Check out the 2019 Autoblog Gaming Guide 🕹
  • Image Credit: eBay

You don't have to choose a beige Toyota Corolla

The price of a 10-year-old used car has risen 75% since 2010, with the average price now $8,657 according to data from Edmunds. Now, when people think about cars in that price range, it's bound to be a depressing image. You know, something like that beige Corolla up there. Yuck.

Rest assured, however, it does not need to be that way. There is no shortage of not-depressing cars in that price range that don't have a bajillion miles and won't cost a bajillion dollars to maintain. To prove that, we decided to scour eBay for a few finds that cost just about $8,657. Admittedly, many are older than 10 years old, which perhaps demonstrates the rising cost of used cars, but nevertheless, we'd much rather have something older that isn't depressing than something newer-but-still-old that makes us die a little with each turn of the key.

Find this deal in your area

See Local Deals

Toyota Corolla Information

Toyota Corolla
  • Image Credit: eBay

2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI

Volkswagen's TDI engines used to have a stellar reputation for performance, durability, and efficiency. And then #dieselgate happened and things quickly turned south. Now that the engines are sorted and actually meet emissions requirements, a used TDI can be a really good, fuel-efficient buy on the used market. There were several options to choose from on eBay with relatively low mileage, so I picked a Jetta Sportwagen from 2012 with a six-speed manual transmission. — Consumer Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski

Find this deal in your area

See Local Deals

Volkswagen Jetta Information

Volkswagen Jetta
  • Image Credit: eBay

2009 Honda Accord LX-S

The car I should buy: At this price point, I’m hypothetically someone who needs dependable, basic transportation. A way to get to work with four-cylinder fuel economy and no worries. Assuming I don’t need four doors, this 2009 Honda Accord LX-S offers all that, but with some style — a great color and the handsome Accord Coupe fastback body. It has low miles at 66,000, and the background check is clean. The engine doesn’t have a timing belt, and the tires appear to have tread, so those are major expenses avoided. It has an open recall that appears to be just a software fix. The seller wants too much — KBB says the ask is $1,000 over a typical listing for this car, and far more than what they've actually sold for. Plus, this is the base model. But you could make an offer. — Managing Editor Greg Rasa

Find this deal in your area

See Local Deals

Honda Accord Information

Honda Accord
  • Image Credit: eBay

2007 BMW 530xi

And this is the car I’d be tempted to buy: I’d generally be wary of a used German car a continent away that I can’t check out in person. If something needs fixing, it will be expensive. And of course, this one’s in Florida, so the first possible concern that comes to mind is: hurricane car. Also, the vehicle history report is not being offered for free, so a lot hinges on what that report and a proper inspection reveal. But if you are close enough to check it out, this is a 2007 all-wheel-drive BMW 5 Series for just under $8 grand, with just under 70,000 miles. My neighbor had good luck picking up a BMW like this that had similarly bottomed out on depreciation. That said, he rebuilds engines for fun. But if this Bangle-butt black beauty checks out, you're riding in style for not much money. — Managing Editor Greg Rasa

BMW 530xi Information

BMW 530xi
  • Image Credit: eBay

2005 Pontiac GTO

Just because you don't have a lot of cash doesn't mean you can't buy big performance. Take this 2005 Pontiac GTO. It's the updated model with a 6.0-liter 400-horsepower V8, rather than the initial model's 350-horse 5.7-liter engine. And being an LS, the engine should be pretty problem-free, and if not, it will be easy and cheap to fix and maintain. Best of all, this one has a slick-shifting T56 six-speed manual transmission that of course sends power to the back. The GTO also features mature styling, so you don't look like a street racer or someone trying to relive their youth. The interior is well put together and attractive, which is a rarity for GM in the mid-2000s. There are a few visual blemishes, and the mileage is a touch high at over 150,000, but it's far from the end of life. And it can all be yours for just $7,900. — Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale

Pontiac GTO Information

Pontiac GTO
  • Image Credit: eBay

2001 Jeep Cherokee

It's wasn't exactly the first of its kind, but the Jeep Cherokee is arguably the vehicle that kicked off America's obsession with sport utility vehicles. This 2001 Sport model is powered by the legendarily indestructible 4.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine, hooked up to a four-speed automatic transmission that routes 190 horsepower to all four wheels through a heavy-duty 4x4 transfer case. Red isn't my favorite color for an XJ, but this one looks pretty good in the fiery hue along with a grayish leather interior. The engine bay and undercarriage look good, and 115,000 miles on the odometer means this XJ ought to have plenty of useful life left to give.

There are some downsides to an older XJ. They were extremely popular, but since production ended in 2001, spare parts aren't getting any easier to find. And the big inline six makes a good amount of power, but it's anything but fuel efficient. — Consumer Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski

Find this deal in your area

See Local Deals

Jeep Cherokee Information

Jeep Cherokee
  • Image Credit: eBay Motors

1998 Cadillac Eldorado

The last-generation Cadillac Eldorado strikes me as a terrific choice for this low price range. Admittedly, I think its design looks far better today than it did back in the day, but primarily it's because they were driven by old people who'd barely drive them and kept them garaged. As a result, mileage is low and condition is usually excellent. Yet, you also get a well-equipped car, including eight-way heated leather seats and a Bose sound system, with a 4.6-liter V8 good for 275 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Sure, fuel economy isn't great, but that can be said for just about everything in this price range that isn't a four-cylinder compact car. This particular Eldorado is from 1998 and has a typically low 52,000 miles on it with an asking price of $8,000. It's painted a distinctive Baltic Blue and thankfully doesn't have the unfortunately ubiquitous landau vinyl roof. I also like its matching blue interior, though could do without the owner's sheepskin seat covers. Given the rest of the car's condition, I'm guessing they aren't hiding torn-up leather. Sure, I'd be confused for an old man, but I'd drive a Cadillac Eldorado instead of some old Honda Civic any day. — West Coast Editor James Riswick

Cadillac Eldorado Information

Cadillac Eldorado
  • Image Credit: eBay

1991 Toyota 4Runner

California cars are the lucky ones, and this 1991 Toyota 4Runner is billed as a “California Truck” in the owner’s description. A 1991 4Runner was toward the start of the SUV’s second generation where it adopted the full steel body. It was still very much a truck in nearly every aspect, but this generation looks far better to me than the first years of the 4Runner. Like every clean, aged Toyota truck, this one commands a premium of $7,900. That’s a tough pill to swallow at 211,474 miles, but Toyota trucks are known for their reliability. There’s a good chance that this 4Runner isn’t anywhere near its end time, especially with the condition it’s in. The seller says it’s been in the same family since 1991, so you know folks have cared for it. Add a manual transmission to all of the above, and I’m sold on the 4Runner life. — Assistant Editor Zac Palmer

Find this deal in your area

See Local Deals

Toyota 4Runner Information

Toyota 4Runner
  List
Share This Photo X