Man talking(L+r), Row of cars(C)

Mikbiz/Shutterstock @car.wizard.us1/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘These easily get 30 miles per gallon on the highway’: Mechanic reveals the 6 most reliable used vehicles you can buy for under $10,000

‘Ford really hit the bull’s eye here.’


Nina Hernandez


A mechanic revealed six of what he says are the most reliable used vehicles you can buy for under $10,000.

The TikTok user, going by the username @car.wizard.us1, recently posted a video in which he lists the top six most reliable vehicles on the market for under $10,000. The threepart series has since amassed a combined 379,000 views. “Six cars that are no-brainer buys,” Car Wizard says to start the series

Car Wizard says that “no-brainer” refers to cars that come with good maintenance histories and haven’t been in a wreck or flood situation. “Also, the cars that I’ll be listing today are up to $10,000,” he clarifies.

2000-2005 Buick Lesabre

2000-2005 Buick LeSabre

First up is the Buick Lesabre from 2000-2005. As Car Wizard notes, it not only has a 3.8 V6 in automatic transmission, but it easily gets 30 miles per gallon on the highway. “They are extremely, extremely reliable,” he says.

When they do break down, Car Wizard says, “The parts are cheap. They’re plentiful. And they’re very easy to work on.”

At a cost of about $2,000-$5,000, Car Wizard recommends the Lesabre as a good family car that can reach 400,000 miles. Some Lesabres might still have the original plastic coolant elbows that eventually start leaking. But Car Wizard says that once you replace them with metal ones, you should be good to go.

1999-2006 Chevrolet Silverado

1999-2006 Chevy Silverado
DJM Suspension (Public Domain)

In need of a half-ton truck? Car Wizard says you can still get one if your budget is between $5,000-$10,000. He names the 1999-2006 Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra.

He notes they come in a 4.8 or a 5.3 LS-based V8 engine. You can also choose one with an automatic or manual transmission, as well as between four-by-four or two-wheel drive. It can also tow a small trailer, car, or camper with no problem.

“The common theme on all these are: The parts are plentiful, readily available,” he says. “They’re cheap to purchase, and the LS-based V8 is so easy to work on. It’s another one of those that I can work on blind-folded.”

2004-2009 Lexus RX 350

2009 Lexus RX 350

If you’re looking for an affordable midsize SUV that you don’t want to personally work on yourself, Car Wizard recommends the Lexus RX 350.

In his opinion, a higher-end version of a Toyota, the RX 350 will come equipped with a 3.3 V6 or a 3.5 V6 engine and easily do 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

“These are the kinds of cars you buy when you don’t want to mess with being under the hood,” Car Wizard says. “You don’t want to think about mechanic things. You just want a car you can drive to your doctor’s appointment, go to work. And it’s not always broken all the time.”

1998-2012 Ford Crown Victoria

1998-2008 Ford Crown Victoria
IFCAR/Wikipedia (CC-BY)

Next up is the Ford Crown Victoria from the years 1998-2012.

Yes, they were at one point popular police cars. Yes, even Car Wizard can admit they aren’t very cool looking.

But they are plentiful, reliable and cheap at approximately $5,000.

“Ford really hit the bull’s eye here, when they built a car that was reliable, comfortable, and easy to maintain,” he says. They have a 4.6 V8 engine, an automatic transmission, and approximately 25 miles to the gallon on the highway.

“These things have been around for quite awhile, and they just go and go and go,” he says. “Again, another vehicle that gets 300,000 to 400,000 miles out of it.” He does suggest avoiding former cop cars, because they’ve probably gone through extra wear and tear.

1996-2000 Lexus LS 400

1996 Lexus LS400
Bring A Trailer (Public Domain)

These are getting old, but there’s a reason Car Wizard still recommends the Lexus LS 400. “They are that reliable, there’s so many still on the road,” he says. “They are literally tanks. They are built beyond extremely reliable. They are so good.”

Features include the four-liter V8 engine, automatic transmission, and a comfortable interior. “The parts are plentiful because there were lots of them made,” he says.

Because of the V8 engine, you’ll get around 25 miles to the gallon on the highway. 

2001-2007 Toyota Highlander

2001-2007 Toyota Highlander
Amazon (Public Domain)

Car Wizard believes in the Toyota Highlander so much that he even recommended it to his own father, who eventually thanked him for the advice. Not only are they incredibly reliable, but he says the Highlander can last for up to 300,000 miles and get 25-30 miles per gallon on the highway. “These can have a 2.44 cylinder, 3 liter, 3.3 V6—there’s different options through the years, different packages,” he says. “But they’re all going to be a good choice.”

They’re also relatively stylish for the price, which should be between $5,000 and $10,000.

In the comments section, viewers offered their own opinions on the list, as well as what they consider to be a reliable vehicle.

As one user wrote, “Anything Toyota. The end.”

A second user wrote, “The LeSabre, the Bonneville, whatever cars came with those 3.8 back then we’re indestructible it seems.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Car Wizard via TikTok direct message for comment.

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