• Buying Guides

Best Used Cars Under $10,000 in 2022

By Josh Noel | June 24, 2022

In the current used car market, it is increasingly difficult to find a car under $10,000 that will provide practical and reliable transportation.

With the average used car price ringing up at over $27,000 at the end of 2021, and average new car prices at over $45,000, you may be thinking there are no values to be had in 2022.

Fear not, we have done the legwork and come up with a list of 15 cars under $10,000 that are actually worth owning.


2014-2015 Toyota Corolla

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The Toyota Corolla is one of the best-used car values on the market. For less than $10,000 you get a car that delivers excellent non-hybrid fuel economy, promised reliability, and a reasonably comfortable interior. At the time of its debut, reviewers complimented the Corolla for improved driver's seat comfort, larger rear-seat space, and better-looking exterior styling. Toyota's compact car continues to be a great value on the used market, particularly as buyers trend towards crossovers and SUVs.

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Buyers should look for a 2014 or 2015 Corolla with less than 150,000 miles in this price range. 2014 is the first year for the 11th generation Corolla and even base models come with standard Bluetooth connectivity and LED headlights. Stay away from the base models equipped with the traditional four-speed automatic transmission, as both the CVT and six-speed manual transmission deliver a better driving experience and higher fuel economy.

Browse used 2014-2015 Toyota Corolla listings here.


2012 Honda Civic

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Like the Corolla, the Honda Civic is one of the best-selling small cars in the country. The little Honda should prove to be a reliable used car and offers a choice of body styles depending on your wants and needs. The Civic coupe has a small back seat that can accommodate extra personal belongings or groceries, but buyers wanting to consistently transport four or five passengers should keep their eyes on the Civic sedan, which includes more leg and shoulder room in the rear seat.

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A 2012 model should be within reach at the $10,000 budget, with likely mileage of around 100,0000. Look for an LX trim or above, and avoid the base DX, to get necessities like air conditioning, power locks, and power windows. Patient buyers should be able to find an EX model which includes a sunroof and a better stereo. Even top-tier EX-L models which include leather seats and navigation may be within reach, but likely with higher mileage.

Browse used 2012 Honda Civic listings here.


2011-2012 Hyundai Sonata

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Hyundai's mid-size sedan offers great features for the price when new, and that equation means a great value for used buyers as well. For its time, reviewers compared the interior quality of higher-end trims to that of Lexus, rather than the Toyota models in its price class. Hyundai made great strides with this version of the Sonata.

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Most Sonata's in this price range feature a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine making 198 horsepower, which is more than enough for an affordable family hauler. There will be plenty of GLS trim cars available under budget with features like power windows and locks, keyless entry, and Bluetooth connectivity. You may even find luxury Limited trim cars with heated leather front seats. Mileage will vary depending on the trim level but it should be easy to find a decent Sonata with under 150,000 for under $10K.

Browse used 2011-2012 Hyundai Sonata listings here.


2013-2015 Ford Fusion

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The 2013 model year brought major upgrades to the Ford Fusion. Not only did the model receive an attractive new exterior design, but two optional turbocharged engines offered more powerful and fuel-efficient motivation. Ford's midsize sedan was redesigned inside as well as out, making it more competitive with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry as far as interior and cargo space.

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In good condition, and under the $10,000 limit, buyers will largely be looking at front-wheel-drive models with either the base 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine or the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The latter would be our recommendation. Those wanting AWD or the 2.0-liter engine will likely be looking at cars in worse condition with over 150,000 miles.

Browse used 2013-2015 Ford Fusion listings here.


2010-2012 Toyota Prius

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Those looking for a cheap ride with a low operating cost should consider the original MPG champion. With gas mileage just north of 50 miles per gallon around town and the high 40s on the highway, the Prius offers used vehicle value and savings at the fuel pump. A redesign for the 2010 model year increased interior comfort, quieted down the cabin, and delivered slightly better driving characteristics. Technically a hatchback, the Prius also allows easy access to its rear storage area.

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Buyers should be able to choose from a variety of third-generation models at the sub-$10K price point. Look for an example with between 100,000 and 150,000 miles. Luxury features like leather seats are likely out of reach at this price point, but that just means you can brag about the eco-friendly materials used on the Prius interior. Those hoping to limit boredom behind the wheel should look for models equipped with 17-inch wheels which received a revised steering rack, offering a more engaging drive. The Prius is still one of the best hybrid cars on the market and should be a reliable option under the $10K budget.

