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Best Used Cars Under 5000

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Choose Three Target Cars If you know exactly what car you want, that simplifies the search. But if you are only seeking reliable transportation, it's better to choose three cars of similar make and model. If you look for popular brands, such as Toyota and Honda, expect to find only older cars, with more miles, in your price range. Cars from Mazda, Nissan and the domestic automakers, while still reliable, will be newer, with fewer miles, and will cost less. For more ideas see our Best Used Cars list.
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After I asked you thrifty, frugal, and dare I say, cheap lot to give me the most dependable cars for less than the price of a new car's down payment, you answered with some astonishingly solid examples. Here are the most reliable and dependable cars on eBay for less than $5000.
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What To Expect Most cars in this price range will have from 100,000-150,000 miles and are likely to be at least 10 years old. While the cars might have scratches and dings, the bodies should otherwise be clean, with no serious accidents. The interiors of these cars will show signs of wear, particularly the driver seat. But if they're well cared for, cars of this age can be remarkably clean.
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slide-3397973 Image Credit: Chrysler 2005 Dodge MagnumThe Dodge Magnum was one of the cars that gave enthusiasts hope in the early aughts. We suffered through two decades with few legitimate muscle cars, and then the Magnum rolled onto the scene. Yes it was a wagon, but it had powerful engines, beefy styling and rear-wheel drive. Sounds like legit muscle cred to me. Remember, in 2004 when the Magnum launched (as a 2005 model), rear-wheel drive was going the way of the dinosaurs in mainstream cars. The Magnum, which was followed by the Charger and then the Challenger, helped prop up a feature that’s near and dear to enthusiasts. Besides, if you’re looking to actually use this as regular used car, then the wagon is more practical than the other Dodges. According to online estimates, it’s a little tight to get a Magnum at less than $5,000, but it can be done. You’re probably talking about a 3.5-liter V6-equipped model, but that’s still potent with 250 hp. That was a lot back then, and it’s still respectable. Yes, the interior is dated, but you’re getting a lot of car that offers a lot of fun, and still plenty of practicality. – Greg Migliore (Senior Editor) Research More Find Dodge Magnum Accessories Research the Dodge Magnum OverviewMore Photos New and Used Dodge Magnums Get a Local Quote GO
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‹ Photo: Mazda North American Operations › ‹ 3 of 12 › Mazda Miata The answer, the saying goes, is always Miata. Inexpensive, reliable fun is what the Miata is all about, and Mazda sold so many of them over the years that finding a decent example of a mid-2000s model for under $5,000 won’t be a problem at all. The Miata is a two-seat roadster and its cute styling is not for everyone, but with rear-wheel drive, a manual transmission, and the top down, it is some of the most pure motoring fun you can have without dealing with finnicky old British cars or pricey Germans. Be careful when shopping, however, as the Miata is a popular platform for autocross racing. The lowest-priced Miatas will commonly be worn out project cars. Read the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Full Review See 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Photos See Sports Cars Rankings
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Mazda Miata The answer, the saying goes, is always Miata. Inexpensive, reliable fun is what the Miata is all about, and Mazda sold so many of them over the years that finding a decent example of a mid-2000s model for under $5,000 won’t be a problem at all. The Miata is a two-seat roadster and its cute styling is not for everyone, but with rear-wheel drive, a manual transmission, and the top down, it is some of the most pure motoring fun you can have without dealing with finnicky old British cars or pricey Germans. Be careful when shopping, however, as the Miata is a popular platform for autocross racing. The lowest-priced Miatas will commonly be worn out project cars. Read the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Full Review See 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Photos See Sports Cars Rankings
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Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. › 1 of 12 › Best Cars For a Budget Maybe money’s a little tight, maybe you’re sick of having a car payment, or maybe your teenager just got their driver’s license. Whatever your situation, you’re looking for a good, cheap used car. The good news is that you have many great options. The bad news is, picking the right inexpensive used car requires more knowledge and savvy than new-car-lot shopping. Where to start? Here are the best used cars for less than $5,000. Read the 2016 Toyota 4Runner Full Review See 2016 Toyota 4Runner Photos See Midsize SUVs Rankings
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Best Cars For a Budget Maybe money’s a little tight, maybe you’re sick of having a car payment, or maybe your teenager just got their driver’s license. Whatever your situation, you’re looking for a good, cheap used car. The good news is that you have many great options. The bad news is, picking the right inexpensive used car requires more knowledge and savvy than new-car-lot shopping. Where to start? Here are the best used cars for less than $5,000. Read the 2016 Toyota 4Runner Full Review See 2016 Toyota 4Runner Photos See Midsize SUVs Rankings
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The Dodge Magnum was one of the cars that gave enthusiasts hope in the early aughts. We suffered through two decades with few legitimate muscle cars, and then the Magnum rolled onto the scene. Yes it was a wagon, but it had powerful engines, beefy styling and rear-wheel drive. Sounds like legit muscle cred to me. Remember, in 2004 when the Magnum launched (as a 2005 model), rear-wheel drive was going the way of the dinosaurs in mainstream cars. The Magnum, which was followed by the Charger and then the Challenger, helped prop up a feature that’s near and dear to enthusiasts. Besides, if you’re looking to actually use this as regular used car, then the wagon is more practical than the other Dodges.
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You’d be hard pressed to find a good four-wheel drive Toyota Tacoma for under $5000, but a two-by-four is doable. The 1998 - 2004 Taco’ was powered by either a 2.4L four-cylinder, 2.7L four-cylinder or 3.0L six-cylinder. Power is sent to the rear wheels by means of either an automatic or manual transmission. Only the six-cylinder has a timing belt that requires scheduled replacement; the four-cylinder engines use timing chains. The Tacoma is really the only choice when it comes to buying a used small pickup truck.
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There's a surprising variety out there when considering the best used cars under $5,000. On the one hand, you have the usual cast of practical, fuel efficient suspects that will give you another hundred thousand more miles of loyal service for your money. On the other, there's the cars that were once too pricy to seriously consider, but are now so cheap that you can't really afford to let them pass by. Right in the middle are the most appealing options, the ones that balance fun with utility, style with substance, and overall reliability.
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slide-3847357 Image Credit: Honda 2009-2013 Honda FitThis list needs a hatchback. The Fit is not only supremely practical and great in the city, but it manages to be a pretty entertaining drive. The second-gen cars barely make it under the five-grand cap, and the ones that do will have a decent amount of miles on them, but these things are pretty reliable and tend to be well taken care of. First-gen cars, sold from 2007 to '08, have the same Magic seat setup, which allows you to reconfigure the back seat and cargo area in a ton of useful ways. There are few everyday chores a Fit can't handle. Plus, it's kind of cute. – David Gluckman (Editorial Program Manager) Research More Find Honda Fit Accessories Research the 2009 Honda Fit OverviewSpecs and PricingMore Photos New and Used Honda Fits Get a Local Quote GO
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It also helps to understand the markets in which you will be shopping. Some new-car dealerships' used-car departments won't sell cars in this price range. However, independent used-car lots will carry many such vehicles. Of course, many $5,000 cars will be available from private-party sellers as well.
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This list needs a hatchback. The Fit is not only supremely practical and great in the city, but it manages to be a pretty entertaining drive. The second-gen cars barely make it under the five-grand cap, and the ones that do will have a decent amount of miles on them, but these things are pretty reliable and tend to be well taken care of. First-gen cars, sold from 2007 to '08, have the same Magic seat setup, which allows you to reconfigure the back seat and cargo area in a ton of useful ways. There are few everyday chores a Fit can't handle. Plus, it's kind of cute. – David Gluckman (Editorial Program Manager)

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