Looking for the best used cars under $15K?
When it’s time to select your ideal used vehicle, the sheer number of possibilities may feel overwhelming. Luckily, CarMax has you covered with this helpful list of the most popular car models our customers are seeking* for less than $15,000. You can rely on the popularity of specific vehicle makes and models to help you identify the characteristics and features that will best support your driving style, favorite activities, style preferences, and budget.
We asked a senior sales consultant what customers want most in a used car under $15,000. Here’s what he told us these shoppers are looking for:
- Good gas mileage, plus some extra power when needed
- Something that’s sporty and fun, with a little extra zip
- The ability to commute in a city with ease and not stress about finding the next gas station
The head-turning styling of the Ford Fiesta makes it an intriguing choice. You can acquire a used Ford Fiesta for sale equipped with a capable and efficient engine, smart PowerShift auto transmission, and iconic styling cues for just $13,172 on average. In fact, the Fiesta gives you more than a dozen engine configurations to choose from, from the ultra-economical, 1L three-cylinder to the torquey, 1.6L turbodiesel. A wide variety of body styles ensures you can configure this vehicle to your needs without sacrificing performance. The Fiesta’s aggressive stance and bright exterior paint colors make this vehicle look perpetually ready for adventures.
For nearly 20 years, the Toyota Yaris has offered customers a solid blend of comfort that the competition strives to achieve. For an average price of just $11,785, you can drive a used Toyota Yaris for sale equipped with the latest entertainment and comfort features. A main highlight of this vehicle revolves around the inclusion of Toyota’s intriguing Entune® infotainment setup, which transforms this car into a multimedia powerhouse. Although the 1.2L and 1.5L engine options won’t pin your ears back in the horsepower department, their output supports the tiny build of this five-door hatchback. Customers love the great gas mileage, too. If you’re in the market for a Yaris, check out the SE model—its two-tone exterior styling cues will put a smile on your face.
The ultra-cute Fiat 500 is dressed to impress with athletic engine options and other high-end performance features for an average price of just $12,971. The 101-horsepower, four-cylinder engine produces just enough power to push this vehicle through the corners with ease. The standard five-speed manual transmission lets you downshift on demand to wring more power from the engine as needed. A soft-top version is available, though the extra weight will slightly affect performance. If you look carefully, you can find a used Fiat 500 for sale with the 135-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The Easy Collection 2 trim package adds a plethora of entertainment and comfort features, including a Beats® audio system equipped with SiriusXM® satellite radio.
The Dodge Avenger took a page from the Charger’s playbook to create a powerful combination of style and performance that CarMax customers love. For an average price of only $14,087, this mid-sized sedan comes in nearly a dozen different trim levels to give you a chance to customize your ride to your liking. At the upper trim levels, a used Dodge Avenger for sale features the powerful, 283-horsepower 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Other trim levels come equipped with one of six four-cylinder or V6 engine configurations that produce up to 200 horsepower. The MyGig® entertainment system and speakers at every corner will expertly blast your tunes or podcasts.
With a stunning estimated 43 mpg fuel rating and $10,995 average price tag, the Mitsubishi Mirage is always ready for a fun road trip. Since the 1L engine only produces just under 80 horsepower at full power, you should elect for the five-speed manual for the peppiest drive experience. The sedan version of this vehicle offers excellent leg and head room to keep passengers comfortable on long treks or bumping around town. The hatchback offers great versatility thanks to its fold-down rear seats and ample cargo room. The newest generations of the used Mitsubishi Mirage for sale have sporty styling that makes the vehicle appear quick just sitting in your driveway. And, we gotta say it, this car is just plain cute.
After the acquisition of Daewoo, Chevrolet brought the innovative, charming Spark to life. This five-door hatchback offers excellent gas efficiency without sacrificing the power you need to get up to speed in a hurry. You can take a laid-back approach to driving by choosing an $11,107 (average price) used Chevrolet Spark for sale equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission. A five-speed manual transmission lets you remain in control of the 1L engine’s power band at all times. For customers who are even more efficiency-minded, there’s the all-electric Spark, which Chevy produced for the 2012 and 2013 model years. Leatherette seats, six-speaker surround sound, and air conditioning maximize interior comfort.
With its flashy styling, nimble ride, and peppy performance, the Ford Focus has long been a favorite with CarMax customers. Despite its low, $14,875 average price, the spirited build reflects the Focus’s motorsports heritage. For a true performance build, look into the RS trim level while searching for your perfect used Ford Focus for sale. To acquire performance without all the flash, the ST will best meet your needs with its 2L EcoBoost engine that produces 252 horsepower. The Focus is available as a two-door coupe and a five-door hatchback.
In the sub-compact car market, the Hyundai Accent is well-known for its well-balanced, durable build and price tag that averages $12,699. The Accent sells well around the world due to its highly-configurable structure and characteristics. When you look for a used Hyundai Accent for sale, you’ll notice three- and five-door hatchbacks, four-door sedans, and two-door coupes. All of these body styles come equipped with either the 1.3L, 1.4L, or 1.5L four-cylinder engine options, with either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission. The exterior styling has changed markedly across all four generations, so you can choose the configuration that looks and feels the best to you. Interior touches include a six-speaker stereo, heated mirrors, air conditioning system, and remote power locks.