Browse used 2010-2012 Toyota Prius listings here.


2010-2013 Mazda Mazda3

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Those looking for something sporty and practical in the sub $10,000 market should consider the Mazda3. From the brand famous for the Miata sports car, the Mazda3 brings much of that driver-oriented ethos to a compact sedan and hatchback. The 2010 model year got a significant redesign, with an updated interior and refreshed exterior styling.

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Two engines were available, Mazda3 i models came with a 148 horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, while enthusiast drivers should search out the Mazda3 s with a 167-horsepower 2.5-liter engine and standard six-speed manual transmission. Sedan and hatchback body styles should be easily available in the price range, and patient shoppers should be able to find the options they want with less than 100,000 miles for under $10K.

Browse used 2010-2013 Mazda Mazda3 listings here.


2013-2015 Nissan Leaf

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A used Nissan Leaf is probably your least expensive and most useable entry point into the world of electric vehicles. For those with two cars, short commutes, or access to good public transit, the Leaf may be a great fit. A redesigned heating system and regenerative brakes added milage to the Leaf's EPA estimated range for the 2013 model year, upping the number to 75 miles. Running an electric car's climate control system can be devastating to its real-world range, so we suggest looking for at least a 2013 model. An optional 6.6-kW charger is also a must, as it reduces charging times to around four hours on a level two charger.

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Buyers in this price range should be able to find the aforementioned 2013 with mileage under 70,000. A 2014 or 2015 which received, even more, EPA estimated mileage (84 miles) can also be found with fewer options or higher mileage. It is important to consider battery conditions when purchasing a used electric vehicle. Don't settle for anything less than 80% of the original charging capacity, which should net you around 50 real-world miles in most conditions.

Browse used 2013-2015 Nissan Leaf listings here.


2013-2015 Chevrolet Spark

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Chevy's subcompact Spark is roomier inside than it appears from the outside, with comfortable seating for four adults, including plenty of storage cubbies for smaller items. The Spark also gets an EPA estimated fuel economy of 39 MPG highway from its 84-horsepower 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine. The Spark finds ways to be small and economical without feeling overwhelming so. Base models get air conditioning, power locks, and 15-inch alloy wheels. Mid-trim 1LT adds a touchscreen infotainment system, and top-end 2LT heated front seats and leatherette upholstery.

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1LT trim level models should be easy to find under budget, with older models years in 2LT trim available as well. Because the Spark started at a low MSRP when new, buyers should be able to find vehicles with well under 100,000 miles for less than $10,000 even when well optioned. We recommend looking for a low mileage 1LT from 2014 or 2015.

Browse used 2013-2015 Chevrolet Spark listings here.


2011-2012 Subaru Outback

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Buyers looking for a vehicle with all-wheel-drive and more space, but not interested in jumping to a crossover or SUV, should be able to get everything they need from a Subaru Outback. The wagon body style, and thoughtful design, with a focus on adventure, make the Outback the perfect used car for outdoorsy people, or those living in wintery climates. The Outback also received a Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS for 2011, so you can rely on its safety scores.

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Buyers in this price range will be looking at an Outback that is about a decade old, and the mileage and wear and tear associated with those years are nearly unavoidable. Try and find a Subaru with up-to-date maintenance records. A range of trim levels will be found at this price, including the 2.5i Premium trim with leather seats and heated front seats. Look for a model with under 150,000 miles for around the $10,000 mark.

Browse used 2011-2012 Subaru Outback listings here.


2014-2017 Kia Forte

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Kia's compact sedan brings a lot to the table for a lower price than many competitors. The Forte has attractive exterior styling and interior materials and quality that rival more expensive competitors. Base models get satellite radio, air conditioning, and power windows and locks. Higher trim models can even be had with luxuries like a ventilated driver's seat and a heated steering wheel. The standard powertrain is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder paired with a manual transmission or optional six-speed auto. Optionally a 2.0-liter engine offered 173 horsepower and propelled the Kia to 60 MPH in under 7.5 seconds making it one of the faster cars in its class.

