| 2004 Toyota Prius
Used Fuel Efficient
2004 Toyota Prius: Holding onto the gas a little longer—and now their value—used fuel-efficient cars are in growing demand. Even the newest hybrid technologies can be found used. A 2004 Toyota Prius is a great buy if you are looking to save money at the pump with hybrid tech, but you will certainly pay for it in the pedal. If performance in fuel conservation is the major feature, a used 2004 Prius will average you 48 city/45 hwy mpg.—at a price under $10,000.
| 2003 Lexus ES 300
Used Luxury Cars
2003 Lexus ES300: Getting the most for your coin in the luxury class will require some persistence. Equipped with the perks, used luxury cars retain their value more than their stripped-down compact counterparts. Consumers attracted to luxury often want speedy performance—a hard to find package for just $10,000. It is recommend that consumers remember what features they are looking for in a used luxury, and to weigh the loaded perks against performance and price.
Allured with luxury? The 2003 Lexus ES300 is more luxury than sport, but compared to its faster competitors, the ES300 give you grandeur interior comfort, a relaxed and smooth ride, superb safety technologies, and an acclaimed reliability rating. Around or under $10,000, the 2003 Lexus ES300 may be the best buy for drivers that want an affordable used luxury car.
| 2004 Mazda Miata
Used Sports Cars
2004 Mazda Miata MX-5: When buying a used sports car, consumers look for performance—not just raw-power. Bore a big-block if you want the beast, but grab a sporty coupe for the corners if you want control. Look for something with lower mileage, and demand the owner take a polygraph to confirm the car wasn’t beat on—too much.
For used sports cars under $10k, a 2004 Mazda Miata does justice. At first glance they look, well, a bit puny. Curvy and akin to retro, the 2004 Miata beckons space-invasion, and grandma’s little roadster. Ironically, if a road could take us there, these cars probably could make it to the moon—and be more than enough for grandma. Nimble, tight and responsive, the 1.8-liter 4-cyliner Miata Mx-5 is a joy to drive around town or down the small stretch. As for highway passing speeds, on the other hand, the Miata is dubbed to be a bit noisy. Boasting a fuel-economy of 20-city/26-hwy, the Miata MX-5 is that sportscar for high gas prices, and the budget buyer.
| 2004 Honda CR-V
Used SUVs and Crossovers
2004 Honda CR-V: The 2004 Honda CR-V is a reliable used SUV for buyers looking fuel efficiency, drivability, interior space and five-star safety in one package. The 2004 CR-V is equipped with 2.4-liter 4-cylinder i-VTEC engine that delivers 160 horsepower, and LX versions can be equipped with either front or all-wheel drive. Complaints about the automatic transmission taken into account, the CR-V accelerates cleanly, and handles sharp. For 72 cubic feet of available cargo space, the 2004 Honda CR-V averages an exceptional 23 mpg city, and up to 28mpg on the highway. Five-seat interior is refined and spacey for a compact SUV.
| 2005 Toyota Tacoma
Used Compact Trucks
2005 Toyota Tacoma: Used Toyota trucks have been a hit in the compact class because they simply last forever. Throw around words like “reliability,” “durability,” and you just begin to explain why a Toyota Tacoma resonates with used-truck buyers. Available in a variety of trims, cab sizes and V4 or V6 engine sizes, the Tacoma can be found in both two and 4-wheel drive editions. The smallest engine option, a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 142 horsepower and 160 pound-feet torque, averages 20 city/25 hwy mpg. The larger 3.4–liter V6 spits out 190 horsepower and 220 lb-ft torque, and can haul up to 5,000 lbs. The downside to the Tacoma is minimal interior comforts and limited features on the base models.
| 2007 Ford F-150
Used Full-Size Trucks
2007 Ford F-150: As the best selling vehicle for 20 years, the Ford f-series balances a comfortable style for daily commuting with a rugged durability for the heavy haul or tow. A truck for the comfortable weekend tow, a used 2007 Ford F-150 offers regular cab, SuperCab and SuperCrew cab models. Three engine options grace the F-150, and include a 4.2-liter V6, a 4.6-liter V8 and 5.4-liter V8. The 5.4-liter V8 F-150 can push 300hp and 365 lb-ft torque, and tow up to 10,500lbs. Compared to competitors, the heavier F-150 is not as quick, and is said to be sluggish under heavy tow.