CHICAGO — Cars.com, the online resource for buying and selling new and used cars, issued this week its editors’ Top 10 list of used cars they’d recommend to shoppers looking to spend around $10,000. According to the site, the list contains vehicle that will help shoppers get the best band for their buck.
"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 the list, the cars had to pass crash tests and have key standard safety features. Cars.com editors also analyzed the vehicles’ reliability, drivability and practically.
2006 Ford Escape: Ford's first generation crossover had truck-like styling but car-based underpinnings, offering drivers an experience and comfort 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 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.