Nine of Our Favorite Used Cars You Can Find Under $15k

September 8th, 2023 by

A 2016 Chevy Cruze is shown driving on a road looking for used cars near Middletown.

Shopping for a used car has always been a bit like tap dancing through a minefield, but finding a car dealership you can trust makes things a lot easier. These days, it’s harder than ever to find a great vehicle under $15,000 that’s still in good shape and ready to treat you well for years to come.

Here at McCluskey Chevrolet, we are committed to helping our customers find the best vehicles, no matter what their budgets look like. That’s why we work so hard to maintain a selection of great cheap used cars near Middletown that are low in price but still high in quality and style. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice good looks, sporty performance, or a great interior just to save some money—and, in alphabetical order, here are some of our favorite picks for inexpensive used models to look for…

The 2013-2016 Chevy Cruze

It should come as no surprise that you’ll find a lot of sedans on this list, so we’ll kick things off with the Chevy Cruze. First introduced for the 2008 model year, the Cruze was a compact sedan that combined good looks with sporty performance, making it a popular option with a lot of drivers. There was a facelift and update for the first generation with the 2015 model year, and a second generation kicked off in 2016, so keep that in mind as you look at different options. Although the Cruze was discontinued after 2019, you can find a good number of these pre-owned that are a lot of fun to drive.

The 2011-2014 Chevy Malibu

For more than 40 years, the Chevy Malibu has been one of the most popular midsize sedans on the road, leaving a lasting impression on legions of Middletown drivers. You don’t need to go quite that far back to find a great Malibu in excellent condition and at a price that will fit just about any budget. The seventh generation of the Malibu ran through 2012, though updates to standard features at the end of that generation still make for great rides. Eighth-generation models are excellent options if you’re looking to save money; a mild refresh and update for 2014 includes a more refined transmission that delivers boosted fuel efficiency, so keep that in mind.

The 2015-2017 Chevy Traverse

First released for the 2009 model year, the Chevy Traverse is a full-size crossover SUV that’s a fantastic choice if you need a vehicle for a growing family in Middletown and you’re on a tight budget. The current second generation for the Traverse kicked off with the 2018 model year, so your best bet to save money is to look at the years that preceded that. There was a facelift for the first-generation Traverse in 2013; looking at models between that and 2018 gets you redesigned styling that includes a bold grille and front fascia, along with an improved transmission for a smoother driving experience than previous years.

A silver 2016 Dodge Dart is shown driving on a country road.

The 2013-2016 Dodge Dart

Although the Dodge Dart got its start back in the 1960s and was available through the late 1970s before being retired, the name was resurrected by Dodge for the 2013 model year. The newer Dodge Dart is a compact sedan with front-wheel drive and sporty performance; you’ll find both manual and automatic transmissions on these models, so keep that in mind as you’re looking at different pre-owned options. Dodge discontinued the Dart after 2016, so there were only a few years available, making it easy to narrow down your options and find what you’re looking for.

The 2012-2014 Ford Focus

Another popular sedan, the Ford Focus is a great example of just how well Ford used to make these kinds of cars. The Focus was produced as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback, though the sedan generally proved more popular here in the US. A third generation of the Focus launched with a redesign for the 2012 model year and ran through 2018, after which it was discontinued. There was a facelift and update for the 2015 model year, which is great, but if you’re trying to stick to a tight budget, then it can be advantageous to look for ones prior to that.

The 2014-2016 Hyundai Accent

For more than 25 years, the Hyundai Accent has been one of the most popular subcompact cars on the road, with five generations and counting. If you’re looking to keep costs down, going with a fourth-generation model (which launched in 2012) is a safe bet that still gets you a fantastic car. The fourth-generation Accent received a facelift for the 2015 model year, but you can find excellent cars on either side of that year. The current and fifth generation kicked off with the 2018 model, so if you go past that, you might end up stretching your budget a bit.

The 2009-2016 Hyundai Sonata

The Hyundai Sonata has been an incredibly popular midsize car for nearly 40 years now, which means you can find a lot of them out there; there have also been eight generations, so there are many different versions of the Sonata. We like to go back to the fifth generation, which received a facelift for the 2009 model year, making it a great choice if you’re on a tight budget. For something more modern, look for a sixth-generation Sonata from 2011 or later or a seventh-generation model from 2015 or later—although a facelift for the seventh generation for the 2018 model year can make those cost-prohibitive. Keep an eye out for a Sport or Limited trim from the seventh generation with its available 2.0L Turbo engine for an exhilarating drive.

A white 2016 Hyundai Sonata is shown parked on a city street.

The 2015-2017 Nissan Altima

First released for the 1993 model year, the Nissan Altima has been a favorite of Middletown drivers for decades. You don’t need to go that far back to find one at a great price, however; instead, focus on the fifth generation that ran from 2013 to 2018. You can find either a 2.5L I-4 engine or a 3.5L V6 in the Altima from these years; there was also a mid-cycle update and refresh for the 2016 model year. Revamped inside and out, models from 2016 and later are fantastic and stylish options that are incredibly fun to drive.

The 2008-2011 Toyota Camry

For more than 40 years, the Toyota Camry has been one of the most popular cars in America; it started as a compact offering but has grown over the years to become a midsize sedan. Now in its eighth generation, we like the sixth generation if you’re looking to get a great car and go easy on your budget. The sixth generation launched with the 2007 model year, so keep that in mind, though a facelift and update for 2010 make those terrific vehicles to look for. You can find either a 2.4L four-cylinder or a 3.5L V6 engine on these models, with either manual or automatic transmissions available during those years.

Find the Perfect Used Car for Middletown

Getting a great used car at a price that’s fair has become more difficult in recent years than ever, owing to the pandemic and the massive impact it had on the auto industry. If you combine that with unknown factors from private sellers and unscrupulous dealerships trying to unload cars damaged by hurricanes and storms, you have a treacherous market to shop in.

That’s why it’s so important that you work with a dealership you can trust to put your needs first and only sell you a terrific vehicle you can depend on. Here at McCluskey Chevrolet, we will work tirelessly to find you a used car that you’ll love—at a price that fits your budget—and ensure you get the most from it for many years to come.