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24 Best Used Cars Worth Their Price Tag

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Buying a car is one of the most important decisions ever. Ensuring we have the right vehicle with the necessary space or power is vital.

New cars, however, are getting ever more expensive. Even the latest wave of electric vehicles is quite pricey, so the used car market is more critical than ever.

In this list, we will endeavor to showcase some of the best-used cars worth the money. Most are between five and ten years old, ranging from sedans to coupes to station wagons.

Honda Pilot

Honda Pilot
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Pilot SUV has been in Honda’s range since 2002, and the fourth generation launched in 2022. But you can pick up examples from the third generation for less than $29,000. The pilot has a 3.4-liter V6 under the hood, and as it is a Honda, it benefits from exceptional reliability.

Toyota Avalon

Toyota Avalon
Image Credit: Dinkun Chen/WikiCommons.

If you want a full-size sedan for less than $20,000, then the Toyota Avalon is for you. The Avalon is in its fifth generation, but the fourth generation is affordable on the used car market. Power comes from either a 3.5-liter V6 or 2.5-liter inline-four hybrid. The fourth generation debuted in 2012 and underwent a facelift with a new grille and updated suspension in 2015.

Buick Encore

2017 Buick Encore
Image Credit: Alistair Fernandez/WikiCommons.

The first-generation Buick Encore is a solid choice for those seeking a compact SUV. A range of inline-four turbos and diesel engines sit under the hood, and Buick’s entry-level vehicle has always been well-priced. You could pay as little as $13,000 for an Encore, the SUV providing a spacious interior with features such as an 8-inch infotainment system and various trim levels.

Ford Edge

Ford Edge
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Ford Edge is still in production as Ford’s Crossover SUV, with the second generation readily available on the used car market. The SUV benefited from the renowned EcoBoost V6 engine, but Ford also offered the Edge with an inline-four EcoBoost and Duratec V6.

Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai Tucson
Image Credit: Dinkun Chen/WikiCommons.

Hyundai has thrust itself into the limelight with its incredible Ioniq EVs. Less remarkable but still a solid vehicle is the Tucson SUV. Examples from the third generation can sell for as little as $19,000 and still provide plenty of years of service. The Tucson would make a perfect family SUV that is spacious, comfortable, and reliable.

Honda Civic

Honda Civic car on display at The 33th Bangkok International Motor Show on March 27, 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Image Credit: Chatchai Somwat/Shutterstock.

Honda’s venerable Civic has been around as long as time itself, through multiple generations and models such as the Type R. The Civic is currently in its 11th generation, with the 10th generation still a great starting point on the used car market. The Civic is predominantly a hatchback in Europe, but the U.S. also receives the sedan version and the coupe to add more variety to the lineup. 

Buick Regal

Buick Regal
Image Credit: Dinkun Chen/WikiCommons.

Buick primarily focuses on the Chinese market. However, previous models of the Regal are available in America on the used car market. J.D. Power scores the 2016 model at 86/100 for reliability, and it is a good-looking car with a comfortable ride.

Mercedes-Benz SL 600 Roadster

Mercedes-Benz SL 600 Roadster
Image Credit: Mecum Auctions.

For those after a bit more sportiness, the SL 600 Roadster is a great place to start. The SL 600 has a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V12 under the hood, with 493 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Available at around $14,500, the SL 600 is an excellent bargain with the benefit of a folding roof.

2008 Chevrolet Corvette C6

2008 Chevrolet Corvette C6
Image Credit: Spanish Coches/WikiCommons.

The C6 Corvette was in fine form in the 2008 model year. Under the sports car’s hood is a 6.2-liter V8 with 430 hp, which rivals plenty of sports cars from the last few years. For those who wanted more power, the 427 Z06 came with a 7.0-liter LS7 V8 with 505 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. 

2010 Mazda 3

2010 Mazda 3
Image Credit: Arnoud Besseling/Flickr.

The Mazda 3 might look understated, but this reliable hatchback is an excellent buy on the used market. Under the hood, it has a 2.0-liter inline-four engine with 148 horsepower and 135 pounds of torque. A 2.5-liter engine produced 167 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. While not bundles of power, it was enough for a daily driver.

Lincoln MKX

Lincoln MKX
Image Credit: Dinkun Chen/WikiCommons.

Lincoln is a brand that focuses on luxury vehicles, the MKX crossover SUV being one of them. While now out of production, the second generation MKX from 2015 to 2018 provides a great luxury car for a reasonable price. You can pick one up for as little as $15,000 with the choice of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 or a 3.7-liter Cyclone V6 under the hood.

