Mazda offers nine vehicles in the North American market. Of those nine, only one makes for a solid option as far as cars under $5000 go: the Mazda6. The Mazda6 sedan is roomy enough for up to five passengers and the 2.3L engine is both powerful and frugal. The engine is capable of 160 hp and 28 mpg on the highway. When you add in its small parking footprint, you have a great urban transportation option that is both exceedingly reliable and fun to drive.
Despite being dubbed an SUV, the BMW X5 has always lacked the off-road capability of the Range Rover, for example. The Bavarian automaker’s first-ever luxury SUV has been on the market for nearly twenty years. This speaks volumes about its popularity among the luxury SUV and crossover buyers, despite its shortcomings.
You are better off looking for the long wheelbase version because it features a fold-flat third-row seat, but the short wheelbase version is just as mechanically reliable. There are only two trim levels, and both provide plenty of comfort and tech. But, the higher EX-level trim adds a roof rack, fog lights, power front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, optional power sliding rear doors, heated leather upholstery, and automatic climate control.
The Honda Civic is currently in its tenth generation, so there are plenty of used Honda Civics to be found. We narrowed our selection to the coupes built between the 2011 and 2015 model years to keep them in an affordable price range while offering a fairly recent model. We did not dip back to the pre-2011 units because the eighth generation suffered from some seriously drab styling. We are recommending the coupe for styling reasons as well…the Civic just looks better as a two-door.