According to a research report from McKinsey, Americans buy nearly 40 million used cars each year. That’s compared to only 17.3 million new vehicles.
Are you in the market for a used vehicle?
You want to find a high-quality car that’ll last. While you can afford to spend more than scrap car prices, you don’t want to shell out an arm and a leg for it, either.
Despite the digital age making it easier to find the best value used cars than ever before, choosing your perfect new ride can be a fete. That’s why we’re lending you a hand with this guide to buying high-value used vehicles.
Want to know the 7 incredible cars you can own with no more than $15,000 in the bank? Then you’ve got to check out this list.
The Best Value Used Cars Under $15,000
Yep, you read that right: all the cars on our list will cost you $15,000 or less.
What’s more, each of these cars is a 2008 model or newer.
Sound good? Then be sure you keep this list handy next time you’re buying a used car.
Now, without further ado, let’s dive in.
1. Toyota Corolla Matrix
Best Value Year: 2008-2010
Looking for an extremely reliable and spacious vehicle that comes in below $10,000?
The Toyota Matrix is your guy. This car got a full redesign in 2009, which means a more powerful engine better gas mileage (average 27 mpg).
Even better, Toyota started putting electronic stability control (ESC) features in 2010 models and later. That means you can get a reliable car with power steering, all for under $10 grand.
How’s that for value?
2. Honda Accord
Best Value Year: 2008-2009
A larger, sedan-sized car with a sporty feel and a spacious back seat, you can find a 2008 or 2009 Honda Accord for around $5,000. The Accord features a four-cylinder V6 engine and a respectable average 21 mpg.
Toyota ordered a redesign in 2008, which added ESC to all Accords made after that date. When looking for your perfect Accord, check out the EX. The EX features alloy wheels, a sunroof, and a powered driver’s seat for a very reasonable price of $7,500 or less.
3. Honda Fit
Best Value Year: 2013
Prefer to get the newest car for your buck?
Look no further than the Honda Fit that’ll cost you less a grand for a 2013 and less than $15,000 for a 2015 or 2016 model. Either way, you’ll love the 30 mpg or higher gas mileage on this high-value subcompact speedster.
All models newer than 2009 feature ESC. While the car is uber-compact, you can make space with rear seats that flatten down or fold against the front seat. The only thing you’ll have to sacrifice in this car is a rougher, noisier ride than other vehicles on our list.
4. Toyota Corolla
Best Value Year: 2012-2016
Bigger than the Honda Fit while still small enough to be considered compact, the Toyota Corolla is a minimalistic vehicle that’s made for reliable driving.
You can pick up a 2012 model for around $7,000 or a 2016 model for a little over $14,000.
All 2010 or newer models feature ESC, while 2014 or newer models have touchscreen entertainment centers. Only the 2017 and later models have auto-brake and forward collision warning systems. Yet, the 32 mpg tanks in even 2010 models, this compact vehicle won’t disappoint.
5. Acura TSX
Best Value Year: 2008-2013
So, you want something a little bit more luxurious, but you don’t want to budge on your price limit.
Acura doesn’t make its TSX model anymore, which is essentially an upscale version of the Honda Accord. Still, this reasonably priced sedan offers both premium quality and incredible value as low as $6,500 for a 2008 model.
We recommend the redesigned 2009 models and newer, though, for those who want a sportier look. Featuring a four-cylinder engine and a decent 23 mpg, the Acura TSX also offers an optional backup camera and ESC navigation system.
6. Toyota RAV4
Best Value Year: 2008-2010
These last few vehicles are for the SUV enthusiasts out there.
That’s right, you can get a 2008 to 2010 RAV4 for less than $10,000 or an updated 2014 version for $15,000 or less. Either way, you’ll get a powerful 2.5-liter V6 engine that’ll get you 24 mpg, impressive for an SUV.
Even the older 2008 model features ESC, with newer years getting updates to the usual crash safety features. For those looking for an updated entertainment system, you’ll love that the RAV4 has Bluetooth pairing capabilities in vehicles as old as the 2006 model.
7. Lexus RX
Best Value Year: 2008
Bet you didn’t expect to see a Lexus on this list.
Yet, coming in at $15,000 or less for a 2012 model or older and below $10,000 for a 2009 Lexus RX. A quiet ride, powerful V6 engine, and incomparable comfort, the Lexus RX leaves no boxes unchecked.
This mid-sized SUV gets a reasonable 19 miles per gallon. However, some lucky used car buyers may find a Lexus RX Hybrid. These rare yet incredible high-value vehicles get up to 23 mpg average and are a serious steal if you can track one down.
Pick Up Your Used Car Today!
When shopping for one of these seven best value used cars, you should also keep in mind that not all vehicles of the same model are equal. Need to sell a care you have already, then also check out Damaged Cars as well.
A loose screw during manufacturing or a heavy-footed previous owner could turn a great car in theory to a rough ride in practice.
That’s why you should always test-drive a car yourself before making a purchase.
Now that you know how to shop for a used car like a boss, are you looking for more advice to help you narrow down the options? Make sure to keep scrolling for more!