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It isn’t easy finding a cheap car these days, let alone one that is reliable for 10 years or more. But if you’re the type of driver that keeps a car until it’s got nothing left to give, these five cars have what it takes to stay on the road for years to come.

1. Toyota Corolla: The forever king of cheap, reliable cars

White 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid compact car driving by a lake
2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid | Toyota

As always, the Toyota Corolla lays down the gauntlet for cheap, reliable cars. The compact Toyota has a straightforward and proven drivetrain, with a choice of either a four-cylinder engine or a hybrid setup. To get this cheap car to last 10 years, we recommend the non-hybrid, though Toyota’s hybrid powertrains have a great reputation for dependability as well.

Overall, the Corolla is built with high-quality materials and components that are designed to withstand the rigors of daily use. Toyota also offers a comprehensive warranty for the Corolla, which covers major components like the engine and transmission for up to 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. With a starting price of just $22,000, the Corolla is one of the cheapest cars to make iSeeCars‘ list for longest-lasting vehicles.

2. Mazda3: Recent improvements make the Mazda3 both cheap and reliable

A gray 2023 Mazda3 shows off its hatchback car proportions.
Mazda3 | Mazda

We’ve talked about the Mazda3 before, and for good reason. The Mazda3 is built with high-quality materials and components that are time-tested to withstand daily driving for years on end. It has a solid and well-engineered chassis as well, so it’ll be fun to drive every day. As a relatively cheap car, the Mazda3 should have no trouble lasting 10 years or more under average driving conditions.

Additionally, the Mazda3 has consistently performed well in reliability surveys conducted by a variety of entities, including Consumer Reports and J.D. Power. In fact, the 2023 Mazda3 was ranked in the top-10 in its class for reliability by RepairPal with a score of 4 out of 5.

3. Honda Civic: Generations of dependability continue

2023 Honda Civic, one of the most reliable, cheap cars good for 10 years.
2023 Honda Civic | Honda

When it comes to dependability, it’s hard to beat the unbelievable reputation of the Honda Civic. And while things have changed since those bulletproof engines of the late 90s and early 00s, Honda reliability is still a strong point.

In truth, getting this cheap car to last 10 years should be as simple as keeping up with the oil changes. And with a starting price well below $25,000, it’s an affordable car to start with. Like the Corolla, the Civic makes iSeeCars’ list for longest-lasting cars as well, giving it a 14.7% chance of reaching 250,000 miles.

4. Hyundai Elantra: Cheap, comfortable, and reliable for 10 years

The 2023 Hyundai Elantra's engine isn't that bad, just very slow
2023 Hyundai Elantra | Hyundai

The next two cheap cars on our list aren’t just reliable for 10 years, but they’re backed by manufacturer support. The Hyundai Elantra carries a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty, but most owners don’t need much of that factory assistance.

Despite struggles in its early days, Hyundai has been producing high-quality cars for the past decade. Getting into an Elantra will run you just a shade over $21,000, and costs less than $500 in annual maintenance. In addition, Elantra owners report relatively few unscheduled repairs. In other words, Hyundai has put its money where its mouth is, and this cheap Hyundai is all but guaranteed to last for 10 years as a result. 

5. Kia Forte: Factory-backed for a decade of driving

The 2023 Kia Forte is this year's most reliable compact sedan
2023 Kia Forte GT | Kia

Similar to its Korean cousin, the Kia Forte also carries a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty from the factory. That’s great peace of mind in a cheap car, and getting it to last 10 years shouldn’t take more than routine maintenance. A low instance of severe issues and unscheduled repairs means the Forte has what it takes to stand the test of time and keep on ticking.

Cheap and reliable, these cars are reliable for 10 years or more

In truth, there are no real surprises on this list. These cheap cars are known to last for 10 years or longer, and have built reputations for doing just that. The difference now is that these cars are also genuinely good products beyond their reliability. That’s something we can all appreciate.

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