Most Reliable Used Cars Under $10,000

Most Reliable Used Cars Under $10,000

As the saying goes, good things never last. Except, that’s not quite true -- at least, when talking about cars. Data from analyst house IHS Markit published last year showed the average age of all light vehicles driven on US roads had reached a record 11.9 years, up from 8.9 years in 2001.

There are a few reasons for this improved longevity. Advancements in manufacturing processes, synthetic oil development, and the industry-wide adoption of fuel injection have all played an important role. For those looking to buy an affordable used car, this means you can have confidence that whatever you pick has a decent chance of lasting in the long-run.

But some cars are more dependable than others, with some models less inclined to break down during the morning commute. We’ve highlighted ten of the most reliable used cars, all retailing under $10,000.

10 Most Reliable Used Cars Under $10,000

2010 Toyota Prius (from $9,950)

2010 Toyota Prius (from $9,950)

Ranked 87/100 for quality and reliability by JD Power, the 2010 Toyota Prius is an undeniably sturdy workhorse, released at a point when hybrid cars were entering maturity. Although hybrids accounted for a tiny fraction (2.37 percent) of US auto sales that year, by that point Toyota already had thirteen years experience manufacturing the Prius.

Owners have ranked the 2010 Prius highly for comfort, while heaping praise on its spacious interior and generous cargo space. And although it’s not quite a speed demon, it more than makes up for that in terms of mileage. Owners can expect to get 51 MPG while city driving and 48 MPG on the highway, saving you money at the pump in the long run.

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2010 Toyota Prius (from $9,950)

Ranked 87/100 for quality and reliability by JD Power, the 2010 Toyota Prius is an undeniably sturdy workhorse, released at a point when hybrid cars were entering maturity. Although hybrids accounted for a tiny fraction (2.37 percent) of US auto sales that year, by that point Toyota already had thirteen years experience manufacturing the Prius.

Owners have ranked the 2010 Prius highly for comfort, while heaping praise on its spacious interior and generous cargo space. And although it’s not quite a speed demon, it more than makes up for that in terms of mileage. Owners can expect to get 51 MPG while city driving and 48 MPG on the highway, saving you money at the pump in the long run.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Toyota Prius

2016 Kia Soul (from $9,900)

2016 Kia Soul (from $9,900)

A people-pleaser at heart, the sporty 2016 Kia Soul strikes all the right balances. Its 1.6L 130HP four-cylinder engine provides enough pep to make it fun to drive, while delivering acceptable fuel efficiency. Owners can expect to get 24MPG in the city and 30MPG on the highway.

Well-suited for families, it packs oodles of space. Legroom and headroom are both excellent, with its trunk also standing out. Additionally, it delivers a decent swath of modern conveniences, with Bluetooth and AUX-in coming standard across all models. Kia’s reputation for reliability is echoed in this model, with the 2016 Soul rated 87/100 by JD Power.

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30-days warranty
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Shop Used 2016 Kia Soul
2016 Kia Soul (from $9,900)

A people-pleaser at heart, the sporty 2016 Kia Soul strikes all the right balances. Its 1.6L 130HP four-cylinder engine provides enough pep to make it fun to drive, while delivering acceptable fuel efficiency. Owners can expect to get 24MPG in the city and 30MPG on the highway.

Well-suited for families, it packs oodles of space. Legroom and headroom are both excellent, with its trunk also standing out. Additionally, it delivers a decent swath of modern conveniences, with Bluetooth and AUX-in coming standard across all models. Kia’s reputation for reliability is echoed in this model, with the 2016 Soul rated 87/100 by JD Power.

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30-days warranty
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Shop Used 2016 Kia Soul

2011 Toyota Camry (from $9,250)

2011 Toyota Camry (from $9,250)

Toyota’s Camry has long topped the leaderboard when it comes to the mid-sized sedan category. This enduring popularity comes thanks to a winning trifecta of solid performance, exquisite comfort, and generous in-car features.

The 2011 Camry is no exception. At its heart is a 2.5L 169HP 4-cylinder inline engine, which delivers brisk acceleration with decent mileage. Owners can expect to get 22MPG on city roads and 32MPG on the highway. And despite offering mountains of space, there’s still a generous smattering of features, including AUX-in and cruise control. The Camry is highly-rated for reliability, scoring 87/100 on JD Power.

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30-days warranty
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2011 Toyota Camry (from $9,250)

Toyota’s Camry has long topped the leaderboard when it comes to the mid-sized sedan category. This enduring popularity comes thanks to a winning trifecta of solid performance, exquisite comfort, and generous in-car features.

