Buying Advice

Ranked: Best used cars under $10,000

The Honda Civic was a good buy when it was new and it continues to be one today.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

It's not just new cars that people are after. The used car market is full of good cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans that are available at prices far lower than a brand new car.

iSeeCars, a car search engine, analyzed over 6.1 million cars from model years 2011 and newer to determine the used cars that demonstrated long-term reliability and have an average safety rating of at least 4 stars out of 5 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Shoppers with a budget of $10,000 can purchase the following reliable vehicles that are less than 10 years old.

2011 Toyota Prius

2011 Toyota Prius

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Average Used Price: $9,076
The five-passenger Toyota Prius was new for the 2010 model year and mostly unchanged for 2011. In the second-generation Prius buyers could get a moonroof with solar panels, four driving modes, a guidance parking system, and steering wheel controls on their Prius when it was new.

2012 Chevrolet Impala

2012 Chevrolet Impala

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Average Used Price: $9,240
The Chevrolet Impala is spacious and reliable. It isn't as well-appointed as some of its rivals, but it is powered by a strong 300-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine that is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

2011 Honda Accord

2011 Honda Accord

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Average Used Price: $9,363
The Honda Accord was upgraded for 2011 with increased fuel economy, fresh from and rear fascia, a new SE trim level, and two engine options (four-cylinder or V6). Some models were available with paddle shifters and navigaton when the Accord was new.

2012 Honda Civic Coupe

2012 Honda Civic Coupe

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Average Used Price: $9,406
Honda redesigned the Civic for the 2012 model year debuting a more streamlined look, spacious cabin, and enhanced technology. When the model was new, it was available with a USB audio interface, Bluetooth, navigation, and voice recognition technology.

2013 Mazda Mazda6

2013 Mazda Mazda6

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

Average Used Price: $9,534
Mazda strived to make the Mazda6 a true sports sedan. It was available with either a four-cylinder or V6 engine and came standard with automatic headlight shutoff, air conditioning with pollen filter, power door locks and windows, driver's side one-touch window control, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted controls, a AM/FM/CD/MP3-compatible six-speaker audio system, and remote keyless entry. The car was well-appointed in top trims with wood grain pattern, satin silver, and polished chrome accents.

2012 Honda Civic Sedan

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Average Used Price: $9,552
The Honda Civic sedan got the same revisions as the coupe model for the 2012 model year. It was a good buy then and it continues to be one today.

2012 Toyota Corolla

2012 Toyota Corolla

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Average Used Price: $9,655
Toyota refreshed the Corolla for the 211 model year. For 2012, the Corolla gained standard with color-keyed power side mirrors, power windows, driver's side auto-down window, power door locks, and remote keyless entry. Higher trim levels have an upgraded head unit with a USB port.

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The new Si gets many improvements over the standard Civic.

Honda

The 2022 Civic and Civic Hatchback are just starting to hit our streets, but Honda's already moved on to higher performance versions of the car. The automaker just announced the Civic Si, which lands between the standard cars and the red-hot Type R in the Civic lineup.

2022 Honda Civic Si The Si's manual transmission gets rev-matching from the Civic Type R.Honda

The 2022 Civic Si gets a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. The VTEC unit has been updated with broader power curves and better output at the top of the rev range. It's paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission that features the handy rev-matching feature from the Civic Type R. The system can detect downshifts and blips the throttle to perfectly align engine revs with the shift.

Honda tightened up the new Si's body with an 8 percent bump in torsional rigidity and a 13 percent increase in bending rigidity over the previous model. The 2022 Civic Si also rides on a longer wheelbase and has a wider rear track for better stability. Honda says that at 107.7 inches, the Si has the longest wheelbase in its class, which should give the car a stable and comfortable ride.

2022 Honda Civic Si The 2022 Civic Si's interior is clean and sporty. Honda

The Si's cabin borrows heavily from the standard Civic, but the sporty car gets more aggressive front sport seats with stronger bolstering and better thigh and shoulder supports. Honda raised the seats' bottom cushion by half an inch at the front for better thigh support. A 9-inch touchscreen display is standard that runs wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 12-speaker Bose stereo with Centerpoint 2 tech and SurroundStage digital signal processing are also standard.

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The Passport was lightly modified for competition.

Honda

Honda recently announced a line of off-road-oriented trims and packages for its vehicles. Called TrailSport, the trim brings rugged appearance upgrades to the Honda Passport and will eventually offer more performance upgrades for other vehicles in the automaker's catalog. To further prove its mettle in the off-road space, Honda built a 2022 Passport rally truck to compete in the American Rally Association race series. The truck debuted over the weekend in Michigan and had a reasonably successful run for its first time out.

2022 Honda Passport Two Honda engineers handled driving duties.Honda

Importantly, the Passport's drivetrain and suspension were left untouched for the rally. The 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6, nine-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and suspension in the rally vehicle are the same components that you or I would see if we bought a new Passport today. Honda did add a transmission fluid cooler, but even then, it's the unit that everyday buyers can get with the available towing package. The SUV's interior was stripped and modified for safety and performance.

2022 Honda Passport Honda is pushing deeper into the off-road with its TrailSport trims.Honda

Honda did upgrade the Passport's wheels and tires for the event by fitting 17-inch BRAID Winrace T rally wheels and Maxxis RAZR M/T or A/T tires. The automaker also made modifications to the SUV's underside with custom 1/8-inch thick aluminum oil pan and rear differential skid plates. High-density panels protect the fuel tank and other sensitive components, while Carbontech XP12 brake pads and high-temp racing brake fluid slow things down.

2022 Honda Passport The Passport's interior had to be stripped and modified for the event.Honda

The ARA National and Regional Championship Series events feature modified street vehicles that travel at speeds well in excess of 100 mph. The courses include gravel, dirt, mud, and snow, and cover hundreds of miles. The Honda Passport rally vehicle was first driven by two Honda engineers and ran in the top ten out of 42 teams. Honda says that a tire de-bead eventually slowed the team, leading to a delayed finish.

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