10 Best Used Cars Under $5,000 in 2023

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 11/10/22 •  7 min read

If you’re in the market for a new car but don’t want to break the bank, you should consider buying a used car. A recent study by Forbes showed that consumers can save up to $3,000 on average when they buy used cars instead of new ones. 

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The best part is that most people have no idea which cars are worth looking into and which ones aren’t so we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best used cars under $5,000 in 2023.

Best Used Cars Under $5,000 in 2023

2009 Honda Fit

Average Price: $4,826 – Overall Score: 9.1/10

The Honda Fit hatchback is a great option for used car buyers looking to get more bang for their buck. It has roomy seating space, feels agile, and is enjoyable to drive like in any other standard automatic transmission vehicle you’re likely accustomed to, but with rates above-average crash safety ratings. 

Best Used Cars Under $5,000 in 2021
2009 Honda Fit Sport | jason hoang © Flickr

The 1.5 liters four-cylinder engine also provides good fuel efficiency while the track record of reliability makes it an even better choice!

2009 Scion tC

Average Price: $4,064 – Overall Score: 8.9/10

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The Scion TC is among our top 10 best used cars under $5,000 in 2023. It is a great choice for first-time car buyers looking to get somewhere in style. Its sporty coupe design and punchy four-cylinder engine are sure to please, as well as its composed driving dynamics which give it a comfortable ride on the highway or around town. 

Best Used Cars Under $5,000 in 2021
Scion tc white side © wikimedia commons

The interior space offers ample seating upfront with adequate room in the second row and generous cargo storage under the liftgate of this reliable vehicle that will keep you going wherever life takes you!

2009 Scion xB

Average Price: $4,390 – Overall Score: 8.7/10

The Scion xB is an interesting vehicle. It looks like a futuristic car, but it contains all of the features and functions of your average sedan from decades ago. 

The 2-liter engine has enough power for daily driving needs while providing great fuel efficiency in comparison to other cars on the road today. 

Best Used Cars Under $5,000 in 2021
2009 Scion xB © wikimedia commons

A stellar track record of reliability makes this little wonder last long past its expected lifespan so you won’t have to worry about getting rid after just a few years!

Scion manufactured a total of 4,914 2009 xB models. All the vehicles came equipped with air conditioning, power windows keyless entry, and cruise control for your convenience. 

A manual five-speed transmission was standard but an automatic four-speed could be chosen as well if preferred.

The Scion brand is known for its affordability and customization options in addition to being environmentally friendly

2009 Mercury Sable

Average Price: $4,363 – Overall Score: 8.7/10

Another vehicle in our top 10 best used cars under $5,000 in 2023 is The Mercury Sable. It is a great option for those who are looking to buy an economical sedan. This car may be less stylish than some of the other vehicles on this list, but it still has plenty going for it that makes up for its shortcomings. 

Best Used Cars Under $5,000 in 2021
2009 Mercury Sable © wikimedia commons

The large cabin and trunk make roomy transportation possible even when there’s only one passenger in your vehicle; unlike with many cars, passengers can keep all their belongings inside while traveling since access isn’t limited by design.

 It also comes equipped with safety features like airbags and seatbelts which help minimize injuries during accidents or sudden stops from high speeds respectively – these alone make the purchase worth considering if you value protection as highly as style or power!

2009 Saturn VUE

Average Price: $4,604 – Overall Score: 8.7/10

The Saturn VUE is an SUV that has been around from 2008 to 2009, but even though it only existed for a short time these SUVs seem to have withstood the test of time. 

The second-generation model rates well for reliability and crash safety in comparison to newer models available today. It also offers passengers plenty of space inside its airy cabin which makes traveling day-to-day much easier than ever before!


 In addition, this car’s engine lineup provides you with enough power no matter what your needs are,whether you’re looking for something under 170 horsepower or above 257 hp!

2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara

Average Price: $2,941- Overall Score: 8.6/10

Suzuki’s Grand Vitara is a compact SUV that has been overlooked by most people, but it still offers plenty of great features. First off, the engine is powerful and efficient with two options for transmissions – manual or automatic. 

Best Used Cars Under $5,000 in 2021
2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara © wikimedia commons

The rugged ladder-frame chassis also provides stability while driving on both rough roads and dirt trails which makes this car perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who want to explore new terrain!

After the Japanese Grand Vitara failed to compare qualitatively with its American and Asian rivals, many customers opted for these other brands at a higher price. However, used models of this subcompact SUV are still competitively priced in comparison.

2010 Suzuki SX4

Average Price: $4,100 – Overall Score: 8.5/10

The Suzuki SX4 is a pretty good choice for those who live in snowy climes. With all-wheel drive, it’s the perfect car when there’s snow on the ground and you want to get places safely. 

Best Used Cars Under $5,000 in 2021
2010 Suzuki SX4 © wikimedia commons

The interior of this compact sedan has plenty of seating space which also makes it great as a family vehicle or even just if you need more room for cargo sometimes! 

Though the engine performance might be underwhelming at 150 horsepower with either six-speed manual transmission or CVT, handling feels responsive making driving enjoyable overall.

2009 Hyundai Elantra

Average Price: $3,423 – Overall Score: 8.5/10

The Elantra is a nice, cheap car with very accurate steering and great suspension that makes it easy to drive. It’s not flashy or anything but if you need an inexpensive reliable car for someone learning how to drive then the Hyundai Elantra is perfect!

Best Used Cars Under $5,000 in 2021
2009 Hyundai Elantra © Flickr

The fourth-generation model of this vehicle has been improving every year so now they have some good reviews on reliability as well which helps people out who are looking at these cars in their budget range.

Hyundai‘s 2009 Elantra comes in both sedan and hatchback body styles, with the latter referred to as the Elantra Touring. The smallest engine is a 2-liter four-cylinder that produces 140 horsepower!

2009 Ford Focus

Average Price: $3,510 – Overall Score: 7.5/10

If you’re in the market to buy a used car and looking for an inexpensive but reliable vehicle, there is one option: The third-generation Ford Focus (2012 to 2018). 

However, this model has been plagued with transmission issues. If not on your list of options – then might I recommend the previous generation? 

Best Used Cars Under $5,000 in 2021
2009 Ford Focus © wikimedia commons

These 2008 to 2011 models have proven themselves as being more reliable than their newer counterparts; they also come equipped with a hefty 2.0-liter engine that provides good performance & dynamics while maintaining excellent safety ratings! 

Additionally, these vehicles are often priced at lower prices due to demand decreasing over time.

2011 Nissan Versa

Average Price: $4,738 – Overall Score: 7.6/10

The Nissan Versa is often criticized for its reliability, but this largely stems from the 2012-and-newer models that have experienced high rates of CVT failures. 

The earlier 2007 to 2011 models are more dependable as long as you steer clear of the CVT which was offered on SL trims.

 Best Used Cars Under $5,000 in 2021
2011 Nissan Versa SL © wikimedia commons

The Versa is perfect for those who need a compact car with good fuel economy. Those looking for safety in their vehicle should explore other options as the crash ratings are low, but it’s still easy to park and maneuver through crowded areas making its small engine size more forgiving. 

There were both sedan or hatchback models available when new. Now you’ll only find one of these types on used car lots where prices are at an all-time low!

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.