Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

Five 2014 Chevy cars are parked together.

The Best Used Cars For Anyone Under $10k

When it comes to purchasing a used vehicle you may search, “used cars under 10k,” on the internet, but there are many different factors that a person needs to consider before buying. Reliability is a significant thing that people look for, as a vehicle is ultimately an investment; and you do not want to make a poor investment. Anyone can sell used vehicles, so finding a reliable used one is always a must. It is also essential to keep a particular price range in mind, one that is both realistic but also gives you decent options.

There are many different kinds of used vehicles on the market. So it is also essential to keep in mind where you will be driving, as certain vehicles are more susceptible to poor driving conditions like snow and ice. Even with these few filters, there are a dizzying number of options available to the average vehicle shopper.

We have prepared a list of some of the best vehicles available for under $10k that are on the market. Whether you are looking for an economical compact, a roomy SUV, or a fast sports car, several different options are under $10k, so let’s explore some of those.


2007 Honda Accord

The Honda Accord has consistently been one of the best-selling vehicles for decades, and for a good reason. They are highly regarded as being not only reliable but also highly customizable. It comes standard with a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine. However, there is also a V-6 upgrade that gives you more power, putting out over 240 horsepower. Prices can range from $6,000-$9,000 depending on the trim, condition, and mileage.

2009 Toyota Prius

As a hybrid, the Prius offers fantastic fuel efficiency, achieving over 45 mpg while driving in a city. Toyota’s are highly regarded for not only their low cost of maintenance but also for their esteemed reliability. It is effortless to drive and will save you money anywhere you go. There are quite a few different options available that offer a varying level of technology and luxury stylings. Depending on your selection of trim options, the prices can range from a low end of $7,000 to $10,000 in most markets.

2012 Chevy Malibu

A tan 2012 Chevy Malibu, an option for used cars under 10k, is on a winding road.

While it may not turn a lot of heads, the Chevy Malibu is an extremely reliable and dependable car. The Malibu offers decent fuel efficiency of 22 mpg in the city, and 33 mpg on the highway. You can expect a smooth and comfortable ride as well. While the higher engine models hit over $10k, the 4-cylinder options still fall under in most markets. The interior is very well-made, spaced out, and comes with six-speaker audio with satellite radio and Chevy’s excellent OnStar system standard. Depending on options, you can expect a price tag from $7,000-10,000.

2010 Subaru Legacy

The Subaru Legacy offers a roomy four-door sedan, on top of a legendary AWD drivetrain. It can handle any sort of weather conditions such as snow, ice, or rain, while still being small enough to fit into a tight parking spot. Subaru is known for its impressive built-in roll cages that are in every car they produce, so no need to worry about keeping your family safe. Depending on mileage and options/upgrades, the prices range from $6,500-$10,000.


2010 Subaru Forester

The Forester is a compact SUV that offers a surprising amount of interior space, allowing all five passengers to lean back comfortably with enough elbow space. It was also consistently rated among the top options on the market in terms of safety at the time. The base models are very sparse in terms of luxury features or technology, keeping the price of entry low. However, every Forester features Subaru’s AWD platform. The prices start around $8,000. However, more luxurious models can quickly exceed $10,000.

2010 Honda CRV

The CRV is Honda’s long-running flagship SUV, and is considered a leader among compact SUVs. It offers a great balance between not only dependability and reliability, but also excellent safety scores and standard features. Its interior is made from high-quality materials and provides an ample amount of room for passengers as well as cargo. It starts at $9,000, so there are not many trim options available that don’t exceed the $10k limit. But don’t worry, the base model is a truly exceptional SUV.

2007 Infiniti FX

This is a compact SUV that really blurs the lines between a performance SUV and family SUV. Featuring a base V-6 engine, it puts out 275 horsepower. Higher trim models push it to 320 horsepower, making it a truly fast SUV. The only downside of the Infiniti FX is that its very true to the term “compact SUV,” and has quite limited interior space for cargo. The sportier suspension can also be a little stiffer on rough roads; however, the AWD models handle quite well in snow. The FX starts at around $5,500, and the higher trim models can reach up to around $8,000.


2008 Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 is a legendary pickup and one of the best-selling vehicles in general in North America. It offers the abilities and space of a full-sized pickup in a lighter frame, making it a truck for any situation. Not only does it provide decent power and towing ability, but it also quite responsive and comfortable, making it a great daily driver. The base model starts at around $9,000 and is an excellent option for anyone needing a reliable and affordable pickup.

2009 Nissan Frontier

A red 2009 Nissan Frontier is in a sunny field.

Nissan made many changes to the technology and designs of the Frontier for the 2009 year, many of which are still being utilized by Nissan in current models. Why pay more for newer versions of the same technology when you can get the same for marginally cheaper?

2007 Chevrolet Avalanche

The Avalanche is a truck/SUV hybrid that is jacked up to the extreme. It is a full-sized utility vehicle with an extendable bed, making it an extremely versatile and convenient vehicle. It starts around $9,250, so the base model is the only one that is really in the target price range. However, even the base model features a powerful V8 engine standard.

Performance/Sports Cars:

2006 Ford Mustang GT

The Mustang is an American classic, and one of Ford’s longest-running and most popular cars. The 2006 GT features a 4.6L V-8 that puts out over 300 horsepower. The Mustang also features one of the largest pools of aftermarket parts available. Starting at around $7,000, it offers a great balance of power to cost.

2008 BMW 550i

While BMWs are known to be notoriously pricey, the 2008 550i falls under $10k but packs a pretty big punch. With a 4.8L V-8 engine that puts out over 360 horsepower, the 550i can reach impressive speeds, while offering a luxurious interior like no other. The price tag for a 2008 model starts around $9,000.

2009 Subaru Impreza WRX

The WRX is a specialized performance-based rendition of the Subaru Impreza, and is quite the little vehicle. It features a turbocharged 2.5L boxer engine on top of Subaru’s world-renowned AWD drivetrain, resulting in a car that can accelerate at break-neck speeds and handle a foot of snow. It truly is the best of both worlds, combining year-round driving abilities with racetrack-approved speeds. The cheaper side of the spectrum starts around $8,500 and can increase based on mileage and features.

Buying a used vehicle is a smart choice, especially if you want to save money. The used car market has plenty of impressive vehicles for everyone’s different needs. Before buying the first vehicle, you see make sure to do your research on the dealer, the brand, and especially the vehicle. If you do this, you won’t be disappointed.