Ten Grand or Less? Buy One of These!

2005 Dodge Neon SRT-4 4-dr turbo sedan

Have fun, save money, look good.

Isn’t that what we all want in a car? Sure, sometimes people want the boring stuff like practicality, cargo capacity and fuel economy, but that’s no way to live!

If you want to spend your $10K on something that no one looks at and offers as much excitement as a cantaloupe, well, you have plenty of options. Those, though, shall remain nameless.

If you want to spend less on a used car that makes a bold statement and offers some real fun, keep reading.

Jaguar X-Type

2002 Jaguar X-Type

The Jag is a classic case of “look like a million bucks for around 10 grand.” It’s a surprisingly reliable car, though not with a lot of performance. You do get elegant, rich looks and a lot of fun if you opt for a 5-speed manual!

Ford Mustang GT

2004 Ford Mustang GT

I know, it’s a predictable choice. But come on, that 4.6-liter V8 will rock your world. Don’t go back to the 1990s or anything, but choose one 2002 or newer and your money will be well spent. Spend some extra on flashy wheels, nice tires and maybe save a little for maintenance, and you’ll still be well under 10 grand!


2004 Mazda Mazda3

Go back at least a generation so you don’t get stuck somewhere in the “unfortunate years” of the smiling grille. You’ll get a better-looking car and save money!

Acura CL

2000 Acura CL

Honda reliability and an early version of Acura luxury combined for a car that looks good, performs well and can be had cheap. Like, $3,000 or under cheap!

Dodge Neon SRT-4


I’m a little hesitant to include this one, but aside from the fact that it’s a Neon, this is a fun little car. It’s got a great exhaust note, it’s relatively good looking, and, most of all, it’s fast. Like 0-60 in 5.4 seconds fast. Got 10K to spend? The SRT-4 is a good place to put it.

What car would you buy for $10,000 or under?


Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Jaguar X-Type
Used Ford Mustang
Used Mazda3
Used Acura CL
Used Dodge Neon SRT-4

1 Comment

  1. Well, I bought my 2000 Toyota Mr2 Spyder for well under 10K. One owner, low mileage, light, mid-engine, fast but not a blunt instrument like a mustang or corvette. Other interesting cars are the Jaguar XJS V12 convertible or coupe. The older Audi TT and A4 can be had for under 10K as well as Porsche Boxster and other Porsches. I certainly can’t recommend any Mustang or Corvette. Rather crude to start with, you won’t get much for under 10K and frankly, these overproduced and common cars don’t excite anyone.

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