With its smart interior and exterior styling cues and a performance-minded drivetrain, the Kia Forte is out to make a splash in the compact car market. With a quick search, you can find a used Kia Forte for sale in coupe, sedan, and hatchback configurations for an average cost of just $13,842. As with the body style options, you have your pick of turbocharged and naturally-aspirated engines—some are powered by gasoline, and some by diesel. The 186-horsepower, 1.6L turbo four-cylinder provides peppy bursts of speed when mated to the six-speed manual transmission. The supple, heated seats with power lumbar adjustments will keep you and your passengers comfortable during long drives. The 18-inch alloy wheels and swooping body lines make the Kia Forte look as sporty as it feels.
The muted styling of the used Nissan Versa for sale defies its ability to impress. The four-door sedan configuration and broad exterior styling cues hint at its utilitarian roots. However, this subcompact has a little bit more hidden up its sleeve by way of the 1.8L, four-cylinder motor paired with a five-speed manual gearbox. The Versa keeps its poise through all weather conditions thanks to its wide stance, anti-lock brakes, and firm suspension. Its tall stature creates an impressive amount of headroom, though this characteristic also slightly increases body roll through the corners. The Versa gives you a lot of fuel efficiency (up to 40 mpg on the highway) for an average price of $12,573.
Compact, but flashy, the Nissan Versa Note aims to please drivers and passengers alike with its unique list of bells and whistles. For just $12,625, this five-door hatchback competently handles spirited road trips and long stop-and-go commutes without complaint. The supercharged 1.2-liter, inline three-cylinder engine provides the most bang for the buck, though the 1.6-liter, four-cylinder might offer improved durability over its sportier counterpart. The continuously variable transmission, dubbed the Xtronic, always selects the best gear for each driving situation. Power windows and high-quality interior accents are available on the S Plus and SV trim levels. Every used Nissan Versa Note for sale you find will have the action-packed styling, in and out, that gives this car its unique appeal.
Despite its original American roots, this newly-revised Dodge Dart has the exotic heart of a Fiat under its hood. The rear-wheel drive, large-bodied platform was reborn as a front-wheel drive, compact sedan with several inspired power plant options, including a tiny 1.4L turbo and a 2.4L four-cylinder. The sleek body lines and raked stance breathe new life into the used Dodge Dart for sale. The suspension system was inspired by the Alfa Romeo lineup, with independent struts at the front and multilink components at the rear. When coupled with a rear stabilizer bar, the Dart remains stable, with little body roll to speak of, while maneuvering through the twists and turns. The Dart can be had for a low, average price of $14,809.
The Hyundai Elantra has transformed into a sharp-looking sedan with an animated personality since its introduction in the early 1990s. At an average cost of only $14,822, the current model is a far cry from its simple roots as a basic four-door family car. The used Hyundai Elantra for sale really came to life in the second generation through the inclusion of a 2L, inline four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual gearbox. The lines of the fifth design generation are swoopy, while the interior quality of all six generations is aimed to please drivers and passengers alike. Each trim package offers different appearance and performance specs to help drivers select the configuration that suits them.
For a spirited drive and a dash of elegance, the Nissan Sentra easily hits the mark. For an average cost of $14,471, seven generations to choose from, and multiple facelifts in between, this vehicle appeals to nearly all coupe and sedan enthusiasts. The well-balanced build offers a blend of performance, comfort, and style. At the SE-R trim level, you can find a used Nissan Sentra for sale equipped with the highly capable 2L, four-cylinder engine, which produces 200 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. You won’t go wrong with any of the four-cylinder engines in this model line, as they all achieve energetic 0-60 mph times without compromising on fuel mileage. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) and manual transmission options will give you a strong feeling of control as you pilot this vehicle on long and short trips.
Although it began as the more modest Aveo, this vehicle metamorphosed into the agile Chevrolet Sonic by the second generation of the model line. The Sonic has a sporty appearance with performance to match, all for just an average cost of $12,712. Both the four-door sedan and five-door hatchback versions come equipped with either a 1.4L turbo or 1.8L, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine. The six-speed manual gearbox puts the power to the ground adeptly, though the six-speed automatic can be trusted to get the job done as well. Bright exterior color options and ample wheel configurations ensure you can customize your used Chevrolet Sonic for sale to your liking. As you pilot this vehicle around town, its ample interior amenities will keep you comfortable and entertained.
Selecting your ideal used car for sale
With this list of the best used cars under $15,000, you can minimize agonizing over the wide range of used cars for sale. If you can’t see yourself driving any of the above vehicles, you can expand your options by looking at similar high-quality cars, such as these:
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*Top cars by sales in 2016, where the average sale price for 2014-2015 models was less than $15,000.