If your budget is really tight, you can still find some good deals by checking out our list of best used cars under $4,000. Of course, the choices aren’t as numerous as you might like, and you do need to do your homework. Don’t forget to have any vehicle you think you want to buy thoroughly inspected by a professional mechanic and obtain a vehicle history report so you know exactly where the car’s been and what’s happened to it since it was new.
For our top choices, we first searched Consumer Reports “Best Used Vehicles for Under $20,000” – in the “less than $4,000” category. For an idea of pricing, we used Edmunds True Market Value (TMV). Here, then, are our picks for Best Used Cars Under $4,000:
- 2004 Hyundai Accent – The compact second-generation (2000-2005) 2004 , available in hatchback coupe and sedan models, offers consumers looking for basic transportation a fairly good deal. Edmunds recommends setting aside some money for new tires and otherwise applauds Accent’s “excellent warranty, low price, nicely appointed interior, solid build quality, smooth ride.” Edmunds TMV for the 2004 Accent coupe ranges from $4,392 for manual-equipped Base to $4,474 for the manual GT. GL sedan ranges from $4,583-$4,932 – a little over the price bogey, but then, again, these are average market prices and you may be able to do better.
- 2000 Acura Integra – In its second-to-last year, the 2000 small coupe and sedan offer consumers upscale value for a reasonable price (in the base models). Consumer Guide says of the 2000 model: “Integra is a premium small car that offsets relatively high prices with fine reliability, strong resale value, and loads of driving fun…The Integra 2-door is far more popular than the sedan and rates as a solid, if aging, choice among sport coupes.” Edmunds TMV for the base LS coupe starts at $4,851, while the LS sedan starts at $4,671.
- 2000 Honda Civic – First launched in 1973, the has been one of the most popular-selling small cars in America. The sixth-generation Honda Civic, according to Edmunds, “was in many ways a refinement of the style and technology found on the previous generation,” with coupe and sedan models available. Edmunds editors further recommend Civic as a used-car choice, “as its long production run and wide range of models make it easy to find what you want.” Edmunds TMV for the CX, DX, and HX coupe fall in the price range, from $3,783-$4,317 (other trims are higher), while only the DX sedan meets the bogey, starting around $4,079.
- 2000 Subaru Impreza Sedan – Only the base L sedan meets the under $4,000 price target with an Edmunds TMV of $4,706, but the 2000 should still be on your consideration list if you’re in the market for a reliable used small car. Consumer Guide, which noted that the 2000 Impreza remained the only subcompact car with standard all-wheel drive, said, “No Impreza is exactly cheap, but their AWD is unique among subcompacts, and a big plus in snow-prone areas.”