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Nissan Versa (2009), Ford Escape (2005) Among Cars.com Best Used Cars For About $10,000

Nissan Versa (2009), Ford Escape (2005) Among Cars.com Best Used Cars For About $10,000 1The used car market is increasing as buyers continue to find ways to make their money go further in the suffering economy. Kelsey Mays and Joe Wiesenfelder of Cars.com have compiled a list of the 10 best used cars available for $10,000 or less.

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In the writers’ words:

“Whether it’s a weekday commuter or a Saturday grocery-getter, drivers need their set of wheels, but the average price of a new car — $28,929 including financing, according to Comerica Bank’s latest Auto Affordability Index — is awfully high for many people.

“Not to worry; we’ve singled out some good buys for you. With reliability, safety and bottom-dollar value in mind, we looked at new and late-model used cars whose retail values hover around $10,000. We crunched reliability and crash-test scores. We considered standard and optional safety features and looked at how easy it is to find cars with those options. Finally, we considered gas mileage along with our own qualitative impressions — things such as cabin comfort and driving enjoyment.”

Nissan Versa (2009), Ford Escape (2005) Among Cars.com Best Used Cars For About $10,000 2

Here’s the Cars.com list:

2009 Nissan Versa
2005 Ford Escape
2005 Ford Five Hundred
2005 Ford Freestar
2005 Ford Taurus
2005 Hyundai Tucson
2005 Hyundai XG350
2004 Ford F-150
2004 Hyundai Santa Fe
2004 Mitsubishi Outlander

Cars.com editors exlained their list: “We used retail values — not trade-in or private-party values, which vary greatly depending on the car’s condition — to pare down our initial list of 225 cars.

Sources for safety equipment and crash-test scores include the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and automaker data. Information on vehicle features comes from automaker data; reliability scores come from J.D. Power and Associates and Consumer Reports. Gas mileage estimates come from the EPA, and used-car prices come from Kelley Blue Book. Installation rates for specific safety equipment come from Ward’s Automotive Group.

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