Best Used Cars Under $5,000 in 2020

Best Used Cars Under 5000 - Best Cheap Used Cars

You can now find a great car for under $5,000. The vehicle may be older and the mileage higher and it may not have all of today’s bells and whistles, but if the car has been well maintained and you keep it well maintained, it can be a great option. Nonetheless, it is always worth having a mechanic perform an inspection of the car prior to purchase whenever possible.

Don’t only take our word for it. We’ve compiled lists of the best-used cars under $5,000 from all of the top car buying and selling websites:

Our list of the 10 best-used cars under $5,000 in 2020 includes:

  1. 2007-2011 Nissan Versa
  2. 2001-2007 Ford Escape
  3. 2005-2010 Scion TC
  4. 2008-2011 Ford Focus
  5. 1999-2004 Nissan Xterra
  6. 2005-2009 Subaru Outback
  7. 2006-2010 Honda Civic
  8. 2004-2010 Toyota Sienna
  9. 2002-2006 Toyota Camry
  10. 1996-2002 Mazda MX-5 Miata

10. 2007-2011 Nissan Versa

2009 Nissan Versa

The Versa is well known for being a fantastic used-car and because it is available as a hatchback, it is not only versatile but can be had without excessive age or mileage. A compact engine boasting  30 mpg also means buyers will save at the gas pump. AutoTrader says, “Designed with the budget conscious shopper in mind, the Nissan Versa is a great option for buyers looking for a used car for $5,000 or less.”

9. 2001-2007 Ford Escape

2008 Ford Escape

The Ford Escape was Fords initial first crossover SUV and was highly popular when new. Sporting a fairly large cargo area as well as the widespread availability of parts means it will be cost-effective for maintenance. Mazda, a company acquired by Ford had its own version called the Tribute that is a very similar vehicle.

8. 2005-2010 Scion TC

2008 Scion TC

A sport coupe is available on a budget! Scion was a brand owned by Toyota and shares the famous reliability and quality of Toyota vehicles. There is also a panoramic sunroof and a fantastic Pioneer sound system.

7. 2008-2011 Ford Focus

2008 Ford Focus

Always a leader in small cars, the Ford Focus is known for being simple mechanically and as parts are widely available it is inexpensive to maintain. A very popular choice. CarFax lists the 2011 Ford Focus SE for $5,995.

6. 1999-2004 Nissan Xterra

2000 Nissan Xterra

A rugged truck-like SUV that has proven to be both practical and tough. The 4 wheel drive version sells at a slightly higher price but the 2 wheel version is still very popular and will suit the needs of most people.

5. 2005-2009 Subaru Outback

2006 Subaru Outback

Great fuel economy, car-like styling with SUV practicality and great gas mileage are hallmarks of the Subaru Outback and of course, it has Subaru’s renowned all-wheel-drive-system. It will probably come with slightly higher mileage than some others on the list but is well suited to anyone who has an active lifestyle. USNews says, “The 2007 Subaru Outback delivers good power from all its available turbocharged four-cylinder and V6 engines, while its base four-cylinder is merely adequate. Its wagon configuration combines car-like road manners with the styling, off-road prowess, and cargo versatility of an SUV.”

4. 2006-2010 Honda Civic

2006 Honda Civic

Honda is always a great choice in a value used car. Available in a sedan and coupe-style with a hybrid also available, here is also a higher performance Civic Si for those looking for a little more kick. AutoList says, “A benchmark of compact cars, the Honda Civic is one of Autotrader, Trusted Choice and Kelley Blue Book’s picks for a great used car available for under $5,000. The 2005 Honda Civic, in particular, is a fuel-efficient and eco-friendly choice, featuring 1.7-liter 115-horsepower four-cylinder engines on base models.” The 2005 to 2010 Honda Civic showed up on 3 different lists of best used cars under $5,000 on KBBAutoList, and Auto Trader.

3. 2004-2010 Toyota Sienna

2006 Toyota Sienna

Known as one of the safest vehicles in North America, it is perfect as a vehicle to carry the family around in. Available with all0wheel-drive and with room for up to eight people, many consider it to be the best pre-owned minivan available today. TrustedChoice says, “Not every vehicle under $5,000 is a sedan or compact car. You can buy a Toyota Sienna for about that price. And while we don’t want this entire list of vehicles to be Toyotas, it’s no surprise that there’s more than one: Toyota makes cars that last.”

