Best used cars under $10,000

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If your budget is tight, finding a good used car that's also inexpensive is tough. Consumer Reports has found 10 great choices for under $10,000. (KFSN)

New-car sales hit records in 2014 not seen since 2006. But a lot more people buy used cars. If your budget is tight, finding a good used car that's also inexpensive is tough. Consumer Reports has found 10 great choices for under $10,000.

If you're looking for a small car, the 2008 Mazda3 is fuel-efficient, fun to drive and unlikely to wind up in the shop.

The 2005 to 2008 Pontiac Vibe is a roomy yet compact hatchback that's reliable.

The 2007 to 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit gives you a sporty European driving experience with nice interior materials for the price.

If sedans are more your speed, Consumer Reports says that the 2005 Acura TL, Acura TSX, and Toyota Avalon are good choices.

"Another good option would be the four-cylinder Hyundai Sonata or Kia Optima. They're basically the same car, so we list them as one," said Jon Linkov with Consumer Reports.

Model years 2006 to 2008 for the Hyundai Sonata and 2007 to 2008 for the Kia Optima.

Best bets for SUVs: the 2005 Honda CR-V and the 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.

Rounding out Consumer Reports' list: the 2005 Honda Pilot. It seats eight and handles well.

Before you buy any car, Consumer Reports recommends hiring a mechanic to do an inspection. A thorough diagnosis should cost about $100, but check the price in advance. And before you take the car to a mechanic, do an initial inspection yourself.

Click here to view Consumer Reports' checklist.

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