Autotrader’s 5 Best Used Midsize Cars On a $10,000 Budget

Although most car brands are discontinuing their midsize sedans, the used market for them is still flooded with great options. Autotrader recently gave a list of the best used midsize cars under $10,000. So, if you are in the market for a midsize car on a budget, here is what you need to know about Autotrader’s top picks under $10,000.

1. Is the 2015 Chevy Malibu a good car?

2015 Chevrolet Malibu Front
2015 Chevrolet Malibu | Chevrolet

One of the few cars on this list still being produced today, the 2015 Chevy Malibu is a heavy hitter for the midsize used market. The Malibu is a quiet, comfortable, fuel-efficient family sedan. It also houses a powerful engine and is one of the top midsize sedans in terms of safety and reliability.

With the option of a 2.5-liter engine making 197 horsepower, or a turbocharged 2.0 liter, the 2015 Chevy Malibu is no slouch. The only real complaint from most consumers is the sub-par backseat legroom. But, overall, combining a five out of five safety rating from J.D. Power and all the other high points makes the 2015 Chevy Malibu first on the list.

2. Does the 2015 Ford Fusion have all-wheel drive?

2015 Ford Fusion Titanium Side
2015 Ford Fusion Titanium | Ford

While the 2015 Ford Fusion isn’t well-rounded in all areas like the Malibu mentioned above, it is still an excellent choice for a midsize car on a budget. With sporty handling, two good engine packages, and a cozy interior with ample space, the 2015 Fusion holds high on the list.

Issues with the 2015 Ford Fusion lie in its poor fuel economy and tricky infotainment system. However, holding an overall solid safety rating according to IIHS, the standard safety features in the 2015 Fusion give you great peace of mind on the road. One thing to consider over the 2015 Malibu is the all-wheel-drive model of the Fusion if you can find one for sale. 

3. Is the 2011 Honda Accord reliable?

2011 Honda Accord EX-L V6
2011 Honda Accord | Honda

One of the oldest cars on the list is the 2011 Honda Accord, but for a good reason, as they have held their value and stood the test of time. Being a class leader at release, the features, style, and performance of the 2011 Accord make it one of the best midsize cars on the used market. Many examples will be higher mileage than others.

Several different body styles, engine configurations, and plenty of varying options mean there is a lot to choose from when looking for a used 2011 Honda Accord. The overlying issues are complaints about the confusing navigation system and overwhelming center stack buttons. However, if you can find one of the top trim models with slightly lower mileage than most, you are setting yourself up with a nice ride for years to come. 

4. Are the 2016 Hyundai Sonatas good cars?

2016 Hyundai Sonata Front
2016 Hyundai Sonata | Hyundai

The newest car on the list may be a bit concerning at first. But, the 2016 Hyundai Sonata has flown under the radar regarding used cars. You can find these cars for less than $10,000 and feel like you’re hopping into a brand-new vehicle. High-tech features like standard Apple Carplay, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist give the 2016 Sonata incredible value. 

Along with providing a range of engine options, the 2016 Sonata also has a variety of trim levels to choose from when shopping. Finding a Limited trim model may be more challenging, but you will not be disappointed if you can still sneak one under $10,000.

5. How much is the 2015 Kia Optima?

2015 Kia Optima Back
2015 Kia Optima | Kia

The 2015 Kia Optima provides excellent value for that $10,000 price point, the same vane as the Hyundai Sonata. You get a host of up-to-date features as standard, packed into a comfortable and practical family sedan. Reliability lacks luster, however, with a three out of five-star rating from J.D. Power.

Even with the average reliability rating, the 2015 Kia Optima still houses an incredible value. Coming up on eight years of aging, the 2015 Optima is no longer a “new” car, but it still feels up-to-date in the $10,000 price range. If you can snag one with the panoramic sunroof and Napa leather seats, you will have gotten a great deal in the used market.

Which of the five best used midsize cars is right for you?

With so many options on the used market today, even narrowing down to five options can take time and effort. But given the list above, a few stand out from the others. If you are focused on a more luxurious experience, we would spring for the top trim 2015 Kia Optima. On the other hand, if you are looking for the most reliable, fuel-efficient option without sacrificing some comfort, then you can’t go wrong with the 2015 Chevy Malibu at number one on the list.