Search Cars for Sale

10 Best Used Compact Cars Under $5,000


It can be tough to find a bargain in today’s challenging car market. Used compact sedans and hatchbacks offer some of the best values today.

Here’s a look at 10 of the best compact cars you’ll find on Autotrader for $5,000 or less.

1. 2007 Ford Focus

2007 Ford Focus front right in black

Ford’s Euro-style small car was fun to drive when new and isn’t too hard to find on the used market. Look for one with a manual transmission for the most driving fun — and the best fuel economy. See Ford Focus models for sale

2. 2004 Honda Civic

2004 Honda Civic in silver.

You’ll have to dial your calendar back a few years to find a good sub-$5,000 Honda Civic, but this model’s terrific reliability record means that a few more miles on the odometer should be less of a concern. See Honda Civic models for sale

3. 2009 Hyundai Elantra

2009 Hyundai Elantra Front Left Side in SIlver

Roomy inside and equipped with a thrifty 4-cylinder engine, the Hyundai Elantra is an excellent choice for shoppers on a budget. There are many of them out there, too, which should make finding a good one easy. See Hyundai Elantra models for sale

4. 2010 Kia Forte

2010 Kia Forte in brown.

Available in coupe, hatchback, and sedan forms, the Kia Forte is a well-equipped small car with a frugal 4-cylinder engine and an unusually spacious cabin. See Kia Forte models for sale

5. 2006 Mazda3

2006 Mazda3 in charcoal.

The Mazda3 is one of the most fun-to-drive small cars around, and it came loaded up with a broad array of available features when new. Seek out the hatchback version for its vast cargo area. See Mazda3 models for sale

6. 2008 Pontiac Vibe

2008 Pontiac Vibe in red.

Forget about its Pontiac badge. Pontiac built the Vibe in partnership with Toyota, so it boasts that automaker’s sterling build quality. With available all-wheel drive and loads of features for the money, the Vibe is a must-shop. See Pontiac Vibe models for sale

7. 2007 Subaru Impreza

2007 Subaru Impreza in grey.

If you live where snow falls often, or if you need a little added slippery road capability, the rugged and durable Subaru Impreza is here with its standard all-wheel-drive system. See Subaru Impreza models for sale

8. 2012 Suzuki SX4

2012 Suzuki SX4 in red.

One of the newest models on our list, the Suzuki SX4, is a high-riding sedan and hatchback lineup with excellent outward visibility and a practical cargo area. See Suzuki SX4 models for sale

9. 2006 Toyota Corolla

2006 Toyota Corolla in red.

One of the world’s most popular cars has a solid reputation for reliability, if not excitement. Still, if you find a Corolla S, you’ll be treated to surprisingly zippy handling and a class-up interior. See Toyota Corolla models for sale

10. 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit

2008 Volkswagen Rabbit in red.

VW’s little hatchback serves up slick handling and a comfortable ride, plus its interior is a step above what you might typically find for $5,000 or less. See Volkswagen Rabbit models for sale

10 Best Used Compact Cars Under $5,000

  1. 2007 Ford Focus
  2. 2004 Honda Civic
  3. 2009 Hyundai Elantra
  4. 2010 Kia Forte
  5. 2006 Mazda3
  6. 2008 Pontiac Vibe
  7. 2007 Subaru Impreza
  8. 2012 Suzuki SX4
  9. 2006 Toyota Corolla
  10. 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit

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.

Sign up for Autotrader newsletters

The best cars and best deals delivered to your inbox

Email Address 

By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy

Where You Can Buy

Loading dealers...

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: First Look

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid jumps to the head of the hybrid class.

Best Truck Deals: June 2022

These are the best deals on trucks for the month of June 2022.

Here Are 5 Great 1980s Performance Cars for Sale on Autotrader

Looking for a fun 1980s car? Look no further.

Search By Style

More Articles Like This