Fast, cheap, and reliable: When it comes to cars, you can really only pick two of these attributes for anyone of them. However, if you wait long enough, like 10 to 20 years, you might be able to get a car that embodies all three. But what if you don’t care about driving fast and you just want a cheap car that will last you half a million miles or more? Then here are five such examples that you can now pick up for pennies on the dollar.
If you want a luxurious ride without breaking the bank, then the Lexus ES300 is a solid choice. First off, it’s built by Toyota, so you know it’s reliable, but if you need more proof, then there are many ES300 owners that are currently enjoying their cars with an insane amount of miles on them. Keep in mind that we’re talking about a car that was produced 20 years ago, so it’s a safe bet that the ES300 is made to go the distance, just don’t expect any modern-day luxuries (Read: Cassette deck). But if you can get past that, then you’ll like the fact that you can find them selling for around $2,000 nationwide.
Ford Crown Victoria
Have you ever wanted to look like a police officer without having to join the force? Buy a Ford Crown Victoria. Actually, no, don’t do it for that reason alone. In fact, the real reason you should look into buying a Crown Vic is that it’s a cheap and reliable car. How reliable is it? Repairpal.com lists the Crown Vic at a 4.1 rating out of 5 stars according to the consumer ratings they have received. And according to those ratings, the Crown Victoria is a cheap car that is low-maintenance as long as you take care of it.
After all, there’s a reason that Ford Crown Victorias were used as police cars and taxis. If the car is reliable enough to get into car chases, haul people around through busy city streets, and idle for hours on end without any major repairs, then you can bet that it will last you for the rest of your lifetime. You can currently find Crown Vics for sale nationwide for around $2,000 to $10,000.
You probably already knew that we couldn’t have a list like this and not include the Honda Accord. Which year is the best? Technically, take your pick. However, the newer the better but no matter which one you choose, you will most likely be able to keep it and drive it for many years and many miles to come. It’s no wonder that the Accord has been one of the longest-lasting nameplates on the market for the past 40 years. And luckily, you can easily find one for anywhere in the $2,000 to $20,000 depending on how deep your budget is.
Do you need something more practical, like a wagon? If that’s the case, then you can look into buying an older Subaru Outback, which is the brand’s five-door wagon offering for the past couple of decades. Just like the Accord, you can find Outbacks in the $2,000 range if you don’t mind buying one that was made in the early 2000s. But luckily, you won’t have to worry about it breaking down as Consumer Reports has given the Outback an average of 3 out of 5 on the reliability scale for the past 10 years.
Of course, one of our answers had to be “Miata.” And while that answer might seem played out, you can’t deny that the Mazda Miata is easily one of the best cars that you can buy if you want something that’s cheap, reliable, and relatively fast. Although, 100 hp out of a 1.6-liter engine doesn’t exactly make for a fast car, however, the Miata’s lightness and rear-drive platform make it more fun than any other car on this list. Best of all, you can still find some clean examples for $3,000 to $4,000 nationwide.