Have you ever wondered how much $10K is in concrete terms? Well, it really depends. It depends on the type of person you are, your spending habits, your current assets and what you want. As far as $10K by itself is concerned, let us show you how much it is by giving you some examples. One of the very first things you can do is build a home theater. While those things are expensive to make, you could do some DIY stuff and get a decent home theater. Or you could venture into the business side. You can do various things when it comes to business, theoretically, at least. You can become a personal chef. That’d entail you hitting the road with your pans and pots to find clients who want some sort of catering services that is not fully blown. You can start that business with as little as $2K. Or you could start a venture where you’d provide people with advice on shopping.
While all those could make you some money, it might not make you as happy as if you used the same amount of money to buy that favorite car of yours. It’s characteristic of a car enthusiast to spend a decent chunk of their paycheck on cars. After all, that’s where the heart of the car enthusiasts lies. So let’s check out under $10K cars that are worth buying.
20 1992 BMW E30 3 SERIES ($1.5K)
This is like the best BMW car ever. It had everything perfect. The engine was powerful, the exterior styling was all good looking, and the interior was roomy for a decent sized family. The handling of these cars was just over the roof.
This is one of those cars that people buy just to have it once in a lifetime.
For some, it’s a dream that must come true. While I can’t dispute the dream, I can say it’s a high maintenance dream. You can get the car for, like, $1.5K, sure, but it will require constant maintenance. All told, you can get into autocross, drifting or racing with this one.
19 2002-2006 ACURA RSX ($4K)
If you were looking for a sports car, well, here’s a good one. The car comparatively looks pretty good from all sides, with the overall exterior styling echoing the mainstream design of the mid 2000s. It’s a nice little car with handling that’s sharp and an engine that’s potent at 160 HP. If you get the Type-S model, you can increase that number to 210, still coming from a four-cylinder. The car may look a little enjoyable to you, and that’s because it actually is, thanks to the zippy stick shift. Nonetheless, if you get the automatic, you’ll still be fine. You can find one for $4K.
18 2007-2012 NISSAN VERSA ($4K)
I was a bit hesitant to place this car here. If you check out the online reviews for the current model year, you’ll be braced with ratings that are not friendly at all. I mean, C/D grilled it, saying all sorts of things about it. And some of those things are true. There’s not much of a driving experience here. It’s used to go from one place to another.
Here’s the beauty of this car: it’s very, very cheap, meaning that it can be had for $3K-5K without any difficulty. It will be in good condition and will last you for a while.
17 2003-2011 FORD CROWN VICTORIA ($4.5K)
Here’s a sedan if you were interested. There’s a reason why the cops and taxi companies have used this car since forever. It is one sturdy and powerful car. Seriously, unlike so many other sedans, this one offers a powerful 4.6L V8. A V8!
Now of course, the fuel economy is a little rough on the wallet, but the power and durability of this car somewhat make up for that.
As comfortable as the interior is, the best part is that it’s rather roomy thanks to the full size nature of the car. Depending on the model year, you can have this car for $3K-6K.
16 2001-2007 FORD ESCAPE ($5K)
This car looks pretty good. It has that stylish, compact look, but still maintains a decent amount of space inside. You’d want to find one that hasn’t been driven too many miles, but considering that these have been produced since the longest time, it shouldn’t be that hard.
The majority of these cars came equipped with the potent V6, which means the powerplant will be something better than what the inline fours currently offer, although they are not necessarily that bad of a deal. There’s plenty of cargo area, and the handling is good. You can have a 2007 one for $5K with 70K miles.
15 2003-2008 TOYOTA COROLLA ($5K)
The Corolla is another great car that’s worth having. Corollas from those times were offered only as a four door sedan, which is okay, as that’s what people were into back then. Even today, you can totally fly in the Corolla of those times.
Well, the bit about flying might be an exaggeration, but let’s just say that the 126 HP 1.8L four cylinder can provide an excellent fuel economy at 35 mpg highway.
The exterior of this car is pretty decent, and the interior too. The best part is the reliability. You can have an upscale for as cheap as $5K.
14 2005 MERCEDES-BENZ S-CLASS ($5K)
And here’s another car that you can have. Unlike some of the others, this one is for the purposes of seeing what the pinnacle of luxury looked like when the S-Class came out back in 2005. The way it goes is that the S-Class gets the best goodies and then the lower ranks start getting some, with the lowest class getting minimal, if any. Of course, the car is from 2005, so not everything will be as up to date as we have it today, but it’s not the interior of your average car either. You can have one for $5K.
13 2003-2006 INFINITI G35 ($6K)
Here’s a pretty decent looking car, a luxury car actually. There’s the sedan variant that’s a perfect option for a lot of people, but a coupe was also offered. The coupe looks pretty snazzy and, in some cases, even more stylish with the mods.
Anyway, the Infiniti name carries a decent amount of prestige. But it’s just not in the name; the car comes equipped with leather seats and alloy wheels, Bluetooth, keyless start and other various useful items.
They are a pretty reliable car, which helps a lot. You can definitely find one for under $10K, and just because it’s a luxury car doesn’t mean good condition will be precluded.
12 2009-2011 FORD FOCUS ($6K)
Here we are with the European developed car that has been serving us fairly well. It’s a nice little car. Just by looking at it you can tell it will be an enjoyable car. And indeed, the car is fun to drive. While nowadays this car isn’t exactly class leading, it used to be at some point back in the days. When the 2011 model came out, it was praised for having an innovative Sync system. The ride was comfortable and so was the price; the fuel economy was also good. I think all those still apply. You can have one for $6K.
