Introduction

Introduction

Hatchbacks are gaining in popularity here in the U.S., but in the past the roomy little three- and five-doors just haven't sold. As a result, there just aren't too many options in the used car market, but since many hatchbacks started their lives as inexpensive cars you can actually find some decent wheels for under $5,000. We found some functional and efficient hatchbacks that will help keep your fuel expenditures low and get you where you need to go.

2004 Volkswagen Golf

2004 Volkswagen Golf

Price: $4,888
Mileage: 73,188
If You Bought It New: $15,580
Engine: 2.0-liter four cylinder, 115 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: N/A
Selling Points: 
Want an older hatchback for a reasonable price? Volkswagen knows how to do hatchbacks right, and the Golf is an excellent example. Excellent driving characteristics and up-scale interior are but two of the many reasons to consider a VW.
 
2007 Chevy Aveo LS

2007 Chevy Aveo LS

Price: $4,995
Mileage: 69,995
If You Bought It New: $12,010
Engine: 1.6-liter four cylinder, 103 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 2
Selling Points: The Aveo has never been a huge seller, and that has contributed to it having a relatively poor resale value. That's good if you're looking for a $5,000 hatch, though, as you can get a 2007 with under 70,000 miles that will have much less wear and tear on it than some of our other choices.
 
2004 Ford Focus

2004 Ford Focus

Price: $4,994
Mileage: 72,097
If You Bought It New: $12,965
Engine: 2.0-liter four cylinder, 130 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 3
Selling Points: Early Ford Focuses were dinged by lots of recalls and suspect reliability, but Ford fixed most of these problems by 2004. To address consumer concerns, it offered a 100,000-mile limited warranty. Extra bonus? The Focus is actually fun to drive.
 
1998 Honda Civic CX

1998 Honda Civic CX

Price: $4,499
Mileage: 40,159
If You Bought It New: $10,650
Engine: 1.6-liter four cylinder, 106 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: N/A
Selling Points: It's a Honda Civic, it's reliable and the odometer only reads 40,159. There isn't too much more that we can ask for at under $5,000, even if this car is now 13 years old.
 
2001 Hyundai Elantra GT

2001 Hyundai Elantra GT

Price: $4,889
Mileage: 75,758
If You Bought It New: $12,449
Engine: 2.0-liter four cylinder, 140 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 2.5
Selling Points: The Elantra isn't exactly the most beautiful vehicle on the planet, but it's reasonably reliable and the GT is actually offers a bit of style.
 
2002 Kia Spectra GS

2002 Kia Spectra GS

Price: $4,899
Mileage: 65,284
If You Bought It New: $10,995
Engine: 1.8-liter four cylinder, 125 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 2
Selling Points: The Spectra doesn't quite look like a hatch? Well, that's part of the appeal, as this "trunk" opens up wide to reveal plenty of room for your gear.
 
2003 Pontiac Vibe

2003 Pontiac Vibe

Price: $3,750
Mileage: 123,087
If You Bought It New: $16,485
Engine: 1.8-liter four cylinder, 130 hp
JD Power Dependability Rating: 2.5
Selling Points: The Vibe is one of our favorite low-cost hatchbacks. It's larger than many models, it's fairly attractive, and it nets good fuel economy. And if you're not a Pontiac fan you can take heart in the fact that the Vibe is a twin of the Toyota Matrix.
 


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