The 9 Best Cars You Can Get for Under $15,000

The 9 Best Cars You Can Get for Under $15,000
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If you're shopping for a used car on a budget of $15,000 but thinking that won't get you much, we're here to tell you to think again.

Sure, there may not be many new cars out there that are to be had for $15,000 or less. But as far as used cars under $15,000 are concerned, the options are seemingly endless. The trick is finding a used car that's as good as new.

Thankfully, Shift provides fair, no-haggle prices that are powered by powerful machine learning algorithms and massive amounts of data. They also pass each vehicle in their inventory through a 150-point inspection to ensure that each and every one is essentially flawless.

Here are nine of the best cars you can get for less than $15,000. Ready, set, save!

Ford Fusion

Ford Fusion

On the road the Ford Fusion performs composedly and smoothly, with three four-cylinder engine options that provide a total of 175-245 horsepower. The interior is roomy and comfortable, with a sizable trunk and a user-friendly infotainment interface, too. Models manufactured before 2020 come with the option of a V6 engine, which makes for added horsepower and an overall more enjoyable time behind the wheel. Ford discontinued this sportier motor option after 2020, it's all the more reason to consider a used Fusion instead of a new one. Used Fusions are priced as low as $12,500, whereas new editions retail for $23,000-$36,500.

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Ford Fusion

On the road the Ford Fusion performs composedly and smoothly, with three four-cylinder engine options that provide a total of 175-245 horsepower. The interior is roomy and comfortable, with a sizable trunk and a user-friendly infotainment interface, too. Models manufactured before 2020 come with the option of a V6 engine, which makes for added horsepower and an overall more enjoyable time behind the wheel. Ford discontinued this sportier motor option after 2020, it's all the more reason to consider a used Fusion instead of a new one. Used Fusions are priced as low as $12,500, whereas new editions retail for $23,000-$36,500.

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Honda Accord

Honda Accord

The Honda Accord was one of the first cars by a Japanese automaker to be a hit in North America shortly after the early hatchback models arrived in 1976 and then transitioned to a sedan body style in 1989. Needless to say, the Honda Accord is now a solid staple of the global auto industry that's been in the making for 45 years. New Accords remain one of the top midsize sedan options on the market today, thanks to their ability to travel 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highways, a hybrid option that offers up to 48 mpg, a spacious cabin and a base price that is just shy of $25,000. Used Accords, on the other hand, cost between $13,000 and $14,000 but can be found for as little as $8,400.

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Honda Accord

The Honda Accord was one of the first cars by a Japanese automaker to be a hit in North America shortly after the early hatchback models arrived in 1976 and then transitioned to a sedan body style in 1989. Needless to say, the Honda Accord is now a solid staple of the global auto industry that's been in the making for 45 years. New Accords remain one of the top midsize sedan options on the market today, thanks to their ability to travel 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highways, a hybrid option that offers up to 48 mpg, a spacious cabin and a base price that is just shy of $25,000. Used Accords, on the other hand, cost between $13,000 and $14,000 but can be found for as little as $8,400.

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Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai made history in 2009 by becoming the first automaker to offer a midsize sedan with a hybrid option by way of the Elantra, which has been in production for more than 30 years now. With seven generations of the ever-affordable Elantra under its wing, Hyundai appears to have mastered the art of emulating rivals like Honda and Toyota and giving the same quality, convenience, reliability, and aesthetic at a lower price. Elantras start at just under $20,000 for the base model and go up to $25,500 for the top-tier trim level. Used models, on the other hand, typically run between $10,000 and $13,000.

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Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai made history in 2009 by becoming the first automaker to offer a midsize sedan with a hybrid option by way of the Elantra, which has been in production for more than 30 years now. With seven generations of the ever-affordable Elantra under its wing, Hyundai appears to have mastered the art of emulating rivals like Honda and Toyota and giving the same quality, convenience, reliability, and aesthetic at a lower price. Elantras start at just under $20,000 for the base model and go up to $25,500 for the top-tier trim level. Used models, on the other hand, typically run between $10,000 and $13,000.