Toyota Tacoma

2012 Toyota Tacoma TRD
Image Credit: Wiki Commons

With the all-new generation of the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck now available, older models have become extremely attractive used vehicles. The third-generation Tacoma underwent a facelift in 2020, and there are plenty of trim levels for consumers to choose from. Toyota’s reliable inline-four and V6 engines also make Tacomas an attractive purchase.

2012 Audi A3

2012 Audi A3
Image Credit: harry_nl/Flickr.

It isn’t surprising to see Audi make this list. The A3 is one of Audi’s best-known cars, and the 2012 model still holds well. A 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine provides 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, while J.D. Power scores it at 81/100 for reliability. There is also a 2.0-liter turbodiesel with 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque.

2004 Pontiac GTO

2004 Pontiac GTO
Image Credit: MercurySable99/WikiCommons.

While less highly regarded than classic examples, the 2004 Pontiac GTO can still hold its own. It has a 5.7-liter V8 under the hood with 350 horsepower and 365 pounds of torque. Secondly, you can buy one for less than $12,000, which is certainly not something you should turn your nose up at for a muscle car. A tidy interior and excellent handling add to its attractiveness. 

2015 Toyota Prius

2015 Toyota Prius
Image Credit: Revistadelmotor/WikiCommons.

While not as attractive as a modern Prius, the 2015 model is still a solid hybrid—the base 1.8-liter inline-four only produced 134 hp, but a fuel economy of 54 MPG in the city was perfect for commuting to and from work. You have done well if you can get one for less than $15,000.

1992 Dodge Viper R.T./10

1992 Dodge Viper R.T./10
Image Credit: Mecum Auctions.

While definitely at the top of the price range, the 1992 Viper deserves a place on this list. Of course, the original Viper and its mighty 8.0-liter V10 produces a staggering 400 horsepower and 450 pounds of torque. It is also reliable and durable, with Edmunds scoring it at 4.8/5.

Chevrolet Corvette C4 ZR-1

1990 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 (C4)
Image Credit: Mecum Auctions.

Also, at the higher end of the price range, the C4 ZR-1 is one of the best Corvettes. A 5.7-liter LT5 V8 produces 405 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque and is highly reliable. It is common for the joint General Motors and Lotus engines to last over 150,000 miles if correctly looked after. 

BMW E39 M5

BMW E39 M5
Image Credit: donincognito/Flickr.

A classic late 1990s BMW, the E39 M5 provides 395 horsepower and 369 pounds of torque thanks to its 5.1-liter V8 engine. With careful maintenance, the E9 M5 can go for well over 100,000 miles and is arguably one of the best-looking M5s that BMW has ever produced.

2008 Maserati GranTurismo

2008 Maserati GranTurismo
Image Credit: Football Superstar/Flickr.

It might not be the most reliable car in the world, but the 4.2-liter V8 Maserati GranTurismo is one of the coolest looking. The Ferrari-derived engine provides the coupe with 405 horsepower and 339 pounds of torque. A price tag of around $30,000 on the used car market sounds reasonable compared to how expensive many modern equivalents are.

2007 Ford Escape

2007 Ford Escape
Image Credit: Ryan Rutkowski/Flickr.

If you want something cheaper, check out a late-2000s Ford Escape. A 200 hp V6 is plenty for daily driving, and the Escape has enough passenger and luggage space to make it a great family car. With proper care, the Escape can escape the worst rust that sometimes plagues the model.

Acura MDX

Acura MDX (2020)
Image Credit: Alexander Migl/WikiCommons.

The third-generation Acura MDZX can be on the used car market for around the $17,000 price bracket. For the money, you will get a luxurious, mid-size crossover with a 3.5-liter V6 under the hood. The MDX also went through a facelift in 2017, although Acura and Honda have moved the game on styling-wise with the newest generation, MDX.

Honda Fit

2013 Honda Fit
Image Credit: RL GNZLZ/WikiCommons.

Overlooked, underrated, and unloved, the Honda Fit is a fantastic hatchback and four-door for those looking for something other than a Prius. The Honda hybrid system can provide a combined MPG rating of 31 MPG, rivaling many modern cars. It also has the bonus of being a fun-to-drive sub-compact car.

Infiniti QX50

Infiniti QX50
Image Credit: Dinkun Chen/WikiCommons.

An affordable Infiniti might sound surprising, but you can pick up older versions of the QX50 for around $16,000. The 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four of the second-generation provides 268 hp, and inside, you get all the luxury and comfort we have come to expect from the manufacturer.

Lexus CT 200h

Lexus CT 200h
Image Credit: Dinkun Chen/WikiCommons.

The CT 200h is Lexus’s answer to the Toyota Prius. The hatchback uses the same drivetrain as the Prius and sits on the Toyota MC platform. This is the same platform used for the Toyota Corolla and Matrix. A 1.7-liter Inline-Four hybrid engine sits under the hood, providing 134 hp combined. 

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