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10 Best Used Cars Under $12,000


The average new car today costs more than $36,000, but for a third of that amount, you can find some pretty interesting rides. There’s a wide range of cars from compacts to big family sedans on our list of 10 Best Used Cars Under $12,000.

1. 2015 Honda Accord

2015 Honda Accord

The Accord is the benchmark for midsize family sedans. Roomy and efficient, the Accord also shares in Honda’s reputation for building cars with good quality, reliability, and high resale value. The 2015 model saw an upgrade in the interior that included better materials and sound insulation. Find a Honda Accord for sale

2. 2015 Subaru Legacy

2015 Subaru Legacy

This Subaru offers the roominess of your typical midsize family sedan with a twist. The Legacy has standard all-wheel drive and a flat-4 2.5-liter engine with a CVT. It’s a great all-weather car that serves well in daily commutes or on weekend adventures.  Find a Subaru Legacy for sale

3. 2015 Nissan Altima

2015 Nissan Altima

While it has a much lower profile than the Honda Accord to Toyota Camry, the Altima provides the same kind of room and solid build quality as its rivals. The Altima also offers you a choice of either a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine or V6 power for less than $12,000. Find a Nissan Altima for sale

4. 2016 Toyota Corolla

2016 Toyota Corolla

Compact cars are not so compact anymore, as the 2016 Toyota Corolla demonstrates. This sedan boasts interior space that would have rivaled that of the larger Camry, just a generator or two before. In addition to its family-friendly accommodations, the Corolla also boasts solid durability for the long haul. Find a Toyota Corolla for sale

5. 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid

2016 Kia Optima Hybrid

With the Optima, Kia has caught up to established competitors like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry in size, features, and above all, quality. The Optima Hybrid model here delivers 36 mpg in the city and up to 40 mpg on the highway. Find a Kia Optima for sale

6. 2016 Volkswagen Jetta

2016 Volkswagen Jetta

The Jetta is another compact car that possesses midsize comfort and convenience. In addition to its roomy cabin, the Jetta offers European sport sedan handling and performance. All this comes with an exterior design that doesn’t seem to age. Find a Volkswagen Jetta for sale

7. 2012 Buick LaCrosse

2012 Buick LaCrosse

The tradition of the full-size family car lives on the Buick LaCrosse, which offers plenty of room, a comfortable ride, and upscale amenities. Smooth V6 power, a reputation for durability, and understated premium looks add to the allure of this American classic. Find a Buick LaCrosse for sale

8. 2012 Hyundai Genesis

2012 Hyundai Genesis

Long before Genesis was the luxury division for Hyundai, the brand was the flagship sedan in the Korean automaker’s lineup. Now sold as the G80, this precursor to Genesis’ midsize model is a solid value and offers both rear-drive and V8 power. Find a Hyundai Genesis for sale

9. 2012 Ford Taurus

2012 Ford Taurus

Who says family cars can’t be fun? The Ford Taurus SHO packs plenty of punch with its turbo 3.5-liter V6, which pumps out 365 horsepower. That output goes to all four wheels, giving this full-size sedan 0-60 mph capability of 5.2 seconds. Find a Ford Taurus for sale

10. 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer

2015 Mitsubishi Lancer

Mitsubishi is a brand that flies beneath the radar but offers some interesting models at affordable prices. A case in point in the Lancer GT, a compact sedan that has a sport suspension, 18-inch wheels, and a stylish rear spoiler. Find a Mitsubishi Lancer for sale

Matt DeLorenzo
Matt DeLorenzo
Matt DeLorenzo is an author who specializes in writing news, advice, and car reviews. A member of the North American Car of the Year jury, he has spent more than four decades covering the auto industry and has held key posts at industry and consumer publications including Automotive News, AutoWeek, and Road & Track. He is also an author of automotive books including Modern Chrysler Concept... Read More about Matt DeLorenzo

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