1. 2008 Acura TSX
The Acura TSX draws mixed feelings from critics. The rear legroom especially is rather squashed, but most agree on handling, reliability, and looks.
For the latter reasons, it easily makes our list of the best-looking cars under 5k.
Power for the TSX is derived from a 205-horsepower 2.4-liter whose fuel economy is 23 mpg combined. Transmission is a manual gearbox.
The interior is padded with leather and other luxurious features that include heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and a sunroof.
Entertainment includes Bluetooth, a 6 CD changer, and satellite radio.
The Acura rides on 17-inch wheels, and the exterior looks are also enhanced with xenon headlights and fog lights.
You can get a well-maintained one for less than $5000, although likely with high mileage.
2. 2006 Honda Civic
The refined looks and affordability are some of the fine qualities that make the Honda Civic one of the best-selling compacts in the world. The new styling for the 2006 models made it stand out, and for that, the Honda Civic sedan qualifies to be on our list of best-looking cars under 5k.
Three models were made available. These include the DX, LX, and EX. A 140-horsepower 1.8-liter engine powers all front-wheel-drive trims.
Transmission is a standard 5-speed manual or optional 5-speed automatic.
A hybrid with a 1.3-liter gas-electric power train is also available, with an output of 110 horsepower.
The DX model comes with a few amenities, such as a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. The LX comes with a CD player, keyless entry, cruise control, and air conditioning.
The EX adds a moon roof, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, and alloy wheels.
Standard safety features for the Honda Civic include electronic brake force distribution, airbags, and antilock brakes.
You can get a good Honda Civic and enjoy the reliability and durability. It will certainly not leave holes in your pocket.
3. 2003 Pontiac Vibe
The Pontiac Vibe compact hatchback makes our list for best-looking cars under 5k for its unique sporty looks. The tall compact hatchback scores big on cabin space.
The standard engine is a conservative 132-horsepower 1.8-liter, with a fuel economy of 28 mpg combined.
A more powerful 158-horsepower 2.4-liter is available for the higher trims, with a fuel economy of 24 mpg when mated with a 5-speed automatic.
Transmission is a standard 5-speed manual, whilst the all-wheel-drive models are fitted with a 4-speed automatic.
The Vibe is not very fast. Acceleration for the GT model from zero to 60 mph can be done in 8.9 seconds.
Two trim are offered; the base and the GT.
The base front-wheel-drive with the 1.8-liter engine comes with standard power mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering, a 4-speaker audio system with a CD player, and satellite radio.
The same trim with the 2.4-liter engine adds air conditioning. The same trim, but with an all-wheel drive adds an independent rear suspension.
The GT comes with an independent rear suspension and rides on 18-inch alloys. The GT also comes with cruise control and keyless entry.
Safety features include anti-lock brakes and airbags.
The Pontiac is certainly very affordable in the used car market. It is also cheap to run, with a few reliability issues.
4. 2007 Buick Lucerne
Power and space define the Buick Lucerne. It also has the looks that make it qualify to be on the list of best-looking cars under 5k.
Three models are available, all front-wheel-drive.
The base CX and midlevel CXL are powered by a 197-horsepower 3.8-liter engine, whilst the top trim CXS comes with a 275-horsepower 4.6-liter V8. The CXL has a reasonable acceleration of 7.7 seconds to reach 60 mph.
The Lucerne offers a very comfortable and quiet ride.
Major standard features on the CX include keyless entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, and a CD player with wheel-mounted controls.
The CXL rides on 17-inch wheels and adds dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, and leather upholstery.
The top trim CXS rides on 18-inch wheels. It adds a Harman Kardon sound system, heated front seats, and satellite radio.
Key safety features include traction control, antilock brakes, and airbags. The CXS has stability control and brake assist as standard.
5. 2008 Hyundai Sonata
Hyundai has not looked back since the early days of quality challenges. The brand is now on a continuous and relentless path to the growth and production of quality affordable cars.
The emphasis has been on practicality and design. It is no surprise then to find the Hyundai making our list of the best-looking cars under 5k.
The Hyundai not only offers an attractive style and smooth ride, but also a very spacious interior.
Three Hyundai trims are offered. These are the base GLS, Sporty SE, and the Limited.
The standard engine for the GLS is a162 horsepower 2.4-liter paired with either a standard 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 4-speed automatic with manual shift mode.
The SE and Limited trims get a 234-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 paired to a 5-speed automatic transmission, also with manual shift mode.
The V6 can reach 60 mph in less than 8 seconds.
The GLS gets air conditioning, keyless entry, cruise control, and power mirrors and windows.
The SE gets 17-inch alloys and automatic headlights.
The Limited trim adds automatic climate control, leather upholstery, and a power driver’s seat.
