These Cars Are Dependable and Cheap
Everyone knows that if you want to score a bargain, your best bet is to buy used. But if that car or truck can’t be counted on to get you from Point A to Point B reliably, is it really saving you money?
When shopping for a used car, reliability is as important as affordability - or you’ll risk those forfeiting those savings in repair bills and towing fees. But if you don’t have a five-figure budget, how can you be sure that the car you’re buying is up to the task?
U.S. News & World Report ranks used cars by reliability, among other measures, to determine which ones buyers should consider. Keep in mind that these prices will vary over time as the market changes. If you’re in the market for an affordable, used car, keep reading to see the 11 most reliable used cars under $10,000.
2009 Hyundai Genesis
Reliability: 5/5 | Average Price Paid: $8,051 | U.S. News Score: 9.5/10
With its perfect safety scores, smooth handling, and abundance of standard luxury features, the 2009 Hyundai Genesis is a large sedan worth considering. The 2009 model leads our rankings of 2009 luxury large cars and used luxury large cars under $30K.
The Genesis, which debuted as a new nameplate in 2009, features a choice of powerful engines, leather upholstery, and an impressive 15.9 cubic feet of trunk space. Equipped with either a V6 or V8, the Genesis rides comfortably – with quick acceleration and smooth shifting – but critics note that it lacks the handling of competing sport sedans.
2008 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Reliability: 4/5 | Average Price Paid: $9,368.29 | U.S. News Score: 9.5/10
A 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan starts at $52,150, but a nine-year-old model can be had for 80 percent less. The 2008 E-Class may be coming up on a decade, but it still boasts several selling points: elegant styling, standard safety features, and a choice of powerful engines.
The five-passenger sedan remains a benchmark for luxury and cabin comfort. However, reviewers thought that its backseat and cargo hold were more cramped than rivals’.
2010 Ford Fusion
Reliability: 5/5 | Average Price Paid: $7,547.50 | U.S. News Score: 9.3/10
Ever the stalwart in the midsize segment, the Ford Fusion is a reliable sedan with sporty handling and ample room for passengers and cargo. The 2010 Ford Fusion placed near the top of our rankings for used midsize cars under $15K and 2010 affordable midsize cars.
The 2010 model received updated styling, a revamped engine lineup, and new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Its excellent safety scores and driving dynamics make it a relevant choice, even in today’s used car market.
2008 Acura RL
Reliability: 5/5 | Average Price Paid: $8,410.00 | U.S. News Score: 8.9/10
The Acura RL was replaced by the RLX sedan in 2014, but the erstwhile nameplate is worth a look. The 2008 model comes with strong safety scores and reliability ratings, standard all-wheel drive, and the sporty feel of a premium coupe.
Acura is a luxury marque, but reviewers noted that the 2008 RL lacked impressive exterior styling and came up short in cabin and cargo space vis a vis competitors.
2009 Audi A3
Reliability: 5/5 | Average Price Paid: $7,747.00 | U.S. News Score: 9.2/10
It’s difficult to find a better used car than the Audi A3. The 2009 model claimed the top spot in four of our rankings: used upscale small cars under $20K, used hatchbacks under $10K, 2009 upscale small cars, and 2009 hatchbacks.
The 2009 version of Audi’s compact car received new styling, standard leather seats, and an option for all-wheel drive with the base engine. The model is more than eight years old, but it sports some modern equipment, such as standard satellite radio and an auxiliary input.
2010 Lexus ES
Reliability: 5/5 | Average Price Paid: $8,781.00 | U.S. News Score: 9.3/10
The 2010 Lexus ES is a reliable, well-appointed sedan that scored the top spot in our rankings of used upscale midsize cars under $20K and 2010 upscale midsize cars. The five-passenger ES has the markings of a Lexus: refined handling and a comfortable cabin.
What the ES lacks in driving dynamics it recoups in cabin quality. Leather upholstery, Bluetooth, and a power sunroof come standard. Note that its safety ratings are not as strong as competitors’.
2007 Honda Accord
Reliability: 4.5/5 | Average Price Paid: $5,001.37 | U.S. News Score: 9.3/10
The 2007 Honda Accord rates as more than a midsize sedan with strong resale value. Even a 10-year-old model – which costs almost half as much as several of the cars on this list – features excellent performance and strong safety scores.
Though not the most exciting model on the market, the 2007 Accord was available in several trims, so buyers are likely to find a configuration that suits them.
2010 Mazda Miata
Reliability: 5/5 | Average Price Paid: $9,794.00 | U.S. News Score: 9.1/10
The 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata boasts several accolades as a sporty two-seater with athletic handling: The roadster won our 2010 Best Sports Car for the Money award and clinched the top spots in our rankings of used sports cars under $20K and 2010 affordable sports cars.
The versatile convertible can be configured as a hard or soft top with a manual or automatic transmission. The manual transmission achieves 24 mpg combined, which is excellent for its class.
2009 Saturn Outlook
Reliability: 5/5 | Average Price Paid: $7,328.50 | U.S. News Score: 9.2/10
The Saturn brand didn’t survive General Motors’ post-bankruptcy turnaround, but the three-row 2009 Outlook has withstood the test of time, ranking as our top used midsize SUV under $20K and 2009 affordable midsize SUV.
The eight-passenger SUV features a large cargo hold, a smooth ride, and more horsepower than the outgoing edition.
2009 Toyota Sienna
Reliability: 5/5 | Average Price Paid: $9,432.00 | U.S. News Score: 9.2/10
Shoppers looking for a used minivan might end their search at the 2009 Toyota Sienna, which placed atop our rankings of used minivans under $20K and 2009 minivans and won our 2009 Best Minivan for the Money award.
The Sienna, which can be configured for seven or eight passengers, is the only minivan in the category available with all-wheel drive, a boon for all-weather family road trips. However, critics note that the model lacks stellar safety scores and can feel sluggish on the road.