11 1999-2007 CHEVY SILVERADO ($7K)
When I look at the grilles of these new pickups, I think we are becoming a little bigger. But that’s not a bad thing actually. The old ones with the small grille and then the new one with the bigger grille still look proportionate, which is what we could have asked for.
While you can have various trucks for under $10K, the Silverado has a lot going for it.
It’s a good looking, capable and decently posh truck. Plus, there are various trims available to satisfy your needs, whether that is high-duty stuff or high end stuff. You can have a 2007 Silverado for $7K.
10 2008 HONDA CIVIC ($7K)
Ah, Civics. While you might currently see pimped out Civics on the roads like it’s the highest form of fashion in the world, that wasn’t always the case. These blinged out Civics started just a few years ago. However, that’s not to say they are bad. But neither are the Civics from the early 2010s. The beauty is that you can get an upper trim level, meaning you’ll have plenty of features that are somewhat luxurious, in addition to the litany of safety features. You can easily get a good one for around $5K and a higher mileage for around $7K.
9 2010 TOYOTA SIENNA ($7K)
And here’s a minivan. The Sienna is a nice car. The exterior styling looks reasonably well, although when comparing the current Sienna with other minivans—and by that I mainly mean the Honda Odyssey—I think the sides could have been made better with some curves like the Odyssey manages to pull off.
Anyway, you can’t go wrong with any version of the Sienna, as it’s one durable and powerful family hauler.
You can have a 2010 Sienna for under $10K with relatively low miles. However, if you go for the 2004-2006 version, you’ll be braced with a powerful V6.
8 2010-2012 FORD FUSION ($8K)
As good as the Focus may have been, there are some people whose lifestyle can’t permit the little size of the car. And that’s okay. We get it. So that’s when you make the shift to the midsized Fusion, as this is another decent car from Ford. The handling and ride are a little better compared to the little brother. The center console has some simple buttons, in addition to the useful Sync Bluetooth and voice commands. The four cylinder engine is smooth. If you look at the big picture, it’s a nice car. You can have one for $8K.
7 2006-2014 HYUNDAI SONATA ($8K)
The current Sonatas are just rocking it. The styling is Genesis inspired; the powerplant is powerful. The handling is pretty good. If you go back a few years, you’ll find a decently good looking Sonata too.
While they have continued to improve the exterior styling, that’s not to say the earlier ones were lacking a decent design.
The interior of the Sonata is also comfortable. However, that coupe like styling did take away some of the headroom for the passengers in the back. You can get one for as cheap as $3K, sure, but those close to the 2014 model year will be found in the $8K range.
6 2009-2014 VW GOLF ($8K)
Here’s a chick VW. While they are becoming better in the US slowly, these things have been popular elsewhere in the world. The VW Golf is one of the best selling cars worldwide. Perhaps that has to do with the chick styling, hatchback build and a fun gearbox. After all, just look at the fancy design sported by the exterior. And driving one of these cars is just a blast. Whether it’s the turns or straightaways, it knows how to handle like a pro. The Golf R (in decent condition) would be difficult to fit under the budget, but you can have a 2012 Golf for $8K.
5 2010 MAZDA MIATA ($8K)
Talking about sporty handling, here’s another car that’s just a blast to drive. Look at that smiling grille—it’s very suggestive of the handling. It’s a nice little car. Take it for a ride on a curvy road, and you’ll know how a car is supposed to drive.
It’s a car that people make up excuses to be able to drive.
And it’s not like the Miata is the fastest or the most powerful; it’s just a simple, enjoyable car. You can get a 2010 Miata for around $8K with a reasonable number of miles. It’d have the classic 2L I4.
4 2010-2011 KIA SOUL ($8.6K)
I was always conflicted with how to describe these cars. They look pretty neat, being kind of sporty, kind of SUV like and kind of hatchback like. It’s not meant to give a sense of authority or anything like that; rather, the look is supposed to give you an enjoyable vibe. But the quirky car is functional and has various usability that not a lot of cars offer. The gearbox is manual, which the playful exterior might have hinted at. C/D is a big fan of this car, and the reviewers couldn’t resist giving the current one exceptional ratings. You can have a good one for $8.6K.
3 2012 TOYOTA RAV4 ($9K)
The RAV4 is one solid car. Check out the exterior styling of the car, and you’ll find everything looks rather sturdy. That’s not to say it’s not aesthetically pleasing either, as that, it is. It’s a daunting SUV, as demonstrated by the aggressive headlamps and the front fascia.
The interior of the one from 2012 is pretty comfortable. There’s plenty of room, despite the SUV being small by class.
The earliest model year that you can have for under $10K is 2012. You could try to search for a 2013 or 2014 model year, but obtaining one from 2014 is next to impossible.
2 2011-2013 MAZDA3 I ($9.8K)
The grille of this car looks pretty neat, with some people being a fan of the smiling front. It’s a good looking, cheery car, after all. And the looks don’t lie here. Take it for a ride, and you’ll be graced with a handling that’s sporty and a powerplant that’s powerful. (If you want more power, you should consider the Mazda3 s.) And as nimble as the ride is, you also have an interior that has been made well and is spacious. On top, you also get some goodies like leather and seat heaters. You can have one for about $9.8K.
1 1994 TOYOTA SUPRA ($9.9K)
These cars were just a bomb. I don’t know what it is about these ‘90s cars, but they have that certain vibe that I can resonate with. Maybe it’s the simplicity or, maybe, it’s the fact that they are good looking, but whatever it is, some of these ‘90s cars are definitely worth having.
The Supra doesn’t have to be modded to look good.
The exterior styling was done well. The price of these beauties is rather very high nowadays. I checked out some of the 1998 Supras and, boy, was that not something. While the same applies to the 1994, you can find one or two for under $10K—but not far under!
Sources: consumerreports.org; autotrader.com