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Choosing the Best Used Car

Choosing the right used car can be difficult. You want one that's safe and reliable, but you also want one that looks nice and is fuel-efficient. It's hard to find one that meets all of these standards and is also affordable.

Fortunately, there are options out there that are not only affordable, but also nice, reliable cars. Here are seven great cars you can find for less than $10,000.

1. Mazda3 i

Consumer Reports explained this popular car is not only reliable and safe, but also fuel-efficient. It comes as a sedan or a hatchback and upgrades like leather, Bluetooth phone pairing and seat heaters are an option for buyers. A small car that is highly responsive, the Mazda3 can get you wherever you want to go, fast.

2. Volkswagen Rabbit

While Americans haven't really welcomed the Rabbit into their garages, this car has been a favorite of drivers across the globe for several years now. The hatchback design comes in handy when you're in need of extra space. The downside to this car is that it's not as fuel-efficient as some would like.

3. Honda CR-V

Small cars are great for getting around and squeezing into tight parking spaces, but some people prefer to be a little higher up on the road. This is where the Honda CR-V comes in. This SUV is compact yet powerful, and is highly reliable. Kelley Blue Book advised potential buyers to double check the wheel bearing and wheel speed sensor, as well as the runner actuator. These issues are common, but easy and inexpensive to fix. As long as you keep the oil in good shape, this car is sure to last you quite a few miles.

4. Honda Pilot

The Pilot is another Honda SUV that is reasonably priced and reliable. The San Francisco Chronicle noted that it feels like a smaller car to drive, but its engine is powerful. Kelley Blue Book pointed out some potential problems you might run into after 90,000 miles. The timing belt and water pump should be replaced then. After a few more, it's a good idea to check on the catalytic converter. Keeping up to date on oil changes can help ward off problems with valve timing, though.

5. Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai is stepping up its game when it comes to its lineup of sedans. The midsized Sonata is quiet with good gas mileage, according to Consumer Reports. While sitting in the front seat on longer road trips may begin to feel a bit uncomfortable, it is perfect for getting around your day-to-day routine and has plenty of room in the back.

6. Toyota Highlander V6

Kelley Blue Book reported that this midsized SUV is a favorite among car lovers, and were built to break: Getting more than 150,000 miles with the Highlander is not a rarity. You may have to change the timing belt a few times throughout its life–once at about 100,000 and another around 200,000. The San Francisco Chronicle listed this car as one that can be purchased between $10,000 and $15,000. However, Kelley Blue Book explained this car is comfortable and reliable enough for it to be worth the upfront cost.

7. Toyota RAV4

If you're looking for a vehicle that is truly spacious, the RAV4 is your SUV. This is big enough to fit almost anything you'll want to transport, plus it's reliable enough to get you there. Kelley Blue Book explained that, while many similar cars begin to exhibit some issues around 100,000 miles, regular maintenance on the RAV4 will keep it running problem-free for much longer.

Finding the perfect car can be difficult, and landing on one that is reliable, comfortable and affordable can seem like an impossible goal at times. However, these options prove that the perfect car is out there, waiting for you to find it.