Used cars provide a tremendously different value over new cars. Depending on age and condition, you could end up getting a car for over 90% off its new price. However, there’s a lot more to consider when buying a used car. Here are the cars, trucks, and/or SUVs we would legitimately consider purchasing (or have already). Want a shiny new hunk of rolling metal? Check out our new car recommendations!
Mazda Miata (1990-2020)
If you haven’t heard it before, the saying around many car-enthusiast circles is MIATA: Miata Is Always The Answer. Not only is it a great budget first car, it’s also a great mid-life crisis to have and a great choice for soft-top seniors. It’s the car for anyone and everyone to choose, and you can typically find one in great condition for a good price. Charlie drove a 1990 model in high school that he picked up for only $1000! Chandler had a 2001 as his first car, and though it had some financial setbacks, he still loved it and wants another. Every auto enthusiast owes themselve a Miata at sometime in their lives.
Ford Fiesta ST (2014-2019)
Believe it or not, nowadays a Fiesta ST can be grabbed for a good deal considering the alternatives. With such a light, nimble chassis and a little turbo, it’s really quite an inexpensive daily driver. If autocross or track days are your speed, it’s also a decent performer when equipped with a set of performance tires. Unfortunately, Ford stopped producing the Fiesta altogether, so grab one while you can! That is, if you can find one that hasn’t been ragged out.
Toyota Prius (2004-2015)
Calm down and hear us out. When the second-generation Toyota Prius was introduced, it was regarded as an anti-Christ whose purpose was to kill all fun and enthusiasm in the automotive world. Yet it quickly became one of the most popular and sensible cars to purchase during the 2000’s, especially when fuel prices were skyrocketing. Today, it is one of the cheapest and most reliable high-mileage cars to buy, provided the high-voltage battery has been serviced or replaced. This would be our pick on a budget or even as a first car for a teenager. Also, if you are mechanically inclined, it’s really not too difficult to replace the battery in one of these. Charlie even owned one of these with over 250,000 miles on the clock!
Honda Accord (1999-2020)
Notoriously, the Honda Accord has always been known as a reliable, trustworthy family sedan perfect for any buyer. Since 1998, it’s been a comfortable, smooth ride for a small price and is equipped with VTEC engines soothing to the ears. Newer models have even been considered as a family man’s Civic Type R because during the tenth generation, the Accord had a detuned version of the Type R’s engine and was available with a manual transmission. We expect those to hold on to their value quite easily.
When Chevrolet made the Volt, they were onto something; unfortunately, as a new car it may have been seen as too expensive. As a used vehicle though, the Volt has become one of the most ideal, budget commuters employing both commutable EV range and hybrid highway range for long road trips. After just a few years of depreciation, one can be snatched up with relatively low miles and equipped with an extended manufacturer-certified powertrain warranty for under $15k. If that’s not a deal on wheels, we don’t know what is.