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The best used cars for under $10,000

The average price of a new car in America is increasing. It reached $36,718 in early 2019, but you don’t need to spend anywhere near that much to put a reliable, good-looking vehicle in your driveway. Used cars are more dependable than they’ve ever been, so you’ll enjoy many trouble-free miles if you find a good one. We’ve picked out six dependable models that are readily available for under $10,000 regardless of where you live in the United States.

2009 Toyota RAV4


The best

Why should you buy this: It ticks all of the boxes, and then some.

Who’s it for: Anyone seeking a practical, stress-free car.

How much will it cost: About $10,000.

Why we picked the 2009 Toyota RAV4:

The Toyota RAV4 is several cars rolled into one. It’s a relatively roomy crossover, so you can take it on a road trip without feeling cramped. It’s reasonably efficient, especially with the four-cylinder engine, so it won’t empty your wallet if you use it to commute. And, while it’s not a bona fide off-roader, it has enough ground clearance to hold its own on dirt roads. Finally, it’s a Toyota, so you know it’ll keep going without requiring regular trips to the shop.


2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee


The best used SUV

Why should you buy this: It can tow, go off-road, and coddle its occupants.

Who’s it for: Motorists who need a big, burly SUV.

How much will it cost: About $10,000.

Why we picked the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee:

Wow; the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee certainly shows its age. Its styling isn’t what we’d call gracefully timeless, but its best attributes are. It’s capable off-road, and it’s a blank slate for modifications if you want to go further off the beaten path. It’s well equipped, especially if you get the Limited trim level, and it’s available with a powerful V8 that’s happy to tow nearly anything you can put on a trailer.


The best used fuel-efficient used car

Why you should buy this: It’s fuel-efficient without the complexity of a hybrid.

Who’s it for: Frugal commuters.

How much will it cost: about $10,000

Why we picked the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze turbodiesel:

We’re going to let you in on a little secret: if you spend a lot of time on the highway, a small, turbocharged diesel engine is often a better buy than a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain. The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze turbodiesel received fuel economy ratings of 27 mpg in the city, and 46 mpg on the highway, though many owners reported crossing the 50-mpg threshold without even trying. The Cruze’s engine is simple to keep running because there are fewer moving parts in a diesel than in a comparable, gasoline-powered engine, let alone a full hybrid system.


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