costs are not factored into the necessitate monetary value, which may help stretch your buying power. owners besides tend to have alimony records and at least some history on the vehicle, which most used-car retailers won ’ t. many secondhand cars are bought at wholesale auctions, and there ’ s little information included with them .

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