Various packages are also available.
Safety features include airbags, antilock brakes, and traction and stability control.
Those in the know say the Sonata is a lot of car for the money.
6. 2008 Toyota Corolla
One of the world’s best-selling cars should easily make the best-looking cars under 5k list. It is one of the most economical and reliable cars around. You may argue on the looks, but the simplicity itself is a big attraction for many.
The 2008 Corolla’s main engine is a 126-horsepower 1.8-liter, mated to a 5-speed manual that drives the front wheels. You could also choose an optional 4-speed automatic.
The Corolla is very economical on fuel, with an efficiency of 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, for the automatic transmission.
The Corolla is available in the CE, S, and LE trims.
The base CE and S have air-conditioning, a CD player, and power mirrors. The S adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The LE comes with remote keyless entry and power windows.
Other features are included in options, such as 16-inch wheels, cruise control, and a sunroof.
The 2008 Corolla’s safety features are basic and mostly optional. These include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, and airbags.
7. 2009 Hyundai Accent
The Accent is Hyundai’s entry-level model, representing the brand very well in the value mass market. For its appeal and value, the front-wheel-drive certainly is one of the best-looking cars under 5k.
Power comes from a 110-horsepower 1.6-liter engine. Transmission is a standard 5-speed manual, with the option of a 4-speed automatic.
Fuel economy is rated at 29 mpg combined.
Three models are offered.
The base GS and SE are two-door hatchbacks. The GLS is a sedan.
The Base GS is very bare, with most of the expected features being optional. These include keyless entry, air conditioning, a CD/MP3 audio system, and power accessories.
The SE comes with the GS’s optional as standard and adds a sport-tuned suspension, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and 16-inch alloys.
The GLS comes with standard air-conditioning, cruise control, in addition to the lower trims’ features.
Standard safety features include front-seat airbags and full-length head curtain airbags.
The Accent is reliable and efficient, although it might be as famous as the competing peers. It will not disappoint.
8. 2008 Mazda 3
The Mazda is one of the most stylish cars of the 2000s. It made a complete departure from the previous generation when it was launched. The styling persuades us to include the Mazda 3 on our list of the best-looking cars under 5k.
The body style is either a sedan or hatchback.
The Mazda 3 is presented in five trims, which are i-Sport, i-Touring, s-Sport, s-Touring, and s-Grand Touring. The trims are powered by a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter engine.
The hatchback S trims are powered by a 2.3-liter with an output of 156 horsepower.
A 5-speed manual transmission is standard for both engines. A 4-speed automatic with manual shift mode is optional on the i-Sport and i-Touring trims.
Fuel economy for the 2.0-liter is estimated at 23 and 31 for city and highway driving respectively, whilst the bigger 2.3-lite engine does 22 and 29 mpg for the same driving conditions.
A GT sedan powered by a 2.3-liter with automatic transmission can do zero to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds.
The i sedans all have a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a stereo with a CD player. The i-Touring rides on 16-inch wheels and adds cruise control, air conditioning, and keyless entry.
The s-Touring comes with 17-inch alloys. The top s GT model has leather upholstery, automatic climate control, and automatic xenon headlights, among others.
The Mazda 3 comes with disc brakes on all four wheels. The i trims are a bit bare on safety features, getting optional front-side and full-length curtain airbags and antilock brakes. On all other trims, these features are standard.
Despite the low safety scores, the Mazda 3 does very well with its beautiful interior and superior handling.
9. 2008 Ford Focus
The Ford Focus is one of the Best looking cars under 5k. It is a simple, much loved the small car. It is powered by a 140-horsepower standard 2.0-liter engine.
Transmission is also a standard 5-speed manual, with an option of a 4-speed automatic.
The manual transmission helps to achieve a fuel economy of 24 mpg for city driving and 35 mpg on the highway.
Three trims are available. These are the base S, SE, and SES.
Features on the S trim include a tilt steering wheel and air conditioning. Cruise control and satellite are options.
The SE adds remote keyless entry and the S options.
The SES comes on 16-inch wheels. Options include heated front seats and a sunroof.
Standard safety features are the usual airbags and optional antilock brakes.
10. 2006 Acura TL
The Acura is a luxury car that you can now get for less than 5k. It is one of Best looking cars under 5k.
The Acura TL is powered by a 3.2-liter V6 with an output of 258 horsepower. Transmission is either a 6-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic.
Fuel economy is rated at 20 mpg for city driving and 29 mpg for highway driving.
Features on the TL include leather upholstery, 17-inch wheels, Bluetooth, a telescoping steering wheel, and a satellite radio.
Safety features include Electronic Brake Distribution with Brake Assist, stability control, and side curtain airbags.
If there are missing cars from the top ten, check out our next list!