You used to be able to pick up a decent used car for just a few thousand dollars. Inventory issues in the auto industry and stubbornly high car prices mean those days are over.
So it’s more important than ever to shop smart. If you’re paying an arm and a leg for a secondhand car, truck, or SUV, you better make sure it will last and perform reliably.
To help shoppers navigate the challenges of used-car buying, Consumer Reports maintains a list of the best used cars at every price point based on hands-on tests and owner surveys.
Source: Consumer Reports
Here, we’ve highlighted the testing organization’s top picks for used cars under $15,000.
Read more: Buying a car is never going to get better — so you might as well buy now
Small car under $10,000: Nissan Leaf (2013, 2015)
Midsized car under $10,000: Subaru Legacy (2013)
Midsized SUV under $10,000: Nissan Murano (2014)
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Small cars in the $10,000-$15,000 range: Ford C-Max (2014-2016) and Toyota Prius C (2013-2015)
Midsized/large cars in the $10,000-$15,000 range: Honda Accord (2013-2014) and Toyota Camry Hybrid (2013-2014)
Luxury car in the $10,000-$15,000 range: Lincoln MKZ (2014-2015)
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Minivan/wagon in the $10,000-$15,000 range: Toyota Venza (2013-2014)
Small SUVs in the $10,000-$15,000 range: Mazda CX-5 (2014-2016) and Toyota RAV4 (2013)
Pickup trucks in the $10,000-$15,000 range: Toyota Tacoma (2013)
Read more: Car prices could drop 20% this year. Here’s where to expect the best deals first.
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