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Cars are very expensive these days. However, budget-minded car buyers can take solace, for there are still some good picks at a price that is not too harsh on your bank account. Check out the best used cars under $5,000.

What is the best used car that I can buy for under $5,000?

Red 2005 Toyota Camry, one of the best used cars priced under $5,000, driving on a country road
2005 Toyota Camry | Toyota

Don’t let a small budget stop you from buying a car. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) put together a list of the 10 best used cars for a budget-friendly price below $5,000. In compiling the list, KBB took into consideration its own reviews, as well as customer reviews:

1. 2005 Toyota Camry
2. 2005 Honda Accord
3. 2005 Toyota Corolla
4. 2006 Honda Civic
5. 2008 Ford Focus
6. 2008 Mazda6
7. 2009 Nissan Sentra
8. 2011 Nissan Versa
9. 2011 Kia Rio
10. 2011 Hyundai Accent

2005 Toyota Camry is the best used car under $5,000

According to KBB, the best used car priced under $5,000 is the 2005 Toyota Camry midsize sedan. KBB credits the 2005 Camry for its consistently positive reviews. The automotive research company also highlights the Camry’s spacious rear seats and truck, with a cargo capacity of 16.7 cu-ft. On the performance front, the 2005 Camry has a responsive engine, with good acceleration and high fuel economy. 

Another important consideration for an older car is reliability. Like many other Toyota models, the 2005 Camry has high reliability ratings. 

2005 Honda Accord: The 2nd best used car under $5,000

Passenger's side front angle view of silver 2005 Honda Accord, one of the best used cars priced under $5,000
2005 Honda Accord | Bryan Mitchell/Getty Images

KBB pegs the 2005 Honda Accord midsize sedan as the 2nd best used car under $5,000. Like the 2005 Camry, the 2005 Accord has a spacious rear seat area and trunk, with a cargo capacity of 14.0 cu-ft. Additional highlights of the Accord include high safety scores, a responsive engine, and high reliability ratings.

2005 Toyota Corolla: The 3rd best used car under $5,000

Front view of orange 2005 Toyota Corolla, one of the best used cars priced under $5,000
2005 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

Perhaps, 2005 was a good year for cars, for another 2005 model year car makes KBB’s list of the best used cars priced under $5,000: the 2005 Toyota Corolla compact sedan. In placing the 2005 Corolla at the third spot, KBB cites the compact sedan’s “excellent reputation for reliability and consistently high consumer ratings.” Also, despite its small size, the Corolla provides a respectable amount of cargo space in the trunk (13.6 cu-ft). Additionally, KBB highlights the high fuel economy and responsive engine of the Corolla. 

For the fourth spot, KBB breaks the trend of selecting 2005 model year cars by choosing the 2006 Honda Civic compact sedan. The Civic is followed by the 2008 Ford Focus compact sedan, 2008 Mazda6 midsize sedan, 2009 Nissan Sentra compact sedan, 2011 Nissan Versa subcompact sedan, 2011 Kia Rio compact sedan, and 2011 Hyundai Accent subcompact sedan. 

With high inflation, nearly everything is more expensive, including cars. This puts a strain on our finances. However, as KBB shows, with a bit of research and smart shopping, you can buy a used car that is friendly to your budget. 


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