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The saying “you get what you pay for” is often true. But when it comes to used cars, it’s still possible to find a gem in the rough for under $5,000. Cars can last a long time — even models from the early 2000s are still on the road today! Here are some of the best used cars under $5,000.
Keep These In Mind When Buying Used Cars
Buying a used car might sound the same as purchasing any vehicle on paper, but there are a few things you need to remember. First, used cars under $5,000 are typically going to be over ten years old and have a lot of miles on them — usually over 100,000. Make sure you can find the vehicle’s history report. Use the car’s VIN to check the car’s history and if there are any issues with the title.
Of course, you should also have the car inspected by a professional mechanic. Used cars under $5,000 might need some refurbishment and parts replaced. This is important because it could affect the price you’ll pay and the cost of the car after potential maintenance. You can also take a look at the car yourself to make sure you’re getting what you pay for.
Used Cars Under $5,000
1. 2007 Toyota Camry
The Camry is a staple of Toyota’s line of affordable, reliable cars. Camrys are so reliable, you can still see pre-2000 models on the road today! While older models might not have all the features the newer ones do, some models come with Bluetooth and navigation.
Finding 2007 models with a 4-cylinder engine, V6 or hybrid is possible. Not bad for a used car under $5,000.
2. 2007 – 2008 Honda Accord
Like the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord is another reliable mid-sized car for under $5,000. You can find the LX and EX models used at good quality in many places. Both models come with a 2.4-liter engine, but there may also be some luxury variants with the V6 on the market.
The older Accords come with all the standard safety features but lack the digital accessories that come with the newer models. Still, if you’re looking for a safe, economical ride, you can’t go wrong with a Honda Accord.
3. 2009 Ford Ranger
The Ford Ranger is one of the best trucks under $5,000. Guys looking for a tough, no-nonsense ride will find that this truck meets almost any challenge you throw at it. While smaller than other trucks, it has a 4-cylinder engine that you can swap out with a V6 on more high-end models, making it a reasonably strong hauler.
However, models before 2009 may have some mechanical issues. So if you’re looking into the Ranger, go for models from 2009 or later.
4. 2009 Subaru Forester
This compact SUV has been the signature off-roader for Subaru for a long time. Early 2000 models have a reputation for being some of the best used cars for under $5,000 on the market. Even the older models are tough enough to off-road with the best.
The Forester comes with all-wheel drive and standard models have a 2.5-liter engine. The torque is 166 at 4,400 RPM and the max towing capacity is 2,400 lbs. All in all, a good deal for an SUV under $5,000.
5. 2009 Scion tC
If you’re looking for something more sporty, the Scion tC might be the car for you. Toyota released the Scion brand back in 2003 with the intent of attracting the post-2000 generation. The goal of the Scion was to have a sleek, cool design while still being comfortable and economical. While Toyota discontinued the brand in 2017, you can still see many of these cars on the road today.
The 2009 Scion tC is a compact, two-door hatchback that can seat up to five people. While stylish, the interior is comfortable, with plenty of space and legroom. It comes with a four-cylinder engine that gets a combined 23 mpg.
6. 2007 Ford Explorer
Like the Forester, the Ford Explorer is another signature SUV that’s been around for years. Models from 2007 and on have a reputation for reliability and are still on the road today. Not only that, but they’re also plentiful. You’ll find a handful of these in every used car lot or online listing for under $5,000.
Explorers come with either a V6 or a V8 engine. While neither is particularly fuel-efficient, this rugged old-timer can still compete with newer models when exploring off the beaten path.
7. 2008 Hyundai Sonata
The Hyundai Sonata is known for its plentiful seating space, top-tier crash safety rating and reliability. Models 2008 and over have all of the features this car is known for while still being affordable. There’s a reason owners don’t get rid of them, even after 15 years.
The 2008 model comes standard with a V6 engine. While the Sonata has a good reputation for durability, you might need to replace some engine parts after 100,000 miles. If you plan on purchasing a Sonata, check the vehicle history and ask the dealer about any replacements required.
Even with that asterisk, the Sonata is still one of the best used cars under $5,000 you can find.
8. 2007 Chevrolet Silverado
Like the Ford Ranger, the Chevrolet Silverado has been the vehicle of choice for both outdoorsmen and the working man for years. With a V-8 engine and four-wheel drive, this oldie is still among the best-used trucks.
Also, it has a stellar crash rating, and its fuel economy is excellent for a truck its size. If you need a reliable companion to get you and all of your stuff from point A to point B, the Silverado is one of the best used trucks you can get under $5,000.
Used Cars Are Still Good
Just because used cars don’t have the bells and whistles of the newer ones doesn’t mean they’re not worth it. There is plenty of quality used cars under $5,000 still out there, just waiting to find a new owner!