Looking for a car that's in tune with your budget?
Maybe there’s a new driver in your household, or your college student needs a new set of wheels. Maybe you want to upgrade your own wheels! Here’s a look at more than a dozen great options that had average prices under $15K, 20K and 30K in January, 2018.1 Be aware that upper trim configurations may bring the prices of some of these vehicles over $15,000, $20,000, and $30,000, respectively.
Great Under $15K
2013-2014 Honda Civic
The Honda Civic can get you there with gas to spare. With a peppy 1.8L, four-cylinder engine and an automatic gearbox, a used 2014 Honda Civic LX gives you an estimated 29 city/37 hwy mpg. 2 Add to this the Civic’s attractive list of available features, including Bluetooth®, a rearview camera, and a push-button sunroof, and you’ve got a lot of car for your car-buying dollars.
Models like the 2013 Honda Civic LX have room for five passengers, and our customers commend this model for its smooth ride and solid handling. It’s a great road tripper for college students.
Chevy fans will find that the Malibu is both affordable and good on gas. The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu LS delivers an estimated 25 city/36 hwy mpg, and its four-cylinder, 2.5L engine gives you just about 200 hp. 2
These were just a couple of the reasons why the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu landed on our list of the best used cars for teens.
Here are some similarly-priced vehicles you can find at CarMax with an average price of less than $15,000 (as of January, 2018).1
Great Under $20K
With multiple trim levels and good fuel economy, the CR-V is a great choice for budget-minded drivers who want plenty of cargo space and an array of trim options. Key benefits include powerful acceleration and plenty of features on the base model. Need lots of interior space? The 2014 Honda CR-V LX has room for lots of gear when the backseats are folded down, plus a decklid that opens wide for easy access.
One of our sales consultants says customers give this engine option high marks for responsiveness. “The CR-V steps up when you give it a little gas,” he says, “and drivers feel like there’s good power under the hood. And still, the CR-V returns true compact SUV mileage.” The 2014 Honda CR-V, in front-wheel-drive trim, delivers an estimated 23 city/30 hwy mpg.2
2013-2016 Ford Escape
A 2016 Ford Escape SE can give you lots of comfort, all-wheel drive, and a turbocharged engine for less than $20,000. And CarMax sales consultants note that the Escape, with its variety of trim levels, is an excellent option for budget-conscious families.
And, while the 2017 Escapes run a big higher than $20,000, on average, they give you some additional great features, which we discuss in our Ford Escape Review.
2016-2017 Toyota Camry
Great Under $30K
Looking for a vehicle that’s plenty of fun? Are you on a budget, but want a vehicle that’s plenty of fun? Meet the Jeep Wrangler, a vehicle with lots of on-the-road charm and off-the-road character. If you need something that’s more than simply A-to-B transportation, the iconic Jeep should be on your short list.
Trims like you’ll find in the 2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport give you a standard or automatic transmission, a powerful V6 engine, and either a hard top or soft top, so you can make the most of a top-down, sunny day.
2015-2016 Dodge Ram 1500
This Dodge Ram pickup has room to spare — lots of capacity in the bed for cargo and plenty of space in the cabin for passengers.
Models like the four-door 2016 Dodge Ram 1500 Tradesman can be had with a big, 5.7L HEMI® engine and two bench seats for carrying up to six passengers. This particular trim is available in rear-wheel drive or 4WD — and both give you a 1600-lb cargo capacity and a max towing capacity of 10,350 lbs when properly equipped.3