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The Best Used Cars Under $10,000 According to Consumer Reports

In the automobile industry, car and SUV prices just keep climbing. But some consumers are searching for a nice daily driver that will get from A to B without great cost or worry. The appeal of a good used car or SUV for under $10,000 is undeniable. Here are the models that Consumer Reports recommends for a good car on a small budget.

press photo of a red Pontiac vibe against a gray backdrop is one of consumer reports best used cars and SUVs under $10,000
Pontiac Vibe | Pontiac

Consumer Reports professionals reviewed the data of some older models for the purpose of the list in the video below. After going over performance test results, reliability, and safety features, they decided that the following are the best used cars and SUVs for under $10,000. We’ll start with compact cars, then check out some good used SUV models, and finish out with some solid sedans.

Best used compact cars under $10,000

The list begins with the 2008 Mazda 3i. The 2008 Mazda 3i is a compact car that’s an uncomplicated small size. Plus, it offers good fuel economy. As with many other Mazda models, the 2008 Mazda 3i is said to be fun to drive too.

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

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Next up the Pontiac Vibe. Consumer Reports recommends model years 2005 – 2008. The Pontiac Vibe is a hatchback, so it offers a lot of space for a compact car. In addition, it’s noted for reliability.

Another good used compact car for under $10,000 is the 2007 – 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit. This is another compact car that offers the added space that comes along with a hatchback configuration. Consumer Reports also commends the Volkswagen Rabbit for its fun and sporty, European driving experience. In addition, the Volkswagen Rabbit has a nice interior for its age and price.

Best used SUVs under $10,000

First on the list for good used SUVs under $10,000 is the 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander. This model is complimented for interior cargo space and roomy seating. For the price, it handles well. Plus, the 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander is pretty capable in terms of utility.

green 2005 Honda Pilot from the side in a press photo against a white backdrop shows one of the best used cars from Consumer Reports
2005 Honda Pilot | Edmunds

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In addition to the 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander, Consumer Reports recommends the 2005 Honda Pilot. This good used SUV under $10,000 is even roomier than the Outlander. The 2005 Honda Pilot holds room for 8 passengers. It’s a sturdy and reliable SUV. The number of 2005 Honda Pilot models (or other years from this generation) you see on the road is a testament to its longevity as a family SUV.

Best used sedans under $10,000

According to Consumer Reports, another good used car under $10,000 is the 2005 Acura TL. This sedan has a V6 engine and offers convenience and comfort. It’s also on the sportier side for a sedan. The 2005 Acura TL isn’t the only Acura on the list though. Consumer Reports also recommends the 2005 Acura TSX. It’s noted for being agile and spacious.

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

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Unsurprisingly, the 2005 Toyota Avalon is next on the list. It’s a good used car under $10,000 with V6 power and a nice big backseat. For the price point, a 2005 Toyota Avalon is hard to beat.

Wrapping up the list of good used cars and SUVs under $10,000 are the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima. The 2006 – 2008 model years for the Hyundai Sonata are reported to offer a quiet ride and good brakes. The Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima from this generation are virtually the same sedans. A 2007 – 2008 model year is recommended for the Kia Optima.