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Kia Soul

Kia Soul

Despite coming off as a tad on the compact side at first glance, the Kia Soul is surprisingly spacious and generous with its cargo room, too, thanks in part to its boxy design. Five adults can fit comfortably, as does a total of more than cubic feet of cargo or more than 62 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. A 147-horsepower 2-liter four-cylinder engine powers the base model Soul, which comes with the option of either a zippy six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. If you have a bit of extra room to stretch in your budget, consider opting for the Turbo package, which comes with a 1.6-liter, 201-horsepower engine with a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. New Kia Souls range from $17,500 for the base model to $27,500 for the Turbo trim, but used Souls go for as low as $11,000.

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Kia Soul

Despite coming off as a tad on the compact side at first glance, the Kia Soul is surprisingly spacious and generous with its cargo room, too, thanks in part to its boxy design. Five adults can fit comfortably, as does a total of more than cubic feet of cargo or more than 62 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. A 147-horsepower 2-liter four-cylinder engine powers the base model Soul, which comes with the option of either a zippy six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. If you have a bit of extra room to stretch in your budget, consider opting for the Turbo package, which comes with a 1.6-liter, 201-horsepower engine with a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. New Kia Souls range from $17,500 for the base model to $27,500 for the Turbo trim, but used Souls go for as low as $11,000.

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Mazda Mazda3

Mazda Mazda3

All in all, the Mazda3 soars across the board. It offers peppy engine options, tight and concise handling, a sleek interior aesthetic and an easy-to-use infotainment system. This zippy sedan is one of the most enjoyable vehicles to drive in its class, with lively maneuvering, rapid pickup and quick brakes. The standard base model gives a total horsepower of 155, but the turbocharged upgrade packs a rowdy 250. The Mazda3 also comes with the option of all-wheel-drive in lieu of the standard FWD drivetrain. It's a compact sedan that once you're behind the wheel and able to punch the gas easily fools you into feeling like you're piloting a sports car. And the price can't be beat. New Mazda3s start at $20,500 but can cost as much as just under $34,000 depending on the trim. Keep your eye out for a used Sport edition, which usually starts at around $14,000. Or bigger savings are to be had by simply sticking to a used base model, which go for as low as $8,000.

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Mazda Mazda3

All in all, the Mazda3 soars across the board. It offers peppy engine options, tight and concise handling, a sleek interior aesthetic and an easy-to-use infotainment system. This zippy sedan is one of the most enjoyable vehicles to drive in its class, with lively maneuvering, rapid pickup and quick brakes. The standard base model gives a total horsepower of 155, but the turbocharged upgrade packs a rowdy 250. The Mazda3 also comes with the option of all-wheel-drive in lieu of the standard FWD drivetrain. It's a compact sedan that once you're behind the wheel and able to punch the gas easily fools you into feeling like you're piloting a sports car. And the price can't be beat. New Mazda3s start at $20,500 but can cost as much as just under $34,000 depending on the trim. Keep your eye out for a used Sport edition, which usually starts at around $14,000. Or bigger savings are to be had by simply sticking to a used base model, which go for as low as $8,000.

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Mini Cooper Countryman

Mini Cooper Countryman

The beefed-up big brother of the Mini Cooper, the four-door Mini Cooper Countryman is swanky, comfy and gives an all-around enjoyable driving experience. It has some powerful engine options, the most eager of which provides up to 301 horsepower. It also gets good gas mileage depending on which powertrain you choose, 23-26 mpg in the city or 30-33 mpg on the freeway. Taking the entire package into consideration, the Countryman is more fun to drive than most other small crossovers. With an MSRP of $29,000-$41,500, new models cost slightly more than other competitors in its class, which is why going the used route makes all the more sense. Used Countrymans can be found for as little as less than $13,000.

