When you’re purchasing a used car, there are several factors to take into account. The good news is you don’t have to sacrifice efficiency and luxury in the used market, especially when it comes to small cars.
Regardless of the car you want to drive away, you must do your research, so you can get the best value for your money, wants and needs.
You can get numerous used cars under $15,000 in Canada and their sizes run from small to full sized SUV and trucks. Their age range also runs the gamut, so it will be up to you to decide which year you’re comfortable with when purchasing a used car. We came to our conclusions for this list by comparing overall value (features and resale) with safety rating and fuel efficiency.
Before you shop, take a look at this quick checklist we created below so you can decide which features are most crucial:
- Safety; This may seem like a no-brainer, but some vehicles do have better safety ratings. If you’re a parent who has to consider regular backseat safety while driving, this should be a priority.
- Comfort; Some people really care about space while on the open road. Some don’t. Do you want leather seats? Heated? Are there other purely comfort features that you can’t live without? If so, check this box.
- Fuel efficiency; Again, probably a no-brainer (because who doesn’t want to save money and help the environment) but if you’re only using a car to get around town occasionally, it may not matter as much.
- Leisure; Do you want to drive a sport model just because you find it to be a more enjoyable ride? If this matters, make sure to mark it off!
- Hybrid; Do you have your eye on a Prius or similar car?
- Vehicle history; This consists of maintenance history, not just if it’s been in a wreck. This is a must. If the car doesn’t have one, walk away.
Best 5 Used Cars Under $15,000 (small and sedan)
- Honda Civic
Edmunds New Car Buying Guide is a renowned authority in the auto industry that rated the Civic in these years best of their small car list. An improvement on earlier Civic models, you can purchase a coupe or sedan with either manual or automatic transmission, with several tech options (like Honda LaneWatch monitor, interior touch screen on the multimedia system, auto theft deterrent and more). Also has a hybrid option and is spacious for a small car with average of 11.7 cu ft. as it’s max cargo volume (coupe base). It’s considered a fun sport drive, with 205 horsepower. Its fuel economy isn’t bad either at 6.7 L/100km.
Price range: The average price of a used Civic now ranges between $11,800-$14,000 at dealers according to Autotrader.ca (source for all the price ranges covered in this article).
- Volkswagen Hatchback GTI
VW discontinued the two-door model of the GTI in 2014, so if you’re into that feature, this car is for you. The car boasts excellent performance with 200 horsepower, zooming from 0-100km in 7.2 seconds, excellent cargo space and roomy seats. Fuel efficiency is one of the best at 6.6 L/100km on the highway and 10L for city driving.
Price range: $8,200 to $15,000. VW’s have very good resale value, especially older model years if they have true German-made parts.
- Volvo S60
Volvo coined and came up with “pedestrian detection” when they created a system that had a full auto brake system, a solid-safety feature for anyone worried about little ones around the driveway (or those who can’t seem to get off their cell phone). The S60 is sporty little sedan (boasting 300 horsepower) and is both sleek, like a coupe, but elegant in ways only Volvo can be with classic racetrack features. Like it’s predecessors, this car is solid and safe, with excellent safety ratings. They go above-and-beyond with improved spinal support headrests that move backward a little bit upon being rear-ended (earning a top rating for headrest safety from Sweden). Fuel efficiency is good, at 9.9L/100KM. With an original price tag of almost $50k, this is one of the best deals for age on our list.
Price range: $11,500 to $15k+ (median even within this range was about $13,500). Like VW’s, Volvo’s will last a long time if you’re willing to invest in the maintenance costs.
- Kia Rio 5
Kia continues to dominate the budget car market by delivering excellent value on all fronts. Edmunds‘ user ratings give the Rio 5 a general rating of 4.5 stars. The Rio 5 handles like a sports car in terms of control, but drivers can enjoy comfort that sportier vehicles generally skimp on. If you choose the hatchback, you’ll be surprised with how roomy it is inside. It has 138 horsepower and boasts a very impressive 4.9-6.8L/100km! The Rio 5 comes in several models and trims, which can alter the price a bit.
Price range: $9000 to $13,500
With 155 horsepower, almost as much torque and impressive 8 city, 5.8 highway on the manual and 7.9 city, 5.7 on the automatic, the Mazda3 makes it’s zoom-zoom marketing gimmick come true. According to driving.ca, the Mazda3 is one of the best-handling compact cars on the market for its price-point. You can enjoy modern multimedia system, heated seats & mirrors and even rain-sensing windshield wipers. There are two packages that these years could come with either the leather package or the touring package which varies on their bonuses (like fog lights, adjustable driver seat, etc).
Price range: $10,000 to $14,500 (note: some very low mileage options appeared over $15k during our research, but these are not very common).
Regardless of the car you buy and the credit you have, Canada Auto Experts can help you get behind the wheels of your choice and start building your credit with a car loan. Call 1-855-550-5565 to get approved today!