Kansas City Finance

Feb 28 2018

Autoblog s Picks For The Best $5, 000 Used Cars, cheap reliable cars.#Cheap #reliable #cars


Our Picks For The Best $5,000 Used Cars

Cheap reliable cars

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Cheap reliable cars

  • Image Credit: Dodge

Fun And Interesting Used Cars For Under $5,000

Looking for a great used car but have only a few thousand bucks to spend? $5,000 represents a common starting point for many budget-conscious buyers (and also a few penny-pinching parents when they go looking for quality used cars for their children).

Cheap reliable cars

  • Image Credit: Subaru

2004 Subaru WRX

Some may scoff at my pick of the 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX, questioning the car s reliability after 75,000 miles, but take it from the guy whose current vehicle offers a driving experience about as exciting as the tan color of its paint: reliability isn t everything.

Research the 2004 Subaru Impreza

Cheap reliable cars

  • Image Credit: Chrysler

2005 Dodge Magnum

The Dodge Magnum was one of the cars that gave enthusiasts hope in the early aughts. We suffered through two decades with few legitimate muscle cars, and then the Magnum rolled onto the scene. Yes it was a wagon, but it had powerful engines, beefy styling and rear-wheel drive. Sounds like legit muscle cred to me. Remember, in 2004 when the Magnum launched (as a 2005 model), rear-wheel drive was going the way of the dinosaurs in mainstream cars. The Magnum, which was followed by the Charger and then the Challenger, helped prop up a feature that s near and dear to enthusiasts. Besides, if you re looking to actually use this as regular used car, then the wagon is more practical than the other Dodges.

According to online estimates, it s a little tight to get a Magnum at less than $5,000, but it can be done. You re probably talking about a 3.5-liter V6-equipped model, but that s still potent with 250 hp. That was a lot back then, and it s still respectable. Yes, the interior is dated, but you re getting a lot of car that offers a lot of fun, and still plenty of practicality. Greg Migliore (Senior Editor)

Research the Dodge Magnum

Cheap reliable cars

  • Image Credit: Mazda

1990-1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata

There s a reason the Miata is an obvious answer to the sub-$5,000 question, that a large proportion of auto writers have at least one, and that you hear its praises sung so often you might start tuning it out. Stop that, and start listening. It deserves a place on your short list.

There s not much in this price range that offers so much fun and enjoyment with so little headache. Even stock, the Miata was precisely engineered to reward the driver. The earlier 1.6-liters (115 hp) need to be worked hard to get up to speed, but once there it s a blast. The 1.8s trade a smidge of weight for extra grunt (128 hp). They re my preferred version, a little more driveable around town. The stock exhaust has the perfect growl, the shifter is sublime, the controls are light and accurate. There s body roll and cowl shake, sure, but the roadholding is phenomenal. Spend some bucks at a place like Flyin’ Miata, and the sky’s the limit.

I owned a 1996 Miata for almost 6 years, and it remains the only car I ve sold that I truly miss. The Miata s biggest strengths are also, arguably, its biggest flaws. The sheer number sold means there’s a glut of trashed, highly modified, or tired ones out there. The supply of clean, low-mileage Miatas is dwindling, and yet you can t swing a dead cat around Craigslist and not find at least a couple prospects, at least in states without road salt.

The thing is, $7,000 should buy you an extremely nice NA Miata, and $5,000 still buys a clean one with higher miles. NBs are a little pricier as a rule, but you might find one for less than $5k if you feel strongly about it. These cars are relatively bulletproof if they re taken care of. The engine is overbuilt and understressed and the driveline is solid. Interiors plastics can deteriorate, soft tops are a consumable item, and hardtops are wonderful and worth getting but in very limited supply. No matter most parts are cheap and plentiful, and so are donor cars. Find a clean driver and drive the wheels off the thing, and you won t give a flying jinba ittai about going with the flow. Alex Kierstein (Senior Editor)

Research the Mazda

Cheap reliable cars

  • Image Credit: Honda

2009-2013 Honda Fit

This list needs a hatchback. The Fit is not only supremely practical and great in the city, but it manages to be a pretty entertaining drive. The second-gen cars barely make it under the five-grand cap, and the ones that do will have a decent amount of miles on them, but these things are pretty reliable and tend to be well taken care of. First-gen cars, sold from 2007 to ’08, have the same Magic seat setup, which allows you to reconfigure the back seat and cargo area in a ton of useful ways. There are few everyday chores a Fit can’t handle. Plus, it’s kind of cute. David Gluckman (Editorial Program Manager)

Research the 2009 Honda Fit

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  • Image Credit: Land Rover

1998-2004 Land Rover Discovery II

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  • Image Credit: Mazda

2004 Mazda RX-8

Research the 2004 Mazda RX-8

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  • Image Credit: Fiat

1964-1973 Fiat 850 Sport Spider

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  • Image Credit: Chrysler

1983 Chrysler Imperial

Yes, it’s kind of a weird car, but underneath the Imperial is nothing exotic. The underpinnings are shared with the Chrysler Cordoba and Dodge Mirada, and Chrysler’s aggressive parts sharing among models means that this rare, angular coupe will not bankrupt you just to stay on the road. Chrysler was two decades into building unitized vehicles at this point, so the Imperial is lighter and more space-efficient than some body-on-frame leviathan, too.

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  • Image Credit: Chevrolet

2002 Chevy Silverado

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  • Image Credit: Chrysler

Adam Morath (Multimedia Director) – Late 1990s Jeep Wrangler

After my hand-me-down Crown Victoria station wagon limped its way into the automotive graveyard about ten years ago, it was time for my first proper car purchase. The budget was set at $5,000 and the siren’s call of a mid-’90s V6 Camaro RS proved too much for a freshly minted 20-year-old college student to pass up.


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