If you have $40,000 to spend on a car, but would rather let someone else take the depreciation that comes when you drive a new car off the lot, you have a number of options. If you’re thinking that money would buy you an old muscle car, a classic Italian supercar, or an early car from one of the German brands you’d be right, but unfortunately none of those options would make a good, reliable daily driver. If you’re looking for something a little more modern and practical, take a look at our list of the 10 best used cars under $40,000 and see what’s right for you.
10 Best Used Cars under $40,000
Photo Credit: General Motors
2014-2016 Cadillac CTS
The latest generation of the midsize Cadillac CTS was released in 2014, and if you shop carefully, you can find a 2016 model within our $40,000 budget (but don’t expect to get the high-performance CTS-V version for that money). The base version offers adequate power (especially in 2016 models with the new 8-speed automatic transmission) and comes with a good amount of standard features. The interior is modern and well-trimmed, and the Cadillac straddles the perfect balance between a comfortable ride and good handling. If you’re looking for a fun yet practical car, the CTS is one of the 10 best used cars under $40,000.
Photo Credit: Lexus
2012-2014 Lexus LS 460
If you want a fullsize luxury car for your $40,000, you’ll need to make some compromises, such as settling for something a little bit older, like a 2014 Lexus LS 460. Last refreshed in 2012, the LS isn’t a particularly fun car to drive, but if you’re looking for a large car with a quiet interior, smooth ride and a full complement of technological aids, it’s hard to beat. The engine is powerful enough to get the LS 460 moving fairly quickly, and pairs well with the 8-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid LS 600h isn’t in our budget, but don’t worry, as it doesn’t add much to the LS experience.
Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz
2014-2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
While a new generation of the midsize E-Class arrived for the 2017 model year, the previous version ran from 2010 to 2016, and for our budget you can pick up a V6-powered 2016 E350, a turbocharged V6-powered 2015 E400, or even a V8-powered 2014 E550 (unfortunately, the extra-powerful AMG models are well out of our price range). The interior is luxurious and well put together, and the ride quality is quite good. None of the models are particularly fun through the corners, but the handling is competent and the E-Class makes a great long-distance cruiser. All that makes it one of the 10 best used cars under $40,000.
Photo Credit: Jaguar Land Rover
2013-2015 Jaguar XF
The latest generation of the midsize Jaguar XF was introduced for the 2016 model year, and while you might be able to find one for less than $40,000, you’ll probably have a much easier time finding a 2015 model of the previous version. If you can settle for a 2013 model, you can even get an XF powered by the supercharged V8. While the exterior isn’t quite as sleek as the newer version and the infotainment and safety systems are a bit outdated, the old XF is still a great car that features an attractive understated interior and strikes a good balance between ride and handling.
Photo Credit: Porsche
2012-2014 Porsche Boxster
The third generation of the convertible Porsche Boxster sports car was introduced in 2012, and you can now pick up a 2014 model for less than $40,000. With the Boxster you get an attractive mid-engined car with great handling and good acceleration, and having the motor right behind you makes you want to push the car whenever the opportunity arises. The interior is stylish and uses nice materials, but there are quite a few buttons to control all the electronics. The ride quality is surprisingly good for this type of car, making the Boxster a fun car that you can drive every day.
Photo Credit: Infiniti
2015-2016 Infiniti Q70
The midsize Infiniti Q70 was last refreshed for the 2015 model year, and you can now find 2016 models within our budget. While that budget probably won’t get you a V8 powered model (and definitely won’t get you a hybrid), even the V6 is quite powerful and it’s available in either rear- or all-wheel drive. The Q70 features a unique and striking exterior design as well as a nice, comfortable interior. The ride is quite good, and while the Infiniti doesn’t handle like a sports car, it does a good job through the corners. On a whole, the Q70 is one of the 10 best used cars under $40,000.
Photo Credit: Hyundai
2014-2016 Hyundai Equus
While the fullsize Hyundai Equus has been replaced by the Genesis G90 for the 2017 model year, the 2014 to 2016 models represent a remarkable value for your money on the used market. The Equus is a large car with a quiet and roomy interior, comfortable seats and decent materials. The ride is quite good, but the Equus drives like an older American car (though one with more power and slightly better handling and braking). If you’re looking for a fullsize luxury car and aren’t concerned about brand image, then the Equus is one of the 10 best used cars under $40,000, and one that you need to consider.
Photo Credit: Cadillac
2014-2016 Cadillac XTS
The fullsize Cadillac XTS was first introduced as a 2013 model, and on the used market you can get a 2016 model within our budget. Unlike many of the other vehicles in the Cadillac lineup, the XTS is a front-wheel drive based car that’s also available with all-wheel drive. It features modern exterior styling in line with other models in the brand’s range, and the interior is roomy and comfortable. Despite its drivetrain layout, the XTS’ engines are smooth and reasonably quick, and handling is surprisingly good. If you’re looking for a practical yet luxurious fullsize car under $40,000, the XTS is hard to beat.
Photo Credit: General Motors
2014 Chevrolet Corvette
The latest generation of the Corvette sports car was first introduced for the 2014 model year, and they are now available on the used market for less than $40,000. Unfortunately, the Z06 package wasn’t introduced until 2015, but even if it had been introduced earlier, that model still wouldn’t be in our price range. Still, even the base models include a powerful V8 engine and instantly recognizable Corvette styling. The interior is much improved compared to previous models, performance and handling is incrementally better, and the ride is firm but easily tolerable. All that performance and a reasonable price makes the Corvette one of the 10 best used cars under $40,000.
Photo Credit: Maserati
2014-2015 Maserati Ghibli
The Maserati Ghibli is a midsized Italian luxury car, and you can now purchase a 2015 model for less than $40,000. Buying a used Italian car is always a slightly risky proposition, but owning one makes you feel like you’ve entered an exclusive club, which can make it all worthwhile. The Ghibli has an attractive exterior, and while it doesn’t have the largest interior, it is upscale and modern. Handling is good, though the ride can be a bit busy. Don’t buy the Ghibli if you don’t have money to spend on repairs, but if you have the means, you’ll be rewarded every time you get behind the wheel.