Getting a used car shouldn’t feel like a nightmare. If you know what you are looking for, it should be easy as a piece of cake. If you intend to spend not more than $5000 (or even less), then this article is what you need.
It goes without saying that cars will likely have high mileage or are old enough not to be in great demand among those with higher budgets. However, we have found something that’s both great and affordable — even if it takes some hours to tidy it up after it arrives at your location.
The Acura TSX was an ordinary luxury. It shared much of its characteristics with its sibling, the Honda Accord, but the first-generation TSX had more to attract you. The TSX was an outstanding representative of sports sedans for its time, and it had some unique features other cars in its segment couldn’t boast about, including 17-inch wheels and a Bluetooth stereo.
BMW 5-Series Wagon
True BMW enthusiasts adore E39 wagons. First presented in 2000, it’s available with the 2.8-liter (later 3.0-liter) inline-six or the 4.4-liter V-8 engine modifications. For less than five thousand, you’ll find one with mileage approaching 200,000. Nevertheless, it is still possible to come across a well-worn gem that has been gently cared for and endlessly loved to allow you to drive like hell, just as BMW initially intended.
Buick Park Avenue
First-generation models have almost disappeared, but that’s not a huge disaster. We are more interested in the second-gen cars, launched in 1997 equipped with a 3800 Series II 3.8-liter V-6 with a supercharger. A marvelous, leather-wrapped interior allows feeling incredible comfort during long interstate runs. Standard features include climate control, power seats, and a pollen filter.
Owning a pickup truck seems to be a sensible decision for some car enthusiasts. If you search thoroughly, you can still find a couple of affordable full-size trucks. In 1997 Ford presented the 10th-generation F-series distinguished by its rounded exterior. The F-150 is a good deal if you only have $5000 in your pocket. With some persistence, finding a decent truck carrying a V-8 and having a four-wheel drive is not so complicated. For those times, Ford contributed a lot to the perception of F-Series trucks in terms of their usage. From the 1990s, pickup trucks shifted from vehicles designed exclusively to cars suitable for work and personal use, effectively serving as a second car.
There’s a reason why the Accord is on the list of the best cars for 34 years. Just think about its smooth-revving engine, accurate steering, spacious interiors, and steady reliability. The Accord has always been the ultimate driver’s car, and still, there are plenty of models on the road. The EX coupe offered a 240-hp V-6 engine and six-speed manual transmission, while the regular inline-four versions presented i-VTEC with cam phasing.
No one assembles compact pickup trucks anymore. Designed as a rival to the Chevrolet S-10, the Ford Ranger is a great buy. The Ranger is simple but austere. There is no need for running boards or tailgate steps because it’s not seven feet tall. You can get it in a single or extended cab, equipped with an inline-four or V-6, manual or automatic transmission. Be careful with the brakes on older Ranger versions; they’re either rear-only ABS or missing it entirely. Great if you are lucky enough to find a yellow Ranger Splash with the decals intact.
The Infiniti J30 is pretty close to a fantastic Nissan 300ZX. It was equipped with the same 205-hp 3.0-liter V-6 and shared the incredible suspension that gave the splendid sedan super control. The Touring subtle trunk spoiler and aluminum BBS-mesh wheels let this model stand out from the crowd. Its Bose stereo system had great OE sound, and the heated leather front seats gave outstanding comfort to its drivers. Don’t forget to inspect every power window switch and door handle, as those are among the most common issues in J models. By the way, we advise you to choose the Infiniti J30T.
With $5000, you may get a Cherokee in any build, like the one-owner, bone-stock, never off-roaded model, and others.
The Cherokee is a real 4.0L road monster because with good maintenance, some preventive measures concerning possible oil-leak and cooling issues, as well as rust — it will live a long life and go anywhere you want.
