Best Used Cars Under $5,000 According to Kelley Blue Book

A daily driver doesn’t have to break the bank. Though buying a brand new car is exciting, it’s not always the most practical choice. If you want good car that can get from A to B safely and reliably but that isn’t too expensive, you might find yourself looking at used car options. For under $5,000 you can actually get some pretty good cars. According to Kelley Blue Book, these are the 10 best used cars under $5,000.

Toyota Camry Hybrid
Toyota Camry Hybrid | STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

2007 Pontiac Vibe

This is an awesome hatchback for people with an active lifestyle. The 115-volt outlet and plastic cargo floor are great for hauling heaps of stuff and hanging out with the convenience of power. The 2007 Pontiac Vibe is built on the same chassis as a Toyota Matrix––remember those?

press photo of a red Pontiac vibe against a gray backdrop
Pontiac Vibe | Pontiac

2008 Mazda Mazda3

The Mazda3 is an excellent choice if you are looking for the best used car under $5,000. The typical Mazda style, “road-hugging” agility, and some cool extras for its time. This family sedan offers a standard DVD navigation system. Plus, it also has a standard Bose audio system for the music––or talk radio––lovers out there.

2008 Mazda3 in a purple color driving on the road
2008 Mazda3 | Mazda

2004 Lexus ES

The 2004 Lexus ES 350 is one of the best used cars for under $5,000 because it provides a lot of luxury for a low price point. It also comes along with the proven dependability of the Lexus brand. We have the Toyota mothership to thank for that.

Lexus ES 350 from the 2004 model year view from the rear at speed on the road
2004 Lexus ES | Lexus

2008 Scion xB

These boxy little hatches are super roomy. The 2008 Scion xB has a nifty 60/40 rear fold for putting the seats flat. With 21.7 cubic feet of cargo space, it’s a great car for a small family. It’s also awesome if you just have a lot of stuff to tote around. From the 2008 on, the Scion xB offers more power and a larger interior. I’ve known people to pack extremely bulky cargo into these cars, such as instruments and amps for a full band––including the drum set!

Scion xB parked front view
2008 Scion xB | Car and Driver

2011 Kia Soul

According to Kelley Blue Book, the “Kia Soul is proud of its status as a funky alternative to low-cost economy cars.” Another boxy hatch on our list, the Kia Soul is extra spacious inside for its size. It also boasts excellent fuel economy.

A bright green 2010 Kia Soul on the track.
2010 Kia Soul | Kia

2008 Honda Civic

The 2008 Honda Civic holds true to the Civic’s long history of success. You can find either a coupe or a sedan for under $5,000. It’s one of the best used cars because of its fantastic “fuel economy, unrivaled reliability, and repair history,” and class-leading resale value.

a 2008 used Honda Civic driving
2008 Honda Civic | Honda

2006 Toyota Corolla

According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2006 Toyota Corolla is one of the best used cars under $5,000. This is largely due to its “exemplary history of quality and reliability.” The Toyota Corolla lasts long into high mileage territory when maintained properly. One of my closest friends drove one through high school, college, and the toddler years of both her children. Additionally, the Corolla touts marvelous fuel efficiency. The 2006 Toyota Corolla is a good used car and it will save you money both at the shop and at the pump.

Workers inspect Toyota Corollas at a factory
Workers make final check of a Corolla vehicle at Toyota assembly plant | TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP via Getty Images

2006 Honda Accord

The Honda Accord is a long-lasting staple of the Honda lineup. It is a great used car for families with a roomy interior. Plus Kelley Blue Book notes its “bulletproof reputation for reliability.” Some might say that the interior quality of the 2006 Honda Accord rivals the sophistication of some luxury cars in the same model year.

older EX-L interior of a Honda Accord
seventh generation Honda Accord interior EX-L trim | Honda Media

2006 Toyota Camry

Another great used car under $5,000 with a “solid reputation for reliability.” According to Kelley Blue Book, in fact, it’s the second best used car under $5,000. The 2006 Toyota Camry boasts a large interior and plenty of trunk space. The Toyota Camry from this model year also has a lot of important safety features.

2006 Toyota Camry like this silver one is a great used car, according to Kelley Blue Book
2006 Toyota Camry | Toyota

2005 Toyota Avalon

It likely comes as no surprise that this list is riddled with Hondas and Toyotas. The best used car under $5,000 is the Toyota Avalon. This full-size sedan is the Kelley Blue Book list-topper.

2005 Toyota Avalon parked with mountains in the background
2005 Toyota Avalon | Toyota

Is Mazda a Japanese Car Company?

The 2005 Avalon boasts a “generous interior” that is “lexis-like” in luxury amenities. According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2005 Toyota Avalon has an “impeccable history of excellent service, outstanding quality, and best-in-class resale.” If you choose the Avalon you’ll end up with a dependable daily driver equipped with a powerful V6 that doesn’t guzzle gas. It’s a great used car that’s nice inside both front and rear and even has an easily accessible trunk.