There's nothing that's more stressful than buying a new or used vehicle, and there are millions of new vehicles sold every year, which leaves a huge market for used cars. When it comes to buying a used car, there are many thoughts that go into the process, such as saving money and/or seeking out a specific vehicle model that might not be in production anymore. There have been quite a few noteworthy vehicles that can only be obtained on the used car market, and thus, finding a cheap and affordable dream ride is a reality for many consumers. With the advent of the internet and social media, there are many different methods through which to buy a car, and this has created a buyer's market.
Everyone has a dream car growing up, and many of these dream cars deteriorate in value quite substantially over time. This leaves an excellent buying opportunity for people who would rather buy a used car instead of a new car, and you’ll save money by doing so. No matter what your dream vehicle is, there are many excellent deals out there to be found in the used car market, and many of the vehicles' original price tags have depreciated quite a bit. The used car market is home to many great cars that you can find for under $5,000 bucks, and many of these cars were quite pricey in their heyday. This list will take a look at 23 epic rides you can buy for under $5,000.
The 1999 Audi TT was a revolutionary little sports car at the time of its release, combining a clean and modern style with a purpose-built drivetrain. While the 1999 Audi TT isn't a Porsche Boxster, the small compact sports car can handle its own on the track and in the streets. The interior is also very luxurious for the age of the car, and you can find a reasonable 1999 Audi TT in great shape for under $5,000, which is a great deal. (Motor Trend)
Another rare vehicle that's also very affordable is the epic 2004 Audi A4 V8, which is a very fast performer with a stellar drivetrain and an exterior style that's uniquely Audi. The V8 A4 is a rare sedan that many people don’t know about, but the amount of power that's packed into this lightweight sedan is enough to satisfy any German car enthusiast who has an affection for performance and enjoys the stellar durability that Audi has invested in all of their cars. (Motor Trend)
The 1994 Lexus SC400 is a stellar sports car that was released by Lexus during the nineties as the Japanese answer to the Mercedes SLK 320 sports coupe.
The Lexus SC400 is known for featuring a powerful and silky smooth V8 motor, which was known for stellar reliability, with many examples of this car still running strong at over 350k miles!
The 1994 Lexus SC400 has a timeless design, which helps the car age very well and continue to perform well also. Many of these cars can be found for dirt cheap, and you’ll be thoroughly pleased with this car. (Car And Driver)
The 1997 Eagle Talon TSi is a wonderful little car that sadly ended production after the 1997 model year. This one-of-a-kind little car combined an AWD designed with a powerful turbocharged engine, which has created one of the most revered and one-of-a-kind sports cars on the market. The beauty of the Talon was more than just skin deep, as you also get a really well-appointed interior, which even featured a CD changer if needed. The 1997 Eagle Talon TSi can be found for a relatively affordable price, and you can’t go wrong with this stellar performance package. (Motor Trend)
The 2001 Dodge Intrepid R/T is a limited-edition sedan that was released by Chrysler long before the Dodge Charger was a thought, and the Intrepid R/T managed to give the family sedan market something that hadn't been seen since the Taurus SHO.
The 2001 Dodge Intrepid R/T featured a limited edition paint job coupled with some beautiful factory alloy rims, which gave the car a much more aggressive stance then your run-of-the-mill Intrepid.
The 2001 Dodge Intrepid R/T is one of the best used family sedans that you can buy. (Motor Trend)
Chevrolet revolutionized the muscle car market, and one of the most popular personal luxury vehicles that also offered a good deal of performance was the Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
The 2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS carried on with this tradition by offering a supercharged V6 motor, which could be found in other high-performance GM cars such as the Pontiac Grand Prix GXP and others.
The 2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS also had a nice leather interior, which made the car a lot more livable than its predecessors. (Car And Driver)
The 2004 Chevrolet Impala SS was a far cry from the 1996 Impala SS in every way, but the modern family sedan was actually a quite decent car. For starters, the supercharged V6 engine of this generation was one of the best and most reliable that GM has ever released, which makes for a long-lasting vehicle that can take some abuse and still remain somewhat reliable. The 2004 model also came with a nice set of standard alloy rims and a leather-appointed interior that would make the original Impala SS proud. (Car And Driver)
The 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe Limited was a rare production model of the Tahoe that featured body-colored paint and bumpers as well as a custom two-tone interior. What set the Tahoe Limited apart from other models at the time was a special lowered suspension, which included limited-edition factory rims and tires, as well as options such as a rear entertainment center. The Tahoe Limited was running in production with the new oncoming Tahoe of that year, which gave Tahoe owners a good amount of choice for the 2000 model year. (Motor Trend)
The 2002 Dodge Dakota 5.9 R/T is an often-forgotten but very fun-to-drive little truck that featured one of the best V8 engines to come out of Detroit. Factor in this stellar powerplant with such a lightweight truck design, and you have one hell of a street machine, and all of this funk came factory with a lowered suspension and aluminum wheels, which gave the truck a stellar aftermarket look. The 2002 Dodge Dakota 5.9 R/T is a fun truck and one that still holds its value today, and if you can find one in good shape, you’ll be very happy with this truck for a long time. (Car And Driver)
The late nineties were a fun time, especially for the automotive world where there were plenty of unique models that were hitting the marketplace. Mitsubishi was having trouble getting a foothold back in the market in the US, but they had one car that was selling like hotcakes, and that was the 1999 Eclipse Spyder. This unique little convertible was not only fast but was also one of the most stylish cars available at the time. This created for it a unique position as the only convertible that was available with a factory turbo and a stellar design like no other. (Car And Driver)
When Scion burst onto the scene, Toyota was trying to attract a younger demographic into their showrooms, and although the Scion brand has since been laid to rest, the 2005 Scion TC continues to be one of the best used cars that you can get for the money.
