Honda built the CR-Z for the 2010 through 2016 model years. The CR-Z was powered by a hybrid drive system throughout its production run. The system combines a 1.5L SOHC i-VTEC gasoline engine and an MF6 electric engine. The result is a powerplant that offers a combined 130 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque. The standard gearbox is a six-speed manual, but a CVT is optional. We would recommend buying a unit with the manual transmission for the added driving experience. If driven properly, a CR-Z with a manual transmission is capable of nearly 40 mpg on the highway.
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.
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.
However, the plug-in model comes with the 60-hp electric motor while the conventional hybrid boasts a 43-hp unit. Thanks to an 8.9 kWh battery pack below the rear bench, the plug-in hybrid Kia Niro allows up to 26 miles of all-electric range. It’s rated at 105 MPGe according to the EPA. This makes it the most efficient hybrid SUV 2019 will have to offer.