Car Guides

Edmunds: Best used cars for under $15,000

Buying used allows you to get more features for your money when compared to a new car.

The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze.
The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze is an efficient economy sedan that fits the bill for shoppers looking for comfortable and affordable transportation. Chevrolet via AP

Vehicle sales hit a record low in April as most Americans stayed home and countless dealerships closed due to the coronavirus crisis. But as a number of businesses begin to open, those who are in need of a vehicle may find that this may be a good time to shop.

A used vehicle purchase, in particular, is something to consider. Buying used allows you to get more features for your money when compared to a new car. The hardest part is finding a good one.

To help out, Edmunds’ experts have highlighted five used vehicles worth considering. They currently have an average transaction price of around $15,000 and have at least respectable scores from Edmunds consumer reviews and expert evaluations.


They’re also no older than 5 years old, which would make them eligible for a certified pre-owned vehicle program. Certified pre-owned vehicles are pre-inspected and come with warranties, which reduces the risk of finding a vehicle in poor condition.


Average used price: $12,643-$14,601

The Chevrolet Cruze is a good choice for an affordable and economical small sedan. Chevrolet introduced the most recent version of the Cruze in 2016, and every model year since then is now available on the used market for under our target price.

While the Cruze isn’t quite as refined as, say, a Honda Civic, it’s still an attractive sedan that offers sporty handling, an easy-to-use infotainment system and a roomy back seat. It’s also more affordable than a used Civic, meaning you can get a newer car for the same amount of money. Plenty are for sale on the used market, too.

2015-2017 FORD FUSION

Average used price: $11,412-$15,351

The Ford Fusion has an elegant exterior design, spacious seating, sharp handling and a smooth ride quality. Get one with the optional turbocharged engine and the Fusion can be downright sporty. It’s like getting a European luxury sedan on the cheap.


Plenty of advanced technology and driver assistance features are available, too. The infotainment touchscreen (MyFord Touch) in the 2015-2016 Fusion, however, can be frustrating to use. That might be an incentive to get the 2017 Fusion with the superior Sync 3 infotainment system if you can.

2015-2016 HONDA ACCORD

Average used price: $13,905-$15,815

The versions of the Honda Accord sedan that fall into this price range are from 2015 and 2016, meaning they have since been replaced by a newer Accord that debuted in 2018. But the Accord has been a regular on “Best of the Year” lists for a reason, and these models are no exception.

Accords from this period have smooth and powerful engines combined with a roomy interior and a comfortable ride. Standard features include dual-zone climate control and a rearview camera. Picking one of the more loaded trim levels such as the EX-L also gets you leather upholstery and more advanced safety and technology features.

2015-2019 KIA SOUL

Average used price: $10,235-$14,672

Few vehicles can match the personality you get from a Kia Soul. This little hatchback has won over car shoppers with its quirky design, spacious interior, and long list of standard features such as Bluetooth connectivity and, in later years, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility.


The fact that such a wide range of model years is available for an average price under $15,000 makes the Soul an anomaly. Shoppers should have little trouble finding the exact features they want to fit their budget. On the downside, the Soul’s ride quality can be a little harsh at times, and its fuel economy is below average for a small hatchback.

2014-2016 NISSAN ROGUE

Average used price: $11,830-$15,414

It’s harder to find a quality SUV at this price. But the Nissan Rogue strikes a nice balance of attributes that should please small SUV shoppers. It boasts a roomy interior and a smooth feel on the road. You can find used Rogues with an optional third row of seats, allowing you to seat up to seven people in a pinch, or a configurable rear cargo space that makes securing cargo a breeze.

This era of Rogue also offers a decent number of optional safety features such as a surround-view parking camera system. Drawbacks include lethargic acceleration and real-world fuel economy that rarely matches the EPA’s estimates. But this spacious SUV packs in a lot of value.

EDMUNDS SAYS: We expect the used car market to be flush with vehicles in the coming months, which means you are likely to see greater savings as dealerships will be motivated to sell them.

This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds. Ryan ZumMallen is a staff writer at Edmunds.


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