10 Best Used Cars For Under $8,000
DETROIT MainStreet) -- Used-car prices are high and trending higher, but bargains do exist.
For instance, the 2002 Infiniti G20 was a luxury car, yet it goes for an average price of $5,965, according to Kelley Blue Book . The car is "a diamond among used-car jewels," says Jason Allan, kbb.com managing editor. It is cheap, he says, because "it wasn't a big car and people are a little afraid to buy something they're not familiar with."
|Ford's Crown Victoria stands out amid a lot of fuel-efficient small used cars made by Japanese and Korean manufacturers.|
In fact, this hidden bargain ranked No. 2 on the list of the top 10 used cars for under $8,000. Kelley Blue Book's list has rarely been more relevant, given the continuing weak economy and continuing high demand for used cars.
The National Automobile Dealers Association recently said that increasing demand and diminished supply will push used car prices up by 1.8% this year, peaking in April and May, following a 3% increase in 2011. Used car prices are at or near record levels.
The Kelley Blue Book staff created its list by compiling every used car from 2002 and newer with a Kelley Blue Book retail value below $8,000. "We considered all of our experience with the vehicles as well as consumer ratings and reputations," Allan says.
Here is the list, starting with the 10th-biggest bargain.
2008 Kia Rio
The 10th-best bargain on the Kelley Blue Book list is the 2008 Kia Rio compact sedan, which is also the newest car on the list and so comes with a unique advantage: It is still covered under a factory warranty.
The Rio was a good value proposition when it is new, and it remains that way. It is available with a number of trim levels. Allan calls says it is hard to beat "a nice little sedan that it still under warranty."
Kelley Blue Book retail value: $7,680.
2004 Ford Crown Victoria
We move from the Rio to its opposite, a big classic Ford(F) sedan that is known everywhere.
On a list that, let's face it, is going to include a lot of fuel-efficient small cars made by Japanese and Korean manufacturers, the Crown Vic is an "oddball," Allan says. "But it's big and roomy, which is something a lot of people need."
Additionally, the Crown Victoria is a proven workhorse. Sometimes, Allan says, "people decide they don't want a first-year vehicle that is still working out its problems. The Crown Vic is the opposite of that. Ford has been making and refining and improving and bulletproofing it for decades."
Kelley Blue Book retail value: $7,585.
2003 Mazda Protege5
The eighth-best bargain on the Kelley Blue Book list is the 2003 Protege5 compact, a five-door hatchback with versatility and good gas mileage.