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  • A killer warranty makes the Kia K5 a great used car buy
  • Enthusiasts will have no issue finding a Subaru WRX or VW GTI for under $30,000
  • The Volkwagen Passat is a reliable German sedan at used car prices

The new car market is a mess right now. Ford Broncos are flipping for more than $30,000 over sticker, and the cars that aren’t being flipped are flying off dealer lots. That’s especially true for cheaper used cars. So, we took to the vast reaches of the internet to put together a list of the best cheap used cars you can buy for the cost of a 2022 Honda Accord.

A red 2022 Honda Accord shot at sunset
The Accord starts at just over $26K | Honda

A Honda Civic will forever be a cheap used car

A red 2022 Honda Civic sedan shot from the front 3/4
The Civic EX starts at used car prices | Honda

First, a, uh, new car. Sorry. Frankly, we just couldn’t leave the 2022 Honda Civic off our list of the best cheap used cars. With a new Accord starting at around $27,000 you can buy an awful lot of new Civic for that money. More to the point, our $27K-$29.5K budget leaves room for a Honda Civic hatchback. And that’s by far the best Civic trim out there.

The 2021 Kia K5 is new enough to have a warranty

A silver 2021 Kia K5 is one of the best cheap used cars, seen here on a city parking garage roof
The K5 comes with a killer warranty | Kia

So, our first used car on our list of cheap used cars. The 2021 Kia K5. Frankly, it’s almost impossible to beat Kia’s 10-year 100,000-mile warranty offered on the K5. Plus, it’ll be transferrable to you. Moreover, the K5 isn’t a bad car either and handily trounced the Toyota Camry in our comparison.

Buy a Subaru WRX for cheap car speed

A white Subaru WRX shot from the front 3/4 on a dirt road
The WRX embodies cheap speed | Subaru

Now for a cheap used car for the enthusiasts. As it turns out, $27K-$29.5K gets you a lot of Subaru WRX. Moreover, used examples can be readily had just about anywhere. That’s a true rarity in this market. Obviously, you’ll want to make sure the one you buy hasn’t been modified. Often, that can hurt your resale value when the time comes to sell your new-to-you Subaru WRX.

Is the Volkswagen Passat reliable?

A Volkswagen Passat sedan is a great cheap used car, shot here from the front 3/4 at sunset
The Passat is reliable and practical, just like the Accord | Volkswagen

Then there’s the Volkswagen Passat. A more dependable German sedan there is not. At this price point, you’re looking at more feature-laden SE or SEL trim levels, making the Volkswagen Passat a solid cheap used car. It used to be you could have one with a stick shift, but most are now equipped with Volkswagen’s DSG dual-clutch transmission.

The Volkswagen GTI is practical, cheap, reliable, and fast

A Volkswagen GTI is easily one of the best cheap used cars for enthusiasts, shot here from the front 3/4
The GTI is all any enthusiast needs for the price of a new Accord | Volkswagen

Finally, one last cheap used car for the enthusiasts. The Volkswagen GTI is just about all the car any enthusiast needs. Furthermore, hatchback practicality means you can keep this hot hatch around after you’ve had kids. With our hypothetical $27K-$29.5K budget, you’re spoiled for choice as far as GTIs go. Happy hunting.