Home / The Best Cars for Every Budget / The Best Used Cars under $15,000


There are many used cars to be had for less than $15,000. Depending on how old you are willing to go, you can get just about any make or model. Here are a few of the best that combine affordability, fuel economy, safety, and dependability.

Kia Rio5

The base 2014 Kia Rio5 LX will run you around $14,600. The 5 is the largest of the Rio trim levels. Since the new version is less than the $15,000 target price, you can get any other older model for a song. These tough little fuel misers combine all four of the selling points mentioned in the opening paragraph. Since these vehicles tend to lose their value quickly, you can get a four year-old, low mileage specimen for less than $7,000 in most markets.

Ford Fiesta S

The Fiesta was re-introduced to appeal to those of us with the fuel efficient, low priced mindset. It delivers with a 1.6L engine and efficient five-speed manual transmission that has been rated above 25 mpg city/32 city mpg city since re-introduction. The 2014 model comes in under the 15 grand mark, so the used models will easily fit into that budget. The Fiesta tends to holds its value better than the Kia, but a nice 2011 model still comes in under $12,000.

Acura TL

Acuras are known for being as reliable as any product from parent company Honda. The car is a bit on the pricey side when new, but as long as you are willing to go as far back as 2006, you can find a decent model for quite a bit less than the $15,000 price point. The main argument against an older Acura is that they are plain. A more practical issue is fuel economy. The TL does not deliver as well as many Honda products, but it does meet the other three requirements for being on this list.

Honda Pilot

Honda introduced the Pilot as an answer to those buyers who loathed minivans and eschewed large SUVs. The Pilot, like most of the models within the CUV/crossover segment is bland, but efficient. To meet the price point you will need to shop for a 2006 or older version.


Mazda is often overshadowed by such competitors as Honda and Toyota, but, once you drive one, you will be a convert. These fun to drive cars offer equal portions of sporty and efficient. When you kick in lower sticker price, you can see why Mazda owners tend to remain so for life. You can buy a 2012 model for under $13,400 and a 2010 for less than $10,000 if you are willing to buy a car with 90,000 miles.

The vehicles mentioned above are all good cars, but may be considered a little boring. Well, all of them except the Mazda6. If you are interested in a cheap sports car that will not obliterate your budget, then you can look at the Ford Mustang. You can find nice base model V6 versions for under 15 grand that are as new as 2008. If you are more interested in a GT, then you may have to step back to 2005. Want a Shelby for that price? Good luck. If $15K is a bit rich for your blood, check out these great cars under $10,000.

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