The Safest Used Hyundai Models You Can Buy Under $10,000

There’s nothing wrong with going for a used vehicle when you want something that’s affordable and won’t break your budget. Getting something reliable and safe doesn’t mean you have to compromise a ton. Big-name automakers, like Hyundai, have a handful of choices that will match just what you need. 

In fact, you can find a pretty solid selection that lands just under $10,000. U.S. News & World Report has a list of them, two of which belong to Hyundai. Here’s what those two vehicles have to offer for such a low price.

What makes the 2011 Hyundai Elantra right for this list?

2011 Hyundai Elantra parked on a stage
The 2011 Hyundai Elantra | Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

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The 2011 model of the Hyundai Elantra received a score of 8.1 out of 10 from U.S. News & World Report. This compact sedan made it to the list not only because it’s one of the highest-rated vehicles for safety in its class, but also because it offers great fuel economy and has many standard features under its belt. 

With its 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, the Elantra is tuned to get approximately 28 mpg on city streets. Take it out onto the highway and you can get 38 mpg, which makes it one of the best in its class for fuel savings. 

The IIHS crash-tested the Elantra and found it to be quite safe to drive. They gave it their highest rating of Good in four major areas, except one, which was the driver-side small overlap test for the front where it received an Acceptable rating. 

Hyundai’s Elantra also had a decent number of standard safety features, such as traction and stability control, anti-lock disc brakes, and active front head restraints. You also received side airbags for the front seats, as well as side curtain airbags for both front and rear. 

Prices for the used version of the 2011 Hyundai Elantra range from $6,500 to $8,600. 

How the 2012 Hyundai Azera made it on the list

Not far from the Elantra on this list is the Hyundai Azera, which is a large-sized sedan. The 2012 model is the safest year you can get for less than $10,000 on the used market. It barely makes the cut with its price tag of $9,400. With a score of 8.5 out of 10, it lands near the top with only three other cars rating higher. 

The Azera has exceptional exterior styling, a more than powerful V6 engine, and plenty of standard features. The 3.3-liter V6 motor produces a whopping 293 hp, which is something you won’t find with too many other vehicles on this list. 

When it comes to safety, though, the Azera took one of IIHS’ Top Safety Pick awards for 2012. To get that honor, it earned their ‘Good’ rating for all four tests they put it through. For added safety, the Azera came with anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, and active front head restraints. 

What other vehicles are on this list?

The three highest-rated vehicles on the list include the 2012 Toyota Prius c, 2012 Buick Verano, and the 2011 Scion xB. U.S. News gave scores of 8.8 for the Prius, and 8.9 for both the Verano and the Scion xB. 

Buick’s Verano is another Top Safety Pick winner from IIHS, having many of the same standard safety features that the Hyundai vehicles came with. Having received many good marks on the US News review, the only major area where it disappointed was the weak engine. 

The 2011 Scion xB is a favorite with its spacious cabin, large cargo space, and a perfect safety score earning it a Top Safety Pick award for its 2011 model. Its motor is a bit bigger than some of the other vehicles on the list, but fuel economy isn’t quite as good as what you’ll get with the two Hyundai offerings. It’s discontinued now but was pretty strong in 2011.

Lastly, the Toyota Prius c is a hybrid version from the 2012 model year. It’s best known for its fuel efficiency, with 53 mpg on city streets and 46 mpg when driving on highway roads. It’s also another Top Safety Pick winner with the same safety features the Hyundai offers in the Elantra and Azera. 

The Hyundai Elantra and the Hyundai Azera are both great, used vehicles to buy. If safety is a major player in your car buying decision, these two will give you the best vehicle for less than $10,000.