New cars come with a lot of perks, but many times well-maintained used cars can offer the same level of reliability at a huge discount. If you're in the market for a hybrid car or gas-sipping compact, then there are plenty of great used models out there for you to choose from. Avoid the premium that comes with buying new and minimize your number of stops at the gas station with one of these top 5 fuel-efficient used cars under $10,000:
2000 to 2004 Honda Insight (52 mpg combined)
A decade ago, Honda introduced America to hybrid technology with the Honda Insight. With its quirky covered-rear-wheel design, the odd look of the original Insight isn't for everyone. However, with around 52 mpg combined, the Honda Insight is nothing short of a bargain for those looking to maximize their fuel economy. Though the 73-horsepower engine system is a little slow at times and the cargo area a little small, the Honda Insight has proven to stand the test of time just as well as any Honda vehicle. Models from 2004 and older can be found for less than $10,000. Due to minimal year-to-year changes, finding a model in good condition with low mileage is likely to be your greatest concern. Visit our used Honda Insight page to find a used Honda Insight in your area.
2004 Toyota Prius (46 mpg combined)
The Toyota Prius has been the most popular hybrid for a decade now. 2004 marked the first year for the 2nd-generation of the vehicle, and prices for the model currently hover around $10,000. Compared to the 2004 Insight, the Prius offers a superior interior cargo area and a slightly more powerful engine system. It's styling, while still a bit unconventional, may be more appealing to you as well. Used Toyota Prius models continue to be incredibly reliable. Unless you really need the additional interior volume and engine performance offered by the new 2010 Prius, a used Prius may be a smart buy for you. Visit our used Honda Prius page to find a used Honda Prius in your area.
Note: The 1st-generation Toyota Prius (2000 to 2003) is also a solid buy, with an estimated 41 mpg combined. Prices run in the $8,000 to $10,000 range.
2003 to 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid (40 mpg combined)
Honda's second hybrid model proved much more popular than the Insight. Though less fuel-efficient (39 mpg city and 43 mpg highway), the Honda Civic Hybrid is much easier to live with on a day-by-day basis than its older brother. Models from 2003 to 2005 get high marks for a good interior layout and solid safety scores. Of the three original hybrids, the Civic may offer the best balance of on-road performance and overall fuel efficiency. For a well-maintained used Civic Hybrid, expect to pay somewhere around $10,000. Visit our used Honda Civic page to find a used Honda Civic in your area.
2000 to 2005 Toyota Echo (33 mpg combined)
The Toyota Echo was a quirky little compact that never really caught on with American drivers. However, it's estimated 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway are just about as good as it gets for a non-hybrid vehicle. A base price that runs from around $4,000 to $7,000 also makes this used Toyota worth a look. Compared to the hybrids on this list, the Echo offers improved acceleration and a roomier interior. The Toyota nameplate as results in good reliability - even on older models. However, an odd interior styling and less-than-smooth handling may have you looking elsewhere. Visit our used Honda page to find a used Honda Echo in your area.
2007 to 2008 Toyota Yaris (32 mpg combined)
The Toyota Yaris was introduced in 2007 as an affordable, fuel-efficient subcompact. These benefits remain for used models, with an estimated 32 mpg combined now available for somewhere around $8,000 to $10,000. Though the same generation as the current Yaris, 2007 models were only available in the sedan body style (hatchbacks came a year later). Drivers will likely find the vehicle's interior and driving dynamics adequate. For the smart used car shopper, optional equipment such as cruise control and MP3 connectivity can be had for relatively cheap. Visit our used Honda Yaris page to find a used Honda Yaris in your area.