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Mini Cooper Countryman

The beefed-up big brother of the Mini Cooper, the four-door Mini Cooper Countryman is swanky, comfy and gives an all-around enjoyable driving experience. It has some powerful engine options, the most eager of which provides up to 301 horsepower. It also gets good gas mileage depending on which powertrain you choose, 23-26 mpg in the city or 30-33 mpg on the freeway. Taking the entire package into consideration, the Countryman is more fun to drive than most other small crossovers. With an MSRP of $29,000-$41,500, new models cost slightly more than other competitors in its class, which is why going the used route makes all the more sense. Used Countrymans can be found for as little as less than $13,000.

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Nissan Sentra

Nissan Sentra

The Nissan Sentra provides a pleasant and reliable ride, an appealing interior design with space for five and a slew of driver assistance features that come standard. The 149-horsepower engine isn't as enthusiastic as other cars in its class, but the Sentra's gas mileage is decent, offering 28-29 mpg in the city and 27-29 mpg on the freeway. The starting MSRP for the base model Nissan Sentra sedan is $19,410, which is on par with its peers like the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla. The higher trim levels are also reasonably priced, with the top-trim SR edition going for $21,750. Used Nissan Sentras offer even additional savings, priced at as little as $9,000.

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Nissan Sentra

The Nissan Sentra provides a pleasant and reliable ride, an appealing interior design with space for five and a slew of driver assistance features that come standard. The 149-horsepower engine isn't as enthusiastic as other cars in its class, but the Sentra's gas mileage is decent, offering 28-29 mpg in the city and 27-29 mpg on the freeway. The starting MSRP for the base model Nissan Sentra sedan is $19,410, which is on par with its peers like the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla. The higher trim levels are also reasonably priced, with the top-trim SR edition going for $21,750. Used Nissan Sentras offer even additional savings, priced at as little as $9,000.

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Toyota Camry

Toyota Camry

The Camry was not only Toyota's first car to be named best-selling car in the United States. It also held that title for more than two decades in total. Annually, Toyota sold between 300,000 and 400,000 Camrys in the United States alone each year during its reign. It was also one of the first cars on the market to offer a hybrid option in 2006, allowing the Camry to achieve up to 51 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway. Camrys start at just under $25,000 for the base model, while used models average between $13,000 and $15,000 but can go as little as $7,000.

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Toyota Camry

The Camry was not only Toyota's first car to be named best-selling car in the United States. It also held that title for more than two decades in total. Annually, Toyota sold between 300,000 and 400,000 Camrys in the United States alone each year during its reign. It was also one of the first cars on the market to offer a hybrid option in 2006, allowing the Camry to achieve up to 51 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway. Camrys start at just under $25,000 for the base model, while used models average between $13,000 and $15,000 but can go as little as $7,000.

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Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla

The Corolla is Toyota's oldest vehicle still in production, having been manufactured for more than 55 years. Since its introduction in 1966, approximately 50 million Toyota Corollas have been sold, making it one of the world's best-selling vehicles. Corollas are known for being trouble-free mechanically and a delight to fill up at the pump, with a fuel economy of 31/40 mpg for the fully gas-powered model and 53/52 mpg for the hybrid version. They're also reasonably priced and dependable compact sedans all around. New Corollas cost slightly more than $20,000, while used Corollas can go for as little as $10,000.

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Toyota Corolla

The Corolla is Toyota's oldest vehicle still in production, having been manufactured for more than 55 years. Since its introduction in 1966, approximately 50 million Toyota Corollas have been sold, making it one of the world's best-selling vehicles. Corollas are known for being trouble-free mechanically and a delight to fill up at the pump, with a fuel economy of 31/40 mpg for the fully gas-powered model and 53/52 mpg for the hybrid version. They're also reasonably priced and dependable compact sedans all around. New Corollas cost slightly more than $20,000, while used Corollas can go for as little as $10,000.

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Author
Shift Editorial Team