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The price of used cars is still at a record high. However, if you’re looking to save money on a used car and the gas you’ll need to pump into it, you could consider a hybrid. Don’t worry; there are still a few to choose from if you’re on a tight budget, you may just need to search your local classifieds every day. Here are five good cheap examples to start with.

1. The second-generation Toyota Prius

2004 Toyota Prius
2004 Toyota Prius | Toyota

The Toyota Prius was one of the first hybrid cars on the market. The second generation, built from 2004 to 2009, featured a hybrid powertrain that afforded the car a staggering 48 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway. Sure, the new Prius may get you more miles out of the tank, but you won’t be able to find one for less than $5,000 like the second-gen units.

2. 2005-2007 Ford Escape Hybrid

The Ford Escape Hybrid in front of the Capital building.
The Ford Escape Hybrid is in front of the Capital building. | Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

If you need a little more space than what the Toyota Prius can provide, check out a Ford Escape Hybrid. The Escape Hybrid is a comfortable and spacious compact SUV that can return an impressive 30 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. If you want a more luxurious ride, look for the Escape Hybrid’s twin, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid. Both of them can be found for less than $5,000 nationwide.

3. 2007-2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid

2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid
2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid | Toyota

Those looking for something in a mid-size sedan will like the 2007-2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid. The Camry Hybrid is based on the popular family sedan but adds an electric motor to the mix. Together, the hybrid powertrain returns impressive 31 mpg city/35 mpg highway fuel economy numbers and makes 147 hp. It may not be fast, but the Camry Hybrid is comfortable and efficient.

4. Eighth-Generation Honda Civic Hybrid

2006 Honda Civic Hybrid
2006 Honda Civic Hybrid | Getty Images

Admittedly, the Honda Civic Hybrid never returned the same type of fuel economy numbers you could get from a Toyota Prius, but it was still impressive. According to Autotrader, “The Honda Civic Hybrid returned excellent fuel economy numbers of 40 mpg city/43 mpg highway, making it a great city car or highway commuter. The eighth generation, made from 2006 to 2011, is over a decade old, but the good part is that you can find clean examples for cheap.

5. 2006-2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2006 Toyota Highlander
2006 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid was a fuel-efficient crossover that featured a third row. The third row was mainly reserved for children or really small adults, but it was practical nonetheless. In terms of fuel efficiency, the Highlander Hybrid was able to return 32 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, making it a great stop-and-go commuter.

The best hybrid cars under $5,000

If you’re looking to buy a hybrid car or SUV but don’t have a lot of money to spend, these five examples are a good place to start. Many new hybrid cars and SUVs in the market today may be able to get better fuel economy numbers, but there’s nothing like spending a small amount on a car that gives you the ability to go far between fill-ups.


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