You may believe that the best and the most reliable cars will cost you a lot of money. Although this is generally true, there is a way you can buy reliable cars under $5,000. If you are looking for a car like this, it is mandatory to remember that not all used cars should be taken into consideration. That’s why we are here and we will help you get an idea about the best cars under $5,000. All of the cars on our list are used vehicles, but they still have plenty of life in them. You may think it’s tough to find a car in your price range, but we’re here to show you that the car of your dreams might be hiding right around the corner!
The 10 Best Used Cars Under $5,000 (2019)
2009 Chevrolet Malibu ($4,500-$5,000)
Chevrolet Malibus can be seen all over the roads, but 2009 was the first year stability control became standard equipment on the base model. This midsize sedan has enough space for the family, so long as you have younger children sitting in the backseat. As you can expect with most sedans, the back can get cramped pretty easily if you’re trying to setup a carpool for work.
The Malibu is a reliable vehicle that is still being produced to this day. The safety score is, however, quite low for a sedan, so make sure you do your research before committing.
2009 Pontiac Vibe ($4,500-$5000)
The Pontiac Vibe received its well-deserved redesign in 2009, which made the compact hatchback into a more refined piece of machinery. The vehicle has an above-average fuel economy, great scoring in safety and reliability, and it’s the perfect car for the family.
The base model of the vehicle doesn’t come with a ton of standard features, but it shouldn’t be difficult to find some better trims for about the same price point. If you’re able to lock one down with some additional features, you’ll be looking at all-wheel-drive, air conditioning, cruise control, and possibly more to go along with the vehicle’s roomy interior.
2009 Ford Fusion ($4,500-$5,000)
The 2009 Ford Fusion is a dream for anybody looking to get their hands on an affordable car. With excellent scores in safety and reliability, low costs for repairs, plenty of high-quality trims to choose from with additional features, and plenty of space, this is easily one of the best vehicles available at the price point.
Depending on the number of sellers around you and the popularity of the vehicle in your area, you might even be able to snag one with a full infotainment system for under $5,000.
2007 Subaru Outback ($4,500-$5,000)
The Subaru Outback is a very popular car across the nation due to its safety, reliability, and space. While a model from 2007 is likely to have a decent number of miles on it, these cars were built to last. It may not have all the luxury of some of the other vehicles on this list, but if you’re looking for a solid vehicle for the family, you’ve found one.
If you live in an area where weather can be a constant threat, the Outback has a standard all-wheel-drive system to help you from getting stuck. Plus, the added space in the back of the car will make any road trip a breeze.
2009 Scion xD ($4,000-$4,500)
If you’re looking to be a designated driver for family member or friends, this might not be the car for you. The Scion xD is a very compact car that works best for one or two passengers, and while you can’t use the vehicle to transport a soccer team, it does come with an above-average fuel economy and more standard features than most cars on this list.
If you’re going to be driving alone most of the time and you’re looking to get an affordable vehicle with great gas mileage and some additional features, the Scion xD is worth taking into consideration.
2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser ($4,000-$4,500)
While you may not find it to be the most attractive car on the face of the planet, the Chrysler PT Cruiser is a very solid pick for an affordable car. With incredible reliability ratings and a low price point for older used models, you really can’t go wrong if you see one of these up for sale.
Although the base model has a below average interior aesthetic, the car is comfortable to drive around for long periods of time. If you do want to upgrade the overall look of the interior, higher quality trims give you access to more amenities, but that all depends on your budget.
2005 Toyota Sienna ($3,500-$4,000)
While the majority of reliable vehicles under $5,000 tend to be sedans, there are a few exceptions. The first of which is the 2005 Toyota Sienna. If you have a family, or you’re looking to start one, this car could easily be the one for you. Safety and reliability are two things you won’t have to worry about, and trust me when I tell you this vehicle will have plenty of space for everybody.
There aren’t a ton of options available for buyers, but you might be able to pick one up with all-wheel-drive if the weather is an issue in your area. Aside from that, this is easily one of the best family-oriented vehicles you can grab for the price point.
2007 Ford Escape ($3,500-$4,000)
If an SUV is more your speed, look no further than the 2007 Ford Escape. Escapes are everywhere, and if you look hard enough, you may even be able to find a newer model for under $5,000 if the 07’s aren’t catching your interest. If you’re looking for size and a low cost for repairs, this car reigns supreme on our list.
As you can expect with all Fords, repairs are cheap and easy, and the vehicle is built to last. You’ll absolutely get your money’s worth with the Escape, and leg room will never be an issue.
2009 Honda Civic ($3,500-$4,000)
While you were reading from the start of the list to this point, I’m sure at least one Civic has already driven past wherever you are right now. They’re one of the most popular cars in the nation, which means they’re very easy to get your hands on. Not only will they be easy to shop for, but you’ll also have plenty of options. You could find a coupe, sedan, or even a hybrid version for under $5,000 pretty easily.
The 2009 model is great for reliability and safety, but if you want more options, feel free to look at 2010 models as well. They might be a little higher priced, but with enough digging, you could come across a gem for under $5,000.
2003 Acura TL ($3,000-$3,500)
The 2003 Acura TL has been around for a while, but that might just be a blessing in disguise. If you’re looking for a sedan, the TL comes with a V6 engine and you can grab plenty of other upgrades for under $5,000 as well. Since Honda manufacturers Acura vehicles, you know the reliability and cost of repairs won’t be an issue either.
The car isn’t the newest or the flashiest on the list, but you can probably get the most upgrades on this vehicle for the price range. If you can find one with decent mileage and plenty of features, it’s absolutely worth taking a serious look at.
All of these cars will last for a long time, but only if you choose a suitable one. Although these cars are very reliable, you still need to do your research and make sure you pick a car that fits your needs. Stay away from cars over 200,000 miles, ask plenty of questions, and don’t be afraid to keep looking around if there aren’t great offers around you. These cars are all fairly common and more will go up for sale very soon!
Article Updated: February 10, 2019