Friday, December 3, 2010

Cheap Commuter Cars: Late-Model and Low Mileage For Under 10K

Dec 2, 2010 Candice Gillingwater

The Chevy Aveo Is Cheap, Economical and Sporty - smaedli

The Chevy Aveo Is Cheap, Economical and Sporty - smaedli

Whether you can’t afford a high car payment, want a reasonably priced vehicle you can pay cash for or are searching for a starter car for your teen, low-mileage cars provide you with the reliably you’re looking for while late-model vehicles boast the most recent features and body styles. Fortunately, frugal car buyers can enjoy the best of both worlds with these commuter cars that can all be purchased slightly used for under 10K.

Chevrolet Cobalt

The Chevy Cobalt is the king of cheap, late-model cars. It isn’t difficult to find a dealership or private seller offering a 2010 model Cobalt with less than 20,000 miles for under $10,000. An economical commuter sedan, the Chevy Cobalt also boasts a fully transferable 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

Ford Focus

From one of America’s most trusted manufactures, the Ford Focus is available as both a four-door sedan and a two-door coupe. The Ford Focus’ light weight and small engine both contribute to its excellent gas mileage – up to 35 miles per gallon. If you’re concerned with safety, take comfort in the fact that the Ford Focus comes standard with electronic stability control and side curtain airbags. Expect to pay anywhere from $7000 to $10,000 for a 2007-2009 model Ford Focus.

Nissan Versa

Looking for versatility? Look no further than the Nissan Versa. A subcompact car, this commuter vehicle offers an automatic, six-speed manual or variable transmission. If you’re a fan of hatchbacks, 2007 and 2008 model Versas are available with a hatchback trunk. Winner of the Consumer’s Digest Best Buy Award four years in a row, look for a used late-model Nissan Versa with under 50,000 miles on the engine for less than $10,000.

Kia Rio

According to U.S. News Rankings & Reviews, the Kia Rio isn’t just cheap to buy – its one of the cheapest cars to insure. Other than good gas mileage, the Kia Rio also carries a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty. You can find a used Kia Rio with less than 30,000 miles for well under 10K, but beware, the base model Rio doesn’t come equipped with air conditioning – a choice you’ll certainly regret when summer arrives.

Suzuki Forenza

Although Suzuki discontinued the Forenza in 2008, the 2007 and 2008 model Suzuki Forenzas still offer frugal conmmuters a reasonably-priced alternative to a gas-guzzling SUV. One of the cheapest used cars on the market, it isn’t uncommon to see a Suzuki Forenza with less than 50,000 miles offered for under $7000. If you’re willing to accept an engine with more than 75,000 miles, however, don’t be surprised to discover that a used Suzuki Forenza could cost you a mere $5000 or less. For frugal consumers concerned about their commuter car’s reliability, Suzuki offers a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty on all of its vehicles.

Toyota Yaris

With a fuel economy of up to 36 miles per gallon, don’t overlook the ever-practical Toyota Yaris. Toyota, with its reputation for manufacturing reliable cars, designed the Yaris specifically for commuters. While some compact car manufacturers skimp on safety in an effort to keep prices low, Toyota equips every Yaris with such features as traction control, stability control and anti-lock brakes. Although a low-mileage late-model Yaris is a common sight on used car lots, if you’re considering the economical base model, be aware that it does not include features such as power windows and power door locks.

Hyundai Accent

One of the leading subcompact cars in its class and a favorite among commuters, the Hyundai Accent gives owners the comfort of knowing they’re protected by Hyundai’s 10 year/100,000 mile warranty. According to, smart shoppers can find 2010 model Hyundai Accents for as low as $9000 – with the 2008 and 2009 models boasting an even cheaper price tag, depending on the mileage.

Chevrolet Aveo

If you’re looking for a used compact car with good gas mileage and a host of youth-friendly standard features for less than $10,000, the Chevrolet Aveo fits the bill. The Aveo gets up to 34 miles per gallon on the highway and also offers perks such as halogen headlights, keyless entry an auxiliary audio input jack. Carrying cargo is problematic in most commuter cars, but the Aveo’s flip and fold seats provide you with the roomy trunk space you need for almost any cargo – all at a delightfully cheap price. A base model Chevy Aveo‘s value range begins at $5500.

Get the Best Deal on a Cheap Commuter Car

When searching for the best commuter car to suit your needs, keep in mind that you are liable for taxes on the car your purchase (some states waive this requirement if you purchase the vehicle from a private seller) along with tag and title fees.

Some car dealerships advertise low prices but pad the bottom line with high dealer fees and expensive dealer-added options. Research the prices of comparable cars in your area and be prepared to walk away if you feel that you aren’t being treated fairly. Low-mileage late-model vehicles are in ample supply, and you won’t have trouble finding another commuter car under $10,000 if the deal falls through.

Related Articles:

The Best and Most Reliable Used Cars: Buying Guide

Used Car Buying Guide: The Best Transferable Factory Warranties

Used Car Dealership Financing Scams to Avoid


U.S. News and World Report – Rankings and Reviews: The Most Expensive Cars to Insure

U.S. News and World Report – Rankings and Reviews: Toyota Yaris Hyundai Accent

  • The Chevy Aveo Is Cheap, Economical and Sporty - smaedli

    The Chevy Aveo Is Cheap, Economical and Sporty - smaedli

  • Compact Economy Cars Are Ideal for Commuters - buzzybee

    Compact Economy Cars Are Ideal for Commuters - buzzybee

  • Save Money With a Low Mileage Used Car Under 10K - emsago

    Save Money With a Low Mileage Used Car Under 10K - emsago

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