2. 2002-2006 Toyota Camry

2005 Toyota Camry

Popular for over thirty years, the Toyota Camry has fantastic trunk space, four doors, and famous Toyota reliability. There is always plenty available for sale at good prices. KBB  says, “You do have to go back to 2003 to find a Camry for under $5,000, but that strong resale value is a reflection of the car’s reliability in the long run.” The 2002 to 2006 Toyota Camry showed up on 3 different lists of best used cars under $5,000 on KBB, AutoList, and Auto Trader.

1. 1996-2002 Mazda MX-5 Miata

1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of the only sports cars under $5,000. It’s a lightweight roadster that handles better than many vehicles that cost a lot more. According to Autobytel, “the 130-140 horsepower produced by its 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine are more than enough to keep a smile on your face as you run through its five-speed manual transmission.”

KBB’s 10 Best Used Cars Under $5,000

KBB’s list of the best 10 used cars under $5,000 includes:

  1. 2007 Pontiac Vibe
  2. 2008 Mazda Mazda3
  3. 2004 Lexus ES
  4. 2008 Scion xB
  5. 2011 Kia Soul
  6. 2008 Honda Civic
  7. 2006 Toyota Corolla
  8. 2006 Honda Accord 
  9. 2006 Toyota Camry
  10. 2005 Toyota Avalon

U.S News & World Report’s Top 10 Used Cars Under $5,000

U.S News & World Report’s list of the top 10 used cars under $5,000 includes:

  1. 2007 Cadillac DTS: Avg Price: $4,747
  2. 2008 Kia Sorento: Avg Price: $4,073
  3. 2008 Ford Taurus: Avg Price: $3,558
  4. 2009 Scion tC: Avg Price: $4,062
  5. 2009 Honda Fit: Avg Price: $4,835
  6. 2009 Scion xB: Avg Price: $4,387
  7. Avg Price: $4,387: Avg Price: $4,371
  8. 2007 Audi A6: Avg Price: $4,494
  9. 2009 Ford Fusion: Avg Price: $4,309
  10. 2009 Saturn Aura: 2009 Saturn Aura

AutoList’s Best Used Cars Under $5,000

AutoList’s list of the best used cars under $5,000 includes:

  1. Honda Civic (2005 to 2010)
  2. Toyota Camry (2002 to 2006)
  3. Honda Accord (2004)
  4. Toyota Corolla (2004 to 2005)
  5. Scion tC (2005 to 2010)
  6. Nissan Versa (2007 to 2011)
  7. Fiat 500 (2008 to 2015)
  8. Mazda MX-5 (2003)
  9. Dodge Magnum (2005)
  10. Lexus IS 300 (2002)

AutoTrader’s List of 9 Good Used Cars Under $5,000

AutoTrader’s list of the 9 good used cars for under $5,000 includes:

  1. 2006-2010 Honda Civic
  2. 2002-2006 Toyota Camry
  3. 2007-2011 Nissan Versa
  4. 2008-2011 Ford Focus
  5. 2008-2015 Fiat 500
  6. 2002-2006 Honda CR-V
  7. 2005-2010 Scion tC
  8. 1999-2004 Nissan Xterra
  9. 2005-2009 Subaru Outback

CarandDriver’s List of Cars You Should Buy for Less Than $5,000

Car and Driver’s list of cars you should totally buy for less than $5,000 includes:

  1. Infiniti J30
  2. Infiniti QX4
  3. Jeep Wrangler
  4. Lexus LS400
  5. Mazda Miata 2001 to 2005
  6. Mercedes-Benz S-Class 1991 to 1992
  7. Ram 2500 1994 to 2002
  8. Subaru Baja
  9. Toyota Sequoia 2005
  10. Volvo S70 1998

See Also

Find Used Cars Under $5,000 in Phoenix, AZ

If you would like to find a used car dealership in Phoenix that knows how to take care of their customers, please visit We have a huge list of 500 down (O.A.C. – On Approved Credit) used cars for sale. Find used cars under $5,000 in Phoenix at each of our dealership locations:

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