CHICAGO, March 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The editors at Cars.com, the premier online resource for buying and selling new and used cars have released their list of the top 10 used cars that they recommend for shoppers who are looking to spend around $10,000. With a used car market that is sparser than it used to be, car shoppers have fewer options to choose from and higher prices to pay, but the Cars.com experts compiled a list of 10 used cars that will help shoppers get the best bang for their buck around the $10,000 price point.
"Although the price gap between new and used cars has decreased, many shoppers are still going the used route," said Patrick Olsen, Cars.com's editor-in-chief. "We took a look at cars from 2006 or later and came up with the best 10 used cars that shoppers should be able to find for around $10,000. To make our list, the cars had to pass crash tests and have key standard safety features. We also analyzed reliability, drivability and practicality."
- 2006 Ford Escape: Ford's first generation crossover had trucklike styling but car-based underpinnings, and the driving experience combined handling and ride comfort in a way that few car-based crossovers of the Escape's era could match.
- 2008 Ford Focus: The Focus comes with safety features like side curtain airbags and also Bluetooth and USB/iPod integration, both of which were ahead of the curve for 2008. The car's sharp handling distinguished it from many rivals, and it is offered in three body styles, providing an option for everyone.
- 2007 Ford Freestyle: This budget-friendly family hauler comes with spacious seating for seven passengers and impressive cargo storage.
- 2007 Ford Fusion: A responsive V-6 engine option and decent handling chops distinguished Ford's midsize family car. So did trunk room, which remains spacious even by today's family-car standards.
- 2006 Honda Civic: The beloved eighth-generation Civic's interior quality, fuel efficiency and overall drivability impressed so much that they still hold up today.
- 2006 Hyundai Azera: A full-size sedan with upscale features, a big engine and big backseats, the Azera packed a comfortable ride.
- 2007 Hyundai Sonata: A family sedan with roominess, safety features and value in spades. Years later, a used example should still suit any shopper well. Find one with the optional 3.3-liter V-6 for muscular passing power.
- 2008 Kia Optima: A cousin to the Hyundai Sonata, the Optima had more available luxury features, but less styling and a smaller engine. However, a roomy backseat and decent standard safety features round out a car whose successor won Cars.com's Best of 2011 award.
- 2008 Nissan Versa: Nissan's unexpectedly roomy Versa slips into tight city parking spots like any proper subcompact should. A responsive transmission combined with a larger four-cylinder engine than most competitors' provides impressive power.
- 2007 Scion tC: Strengths included rich cabin materials and a responsive four-cylinder engine; look for the available five-speed manual for more fun.
"The used car market is unpredictable, so you may be able to negotiate a better deal for one of these cars or get a better-equipped model for the same price," said Olsen. "Also keep in mind that buying a used car is going to rely a great deal on the stewardship of the car's previous owners, so shoppers should get the car checked out by their mechanic before signing on the dotted line."
For more details on Cars.com's editors' picks for the top 10 under $10,000, visit blogs.cars.com. To search millions of new and used car listings, visit www.Cars.com.
Cars.com is an award-winning online destination for car shoppers that offers information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. Cars.com offers thousands of new and used vehicle listings, consumer reviews, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and many other tools. Cars.com puts millions of car buyers in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make confident buying decisions. Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures LLC, which is owned by leading media companies, including A.H. Belo (NYSE: AHC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).