Infiniti M35 Sport
If you are a true BMW fan and obsessed with the idea of owning an M car, you’d better take a look at a different type of M, this incredible and fully loaded 2007 Infiniti M35 Sport. It can boast about its 19-inch, 10-spoke wheels and leather interior going with heated and cooled seats. M35’s 275-hp 3.5-liter V-6 might have almost 150,000 miles in this price range, so it might not be as agile as it was at the top of its abilities, but still, it accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, just 0.2 slower than the 325-hp M45 version.
Designed to compete with German opponents, the LS400 changed the luxury-sedan segment. Toyota used a V-8 just for this car, gave it a fabulous interior with features that posh customers required, and put a price tag of $35,000. Having adopted some peculiarities of European models, it has aged well. It’s all about that reliability, start-every-time, no-fuss, easy-to-maintain dependability that made the LS400 and the Lexus brand.
At first sight, the Miata may seem too small for your needs, but that doesn’t make it worse. The NB2 chassis may pleasantly surprise you with refined projector headlights, additional chassis support, and its improved engine. It’s agile and easy to drive. The parts are cheap, and many aluminum bits prevent a car from having a rusty coating. Mazda Miata is perhaps the most inexpensive way to get much out of your driving.
When the Mercedes W140 S-class was introduced at the end of 1991, it made a splash. The car was much larger, heavier, and more equipped than its forerunner. The price hit either. A six-cylinder version started at a touch less than $70,000 in 1992 dollars, and the 389-hp V-12 was more than $120,000. But fortunately for Mercedes enthusiasts, over time, all that sophistication and complexity has reduced the value of these fantastic cars to a tiny bit of their original cost.
Grab it immediately if you are lucky to find a second-gen Dodge Ram that isn’t wholly oxidized. These trucks have preserved their appealing looks that have aged notably better than their rivals. The vacuum-actuated four-wheel drive can be picky, but the engines are not sophisticated, and it’s pretty easy to find any parts or replacements. No doubt that the most remarkable members of the second-gen family are the heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 versions. These turbo-diesel representatives are famous for their long-lasting power and incredible strength. For less than five thousand, however, you’re most likely going to find a gasoline 5.2- or 5.9-liter V-8.
Getting a Nissan Pathfinder with reasonable mileage may become a challenge, but it’s still possible. The four-wheel drive, five-speed manual transmission, bulletproof 168-hp 3.3-liter V-6, and a multilink rear suspension make this car so appealing. Apart from all the advantages above, every Pathfinder features mid-level SE trims with a driver’s seat with lumbar support and position adjustments, remote keyless entry, a roof rack, and tubular steel step rails.
The Subaru Baja is definitely worth your attention and time. The Baja Turbo possessed a 2.5-liter turbo version; the same came in the Impreza WRX STI and went with a five-speed manual transmission. Don’t get too excited, as the most fabulous models are yet to come.
Though the gas prices have moved back up, that is not the reason to give up the idea of getting an older Toyota Sequoia. First introduced in 2001, the 2005-generation Sequoia is among the best of its range due to its well-improved drivetrain. Although similar to its Tahoe and Expedition rivals, it was larger and longer. The Sequoia was sold in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive versions. A 2005 or younger Sequoia version for less than $5000 might not possess the entire leather interior typical of Limited trim models, and it may have over 200,000 miles. Indeed, the Toyota Sequoia is the case when a car doesn’t age and only gets better over time. Think of it as it is a brand-new vehicle with 15 years and 200,000 miles of experience.
Technically, the S70 model is identical to the 850 version, but the outer changes have smoothed that car’s 1980s-era edges out to make it feel fresh and up-to-date. If you compare the feel of the lower dashboard and door trim of a brand-new Toyota and the same surfaces in the S70, you will see no difference. They’re all soft and smooth to the last compartment. In 1998 S70 was among the first cars equipped with side-impact airbags and seats that diminish injuries. Standard equipment included remote central locking, heated & electrically adjustable mirrors, power brakes with ABS, and power windows standard on every car. Undoubtedly, nowadays, a few things may not work correctly on your vehicles, such as one of the power windows and door locks, but for several thousand dollars, you can hardly find any better options.