2003-2007 Pontiac Vibe – Consumer Reports lists the first-generation (2003-2008) Pontiac Vibe in several categories, the 2004 in $6,000-$8,000, 2005-2006 in $8,000-$10,000, and 2007 in $10,000-$12,000. Edmunds TMV for 2003 Vibe starts at $6,520 and ratchets up to a top-end $10,746 for the 2006 model. Editors remark: “The Vibe offered a lot of functionality for not a lot of money…Despite Pontiac’s demise, the Vibe should enjoy a long life on the used car market.”
- 2001-2004 Audi A4 – Inside Line likes the 2001-2005 Audi A4, commenting, “Audi’s A4 was a hit from the moment it appeared in 1995, and it only got better when the second generation was introduced for the 2001 model year. Now many of these second-generation A4s are right in our target price range.” MSN Autos agrees, remarking (about the 2002 Audi A4): “The kingdom of quattro has plenty to offer when it comes to fine used cars, and the A4 is the crown jewel.” Edmunds TMV pricing goes from a high of $6,272 for the 2001 to a beginning $9,810 for the 2004 model.
- 2004-2006 Scion xA – Though it only lasted one generation, and marked Toyota’s attempt to appeal to savvy young buyers through its Scion brand, the xA subcompact hatchback offered plenty of standard features, was easily customizable, and was inexpensive. Edmunds remarks: “Even with this strong pitch to trend-setting youngsters and auto enthusiasts, the Scion xA soon gained a reputation as a sensible subcompact with premium build quality and standard features.” Edmunds TMV for 2004 through 2006 ranges from a low $7,032 (2004) to a high of $8,897 (2006). Consumer Reports also lists 2004-2005 Scion xA as a best car in two categories.
- 2002-2005 Acura RSX – Inside Line hails the upper-trim Type S in Acura RSX from 2002 to 2006, saying “the extra power and 8,000-rpm redline of the VTEC-equipped engine make it vastly more entertaining than the base car.” Consumer Reports tags the 2002 RSX in $6,000-$8,000 category, 2003-2004 in $8,000-$10,000, and 2005 in $10,000-$12,000.
- 2003 Mazda Protégé – Listed in Consumer Reports under the $6,000-$8,000 price range, the 2003 Mazda Protégé actually comes in at quite a bargain, according to Edmunds TMV, from $4,933 (DX) to $5,717 (ES). Edmunds says, “When it comes to small, snappy sedans, the Protégé is a tough act to beat.”