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10 Best Used Cars Under $5,000


These days, $5,000 may not seem like enough budget to buy a car. Don’t despair, though. Even armed with $5,000 in today’s tough used-car market, you’ll find plenty of cars on Autotrader ready to serve as reliable commuters, family haulers, or even fun machines.

Here’s a look at 10 great ways to spend $5,000 or less on a used car on Autotrader.

1. 2011-2013 Fiat 500

2013 Fiat 500
The 2013 Fiat 500 oozes Italian charm.

The diminutive, retro-style Fiat 500 oozes Italian charm. These little cars have remarkably spacious interiors given their tiny footprints, and they’re readily available for around $5,000 or less. See Fiat 500 models for sale 

2. 2006-2009 Ford Fusion

2009 Ford Fusion front right in red
This generation of Ford Fusion still looks fresh today.

With its razor-sharp looks, the Ford Fusion still looks fresh today. Available with 4- or 6-cylinder power and in a frugal hybrid form, the Fusion lineup offered plenty of choices when new. See Ford Fusion models for sale

3. 2002-2005 Honda Civic

2005 Honda Civic front right in silver
The 2005 Honda Civic has an impeccable reliability record.

The Honda Civic is a compact sedan that holds up exceptionally well. These 4-cylinder cars boast a nearly impeccable reliability record, and they offer great refinement for the money. See Honda Civic models for sale

4. 2008-2010 Kia Optima

2010 Kia Optima
The 2008-2010 Kia Optima models were comfortable and conservative.

These comfortable sedans may wear conservative lines, but they have spacious cabins and lots of safety and convenience features for the money. You may also be able to find one with lower miles for the model year than you expect. See Kia Optima models for sale

5. 2008-2011 Kia Rio

2011 Kia Rio
A 2011 Kia Rio offers terrific fuel economy and easy parking proportions.

Offering terrific fuel economy, small garage-friendly proportions, and the allure of a practical hatchback body (called Rio5 in Kia-speak), the Kia Rio is a must-shop small car for those on a budget. See Kia Rio models for sale

6. 2005-2008 Mazda6

2008 Mazda6
The Mazda6 is a sporty and enjoyable option in the sub-$5K price range.

Don’t overlook this sporty sedan (which is also available in a practical hatchback configuration). Its slick handling makes it a delight to drive, and it has more styling verve than most 4-door models at this price point. See Mazda6 models for sale

7. 2007-2010 Nissan Altima

2010 Nissan Altima
A 2010 Nissan Altima is comfortable and surprisingly well-equipped.

If you’re after a comfortable sedan with surprising luxury features for the money, look to the Nissan Altima. The V6-powered versions are downright fast, while the rare hybrid can be a big money-saver when it comes to fuel economy. See Nissan Altima models for sale

8. 2006-2010 Pontiac G6

2010 Pontiac G6
The 2010 Pontiac G6 is spacious and offers V6 power.

Spacious and offering V6 power, the Pontiac G6 is a midsize sedan with bargain pricing and a number of modern options such as six airbags and stability control. See Pontiac G6 models for sale

9. 1999-2002 Toyota Camry

2002 Toyota Camry Front left in red
There are plenty of terrific Toyota Camry sedans out there for $5,000 or less.

You may have to dial your search back a few years, but there are plenty of terrific Toyota Camry sedans out there for $5,000 or less. These were top choices when new, with comfortable and spacious cabins plus a stellar reputation for reliability. See Toyota Camry models for sale

10. 2006-2009 Volkswagen New Beetle

2009 Volkswagen New Beetle
The 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle still has iconic looks.

The still-iconic Volkswagen New Beetle offers a lot more fun for $5,000 or less than buyers might expect. Not only are these cars stylish, but they also have good driving dynamics and an available turbocharged engine. See Volkswagen New Beetle models for sale

10 Best Used Cars Under $5,000

1. 2011-2013 Fiat 500
2. 2006-2009 Ford Fusion
3. 2006-2010 Honda Civic
4.
2008-2010 Kia Optima
5.
2008-2011 Kia Rio
6. 2005-2008 Mazda6
7.
2007-2010 Nissan Altima
8. 2006-2010 Pontiac G6
9.
1999-2002 Toyota Camry
10.
2006-2009 Volkswagen New Beetle

Andrew Ganz
Andrew Ganz is an author specializing in helping in-market consumers get the most bang for their buck -- and the best car, while they're at it. When not virtually shopping for new and used cars, Andrew can probably be found under the hood of a vintage classic that's rapidly losing fluids.

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