Looking for a used car on a budget? Check out these stylish sedans and hatchbacks.
When it’s time to select your ideal used vehicle, you’ve got a lot of options to choose from. CarMax can help you narrow your choices with this helpful list of car models that cost less than $15,000*. You can check out the vehicles on this list and identify the characteristics and features that will fit your driving style, favorite activities, style preferences, and budget. Be aware that upper trim configurations may bring the prices of some of these vehicles over $15,000.
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
With no further ado, here are 15 used sedans and hatchbacks you can find for less than $15,000.
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 (an estimated** 29 city/37 hwy mpg for the 2013 Ford Fiesta Titanium, for example), smart PowerShift auto transmission, and iconic styling cues. You’ve got engine choices here that include the 1.6L, four-cylinder that you’ll find in the 2017 Fiesta S. A wide variety of body styles ensures you can configure this vehicle to your needs without sacrificing performance. The Fiesta’s eager 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 budget-friendly blend of comfort and features. You can drive a used Toyota Yaris for sale equipped with the latest entertainment goodies, including Toyota’s Entune® infotainment setup, which transforms this car into a multimedia powerhouse. Although the 2015 Yaris LE’s 1.5L engine won’t pin your ears back in the horsepower department, its output supports the tiny build of this five-door hatchback. Customers love the great gas mileage, too (like an estimated** 32 city/40 hwy for the2017 Toyota Yaris iA). 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. The 101-horsepower, four-cylinder engine you’ll find in models like the 2012 Fiat 500 makes 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. And, if you look carefully, you can find a used Fiat 500 Abarth for sale with a snarling little turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The Easy Collection 2 trim package found on some models 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. 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 like the 2014 Avenger SXT features a 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 an impressive estimated** 36 city/42 hwy mpg (2015 Mitsubishi Mirage), the Mirage is always ready for a fun road trip. Since its 1.2L engine only produces just under 80 horsepower at full power, you should elect for the five-speed manual for the peppiest drive experience. The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage sedan offers excellent leg and head room to keep passengers comfortable on long treks or bumping around town. And the 2015 Mirage ES 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 (an estimated** 31 city/38 hwy mpg for the 2014 Spark with the 1.2L, four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission) without sacrificing a lot of power. You can take a laid-back approach to driving by choosing a used Chevrolet Spark for sale equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission. A five-speed manual transmission helps you gain more control of the engine’s power band. For customers who are even more efficiency-minded, there’s the all-electric Spark. The 2016 Chevrolet Spark EV delivers an estimated** combined 119 city/highway MPGe. Six-speaker surround sound and air conditioning maximize your interior comfort.
With its flashy styling, nimble ride, and peppy performance, the Ford Focus has long been a favorite with budget-minded CarMax customers. Despite its relatively low average price, the spirited build of the used Ford Focus for sale reflects the Focus’s motorsports heritage. The Focus is available as a two-door coupe and a five-door hatchback. A car like the 2016 Ford Focus SE won’t punch a big hole in your wallet, and it will give you features like Bluetooth®, traction control, and a rearview camera.
In the sub-compact car market, the Hyundai Accent is well-known for its well-balanced, durable build and lower price tag. 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 Accent is pretty good on gas, too; a 2017 Hyundai Accent, for example, with the 1.6L four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission, delivers an estimated** 26 city/36 hwy mpg. The Accent’s 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. The 186-horsepower, 1.6L turbo four-cylinder engine that you’ll find in the 2015 Kia Forte SX can give you peppy bursts of speed, plus an estimated** 22 city/29 hwy mpg. The heated front and rear seats (and cooled front seats!) found in the 2014 Forte EX will keep you and your passengers comfortable during long drives. And swooping body lines and optional 18-inch alloy wheels 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. The Versa can keep its poise through lots of 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 can also give you a lot of fuel efficiency (an estimated** 31 city/40 hwy mpg for a 2015 Nissan Versa S Plus) at a relatively low average price.
Compact but flashy, the Nissan Versa Note aims to please drivers and passengers alike with its unique list of bells and whistles. This five-door hatchback competently handles spirited road trips and long stop-and-go commutes without complaint. The 1.6L, four-cylinder engine, as found in the 2016 Versa Note SL, delivers an estimated** mpg of 31 city/30 hwy. The continuously variable transmission (CVT), dubbed the Xtronic, is available in some models and works to select the proper 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 styling, in and out, that gives this car its unique appeal.
Despite its original American roots, the Dart returned to Dodge showrooms in 2012 with a Fiat engine under its hood. The rear-wheel drive, large-bodied platform was reborn as a front-wheel drive, compact sedan with several powerplant options, including a 2.0L four-cylinder found in models like the 2015 Dart SXT. 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.
The Hyundai Elantra has transformed into a sharp-looking sedan with an animated personality since its introduction as a basic, four-door family car in the early 1990s. The used Hyundai Elantra for sale really came to life in its later generations through the inclusion of features like a 2L, 173-hp four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual gearbox. You’ll find this arrangement in the 2014 Hyundai Elantra Sport. 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. With seven generations of designs to choose from, and multiple facelifts in between, this vehicle can appeal 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 like the 2007 Sentra SE-R, which is equipped with the highly-capable 2L, four-cylinder engine that’s good for 200 horsepower and 180 lb ft of torque. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) and manual transmission options available on some models will give you a strong feeling of control as you pilot this vehicle on long and short trips.
Although it began life 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 and peppy performance to match, all for a relatively low average cost. Both the four-door sedan and five-door hatchback versions come equipped with a 1.8L, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine like you’ll find in the 2015 Sonic LT. The six-speed automatic gearbox available in some models puts the power to the ground adeptly, and 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 narrow your search across 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 cars like these, which may be priced a little higher than $15,000:
* We looked at our list of the top-selling cars at CarMax in 2016. From this list, we selected makes and models where a sizeable amount of our retail inventory fell below $15,000. Actual prices may vary based on your selected features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.
**Fuel economy and range figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Range will vary based on, among other things, battery age, vehicle condition, and driving conditions. Battery range may decrease with time and use. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
Unless otherwise noted, information relating to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.