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Spring is finally here, and many of us are celebrating the arrival of tax season. If you’re like most Americans, you may be considering using your hard-earned tax return to purchase a used car. So, what if you don’t have an unlimited budget? Here’s a list of the seven best beater cars you can get for under $5,000, according to HotCars:

7. Lexus GS300 ($3,500) 

A gray 2001 Lexus GS 300 executive car/luxury sedan model parked outside a luxury home/villa
2001 Lexus GS 300 | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

The Lexus GS300 is an incredibly reliable vehicle. According to HotCars, it was built with luxury in mind, from the leather seats to its highly efficient 2JZ engine, and it’s available for a fraction of its original MSRP – talk about a win-win!

6. Mazda MX-5 Miata ($5,000) 

At this price point, there’s no better car than the Mazda MX-5 Miata. It offers excellent handling and plenty of power from its turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Plus, its low maintenance costs make it an ideal choice for budget-minded buyers. Other selling points include the sorted suspension, roomy cabin, and reasonable features.

5. Lexus LS400 ($5,000) 

The Lexus LS400 luxury sedan offers plenty of features for its price point. Its powerful V8 engine delivers plenty of performance, while its interior is filled with amenities like heated leather seats and a sunroof. If you’re the DIY type, you can still buy parts for the LS400 and make a few performance upgrades.

4. 2007-2013 MazdaSpeed3 ($5,000) 

If you’re looking for something sporty on a budget, look no further than the MazdaSpeed3. This hatchback packs a punch with its turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, producing 263 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. It also has excellent handling thanks to its stiff chassis and responsive steering system. 

3. 2006-2011 Honda Civic Si ($4,000) 

The Honda Civic Si is one of the most popular tuner cars you can find today, and it doesn’t get much better than the model years that come with a 2.0L iVTEC engine, producing 197 horsepower. Plus, it has great fuel economy, so you won’t have to worry about filling up at the pump too often.

2. 2004-2008 Acura TL ($1,900) 

The Acura TL offers excellent performance for those who want something luxurious without spending too much money. It’s powered by a 3L V6 engine and an optional six-speed manual-equipped version. Technology features include Bluetooth connectivity and a keyless entry/start system.

1 2005-2007 Scion TC ($4,000)

Finally, we have the first-generation Scion TC, arguably one of the best bangs for your buck right now. Its peppy 2.4-liter 2AZ FE inline-four engine pumps out 161 horsepower, which is surprising for its size and era. Whether you choose the five-speed manual or the four-speed automatic, both transmission options are dependable.

Should I buy a beater car?

No matter what type of used car you’re looking for—luxury or performance—there are plenty of great options available for less than $5,000 out there. From sedans to sports cars, these vehicles offer something for everyone. So, if you’re considering purchasing a beater car, we say go for it!

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