Essentially a next-generation Toyota Celica, the 2005 Scion TC was a far cry from the boxy Scion XB that Toyota had blessed the world with years prior.
The 2005 Scion TC has a bevy of notable features, which made it a decent seller, and if you're able to get one in good condition, you'll have a nimble and lightweight sports car. (Motor Trend)
BMW has never failed us when it comes to performance sedans, and the 2001 BMW M5 is further evidence of that. This V8-powered monster was one of the best hot rods of the early 2000s, and now, you can find one dirt cheap. Although many of these little sedans have been beaten to all ends of the earth, you’ll practically worship the ground that the 2001 BMW M5 sits on once you hear that signature M series exhaust note, which makes this car a definite keeper. (Motor Trend)
The Lexus automotive brand was released to the US market to give German automakers a run for their money in the automotive business, and for the most part, you’ll notice that Lexus has done just that.
The 1995 Lexus ES300 Coach Edition is a limited-edition sedan that came out at a time when the company was just getting to know its customer base, and this vehicle came with a special paint job and the interior to match.
This was just one of a few special-edition ES300 models, as there was also the Pebble Beach edition. (Motor Trend)
Say what you want about Jaguar, but the XK8 was actually one of the best cars of the late nineties, and you can get this beautiful convertible for practically nothing nowadays. The 1999 Jaguar XK8 is a winning combination of luxury and performance coupled into one of the most beautiful packages to come out of Germany. What really makes this convertible unique is that it features a powerful V8 engine, which gives it both substance and style. There's no mistaking the signature exhaust note that comes from the back of this car, and the high-quality interior only adds to the luster. (Motor Trend)
The 1998 Dodge Ram SS/T is a stellar limited-edition truck model that came out toward the ladder part of the nineties. These trucks are quite rare, and they came from the factory with a pair of racing stripes and limited-edition color combinations. You’ll notice the 1998 Dodge Ram SS/T because of its signature paint job as well as the limited-edition factory rims that it came with, making for one of the best-looking late model trucks to come out of Dodge. If you manage to find one of these, you’ll be greeted by a stellar design and a one-of-a-kind racing truck that's actually pretty rare. (Motor Trend)
The 1989 Chevrolet Camaro Iroc-Z is one of the most iconic muscle cars to come out of the eighties, and there's no doubt that you've seen at least one of these in your lifetime. The 1989 Chevrolet Camaro Iroc-Z featured all of the notable items that come on a Camaro, such as the T-Tops or a hardtop configuration, which was rare. The 1989 model featured the tuned port injection motor, which was a huge step up over the ancient 305 motor, and if you can find one of these Camaros in a manual configuration, you're in for a treat. (Motor Trend)
The 2004 Scion XB was a groundbreaking car in a lot of different ways, as Toyota was looking for a way to connect to a younger demographic. Thus, the Scion brand was born and, with it, brought one of the most iconic cars in the world, which is the box-shaped XB. The 2004 Scion XB had a lot of notable features, and these cars sold so well that they even released a line of limited-edition colors and options. Finding one in good condition is an easy task, and you’ll be in love with the factory sound system, which made the XB a boombox on wheels. (Motor Trend)
The 2003 PT Cruiser GT was released at a time when the PT Cruiser was selling like crazy, but Chrysler had promised their loyal customer base a much faster PT, and thus, the GT was born. With a factory turbocharged motor, the 2003 PT Cruiser GT drove like an entirely new car, and in the convertible configuration, this was one unique-looking little convertible. The 2003 PT Cruiser GT also introduced a much-upgraded interior and a nice pair of alloy rims to match the increased engine power. (Motor Trend)
Oldsmobile is a brand that didn’t survive the new millennium, but before the brand went belly up, they had one memorable car that's still a great deal today.
The 2003 Oldsmobile Aurora was a stylish large sedan that combined the luxury characteristics that the brand was famous for with a smooth Northstar V8 engine that was good for performance.
The 2003 Oldsmobile Aurora is a rare car, as sales never really met the company's goals. Thus, if you can find one in good shape, these cars tend to hold their value because of their individuality. (Motor Trend)
The 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP V8 is a stellar sports sedan that was released in the final year of production, and it featured a powerful V8 motor. The 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP V8 is a little-known option for the big family sedan that sold in very low numbers because of the bad economy at the time. Thus, finding one of these can be difficult unless you live in a bigger city. With the stellar performance of the smooth-running motor, the 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP V8 will keep you glued to your seat as you hear that satisfying exhaust tone. (Motor Trend)
The 2006 Pontiac Solstice was a car that many people never really gave a chance, and that's too bad because this is a nimble and well-appointed little convertible that has a good amount of power behind it. Step into the GXP trim, and you'll have a small performance convertible that'll hop onto the interstate and drive like a true sports car. And with its features like a leather interior and a power top, there's no reason not to give this little convertible a try. (Motor Trend)
The 2007 Saturn Sky was another convertible that GM attempted to make a sales success. Unfortunately, not many consumers could equate the Saturn brand with the word "sporty," and thus, the Sky never took off. The economy was also in the tank around this time, and as a result, finding a Sky isn't the easiest task, as the sales numbers were very low. But if you want to own a piece of GM history and a car that's basically well designed, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better convertible. (Motor Trend)
The 2004 Toyota MR2 is a stellar little car that came in a Spyder configuration or a coupe. Being the last of the mid-engined sports cars from Toyota, the 2004 Toyota MR2 is a performance enthusiast's dream, and the interior came well appointed with leather seating and other options that make the car a great choice for anyone who wants a car that performs well and handles well on the road, too. The 2004 Toyota MR2 also featured some minor exterior upgrades, which made the car a little more pleasant on the eyes. (Motor Trend)
Sources: Car And Driver, Motor Trend