If you have $10,000 available to spend on a car, cars.com has suggestions for you with a recent top ten list. Here’s their methodology:
[W]e crunched retail values for late-model used cars and factored in reliability ratings, safety equipment and crash-test scores. Using those criteria, what began as a list of 215 contenders from 2002 onward shrank to 40 finalists. To pare things down further, we solicited our experts for opinions on each car — things like gas mileage, cabin comfort and driving refinement. Finally, we took a hard look at how many of these used cars had key safety features like side-impact airbags and antilock brakes installed.
It seems to me that the list was designed to include the latest model available around $10,000 for each of the brands. Otherwise, we might have seen two different years of the Honda Accord (or, for that matter, of the Ford Focus). Here is the list.
- 2005 Ford Focus
- 2005 Ford Taurus
- 2003 Mazda Protegé
- 2003 Mercury Sable
- 2002 Buick LeSabre
- 2002 Chevrolet Impala
- 2002 Ford Windstar
- 2002 Honda Accord
- 2002 Honda Civic
- 2002 Oldsmobile Aurora
Before you go and buy a car based on this list, check Consumer Reports which may provide more information on the quality of these vehicles.
Updated October 16, 2016 and originally published August 7, 2007.