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Stylish and practical budget-friendly options.

Best Used Cars Under $15K | CarMax

If you're looking for a top-notch daily commuter, a family car, or a first car for a new driver, you'll find a number of great cars with average prices under $15,000. Many sedans, hatchbacks, and coupes come equipped with a plethora of standard features, technology, and comfortable interiors.

To help you on your search, we've compiled a list of the 10 best used cars under $15,000 for 2020 shoppers, based on CarMax average prices and sales data from August 1, 2019 through January 31, 2020.Please be aware that some trim levels and select model years may increase the prices of the vehicles on our list to more than $15,000.

  1. Nissan Versa
  2. Volkswagen Jetta
  3. Kia Soul
  4. Chevrolet Cruze
  5. Ford Fusion
  6. Ford Focus
  7. Hyundai Sonata
  8. Toyota Corolla
  9. Hyundai Elantra
  10. Nissan Sentra

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Ford Fiesta

Research or Buy a Used Ford Fiesta | CarMax

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.


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Toyota Yaris

Research or Buy a Used Toyota Yaris | CarMax

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.


13

Fiat 500

Research or Buy a Used Fiat 500 | CarMax

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.


12

Dodge Avenger

Research or Buy a Used Dodge Avenger | CarMax

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.


11

Mitsubishi Mirage

Research or Buy a Used Mitsubishi Mirage | CarMax

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.


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Nissan Versa

Best Used Cars Under 15K: Nissan Versa | CarMax

With a streamlined interior and elegant design, the Nissan Versa kicks off our list with style. For model years 2017-2019, the nimble Versa sedan is offered with the same 109-hp, 1.6L four-cylinder engine. The base S trim boasts a built-for-fun five-speed manual transmission, and the S Plus and SV come with a smooth continuously variable automatic transmission.

For model years 2017-2019, the base model Versa comes with standard equipment including:

  • Rearview camera (2018-2019 only)
  • Power mirrors
  • Bluetooth® streaming audio and phone integration
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Four-speaker sound system
  • USB port

09

Ford Fusion

Best Used Cars Under 15K: Ford Fusion | CarMax

Tasteful, fresh, and stylish, the midsize Ford Fusion is an excellent choice if you're looking for a classy used car. For model years 2017–2019, you can choose from six engine options, including hybrid and plug-in models. The 2017 Fusion V6 Sport trim includes a turbocharged 2.7L V6 capable of generating 325 hp and a stunning 380 lb-ft of torque. The base 2017-2019 Fusion has a capable 2.5L four-cylinder generating 175 hp, with standard equipment including:

  • Cloth seating
  • Cruise control
  • Six-way manual driver seat with manual lumbar
  • Hill-start assist


08

Chevrolet Cruze

Best Used Cars Under 15K: Chevrolet Cruze | CarMax

After a significant refresh in 2016, the Chevrolet Cruze emerged sleeker than ever. Available in both sedan and hatchback layouts, the four-door Cruze offers a myriad of standard and optional features for model years 2017–2019, and comes with a 153-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a 137-hp 1.6L turbo-diesel four-cylinder. In vibrant colors like Kinetic Blue, Orange Burst, and Cajun Red, the Cruze is more than practical—it's a fun car to own.

Look for standard features on the 2017-2019 Cruze base model such as:

  • Seven-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
  • USB port (two on 2019 models)
  • Cloth seating surfaces
  • Four-speaker audio system

07

Volkswagen Jetta

Best Used Cars Under 15K: Volkswagen Jetta | CarMax

The zippy Volkswagen Jetta delivers great engineering in a compact sedan package. 2017 and 2018 models offer a choice of three turbocharged, four-cylinder engines: a 1.4L with 150 hp, a 170-hp 1.8L, and a 210-hp 2.0L. For model year 2019, the Jetta underwent a complete redesign and added standard Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® connectivity.

The base S model Jetta offers these great features for 2017-2019:

  • Rearview camera
  • USB port
  • Bluetooth capability
  • Cruise control
  • Six-way manually adjustable driver seat

06

Hyundai Sonata

Best Used Cars Under 15K: Hyundai Sonata | CarMax

If you need a larger option, the Hyundai Sonata should definitely be on your shopping list. The Sonata received a major update for the 2018 model year and offers seven trim levels: SE, Eco, SEL, Sport, Limited, Sport 2.0T, and Limited 2.0T. This is a road-trip-ready sedan with a generous 16.3 cubic feet in the trunk—plenty of space for a couple of golf bags and a cooler of soft drinks. If Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity is important to you, that option is available at the SE trim and higher in 2017 models and standard for 2018 and 2019 models.

