The main drawback with new hybrids is that they are expensive, especially when compared to a similar-sized gasoline-only car. From a strictly money-saving standpoint, new hybrids don’t always make sense. That’s where used hybrids under $10,000 come in.
If you find yourself becoming a little more budget-conscious, you’re not alone. One way to cut back on monthly expenses is to get a really fuel-efficient car. Certainly, that will lead you to a long list of hybrid fuel-sippers. Hybrids use a combination of a gasoline engine and an electric motor (or motors) to get most miles out of every drop of gas. Unless you’re specifically getting a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), typical Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) don’t need to be plugged in. You just gas up and drive. There are plenty of good used hybrid vehicles for a reasonable price. Also, dollar for dollar, hybrids are better all-around vehicles.
Even if you’re trying to stay under $10,000, you have many excellent choices when it comes to hybrids. If you’re taking out a loan, this should be about $200-$250 per month, depending on the terms.
To help you get the most for your money, here are the 10 best fuel-sipping used hybrids for less than $10,000:
1. 2014 Toyota Prius
There’s really no way around it — the Toyota Prius is the go-to car when it comes to affordable hybrids under $10,000. The good and bad here is that these cars are very popular. That’s bad if you really don’t like going along with the crowd. However, it’s good because it means there are many of them for sale. We chose the 2014 model because it’s likely the newest version you can get with reasonable mileage — figure in the 100,000 range. Don’t worry. Even with that mileage, a Prius will give you many years of service. If you’re unsure of buying a hybrid that’s six years old, you should know that most hybrids and electric cars have a long warranty on the battery and electrical drive components than the rest of the car. Usually, it’s eight years or 100,000 miles but may be even higher. Find a Toyota Prius for sale
49 miles per gallon in the city/46 mpg on the highway/48 mpg combined
2. 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
In terms of car for the dollar and good mpg, the Hyundai Sonata is about the best used hybrid you can get. We put the Prius ahead of it simply for the number of used cars likely to be sold and simple name recognition with consumers. The Sonata doesn’t have the name recognition of a car like the Toyota Prius or Camry but it is still a very good car. The Sonata hybrid doesn’t feel like “this is all I can afford,” yet a good 2015 or 2016 model is just as affordable as most cars on this list. Because it’s one of the newer hybrids you can get at $10,000, there are a lot of “new car” features like push-button start, keyless entry, Apple CarPlay, heated seats, USB port, backup camera and a touchscreen. The ride is tuned more for comfort than sporty handling, but we’re OK with that. For $10k, look for a 2016 model with less than 100,000 miles. That’s a lot of car for a really low price. Find a Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for sale
39 mpg city/42 mpg hwy/41 mpg combined
3. 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid
Talk about an abundance of used cars available. There are plenty of Ford Fusion Hybrids under $10,000 for sale right now. We like both the 2016 Sonata and 2016 Fusion since they’re newer. The 2016 version of Ford‘s family-friendly gas/electric hybrid should be easy to find for at or a little under $10,000. Going back a few years doesn’t change the price dramatically so if you find a 2014 or 2015 with fewer miles, that’s worth considering, too.
There’s also a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Fusion. Those are named Fusion Energi. The Energi allows you to plug the car in to charge up a small battery and drive about 20 miles on electricity only before the gasoline engine kicks in. Find a Ford Fusion Hybrid for sale
43 mpg city/36 mpg hwy/41 mpg combined – Fusion Engeri is rated at 88 MPGe when fully charged.
