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There’s no shade in going for an affordable car. There are a few used cars that are comfortable and reliable that start at $15,000 or less. Check out the top three used cars for daily commutes and road trips in 2024. 

Three of the top used cars for under $15,000 

Don’t lose hope! With rising inflation and ridiculous prices for new cars, it might seem impossible to find a durable option that fits your budget. However, there are preowned options with excellent reliability scores to consider. 

1. 2014 – 2017 Acura ILX 

First up on this list of the best used cars for under $15,000 is the Acura ILX. These model years provide luxury comfort without a massive monthly payment. 

It’s based on the Honda Civic with suspension and noise-reducing upgrades for a more comfortable experience. 

According to J.D.Power, the 2017 ILX has a reliability score of 80 out of 100, which is average. It’s only one point away from the above-average category. 

An average ILX model is expected to reach 250,000 to 300,000 miles. Some models with routine maintenance surpass 400,000 miles. 

2. 2015 – 2017 Mazda3 

The Mazda3 was just redesigned in 2014, giving the 2015 -2017 models some modern flair. It has modern safety features too. 

While the main attraction is the upscale interior, the Mazda 3 is also engaging with responsive handling and excellent cornering skills. 

The 2017 Mazda3 on the road
2017 Mazda3 | MAzda

J.D.Power gave the 2017 Mazda3 a reliability rating of 82 out of 100, which is great. It’s two points ahead of the Acura ILX. 

The Mazda3 is expected to last between 250,00 to 300,000 miles. But a few examples with regular maintenance have surpassed 300,000 miles. 

3. 2017 – 2018 Toyota Corolla 

Did you really think a list of the best used cars for under $15,000 wouldn’t include a Toyota vehicle? The Toyota Corolla got a mid-cycle refresh in 2017 to receive interior and tech upgrades. 

It has tons of modern safety features such as automatic high beams and emergency braking with pedestrian detection. 

J.D.Power gave the 2018 Corolla a reliability rating of 86 out of 100, which is another great score. It beats the Mazda3 b four points. 

The average Corolla model is expected to surpass 300,000 miles. Owners have reported reaching up to 400,000 or 500,000 miles as well.