(ISEECARS.COM) — How can consumers get the most remaining life out of a used car while paying the lowest purchase price? Used car shoppers should consider one of these top 20 best used cars for the money. By analyzing over 2 million used vehicles, iSeeCars.com identified models with the longest lifespan and then compared those models with their current used car values. This allowed iSeeCars.com to identify the best values for 10-year-old vehicles ranked by the price of their remaining potential lifespan (the lowest price per remaining 1,000 miles of lifespan).

Summary

  • Used car shoppers can get over 100,000 miles of use for less than $10,000 from the Chevrolet Impala
  • Toyota Prius is available for less than $14,000 with up to 130,000 miles of remaining life, along with exceptional fuel economy
  • SUVs and minivans, including the Honda Odyssey and Ford Expedition, can provide more than 100,000 miles of family transportation for just $15,000
  • Toyota Avalon can be purchased for less than $16,000 with over 143,000 miles of remaining lifespan

“Although used car pricing is slowly dropping, it remains near record levels, putting a serious financial pinch on first-time buyers or used car shoppers needing to replace their current vehicle. And new vehicle pricing is simply unrealistic for many consumers,” said Karl Brauer, Executive Analyst for iSeeCars.com. “But we now know shoppers can buy a 10-year-old car that costs substantially less than 1-5 year-old used models, yet these vehicles still have 80,000 or more miles of life left in them,” continued Brauer. “Some, like the Toyota Prius, Toyota Avalon, and Honda Ridgeline, have more than 125,000 miles to go. And all of these top 20 cars provide a potential lifespan above 200,000 miles.”

Top 20 Best Used Cars for the Money: Wide Range of Brands and Vehicle Types

The average price for these top 20 best used cars for the money is just $12,814, with an average remaining lifespan of 101,923 miles, or more than 46% left of their total usable lifespan. This top 20 ranking also has a good mix of vehicles here, with everything from small hatchbacks to midsize sedans, three-row SUVs, minivans, and a pickup truck represented. 

Best Cars for the Money, 10-year-old Used Cars
ModelPrice per 1k MilesAvg PriceRemaining Lifespan (miles)Remaining Lifespan (%)Potential Lifespan (miles)
Chevrolet Impala$87$9,706111,99648.6%230,343
Toyota Prius$107$13,878129,46651.7%250,601
Honda Civic (coupe)$108$12,673117,81952.1%226,120
Kia Sedona$110$9,64087,74742.1%208,615
Toyota Avalon$111$15,818143,05658.2%245,710
Honda Fit$112$12,347110,33353.2%207,231
Honda Accord$118$13,437113,58450.2%226,168
Ford Fusion$119$10,07984,59042.1%201,071
Dodge Grand Caravan$120$10,35486,29241.2%209,350
Toyota Camry Hybrid$123$14,360116,90350.7%230,547
Mazda Mazda6$124$9,55977,25338.0%203,154
Toyota Camry$129$13,785106,68247.8%223,249
Toyota Corolla$130$12,65897,62147.8%204,266
Hyundai Santa Fe$131$11,98191,52544.3%206,398
Honda Civic (sedan)$134$12,78495,59646.6%205,335
Nissan Maxima$136$11,39883,70941.4%202,151
Honda Odyssey$138$14,790106,87945.3%235,852
Ford Expedition$143$15,584108,76244.5%244,682
Honda Ridgeline$145$18,725129,51352.1%248,669
Toyota Sienna$145$16,289112,57847.0%239,607
Average for All 10-Year-Old Cars$157$15,902101,57145.5%223,402

Top 10 Best Used Cars for the Money: 5-Year-Old Models Still Offer Big Savings

Shoppers not comfortable buying a 10-year-old car can still find savings and plenty of remaining life by shopping for 5-year-old cars. Of course the average cost of these top 10 models is higher than a 10-year-old car, but still reasonable at $20,428 versus today’s used car price average of approximately $33,000, especially when the average remaining lifespan of 150,526 miles – or 69% of total lifespan remaining – is taken into account. 

