The 5 Best Used Cars for Around $10,000

Photo by Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

New cars can be budget-busters. That’s why Money Talks News long has sung the praises of buying a gently used car instead.

But how do you know which used car to buy? Digital Trends hopes to make the task a bit easier by winnowing the list to five great choices for about $10,000.

In making its selections, Digital Trends turned to some of the most esteemed resources:

“We used the Edmunds True Market Value tool to determine which cars met our pricing criteria by looking up the value of a clean, entry-level example with about 100,000 miles on the clock. From there, we looked at Consumer Reports reliability scores to see how these cars are likely to hold up in daily use. Finally, we considered factors like safety, performance, practicality, and style to see which cars were genuinely worth buying.”

By these criteria, the top used car is the 2009 Toyota RAV4. According to Digital Trends, this crossover is like “several different cars rolled into one.” The publication lauds the RAV4 for being roomy and fuel-efficient, as well as reliable.

The top picks on the Digital Trends list are:

  • 2009 Toyota RAV4 — best used car overall
  • 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee — best used SUV
  • 2014 Chevrolet Cruze turbodiesel — best used fuel-efficient car
  • 2010 Nissan Frontier — best used truck
  • 2005 Lexus LS 430 — best used luxury car

Each of these cars costs around $10,000, according to the analysis.

Why you should buy used

A used car can be a true bargain, especially compared with shelling out for something new. As we write in “You Should Never Buy These 10 Things New“:

“The value of a new car drops like a rock as soon as you drive it off the lot. Rather than be upside-down on your car loan five minutes after signing the paperwork, look for a quality used car that has already taken the huge depreciation hit.”

In fact, a recent AAA analysis found that, on average, depreciation costs new car owners $3,334 a year. That’s 36% of all the costs of owning and maintaining a new vehicle.

So, it almost always makes sense to look for a preowned car whenever you shop. But to do so successfully, you need to avoid some common mistakes. For more tips, check out “7 Steps to Buying a Reliable Used Car.”

Looking for more ideas? Check out “10 Gently Used Cars You Can Buy for up to 56% Off.”

Do you have a favorite used car story? Share it in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Ways to Save up $500,000 in 15 Years
5 Ways to Save up $500,000 in 15 Years

Even if you’re behind in preparing for retirement, there’s still a way to pull together a solid nest egg if you focus.

3 Reasons You Can’t Rely on Medicare Alone
3 Reasons You Can’t Rely on Medicare Alone

Counting on Medicare to cover health care costs can jeopardize your retirement plans.

5 Simple Steps to an Awesome Retirement
5 Simple Steps to an Awesome Retirement

The path to your dream retirement begins with these five steps. How many have you already taken?

This Pastime Can Keep Your Brain Sharp as You Age
This Pastime Can Keep Your Brain Sharp as You Age

It’s never too late to benefit from taking up this type of activity.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

20 Amazon Purchases We Loved in 2020
20 Amazon Purchases We Loved in 2020

These practical products made everyday life a little easier last year — and will do so in the new year, too.

10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate
10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate

Clever shoppers can save money without sacrificing quality. Here is how to do it.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.