The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that the average age of non-commercial vehicles on the road is 11.4 years. Clearly, Americans are keeping their cars longer, and buying used instead of new a large portion of the time.
With this trend seemingly on the rise over the past decade, we’ve compiled a list of 10 excellent cars, trucks, and SUVs from ten years ago that can be had for the very reasonable price of $10,000 or less. From small cars to big trucks, there’s something for every prospective buyer.
Small Car: 2005 Honda Civic
The Civic has long been one of the most reliable, best value choices in the small sedan market, and the story was no different ten years ago. With up to 35-mpg on the highway, this perennial favorite is still on par with the fuel efficiency of modern gasoline and hybrid models. Top-spec examples can be had for around $7,500, and don’t worry about a high mileage figure, as Hondas from this generation can last for hundreds of thousands of miles.
Midsize Car: 2005 Toyota Camry
The world’s best-selling car certainly deserves its title, as Toyota Camry owners are some of the most satisfied on the road. The fifth generation Camry was one of Toyota’s best-selling models ever, and it’s no surprise, as even the top-spec XLE trim with the optional V-6 saw fuel economy figures of 26-mpg highway. Well-kept models can still be had today for around $9,000 depending on location.
Large Car: 2005 Chrysler 300C
Chrysler may not have been at their prime in 2005, but the resurrected 300C remains one of the best models they’ve released in decades. With a 340-hp 5.7-liter V-8 and styling that looks at home on cars with 5 times the price tag, the 300C is still a strong choice in the large sedan segment. Good condition models can be had for $10,000 or less.
Station Wagon: 2005 Mazda6 Wagon
In a segment that had all but abandoned station wagons, the Mazda6 stands out as an attractive, fun-to-drive midsize car with a wealth of interior space. With 220-hp from its reliable and punchy 3.0-liter V-6, the Mazda6 wagon could still manage a respectable 25-mpg highway. For around $7,000 you can have the versatility of a midsize SUV or crossover with the driving dynamics of a sports sedan. What’s not to love?
Crossover: 2005 Nissan Murano
The Nissan Murano was one of the first vehicles to bear the name “crossover,” and it remains one of the best. With a stylish, curvy design and a well-equipped interior that feels well above its class, the first generation Murano remains a smart buy even ten years on. Average mileage examples can be had for around $9,000 depending on location and condition.
Sport-Utility: 2005 Ford Explorer
For those with a need for a true, body-on-frame SUV, look no further than the third generation Ford Explorer. As the most popular iteration of the blue oval’s game-changing SUV, the 2005 Explorer remains a practical, durable, and versatile go-everywhere vehicle. With seating for 7 and a tendency to last well beyond 100,000 miles, the 2005 Explorer can be had for the relative bargain price of $8,000 or less.
Pickup: 2005 Ford F-150
Ford’s best-selling full-size pickup truck is famous for its class-leading ride and handling, versatility, and available cabin and bed configurations. The 2005 F-150 remained at the top of its class, and were a continued sales success. Higher mileage models can run less than $10,000, but for lower mileage or better-equipped versions, expect to pay a few thousand more.
Minivan: 2005 Honda Odyssey
While it may not include the game-changing HondaVac system available in the new Odyssey, the 2005 iteration of Honda’s minivan remains one of the best. With a roomy, comfortable interior and available seating for 8, there are few better ways to haul as many people as possible around than the third generation Odyssey. Higher mileage examples can be had for less than $10,000 but buyers can rest assured that they will soldier on for many more miles.
Sports Car: 2005 Ford Mustang
While it may be more of a muscle car than a true sports car, the fact remains that the retro-inspired 2005 Ford Mustang is one of the best used rear-wheel-drive cars that money can buy. Available with the potent-but-overlooked 4.0-liter V-6 or the 300-hp 4.6-liter V-8, Ford’s iconic pony car still turns heads 10 years after its retro refresh. Coupe and convertible iterations can be had for under $10,000.
Luxury Car: 2005 Lincoln LS
While it may lack some of the quality of its German and Japanese competitors, the Lincoln’s first and only LS remains one of the best luxury cars America has produced. With a smooth and powerful 3.9-liter V-8 available on the top-tier models and features like cooled seats and an excellent THX sound system, the LS is one of the best luxury used car bargains at less than $10,000.