Best Cars for the Money, 5-year-old Used Cars
ModelPrice per 1k MilesAvg PriceRemaining Lifespan (miles)Remaining Lifespan (%)Potential Lifespan (miles)
Honda Fit$119$18,486154,82674.7%207,231
Honda Civic (coupe)$130$22,336171,42175.8%226,120
Toyota Prius$131$24,208185,04973.8%250,601
Toyota Camry$133$20,482153,51768.8%223,249
Chevrolet Impala$135$20,318150,80765.5%230,343
Toyota Corolla$137$18,661136,54366.8%204,266
Toyota Avalon$139$26,104187,38576.3%245,710
Honda Accord$140$22,450160,37070.9%226,168
Toyota Camry Hybrid$143$22,977160,28869.5%230,547
Ford Fusion$144$18,793130,20964.8%201,071
Average for All 5-Year-Old-Cars$193$29,566153,09368.5%223,402

Top 10 Best Used SUVs for the Money: Family Flexibility for Around $15,000

The cargo space and functionality of SUVs and crossovers has made them popular over the past few years. Everything from a compact SUV like the CR-V to the exceedingly roomy Chevrolet Suburban makes the list. Most of these models are available with all-wheel drive to bolster confidence in cold-weather states.

Best SUVs for the Money, 10-year-old Used Cars
ModelPrice per 1k MilesAvg PriceRemaining Lifespan (miles)Remaining Lifespan (%)Potential Lifespan (miles)
Hyundai Santa Fe$131$11,98191,52544.3%206,398
Ford Expedition$143$15,584108,76244.5%244,682
Honda Pilot$147$15,214103,30543.6%236,807
Acura MDX$151$16,522109,71048.0%228,472
Subaru Outback$152$12,78284,34840.5%208,298
Honda CR-V$152$15,540102,19047.3%215,930
Mazda CX-9$154$12,33080,26439.7%201,972
Toyota Sequoia$154$23,310151,36051.0%296,509
Chevrolet Suburban$159$18,144114,32343.0%265,732
Ford Edge$160$12,74179,62739.1%203,662
SUV Segment Average$166$16,20197,56943.5%224,512

Top 10 Best Used Trucks for the Money: All With Over 90,000 Miles of Use Left

Trucks face some of the toughest use cases of any vehicle, yet these 10 models can be purchased for an average of less than $20,000 while offering an average remaining lifespan of more than 100,000 miles.

Best Trucks for the Money, 10-year-old Used Cars
ModelPrice per 1k MilesAvg PriceRemaining Lifespan (miles)Remaining Lifespan (%)Potential Lifespan (miles)
Honda Ridgeline$145$18,725129,51352.1%248,669
Chevrolet Colorado$162$15,27794,25647.0%200,554
Nissan Frontier$163$16,891103,38347.9%215,775
Nissan Titan$166$18,805113,15848.5%233,295
Toyota Tundra$180$23,049128,26150.1%256,022
Chevrolet Silverado 1500$183$19,220104,82945.5%230,515
Toyota Tacoma$187$21,866117,20949.9%235,070
Ford F-150$199$19,81999,65842.8%232,650
Dodge/Ram 1500$205$18,86491,87042.6%215,521
GMC Sierra 1500$206$19,75896,13243.2%222,691
Truck Segment Average$191$19,552102,43744.9%228,059

Top 4 Best Used Minivans for the Money: Plenty of People-Moving Still To Do

A wide spectrum of minivan pricing is available for used shoppers looking for maximum life at a minimum price. The Sedona starts things off below $10,000, and with more than 87,000 miles remaining, that price buys a lot of future use. The Toyota Sienna is the most expensive minivan, at $16,289, but it offers another 112,000 miles of people-toting to go.

Best Minivans for the Money, 10-year-old Used Cars
ModelPrice per 1k MilesAvg PriceRemaining Lifespan (miles)Remaining Lifespan (%)Potential Lifespan (miles)
Kia Sedona$110$9,64087,74742.1%208,615
Dodge Grand Caravan$120$10,35486,29241.2%209,350
Honda Odyssey$138$14,790106,87945.3%235,852
Toyota Sienna$145$16,289112,57847.0%239,607
Minivan Segment Average$139$13,75399,13543.9%225,753

Top 10 Best Used Sedans and Hatchbacks for the Money: $12,000 will get you 100,000 Miles

Sedans and hatchbacks continue to offer an excellent blend of practicality and high mpg at a reasonable price. The best large cars are the Chevrolet Impala and Toyota Avalon, offering more than 230,000 potential miles. The best midsize car is the Honda Accord, with an average of 113,584 miles still on tap. The best compact cars are the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, both of which offer a potential lifespan over 200,000 miles.

