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9 Good Used Cars Under $5,000 for 2019

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author photo by Chris O'Neill March 2019

Looking for a used car can be intimidating when you're on a tight budget, since this will typically mean that you're limited to older, higher-mileage options. That said, there are good options at any price point, including the $5,000 mark, and if you're willing to do your homework, you can still wind up with a great, reliable vehicle, even at this lower price point. To help get you started in your search, here we'll outline nine good used cars readily available for under $5,000.

2006-2010 Honda Civic

2006-2010 Honda Civic

For the past decade, an average of 300,000 Honda Civics have been sold in the U.S. every year, so it's safe to say that the Civic's reputation for quality and good design is backed by a large sample size. The Civic offers buyers the choice of either coupe or sedan body styles. While there won't be as many listed for under $5,000, the Civic also offers a hybrid version and a sporty, performance-oriented Si model. Regardless, any Civic is going to offer a good balance of reliability, efficiency and driving enjoyment. Currently there are over 350 2006-2010 Honda Civics listed on Autotrader for $5,000 or less. Find a Honda Civic for sale

2002-2006 Toyota Camry

2002-2006 Toyota Camry

The Camry spent a long time as the best-selling passenger vehicle in America. A midsize sedan, the Camry won't set the world on fire with its design and performance, but it offers a reasonably large back seat and trunk, and both 4-cylinder and V6-powered variants, giving buyers a choice with regard to power and efficiency. If you're looking for simple, reliable point-to-point transportation, the Camry is a safe bet. Right now, there are close to 450 2002-2006 Camry models available on Autotrader for $5,000 or less. Find a Toyota Camry for sale

2007-2011 Nissan Versa

2007-2011 Nissan Versa

Designed with the budget conscious shopper in mind, the Nissan Versa is a great option for buyers looking for a used car for $5,000 or less. Additionally, the Versa is available as both a sedan and a practical hatchback, which earns it bonus points in our book. Nissan products generally have good reliability, and combined with the Versa's fuel economy that typically falls in the 30 mile per gallon range, buyers on a budget will find day-to-day life with a Versa to be relatively inexpensive. There are currently over 200 2007 to 2011 Nissan Versa sedans and hatchbacks listed on Autotrader for $5,000 or less. Find a Nissan Versa for sale

2008-2011 Ford Focus

2008-2011 Ford Focus

Since its debut, the Ford Focus has been a leader in the small car segment and right now, buyers browsing Autotrader for used cars should be able to find a 2008-2011 model for around $5,000 or less with relative ease. Why these model years? The 2008 to 2011 Focus was a heavily revised take on the original model, and offered many improvements over previous model years, including updated styling and available Bluetooth audio. Over these model years, the Focus was sold as both a coupe and a sedan and was power by a fuel efficient 140-horsepower 4-cylinder engine. Overall, the Focus from this era is a safe and reliable vehicle, and there are currently around 375 listed on Autotrader for $5,000 or less. Find a Ford Focus for sale

2008-2015 Fiat 500

2008-2015 Fiat 500

Coming in at only 11.5 feet long, the 500 is an excellent city car and also achieves great gas mileage, as buyers should expect to see mpg figures in the low 30s in the city and high 30s on the highway. Although it offers room for four passengers, its worth noting that the Fiat 500 is small, officially classified as a "city car" or a "micro car." Still, anyone needing basic urban transportation will find the 500 more than adequate, and its hatchback design is still plenty practical, despite the vehicles stubby dimensions. Add in the 500's funky retro design, and buyers will find a lot to love about this quirky city car. Given the relative newness of the 500, there are fewer than 100 listed on Autotrader for under $5,000, but if you're willing to be patient, the 500 is a great option. Find a Fiat 500 for sale

2002-2006 Honda CR-V

2002-2006 Honda CR-V

One of the longest running compact SUVs on the market, the Honda CR-V was sold in its second-generation from the 2002 to 2006 model years, and buyers should be able to find one for around $5,000 or less with relative ease. Despite many examples now being around 15 years old, the second-gen CR-V's crisp, clean design has aged well, helping it to feel newer than it really is. One of the early CR-V's trademark design elements is its rear-mounted spare tire and side hinged rear door. Overall, buyers will appreciate the CR-V's sensible Honda design and reliability, not to mention its available all-wheel drive. On Autotrader, there are currently over 200 2002-2006 Honda CR-Vs listed for $5,000 or less. Find a Honda CR-V for sale

2005-2010 Scion tC

2005-2010 Scion tC

Sold from 2005 to 2010, the first-generation Scion tC is a great sports coupe for anyone on a $5,000 budget. Given that Scion products were all rebadged Toyotas, buyers can count on excellent reliability and dependability. As it was geared toward a younger buyer, the tC was available with many fun, forward-looking features, including a panoramic sunroof and a 1600-watt Pioneer audio system. Additionally, the tC was sold in a variety of fun, unique colors, including purple, bright blue and, in later years, yellow. Right now on Autotrader, there are around 150 2005-2010 Scion tCs for sale for around $5,000 or less. Find a Scion tC for sale

1999-2004 Nissan Xterra

1999-2004 Nissan Xterra

In terms of rugged utility, the Nissan Xterra is one of the best values on the used car market. Similar to the Toyota 4Runner, the Xterra offers a strong V6 engine and a body-on-frame design with a solid rear axle, which is great for off-roading. The Xterra never reached the level of popularity of the venerable 4Runner though, and since it was discontinued a few years ago, used examples have become extremely affordable. The first-generation Xterra was sold from the 1999 to 2004 model years, and examples can now be found for under $5,000 with relative ease. Right now on Autotrader, there are currently over 100 listed on Autotrader that fit our description, over half of which offer four-wheel drive. Find a Nissan XTerra for sale

2005-2009 Subaru Outback

2005-2009 Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback is a favorite among active lifestyle buyers given that it combines car like refinement and efficiency with the practicality an AWD system typically associated with SUVs. A 2005-2009 Outback is a great option for any adventurer, and many are available for around $5,000. Buyers should note though that at this price point you're looking at a higher mileage example. Also noteworthy is that some Subarus from this era are known to have reliability issues, so it's worth getting a pre-purchase inspection before signing to buy. Right now on Autotrader, there are close to 100 2005 to 2009 Subaru Outbacks listed on Autotrader that fit within our budget. Find a Subaru Outback for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
9 Good Used Cars Under $5,000 for 2019 - Autotrader