Do you look for a used car for a good price with good durability and good driving feel? I’ve been working as an Automotive technician for over 10 years and working as a diagnostics technician at the moment. I am searching for faults in vehicles all days long. I have seen which cars are working really well, and which car’s you should beware of.
There are really bad cars out there which could rip you off totally. Especially electric faults could be a real time and money consumer and it could be your worst nightmare if you don’t find the fault. I will share with you which used cars is the best bang for the buck in my opinion in the 2.000 – 10.000$ range.
You could always buy a car and be very unlucky but I will lower the risk for you to buy a bad car.
In this guide:
- Top most reliable cars
- Top car 1. Audi a4
- Top car 2. Bmw e90
- Top car 3. Volvo V70
- Top car 4. Subaru Legacy
- Top car 5. Skoda Octavia
The most reliable cars.
In a general rule, I would say German cars Audi, Mercedes, BMW etc often got a very nice driving feel and less big troubles if you are in the range of 2000-2010. After around 2010 they tried too much with the environment and they have a lot of faults related to that which could cost you a lot.
- Asian cars got very reliable engines but in the most cases, they are far behind in driving feeling and interior design. But because they have really good engines It could be my choice if I was looking for a reliable car over a good driving feeling etc.
- American cars also got good engines if you are looking for a reliable engine. The American engines are often not very efficient tho, often big engines with a high consumption. The chassis and suspension are often very outdated and far behind from the other vehicles.
- French cars are good cars, but they often have a lot of electrical faults and the driving feel is not that impressive if you ask me.
- English cars often have a lot of faults, but in general, it’s good cars with a lot of functions and good driveability.
I will list the top 5 most reliable cars and a top 5 of the worst reliable cars. The list is from an insurance company that reported based on reports of machine damage (often very expensive repairs)
The most reliable car engines top 5:
- 1. Kia
- 2. Hyundai
- 3. Honda
- 4. Lexus
- 5. Toyota
As you see, in this category of machine damage reports the Asian market is ruling everybody out. Like I told you, the Asian cars got very good engines with not that much troubles. If you are looking for a reliable car and not searching for much driving environment, I would recommend an Asian car. There are a lot of repair parts out there for the Asian market if you have to repair it, the bad side is that the parts are often kinda expensive.
We will now go over to the top 5 list of the cars with the most reported machine damages.
Top 5 car brands with the most reported machine damages:
- 1. Land Rover
- 2. Porsche
- 3. Mini
- 4. Seat
- 5. BMW
Land Rover is topping the list with the most reported machine damages. From my experience in the workshop, this is the reality too. I’ve seen a lot of English cars with a lot of very expensive faults. After the Land Rover is the German cars, it’s probably because German cars always trying to be on the front edge of trying new technology and therefore they get a lot of expensive faults. In my experience the German diesel engines are working really great, the most strange faults you make, you find in petrol, gas and other new technologies.
Remember that everything I write here is only from my experience in the workshops and all the cars that I have driven. You should always do your own research from more several sources before buying your car. All cars can get expensive workshop visits, I’m just writing this list to reduce the chances for you.
Let’s get over to the list of the best used cars from the price range 1.000 – 10.000 dollars in my opinion. This is a list of cars that I would buy if I were looking for a car in that price range.
What to look for before buying a used car:
Check for any rust under your vehicle and check your cars history with a VIN checkup, to make sure that the mileage of the car is correct and there are no major crashes with your car. Check the service history to make sure that all services that should have been made are OK. If the vehicle is equipped with a timing belt, make sure it has been replaced because it is often a very high cost. If you own an OBD2 scanner you can check for any trouble codes stored in the vehicle. If you consider buying one you can check out our OBD2 scanner review article.
If you want to know more about what you should check for when you are buying a used car, check our article 15 Questions to ask before buying a used car.
An easy way to check a used car is with the help of a car history report. You will see any crashes or milage corrections on the vehicle. Absolutely an investment when buying a used car!
1. Audi A4 B6/B7 2001-2008 – (2.0 TDI)
Audi a4 is really a good car that I would buy myself. You will get a modern car with a really good suspension and drivetrain.
For good reliable, you can choose either the 1.8 t petrol or the 1.9 TDI diesel engine. They both have good reliability and are good and strong engines. I would not recommend a v6 engine for this cars because you will get a slower car with more faults, yes the 1.8t and 1.9tdi is faster than the v6 without turbo engine.
If you are living in a cold country where you got snow, I could really recommend that you would buy a 4wd (Quattro). The Quattro system is fantastic and you won’t probably get stuck.
You can choose either the b6 or a b7. Both of them is good chassis and the b7 is just an updated facelift version of the b6.
Audi a4 Buying guide/video review:
2. BMW E90/E91 2007–2013 320d
Also here we have a nice car to drive with good value and durability.
Here my choice is also a diesel engine. The 320d n47 is a good common, well-tested engine.
Be sure to check that the oil history of the car is OK. Some cars got problems with the timing chain and it could be expensive.
E90 chassis is a good chassis, but if you want to spend some more the newer F30/F31 chassis is even better.
I’m owning one myself F30 320d. Awesome car with small costs! 🙂
Best driving feeling for a good price!
2005 – 2011 e90 video review:
3. Volvo v70 III 2008- D5
A quality car from Sweden with both a good chassis and engine. Very nice to drive.
If you want a petrol engine it’s the ford engines you have to choose from. I would recommend the D5 Diesel engine here.
Choose your year model after your price range. But I would recommend a 2008 and above for the III chassis. The second generation is OK if you want a cheaper car!
The best driving environment for a good price!
Volvo v70 III Video review:
4. Subaru Legacy 4rd Generation 2003-2009 2.5i
Subaru is known for the highest customer satisfaction and good durability. Maybe not the same good driving feeling as the cars above if you ask me but good for the price.
But you could get a very good Subaru for a cheap price. Good bang for the buck!
Subarus 2.0-2.5i boxer engines are very good and I would choose one of those over a diesel in this case.
Good durability for a good price!
Subaru Legacy 2003-2009 Video Review:
5. Skoda Octavia 2004-2012 2.0 TDI
Now we go back to the German market. with the same chassis as Volkswagen golf and the same engines for a better price, it would be a shame to say it’s a bad car for the price.
You could find very good used octavias for low prices.
Choose your model year after your price range, all chassis over 2004 is good in my opinion.
Here’s my best choice the 2.0 TDI engine or another diesel engine for good economics and durability.
A good car for the very low price.
Skoda Octavia 2004-2012 Review:
A lot of used German cars is a good bang for the buck. Asian cars if you are looking for good reliability. Diesel engines are in many cases better economic and better durability. It is depending on how much tax you have to pay for a diesel engine. In many countries, the tax for a diesel car is very high and it is a lot cheaper to drive a petrol, gas, hybrid or electric car then. My tip is to buy a common car brand and common engine. You will get cheaper repairs and probably better durability also.
All these cars I chose of my own experience and I do not take any responsibility if you buy one of those and are unlucky! 😉
If you have any more questions you can ask us at our homepage!