Skip to main content

In today’s market, shopping for a used car is a nightmare. As more production setbacks meet the forces of rising gas prices, it seems like everyone wants out of their SUVs and trucks and into a modest sedan. So, landing yourself in something affordable and reliable is not an easy task. Let’s try to make it a little easier! Here are five midsize cars that you can buy for less than $15,000 right now.

2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid

2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid in blue on display at CIAS 2013 Canadian International AutoShow
2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid | David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images

U.S. News certainly provides no shortage of options that fulfill these requirements. However, we’ll do our best to find a solid balance of modern and decently fuel-efficient while maintaining the budget of $15,000.

Atop that list sits the 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid. It is pushing the budget a bit with a price range of $14,072 – $14,184. However, this staple of the Toyota lineup has a lot going for it for the price range and model year.

With its hybrid drivetrain system, the 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid sees fuel economy numbers up to 43 mpg city and 39 mpg highway. Of course, it’s also a Toyota. It’s hard not to recommend the iconic staple of reliability when buying a used car outside of a warranty.

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid displayed during the second press preview day at the 2010 North American International Auto Show
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid | STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images

The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid is actually the U.S. News’ pick for the number one slot. We can see why, too. It offers a lot of benefits for not a lot of money.

The 2010 Fusion is fairly large for the midsize class. So, it quite comfortably sits up to five people. Additionally, the hybrid version sees fuel economy ratings up to 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. Best of all, it’s remarkably affordable. U.S. News lists its average price paid at just $6,377.

Of course, when buying a car that’s over a decade old, it’s always good to look for models with a traceable service history that have been appropriately maintained.

2013 Hyundai Sonata

2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Sedan at dealership in Seoul South Korea
2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid | STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata offers some remarkable features for its price point, too. For a bit of added class, all but base models come standard with heated seats. The Sonata offers a good compromise of a new, modern car at a reasonable price. Depending on the trim, shoppers should expect a price range of $10,133 – $14,933.
With a 198 horsepower four-cylinder engine available, the Sonata also offers a sportier driving experience depending on trim, too. Fuel economy ratings get as high as 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway.

2012 Honda Accord

Driver side of black 2012 Honda Accord Sedan
2012 Honda Accord Sedan | Honda

Another unsurprising addition to this list comes in the form of the Honda Accord. Of course a used Honda is highly recommended!

The top-level trims of the 2012 Accord may break the used car budget of $15,000 a bit. However, the price range across all trim levels is $12,151 – $16,504. Springing for the V6 option nets more power but decreases fuel economy. However, four-cylinder models see numbers up to 23 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.

2015 Chevy Malibu

Red 2015 Chevrolet Malibu sedan front 3/4 shot in rain
2015 Chevrolet Malibu | Chevrolet

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu is a bit of a stretch of the budget with a price range of $14,885 – $17,239. However, if you can get a used car this new with this kind of budget, you should undoubtedly jump at the chance.

Despite its relatively large size and lack of hybrid assistance, the 2015 Malibu still manages an impressive 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.

Additionally, stepping into a vehicle this new includes some much more modern amenities. For example, the 2015 Malibu lineup comes standard with a WiFi hotspot. Additionally, some models have rear parking sensors.

Though it is a bit of a stretch to find one for $15,000 or less, it is indeed possible!

Used, but not abused

As usual, purchasing a used car that has good maintenance history and regular servicing is critical. Just about any vehicle of any age can be trustworthy so long as its previous owners cared for it.

In times like these, the best used car to shoot for is a hybrid. Fortunately, there are quite a few great options. Even if hybrids aren’t your thing, there are still plenty of trustworthy cars that won’t hurt your soul at the pumps for under $15,000.


Five Manual Transmission New Cars You Can Buy for Under $30,000 in 2022