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Base LX trim models with a smaller engine and fewer niceties should be easily available under budget and with well under 100,000 miles. Buyers wanting a little more luxury in their Kia are still in luck. EX models with the 2.0-liter engine, alloy wheels, and Bluetooth connectivity are available with just over 100,000 miles. 2014 and 2015 are most readily available. Newer years will sacrifice conditions and features to meet the $10K budget but can be readily found.

Browse used 2014-2017 Kia Forte listings here.


2009-2014 Acura TSX

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Buyers who must have a luxury mark would be wise to look to Acura, as the brand consistently ranked as one of the top carmakers for reliability. Unlike BMW, Audi, or Mercedes who may leave used car buyers going broke with repair bills, the second-generation Acura TSX is a safe luxury car bet. Besides expected reliability, the TSX offers a stylish exterior look, sporty handling, and luxurious interior.

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Though the TSX was offered with both a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6 engine, the larger engine is unlikely to be found under budget. The 2.4-liter delivers 201 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque, which is more than enough for everyday driving. Even base TSXs include features like leather seats, a sunroof, and a USB port to connect your phone. Under $10,000 expect to find models with between 115,000 and 150,000 miles.

Browse used 2009-2014 Acura TSX listings here.


2013 Volkswagen Jetta

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Despite a reputation for less reliable cars, some buyers cannot resist the pull of German engineering. The Volkswagen Jetta offers the high-quality interior, and stable suspension expected of the brand, but without the higher price of larger sedans or SUVs. Interior comfort is excellent for a smaller car, including a spacious backseat and ample trunk room.

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Diesel models will likely be out of reach or in rough shape, and bare-bones S trim should be skipped over. Look for the additional power and amenities of the 2.5-liter, 5-cylinder SE model. SE models also get leatherette seating surfaces, leather-covered steering wheel, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels, and Bluetooth connectivity. Though not as sporty as GLI trims, all Jetta models offer a comfortable and composed ride and make great highway cruisers.

Browse used 2013 Volkswagen Jetta listings here.


2015-2016 Chrysler 200

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The Chrylser 200 took a big step forward with the redesigned 2015 model year. Base models got a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 184 horsepower, and a V6 with 295 horsepower was optional. Both engines share a nine-speed automatic transmission, and the V6 could also be combined with an optional AWD. Even with the larger motor, the Chrysler is more of a cruiser than a sports car, with a suspension geared towards a softer ride.

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Most 200s in the sub-$10K price bracket will be equipped with the four-cylinder engine, but of those, a range of trims should be available. Base models with low mileage can easily be found under budget, but buyers wanting leather or a touchscreen infotainment system will be looking at cars with at least 150,000 miles. If the V6 engine is a must, expect to find cars in rough shape, with high miles, or both.

Browse used 2015-2016 Chrysler 200 listings here.


2010-2011 Toyota Camry

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Aside from a minivan, no vehicle is more iconic for family transportation than the Toyota Camry. It offers a roomy interior, an available V6 engine, and excellent reliability. All Camry's of this year get air conditioning, power locks and windows, and cruise control. Look for an LE model to get remote keyless entry. Top Tie XLE trim adds leather seats, a sunroof, and a premium sound system.

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In the $10,000 range, most Camrys will have the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine which has 165 horsepower and should return 30+ MPG on the highway. It is possible to find cars equipped with the 3.5-liter V6 engine under budget, and with 268-horsepower it has plenty of passing power. Mid-tier LE models with reasonable mileage, around 100,000 miles, should be plentiful in the price range. Loaded V6 XLE models will be rarer and push 200,000.

Browse used 2010-2011 Toyota Camry listings here.


2010-2012 Honda Accord

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In the midsize class, the Honda Accord offers one of the most engaging driving experiences for enthusiastic drivers. Available in both a coupe and sedan body style, and with four or six-cylinder engines the Accord has something for almost every need. When new the Accord was praised for class-leading interior materials and front-seat comfort, in addition to its lively character.

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Most Accords in this price range will be equipped with the four-cylinder engine, which would be our choice anyway unless you need V6 power. A well-equipped EX-L trim with leather heated seats and other amenities should be easy to find, with mileage around 125,000. For a cleaner ride with lower miles, base LX models can be found with mileage considerably less than 100,000.

Browse used 2010-2012 Honda Accord listings here.