Best Sedans/Hatchbacks for the Money, 10-year-old Used Cars
ModelPrice per 1k MilesAvg PriceRemaining Lifespan (miles)Remaining Lifespan (%)Potential Lifespan (miles)
Chevrolet Impala$87$9,706111,99648.6%230,343
Toyota Avalon$111$15,818143,05658.2%245,710
Honda Fit$112$12,347110,33353.2%207,231
Honda Accord$118$13,437113,58450.2%226,168
Ford Fusion$119$10,07984,59042.1%201,071
Mazda Mazda6$124$9,55977,25338.0%203,154
Toyota Camry$129$13,785106,68247.8%223,249
Toyota Corolla$130$12,65897,62147.8%204,266
Honda Civic (sedan)$134$12,78495,59646.6%205,335
Nissan Maxima$136$11,39883,70941.4%202,151
Sedan + Hatchback Segment Avg$125$12,583100,41947.1%213,197

Top 9 Best Used Hybrids for the Money: Low Price and Low Ownership Cost

Hybrids are newer to the market and haven’t had as much time to accumulate miles, so we lowered the required potential lifespan to 150,000 miles to make our list. These nine hybrids offer an average remaining lifespan of 103,133 miles, and they can be purchased for an average cost under $14,000. And with excellent fuel efficiency, their operating cost will be low, too.

Best Hybrids for the Money, 10-year-old Used Cars
ModelPrice per 1k MilesAvg PriceRemaining Lifespan (miles)Remaining Lifespan (%)Potential Lifespan (miles)
Toyota Prius$107$13,878129,46651.7%250,601
Toyota Camry Hybrid$123$14,360116,90350.7%230,547
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid$147$10,94874,45240.3%184,887
Kia Optima Hybrid$157$10,98069,75538.0%183,632
Ford Fusion Hybrid$158$10,94869,16239.4%175,670
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid$159$12,10576,10942.8%177,678
Toyota Highlander Hybrid$171$19,214112,58446.0%244,994
Lexus RX 450h$238$19,93483,70142.5%196,826
Porsche Cayenne$494$21,36443,20528.3%152,563
Hybrid Segment Avg$132$13,639103,13347.0%219,528

Best Used Electric Cars for the Money: More Than a Decade of Proven History

Due to the recent introduction of electric vehicles we lowered the mileage threshold to 80,000, allowing the Tesla Model S and Nissan LEAF to make the cut. A 10-year-old Model S remains costly at an average price of $35,612, with a remaining potential lifespan of 55,025 miles. The Nissan Leaf has a much shorter electric driving range, but it can be purchased for $9,196 and still have 43,811 miles of emissions-free driving to give.

Best EVs for the Money, 10-year-old Used Cars
ModelPrice per 1k MilesAvg PriceRemaining Lifespan (miles)Remaining Lifespan (%)Potential Lifespan (miles)
Nissan LEAF$210$9,19643,81144.7%98,081
Tesla Model S$647$35,61255,02541.1%133,998
EV Segment Avg$223$13,63661,02151.1%119,443

Compared to today’s average new car MSRP, and even the average dealership price tag of slightly used cars, the accessibility of these older models to budget-minded buyers is far greater. And these cars still offer reliable powertrains, 21st century safety features, and most modern infotainment features, such as Bluetooth streaming and navigation. 

Buyers in need of greater cargo or passenger capacity than a subcompact car or subcompact SUV provides can now consider the older, larger models on these lists. While newer cars like the Hyundai Kona or Nissan Versa are affordable, they may not serve larger families. But an older minivan or 3-row SUV, with 100,000 miles left on its lifespan, could be the solution to families on a tight budget.

Regardless of vehicle type, shoppers should always review a used car’s vehicle history report before buying, and a pre-purchase inspection is another prudent move when buying any used car, particularly an older vehicle.

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Methodology

iSeeCars.com analyzed over 2 million used cars on the road between January and October of 2022. The mileage over which the top one percent of cars within each model obtained was calculated and used as an estimate of end-of-life for that model. The average five- and ten-year-old used car prices of each model, as well as the average mileage of five- and ten-year-old versions of each model, were then aggregated to calculate the cost per remaining 1k miles metric. This metric was then used to rank cars. Only models with at least 10 model years of production between 2002 and 2021 (20 model years), in production as of the 2020 model year, and with an end-of-life mileage of over 200,000 miles were included for the analysis. A lower end-of-life mileage threshold was used for alternative-fuel vehicles due to their relatively recent introduction. Heavy duty vehicles were also excluded from analysis.

About iSeeCars.com

iSeeCars.com is a car search engine that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars free VIN check reports and Best Cars rankings. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $360 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.

(Information from iSeeCars.com via the Nexstar Media Wire)