For 2017-2019 models of the Hyundai Sonata, base model features include:

  • Rearview camera
  • Automatic headlights
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Seven-inch touchscreen

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05

Toyota Corolla

Best Used Cars Under $15K: Toyota Corolla | CarMax

This compact sedan was updated for 2017 and features six trim levels: L, LE, LE Eco, SE, XLE, and XSE. For model years 2017–2019, the Corolla is powered by a 1.8L four-cylinder engine rated at 132 hp (140 hp in the LE Eco). Prefer a hatchback version? Toyota added that body-style option for the 2019 model year.

Standard features on 2017-2019 base model Corollas include:

  • 6.1-inch touchscreen display
  • Bluetooth wireless technology and USB port
  • Integrated back-up camera
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Six-way adjustable driver seat

04

Ford Focus

Best Used Cars Under 15K: Ford Focus | CarMax

The capable Ford Focus kicks off the top five of the best used cars under $15,000 with style. This versatile four-door is available as a sedan and hatchback, and comes standard with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. A turbocharged 1.0L three-cylinder engine and electric option are also available. Want more zoom? The performance-focused 2017 Focus ST includes a 252-hp 2.0L four-cylinder and all-wheel drive. And the 2017–2018 Focus RS boasts a 2.3L four-cylinder turbo engine generating a zippy 350 hp.

Expect key standard features across 2017 and 2018 models, such as:

  • 4.2-inch center display screen
  • Rearview camera
  • Power front windows
  • Power-operated side-view mirrors
  • Automatic headlights
  • Hill-start assist

03

Kia Soul

Best Used Cars Under 15K: Kia Soul | CarMax

The boxy shape of the Kia Soul maximizes every inch of space. With all seats in place, the 2017–2019 Soul has room for 24.2 cubic feet of cargo and an impressive 61.3 cubic feet with the seats down; you, your passengers, and your furry friends will love it from top to bottom. The base model Soul comes with a 1.6L four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission that generates 130 hp and 118 lb-ft of torque. Trims for 2017-2019 include Soul base, Soul Plus (+), and Soul Exclaim (!), each featuring a variety of engine choices, features, and options.

The base 2017-2019 Soul comes equipped with standard features including:

  • Automatic headlights
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • Rearview camera

02

Hyundai Elantra

Best Used Cars Under $15K: Hyundai Elantra | CarMax

Hyundai's compact Elantra lands in the second spot on our list. The feature-rich Elantra got a fresh new look in 2017 and is equipped with a standard 147-hp 2.0L four-cylinder with a manual transmission, or an efficient turbocharged 1.4L engine generating 128 hp in the Elantra Eco. Want to go all out? The Elantra Sport trim (2017-2019 models) is similarly equipped to the plush Limited trim, but it includes a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder engine making 201 hp with a six-speed manual transmission (or you may opt for the seven-speed automatic). For 2018, Hyundai updated the lineup by adding a hatchback layout for the Elantra GT trim.

Take a look at the base model Hyundai Elantra for model years 2017-2019 and you'll find:

  • Five-inch color display
  • Rearview camera (automatic transmission only)
  • Bluetooth capability
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Cruise control (automatic transmission only)
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls

01

Nissan Sentra

Best Used Cars Under $15K: Nissan Sentra | CarMax

At the top of our list is the joy-inducing, time-tested Nissan Sentra. For model year 2017, Nissan added the sporty Sentra SR Turbo and Sentra NISMO trims to the S, SV, SR, and SL trim levels. For the 2018 model year, Nissan added several impressive features as standard, including a rearview camera, five-inch center display, and more.

For model years 2017-2019, the base Sentra S comes with standard features such as:

  • Cloth upholstery
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • Cruise control
  • Automatic headlights
  • Rearview camera (2018 and 2019 only)

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Conclusion

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1Based on CarMax average prices between June 1, 2019 through November 30, 2019. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees
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.