The 2011 Camry is no exception. At its heart is a 2.5L 169HP 4-cylinder inline engine, which delivers brisk acceleration with decent mileage. Owners can expect to get 22MPG on city roads and 32MPG on the highway. And despite offering mountains of space, there’s still a generous smattering of features, including AUX-in and cruise control. The Camry is highly-rated for reliability, scoring 87/100 on JD Power.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
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Shop Used Toyota Camry

2014 Volkswagen Tiguan SE (from $8,350)

2014 Volkswagen Tiguan SE (from $8,350)

The 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan SE is an undeniably practical car. It provides all the space you’d expect from an SUV, with oodles of cabin and trunk space, while throwing in the sorts of accoutrements you’d want in a premium vehicle. In addition to a built-in reversing camera, there’s a generous array of conveniences, including integrated Bluetooth, Aux-in, and cruise control.

Day-to-day driving should prove enjoyable, thanks to its 2L 200HP 4-cylinder inline engine. Fuel efficiency is about standard for an SUV of its size. You can expect 20MPG in the city and 26MPG on the highway.

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30-days warranty
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2014 Volkswagen Tiguan SE (from $8,350)

The 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan SE is an undeniably practical car. It provides all the space you’d expect from an SUV, with oodles of cabin and trunk space, while throwing in the sorts of accoutrements you’d want in a premium vehicle. In addition to a built-in reversing camera, there’s a generous array of conveniences, including integrated Bluetooth, Aux-in, and cruise control.

Day-to-day driving should prove enjoyable, thanks to its 2L 200HP 4-cylinder inline engine. Fuel efficiency is about standard for an SUV of its size. You can expect 20MPG in the city and 26MPG on the highway.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Volkswagen Tiguan SE

2013 Honda Fit (from $7,950)

2013 Honda Fit (from $7,950)

Honda has long enjoyed a track record for reliability. Exemplifying this is the 2013 Honda Fit, which earned a formidable 85/100 rating for quality and reliability by JD Power.

As you’d expect from a subcompact city car, mileage is excellent. The Fit comfortably delivers 27MPG in urban environments and up to 35MPG on the open road. Although its 1.5L 117-horsepower engine isn’t the fastest, handling is impeccable, and the 2013 Fit remains steady when tackling tight corners.

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2013 Honda Fit (from $7,950)

Honda has long enjoyed a track record for reliability. Exemplifying this is the 2013 Honda Fit, which earned a formidable 85/100 rating for quality and reliability by JD Power.

As you’d expect from a subcompact city car, mileage is excellent. The Fit comfortably delivers 27MPG in urban environments and up to 35MPG on the open road. Although its 1.5L 117-horsepower engine isn’t the fastest, handling is impeccable, and the 2013 Fit remains steady when tackling tight corners.

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30-days warranty
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Shop Used Honda Fit

2014 Volkswagen Jetta S (from $8,600)

2014 Volkswagen Jetta S (from $8,600)

The roomy Volkswagen Jetta lives up to the lofty reputation of German engineering, clinking a solid 81/100 quality and reliability rating from JD Power. 

Owners have heaped praise on the compact sedan’s spacious interior, which delivers generous levels of leg- and head-room. Meanwhile, its 15.5 cubic feet trunk packs plenty of space, making the Jetta well-suited for road trips and family vacations.

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30-days warranty
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2014 Volkswagen Jetta S (from $8,600)

The roomy Volkswagen Jetta lives up to the lofty reputation of German engineering, clinking a solid 81/100 quality and reliability rating from JD Power. 

Owners have heaped praise on the compact sedan’s spacious interior, which delivers generous levels of leg- and head-room. Meanwhile, its 15.5 cubic feet trunk packs plenty of space, making the Jetta well-suited for road trips and family vacations.

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30-days warranty
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Shop Used Volkswagen Jetta

2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited (from $9,650)

2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited (from $9,650)

No surprises here. Hyundai has long been rated highly for reliability, and the Elantra effortlessly carries that reputation forward, with a JD Power rating of 84/100. Its brisk 1.8L 145HP four-cylinder engine makes this model a delight to drive, while mileage is respectable. You can expect 27MPG in the city and 37MPG on the highway.

Its spacious interior and generous trunk space makes the 2014 Elantra Limited an excellent choice for growing families, while the infotainment features on the Limited model further add to its already strong value proposition. This includes a back-up camera, built-in navigation, USB and AUX-in, as well as Bluetooth.

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30-days warranty
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2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited (from $9,650)

No surprises here. Hyundai has long been rated highly for reliability, and the Elantra effortlessly carries that reputation forward, with a JD Power rating of 84/100. Its brisk 1.8L 145HP four-cylinder engine makes this model a delight to drive, while mileage is respectable. You can expect 27MPG in the city and 37MPG on the highway.

