Used car shopping on a budget? As a dollar stretches less and less, finding a good car on a small budget can be frustrating. You don't have to sacrifice reliability or quality for budget. We have compiled a combined list of the top ten vehicles that experts say are the best used cars under $5,000. They are reliable and reasonably priced, and won't break the bank.

 

2004 and Under Ford Focus

Shoppers looking in the $5,000 are almost always looking for practicality and fuel efficiency. There’s a version for everyone, which is one of the reasons it’s been Ford’s top selling model. There’s no need to worry about mileage either. Even ones that have been marginally maintained are barely broken in at 100k miles.

 

 

 

2002 and Under Volkswagen Jetta

The Jetta is Volkswagen’s top selling model in the US. Buyers love the sophisticated materials, expert engineering and strong engines. Jetta buyers are more satisfied with their purchase than other models. They're built to last and fuel efficient. Some configurations can get up to 35 city/45 highway, which is excellent fuel efficiency for a car designed over a decade ago. It’s a solid model that is reliable and even offers a little something extra in the style department.


 


1999 and Under Honda Civic 

  People who know good cars won’t need the internet to tell them that a Honda Civic should be a top choice if you’re looking for value and longevity. The Civic is one of the best made cars in history, and many have lived long past the 200,000 mile marker. In the “worry-free everyday driver” segment, the Civic can’t be beat. $5,000 is a small chunk of change for a vehicle that could potentially last through the zombie apocalypse. 

 



2002 and Under Honda CR-V 

When it comes to long lasting engines, Honda frequently tops the list. The smaller crossover CR-V is no exception. It has everything that SUV drivers look for… go anywhere capability, space, and safety. Honda’s CR-V also boasts a 4-cylinder gas sipping engine and iconic longevity. The wheels will fall off before the motor goes. You may have to drive it into a tree to get it to stop running.

 



 2002 and Under Honda Accord 

Obviously, Honda’s superior engineering and engine design makes pretty much any Honda model appropriate for this list, which is why you will have to look for older models to get under the $5,000 mark. The Accord isn't for flash, unless you’re into flashing your smarts, of course. It’s room, comfort, reliability and re-sale value that has made the model so popular.



 

2002 and Under Ford Ranger 

The Ford Ranger has been a favorite with truck buyers looking for a smaller pick up that is capable to do the work of a huge gas hogging full size. Ford’s innovative engineering puts even the older models on the same level engineering as much later model pick-ups. It’s a standard for reliability and longevity. If you've ever owned one, you'd know what all the fuss is about.

  



2002 and Under Hyundai Elantra

  Hyundai’s Elantra is one of the most highly recommended cars on the market, and the Elantra earned that title with exceptional build quality, low maintenance costs and outstanding reliability. Its enduring style puts even the older models on par with models of today, and Hyundai’s unmatched 10-year warranty means that most of these models were exceptionally maintained.

 


Any 1990's Wrangler 

  Jeep’s Wrangler is the ultimate in off-road affordability. Specifically in the older models before the Jeep came out of the “niche” and into the main stream. It’s rough and tumble image is particularly valuable to used buyers since the model design hasn't changed much over the years, making a 1992 Wrangler not much different in the looks department as the newer models.

 

 


2005 and Under Chevrolet Aveo

  Later resigned as the Sonic, the Aveo is a sub-compact sedan or hatchback with a peppy 4 cylinder engine and excellent fuel economy. By 2005, Chevrolet had brought the model up to speed with Honda and other sub-compact leaders. It’s a top notch model for reliability. If you can get one for less than 5,000, it’s a good buy.

 

 

Volvo 740/940 

Volvo offered the 740 in a sedan and wagon. It was Volvo’s attempt to attract luxury buyers who already knew that Volvo was well-built and number one in safety. It was later replaced by the 850, but many remain on the road today because of Volvo’s extraordinary gift for building reliable quality engines.

 


We have a huge selection of cars, trucks, SUVs and vans. Check out our inventory used vehicles under $5,000 and try out our handy price tool to search in your price range.