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Fuel Efficient Used Cars $10,000-$12,000


Are you ready to move to a fuel-efficient used car that is reliable, affordable and relatively new? These 17 fuel-efficient used cars cost from $10000-$12000 range from 2002 to 2006 and represent the best of what manufacturers offer. A wide variety are represented that should meet your needs. All will comfortably carry 4 adults. Pricing info courtesy of KBB.com. Reliability info from ConsumerReports.org and fuel economy stats from FuelEconomy.gov. Here are the abbreviations used: CR = Consumer Reports EPA = Environmental Protection Agency 22/29 = city mpg/highway mpg AFC = Annual Fuel Costs

1. 2003 Buick Regal $11,300

Photo © GM
For no practical reason, the Regal has long held a special place in my heart. It’s a snappy sedan that’s not going to disappoint you. CR rated 2003 model above average reliability 17/27 AFC-$2790

2. 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier $10,150

Photo © GM
There’s a big difference between wanting a car and needing a car. The Cavalier meets a need. Love it for its practicality. CR rated 2005 model average reliability with good fuel economy of 23/33 AFC-$2148

3. 2006 Chrysler Sebring $10,215

Photo © Chrysler
Before the redesign, this was a good sedan and convertible that people really liked. CR rated 2006 model above average reliability (for the convertible). Decent fuel economy to boot at 20/27 AFC-$2539

4. 2006 Ford Focus $10,265

Photo © Ford
You’re always going to see Focuses on most lists of top cars in their class. This is a vehicle Ford consistently gets right. CR rated 2006 hatchback model above average reliability. Good fuel economy at 23/31 AFC-$2148

5. 2004 Honda Accord $11,615

Photo © Honda
You can’t argue against an Accord when it comes to good, basic transportation. Don’t try it. You’ll lose. This comfortable sedan is CR rated for the 2004 model with excellent reliability and good fuel economy of 23/31 AFC-$2148

6. 2004 Honda Civic $11,265

Photo © Honda
Is it possible to say anything bad about the Civic? For years it has been a consistent winner and 2004 was no exception. CR rated the 2004 model with excellent reliability. It has great fuel economy of 31/39 AFC-$1641.

7. 2002 Honda Insight $11,620

Photo © Honda
OK, while this is by far the big winner in fuel economy in this price range, the Insight, a full-blown hybrid, isn’t for everybody. Call it an acquired taste with cramped quarters. CR didn’t rate the 2002 model, but gave the 2000 Insight an excellent reliability ranking. Look at these fuel numbers: 48/59 AFC-$1055

8. 2006 Hyundai Elantra $11,350

Photo © Hyundai
There’s a reason Hyundai came out with its 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Its cars stopped breaking down. CR rated the 2006 model as having excellent reliability. Fuel economy is good at 23/31 AFC-$2148

9. 2006 Kia Rio5 $11,270

Photo © Kia
The Rio5 is a pleasant little station wagon. If you don’t need a wagon opt for the usually less expensive sedan. CR didn’t rate the 2006 Kia Rio models. Strong fuel economy of 27/32 AFC-$1925

10. 2004 Mazda3 $11,100

Photo © Mazda
Mazda just continues to “zoom zoom” into my automotive heart. You’ll like this sporty compact sedan. CR rated 2004 model above average reliability with fuel economy of 24/32 AFC-$2065. Read the review of the 2005 model to get a sense of the 2004.

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