Its spacious interior and generous trunk space makes the 2014 Elantra Limited an excellent choice for growing families, while the infotainment features on the Limited model further add to its already strong value proposition. This includes a back-up camera, built-in navigation, USB and AUX-in, as well as Bluetooth.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
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Shop Used Hyundai Elantra Limited

2017 Chevrolet Spark (from $9,500)

2017 Chevrolet Spark (from $9,500)

A city car at heart, the 2017 Chevrolet Spark prioritizes compactness and fuel efficiency over sheer horsepower. While its 98-horsepower 1.4L four-cylinder engine isn’t the fastest, it more than makes up for that in mileage, delivering 30MPG on city roads and 39MPG on the highway. Reliability, too, is excellent, with an 86/100 rating on JD Power.

A recent model, the 2017 Chevrolet Spark packs many of the modern conveniences you’d expect to find when buying new, including an integrated back-up camera, a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, and Bluetooth.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Chevrolet Spark
2017 Chevrolet Spark (from $9,500)

A city car at heart, the 2017 Chevrolet Spark prioritizes compactness and fuel efficiency over sheer horsepower. While its 98-horsepower 1.4L four-cylinder engine isn’t the fastest, it more than makes up for that in mileage, delivering 30MPG on city roads and 39MPG on the highway. Reliability, too, is excellent, with an 86/100 rating on JD Power.

A recent model, the 2017 Chevrolet Spark packs many of the modern conveniences you’d expect to find when buying new, including an integrated back-up camera, a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, and Bluetooth.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Chevrolet Spark

2008 Honda CR-V EX-L (from $7,980)

2008 Honda CR-V EX-L (from $7,980)

The Honda CR-V has consistently ranked as among the best-selling compact SUVs on the US market, and it’s not hard to see why. Delivering the perfect blend of performance and comfort, the CR-V has earned its fans, with older models continuing to hold their resale value.

The 2008 EX-L model packs a sporty 2.4L 166HP 4-cylinder inline engine that delivers satisfying levels of acceleration, with mileage rated for 20MPG on urban roads and 27MPG on the highway. Meanwhile, its plush leather interior and powerful sound system add to the sheer joy that comes with driving a CR-V. When it comes to the all-important reliability rating, the 2008 Honda CR-V boasts an impressive 90/100 score from JD Power.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
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2008 Honda CR-V EX-L (from $7,980)

The Honda CR-V has consistently ranked as among the best-selling compact SUVs on the US market, and it’s not hard to see why. Delivering the perfect blend of performance and comfort, the CR-V has earned its fans, with older models continuing to hold their resale value.

The 2008 EX-L model packs a sporty 2.4L 166HP 4-cylinder inline engine that delivers satisfying levels of acceleration, with mileage rated for 20MPG on urban roads and 27MPG on the highway. Meanwhile, its plush leather interior and powerful sound system add to the sheer joy that comes with driving a CR-V. When it comes to the all-important reliability rating, the 2008 Honda CR-V boasts an impressive 90/100 score from JD Power.

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30-days warranty
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Shop Used Honda CR-V EX-L

2014 Honda Civic LX W (from $9,950)

2014 Honda Civic LX W (from $9,950)

The Honda Civic is the quintessential subcompact. At its heart, you get the performance you’d expect from the Japanese carmaker, with the 2014 model powered by a competent 1.8L 143HP 4-cylinder inline engine. Mileage is similarly solid, with an estimated 28MPG in the city and 36MPG on the highway.

In terms of features, the 2014 Honda Civic LX W comes with a smattering of welcome modern comforts, including a back-up camera, USB input, and Bluetooth. And with a reliability rating of 86/100 from JD Power, the Civic stands out as an exceptionally hardy vehicle.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Honda Civic LX W
2014 Honda Civic LX W (from $9,950)

The Honda Civic is the quintessential subcompact. At its heart, you get the performance you’d expect from the Japanese carmaker, with the 2014 model powered by a competent 1.8L 143HP 4-cylinder inline engine. Mileage is similarly solid, with an estimated 28MPG in the city and 36MPG on the highway.

In terms of features, the 2014 Honda Civic LX W comes with a smattering of welcome modern comforts, including a back-up camera, USB input, and Bluetooth. And with a reliability rating of 86/100 from JD Power, the Civic stands out as an exceptionally hardy vehicle.

Free 7-day return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Honda Civic LX W

Conclusion

We’ve listed some of the most reliable and affordable used cars on the market. But it’s not just their reputation that matters. When you buy from Shift, you get the added confidence that comes with a no-questions seven day returns policy, a free 30 day warranty, and a 150 point pre-sale inspection from one of our approved mechanics.

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Author
Shift Editorial Team