4. 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid
Like the Camry, the Accord hybrid is everything we love about reliable sedans with the added benefit of great fuel economy, only better. Compared to other hybrids, the Accord feels like it’s engineered to a higher standard. The interior has a high-quality look and feel. Accords are noticeably more fun to drive than other hybrid sedans and Accords are notoriously reliable. The bad news: Everyone knows this. That means that a 2014 with over 100,000 miles will be at the very edge of that $10,000 limit, and many with low miles will be even more expensive. Still, find a well-cared-for Accord hybrid with, say, 120,000 miles and it should be good for several more years with few problems. Find a Honda Accord Hybrid for sale
49 mpg city/45 mpg hwy/47 mpg combined
5. 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
Yes, another Honda. Toyota gets credit for their hybrids, but Honda has quite a few as well. The Civic Hybrid is a good car but there aren’t as many good used examples to pick from. Still, a fairly low-mileage 2012 Civic Hybrid is likely to be well below the $10,000 cut-off but still gets decent fuel economy and is just as comfortable or even more comfortable than a Prius. The Honda Civic is also more fun to drive than many other used hybrids and we can’t argue with typical Honda reliability. Find a Honda Civic Hybrid for sale
43 mpg city/44 mpg hwy/44 mpg combined
6. 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid
The Camry is one of those hybrids that gets good gas mileage but functions like a normal family sedan. It’s spacious, comfortable, reliable and quiet. If you want an effortless hybrid, this is the one. We like the 2015 model because it’s more contemporary-looking than previous versions. Plus, the XLE versions will have features like heated leather seats up front and satellite radio. Look for cars with commuter-friendly options like a wireless phone charger, sunroof or a premium JBL audio system. If you’re really looking for a bargain, check out the 2007–2009 Camry hybrid. You can find those for about $6,500. Find a Toyota Camry Hybrid for sale
40 mpg city/37 mpg hwy/39 mpg combined
7. 2013 Chevrolet Volt
The Volt is a plug-in hybrid or PHEV. It works like a normal car, but you can charge it up if you want to drive on just electricity. With the 2013 Volt, that electric-only range is 35–40 miles. After that, it works like a normal hybrid using a combination of the gasoline engine and electric motor to get really good fuel economy. The Volt essentially looks the same as the 2013 model until 2015. In 2016, the body style changes and those are a little more than $10,000. Expect a good 2016 Volt to be more like $15,000. Still, the 2013 is attractive and modern-looking. You just won’t get features like Apple CarPlay and some collision avoidance features. Find a Chevrolet Volt for sale
98 MPGe first 38 miles/37 mpg for the remaining 318 miles
8. 2013 Honda Insight
There are two versions of the Honda Insight: a small, funky 2-door hatchback from the early 2000s and the more contemporary sedan. Yes, the funky hatchback did launch Honda hybrids in the US. Plus, you can get one for around $3,000. However, the newer Insight sedan can be had for around $10,000 — at that price, there are plenty of good Insights with less than 70,000 miles. If you want Bluetooth, an upgraded sound system as well as a rear parking camera, look for an EX with factory-installed navigation. Honda trim level are a little weird — the car would actually be called Insight EX with navigation. There’s also a nicely equipped EX. Find a Honda Insight for sale
40 mpg city/42 mpg hwy/41 mpg combined
9. 2010 Lexus RX 450h
The RX 450h is easily the most luxurious vehicle on our list. To get one for under $10,000, you’re going to have to be OK with well over 100,000 miles. Even 2008 models are plentiful for $6,000-$7,500 but all have lots of miles. Thankfully, Lexus vehicles are reliable. There is an abundance of RXs for sale with well over 200,000 miles. We’re not suggesting you get one that’s THAT used, but it should be reassuring. Look for a 2010 model with all-wheel drive and about 150,000 miles in order to keep it under $10k. For that price, you’ll get leather seating, power seats, heated seats, air-filtration system, push-button start, etc. Find a Lexus RX 450h for sale
32 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/30 mpg combined
10. 2013 Toyota Prius C
Toyota’s Prius C is a different model than the Prius. Imagine a car that’s even more basic than the lowest-priced version of a Prius — that’s the Prius C. Basic still means air-conditioning, power windows, power mirrors and digital gauges. The Prius C really has just two things going for it: low price and great gas mileage. That’s about it. If you want anything more than those two things, the Prius C isn’t for you. A 2013 with less than 100,000 miles should cost around $7,000. If you’re OK with a higher-mileage car, you can find them for even less. If a rock-bottom price plus really good fuel economy are important, the Prius C is worth checking out. Find a Toyota Prius c for sale
53 mpg city/43 mpg hwy/50 mpg combined