Best used cars under $9,000 include some of the heavy-hitter or household names: Ford, Subaru, Volvo, and others. These aren’t luxury cars, but they’re reliable (according to Consumer Reports “Best Used Vehicles for Under $20,000”) and the price is right. Of course, you have to do your homework before you plunk down cash for any used car: have the car completely inspected by a professional mechanic and obtain a vehicle history report. Then, make your best deal.
To get an idea of market pricing, we use Edmunds True Market Value (TMV). Also included here are comments from automotive experts such as Edmunds and Consumer Guide. When you’re looking for Best Used Cars Under $9,000, be sure to check out these makes/models:
- 2003 Volvo V70 – The second-generation (2001-2007) midsize wagon for 2003 offered a sleeker shape than the previous generation, with a platform shared with the company’s S80 sedan and interior essentially lifted from the S60 sedan. Edmunds: “In reviews at the time, we commented favorably about the V70’s combination of style, safety and luxury. We also appreciated the available high-powered turbocharged power plants. Our main criticisms were the wagon’s tight rear legroom and high price with options, though depreciation has largely mitigated this concern for used Volvo shoppers.” Edmunds TMV for 2003 V70 ranges from around $7,628 for the front-wheel drive (FWD) 2.4 to $9,573 for the FWD turbocharged T5.
- 2006 Ford Taurus – Automaker Ford redesigned its Taurus midsize family sedan in 2000, the car’s fourth-generation (2000-2006). Edmunds comments: “Although the basic body shell was identical to the third-generation Taurus, this version dispensed with many of the oval-themed components used before and the result was a more attractive car.” Look for Edmunds TMV for the 2006 ranging from $7,972 (SE) to $8,687 (SEL).
- 2007-2008 Hyundai Accent – Consumer Guide named Accent, Hyundai’s smallest car, a Best Buy, saying: “Accent one-ups most subcompact rivals by supplying front side airbags and curtain side airbags as standard equipment. These hatchbacks and sedans are hardly quick, but do deliver solid build quality, reasonable interior space, and more equipment than their low prices imply. ABS for sedans is unfortunately part of a $950 option package. But Hyundai’s strong warranty adds to Accent’s Best Buy appeal as an entry-level subcompact.” Edmunds TMV for 2007 ranges from $7,028-$9,,903 (coupe) and $8,401-$9,039 (sedan), while for 2008 models, only the GS coupe trims meet the price bogey, ranging from $7,788-$9,110.
- 2004-2005 Mazda 3 – Check out the first-generation (2004-2009) Mazda 3 compact family sedans for model years 2004-2005 for good value in the under $9,000 price range. Edmunds remarks: “The original Mazda 3 was our top choice in the economy family sedan segment. It, too, provided a refined driving experience that reminded us more of a junior sports sedan than a lowly econobox. Both engines offered satisfying power, though the bigger 2.3-liter engine was noticeably peppier.” Edmunds TMV for 2004 Mazda 3 ranges from $7,270-$9,363. For 2005, only the Mazda 3i trim at $8,216 TMV fits the target price.
Other make/model/year vehicles to consider for Best Used Cars Under $9,000 include the compact (and now discontinued) 2008 Kia Spectra, 2003 Subaru Legacy midsize family sedan, 2002-2003 Lincoln Town Car full-size luxury sedan, and the 2005-2006 Scion xB wagon.