The Acura MDX is proof that cars under $5000 can be high-quality luxury SUVs instead of base model economy cars. Choose to drop your five grand on an Acura MDX and you will get 3.5L V6 capable of 265 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque along with a 4,500 lb towing capacity. Additionally, you get seating for seven, 81.5 cubic feet of cargo space, and 4WD in some trim levels. The MDX always offers a modern-feeling design and outstanding interior refinements. You really can’t ask more from an SUV under $5000.
The Toyota Camry and legendary reliability are synonymous. Toyota has always equipped its mid-size family offering with tough, durable engines that have been known to last well past 300,000 miles. Add to that the highest safety ratings possible and you have one of the best cars under $5000 imaginable. To find a Camry under $5000, you do not have to stretch to the 300,000 mile mark, either. You should be able to find Camry that is less than 12 model years old and has fewer than 130,000 miles on it for the $5000 mark we have set.
Buick has many solid offerings under $5000, but the best may just be the Buick Lucerne. Like all of the cars under $5000 on our list, the Lucerne has a reputation for durability and value. Your 5K will get you a strong 4.6L V8 capable of 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Surprisingly, such a large engine is able to achieve 23 mpg on the highway. On top of power and Buick luxury, the Lucerne is highly touted for its safety and affordable insurance rates.
The Mitsubishi 4G54B had a lot of promise but failed to deliver the goods. It sounded great on paper; it featured computer-controlled fuel injection and a single turbocharger, but it was hard to tune for more power and was prone to head gasket failures. Two fuel injectors behind the throttle body provided fuel for the engine, but this positioning showed trouble with equal distribution to all cylinders.