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The Best Cars For Sale Under 1000

Looking for a cheap ride? These are the ten best cars for sale under $1,000 dollars.

Updated March 20, 2018

You could spend $1,000 on a fancy pair of shoes – or you could buy a sweet ride. Well, for under a grand, it may not be that sweet, but it will be more fun than throwing your back out in a new pair of Saint Laurent heels. Finding a decent ride on the cheap can be tricky, but it’s doable. These are the best cars for sale under 1000 dollars.

Geo Prizm 1998 – 2002

The unwavering dependability of Toyota cars makes them extremely desirable. Because of this, they usually exceed the $1,000 price limit. That’s why the Geo Prizm is a well-kept secret – it’s a Toyota in Geo clothing. The Geo Prizm – and it’s fraternal twin the Chevy Prizm – were created as part of a joint venture between GM and Toyota. Third generation models pack Toyota’s venerable 1.8L four-cylinder, along with an optional 5-speed manual. Sure, the Geo Prizm is boring – it blends into any parking lot like beige-colored chameleon. But it’s reliable enough to last you half a million miles.

Chevrolet Astro 1995 – 2005

This one is for the hipsters looking for a tiny home. Remove the rear seats from an Astro van and voilà – you have an abode on wheels. A quick Google search returns tons of examples of Astro vans that have been fitted with beds, skylights and anything else you’d want in a living quarters. Best of all, the Astro – and its doppelganger the GMC Safari – can be had with all-wheel drive. And, because they’re so ugly, you can pick one up for under a grand.

Ford Crown Victoria 1998 – 2012

Cops doesn’t uses Crown Vics anymore, but the majority of drivers don’t seem to recognize that. Ford’s old four-door still strikes fear in the heart of many motorists. As a result, traffic parts like the great seas for a Crown Victoria. Very handy for your daily commute. Plus, the big Fords pack a powerful V8 engines and rear wheel drive, making them a blast to drive.

Ford Explorer 1995 – 2001

Many people refer to it as an Exploder rather than Explorer, but Ford’s midsize SUV has a lot going for it. First and foremost is its price. Other than the Explorer, there aren’t many four-wheel drive SUVs you can get for under $1,000. But the bottom line isn’t the only great thing about the second generation Exploder (err, Explorer). These rigs were offered with the 4.0L V6 engine, which is very stout. They also came with options like leather seating and power accessories, so you can traverse the backroads in style and comfort.

Ford Mustang 1994 – 2004

No cheap car can turn heads like a Ford Mustang. For under $1,000, you’ll have to settle for the V6 model. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in an inexpensive pony. Fourth generation models were equipped with a 3.8L V6 cranking out up to 190 hp – not bad for the early 2000s. If you look hard enough, you may even be able to find a convertible model for fun in the sun.

Chevy Cavalier Z24 1995 – 2002

It may look like a jelly bean on wheels, but the third generation Cavalier Z24 is pretty cool. As you probably guess, Z24 is the performance model (and we use the term “performance” loosely). It’s equipped with 2.4L four-cylinder engine putting out 150 hp, along with a sport-tuned suspension. And, of course, you can forget that epic Z24-specific body ground effects. All jokes aside, the third generation Z24 is perky and fun to drive. It’s easy to find one for under $1,000 because, well, it’s a Cavalier.

Honda Civic 1996 – 2000

Build the rice rocker of your dreams, starting with a beater Honda Civic. For less than a grand, most of the Civics you’ll find need some work – or have upwards of 300,000 miles on the clock. But if you really dig, you can find one that’s halfway decent. All sixth generation Civics came with a reliable 1.6L four-cylinder that’s easy to hop up. For less than $1,000, you can be the next Paul Walker.

Ford Escort ZX2 1997 – 2003

The Escort ZX2 is Ford’s response to the Cavalier Z24. Powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder, the ZX2 is just as fun as its Chevrolet rival. Equipped with the 5-speed manual transmission, the Escort provides a spirited driving experience. Just don’t tell anyone at your next dinner party that you drive an Escort. You will never live it down.

Cadillac de Ville 2000 – 2005

Where else can you get V8 power and buttery leather for less than $1,000? Although it’s Northstar engine is known for being problematic, the eighth generation de Ville is a fine ride. The top-of-the-line model puts out around 300 hp, which is enough to make the land yacht seem semi-fast. What really sells the de Ville though, is the way it floats down the road – it feels like you’re driving a water bed.

Chevy S-10 1994 – 2004

Trucks are great to have around – at least until your buddy needs help moving. Seriously though, there’s a lot you can do with a cheap truck, like a Chevy S-10. You can haul car parts, tailgate at a ball game. And if you score a four-wheel drive model, you can venture off-road. The second generation S-10 has what you need to get the job done, including an optional 4.3L V6 engine and available four-wheel drive.

The 1990s and early 2000s are prime real estate for cheap cars. These rides aren’t new enough to be completely reliable and they’re not old enough to be classics. If you’re looking for basic transportation – or vehicle for the 24 Hours of Lemons – hop on Craigslist and see what you can find.




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