Top 4 Sedans Under $10k
Looking for sedans that offer reliability, good fuel economy and spacious, practical interiors? Got a budget that just stretches to five figures? Well, have no fear. As Gumtree Cars sets out below – there are more sedans that fit your bill than you might imagine.
Ford’s mid-sized Mondeo returned to Australia in 2007 after a seven-year hiatus. It put the cat among the pigeons as a viable alternative to the company’s local hero sedan, the Falcon.
The Mondeo imported from Europe actually isn’t that much shorter than the homegrown large car. Its 528 litre boot even swallows more family gear (while also offering split-fold rear seats).
Speaking of rear seats, Mondeo sedans offer pretty much identical shoulder width for three adults while legroom is vast, if not quite as generous as the Falcon’s.
Ford Australia dropped the sedan in 2009, as buyers preferred the hatchback body style. This didn’t look that dissimilar in profile yet offered greater practicality with its tailgate. (There was also a wagon option).
Common to all Mondeo sedans is excellent steering and handling. The sportiest model is the 2007-2010 XR5 Turbo and its torquey five-cylinder turbo engine (though paired with a manual gearbox only).
A 2.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is the most affordable of the drive trains available, though it’s a bit underdone for performance despite an excellent six-speed auto.
The better bet for models 2011 onward is a 2.0-litre turbo ‘EcoBoost’. That is the standard engine on the mid-range Zetec trim grade upwards.
Zetec offers better equipment than the LX base model that retains the 2.3L, including dual-zone climate, 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, and front and rear parking sensors.
Titanium is the flagship (post-XR5), while the most pulling power came from an optional 2.0-litre ‘TDCi’ turbo diesel engine.
HOLDEN VE COMMODORE SV6
The Commodore sedan has been a staple choice for Aussie families since the late 1970s. In 2006 Holden served up what was then the best version yet: the VE.
A result of a massive, $1 billion investment, car buyers are rewarded with excellent ride comfort, sweet steering and relatively agile handling for a large sedan.
In fact, the rival Ford Falcon – no dud itself – is unable to match this Commodore’s sophisticated driving manners. Only windscreen pillars that can obscure vision are an occasional blip on the driving experience.
The Commodore is a genuine five seat sedan with generous rear legroom. As well as plenty of width across the rear bench. While the rear seats frustratingly don’t fold flat, a big, 496-litre boot swallows plenty of suitcases.
No shortage of model options, either. While a $10,000 budget ceiling rules out V8-powered VEs, the sporty mid-range SV6 variant is within range.
Over the cheaper Omega and Berlina sedans, the SV6 gains bigger wheels (18 inches), sports seats, a sportier exterior and sportier trim inside.
It also sticks with Holden’s 3.6-litre Alloytec V6 that offers better driveability than the direct injection 3.0-litre V6 adopted by the Omega/Berlina in late 2008 – which offered slightly better fuel economy but lacked torque.
MAZDA 6 SEDAN
The Mazda 6 has been an Aussie fave ever since it replaced the 626 in 2002. In 2008, Mazda introduced its second-generation 6 medium car that sharpened the styling as well as the overall package.
It maintains the model’s reputation for excellent build quality and ride/handling that’s at the pointy end of the medium-car segment.
The Mazda 6 sedan is offered in Limited, Classic and Luxury guises. The range-topping Luxury is naturally appealing, not least for its fancy Bose audio system, though the Classic is a more likely contender for a $10,000 budget.
Still, it’s well equipped. As well as carrying over the key-less entry, cruise control and power windows of the Limited, the Classic adds 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, dual-zone climate, and a leather steering wheel.
There’s also a smooth and effective 2.5 litre petrol four-cylinder under the bonnet, mated either to a six-speed manual or a five-speed auto. More body styles are available than the norm, too, with sedan, hatch and wagon body styles.
If you’re not fixed on a sedan body style, the hatch offers a highly practical ‘liftback’ tailgate that makes accessing the cargo area a breeze, while the wagon provides some extra rear headroom and a clever ‘karakuri’ seat system where the rear seat base lowers closer to the floor to allow the seatbacks to go fully flat.
And if you’re happy to use a manual gearbox, the hatch and wagon are available with an alternative 2.2-litre turbo diesel with a hefty 400Nm of torque and better fuel economy.
TOYOTA CAMRY / AURION SEDAN
Okay, so it’s neither exciting to look at nor exciting to drive. Yet no list of top used cars is complete without Toyota’s redoubtable mid-sized sedans.
The Australian-built Camry is desirable in plenty of other, crucial ways – not least for its dependability and quality that hundreds of thousands of owners will attest to.
A $10,000 budget can get you comfortably into a sixth-generation model, sold between 2006 and 2011.
Beyond being well screwed together, the Camry provides a spacious five-seater cabin suitable for families. Plus a comfortable ride and a huge boot.
There are no less than four trim levels available. Five if you count the fuel-saving petrol-electric Hybrid variant, that joined from late 2009.
The base Altise was still a good thing (though be mindful of high-mileage ex-fleet models). While for a (relatively) sportier drive, there is the Sportivo with its firmer suspension.
The performance of the Camry’s 2.4-litre four-cylinder wasn’t much to write home about, though it was adequate.
A better pick is the refined and punchy 3.5-litre V6, if you’re happy to lose the Camry nameplate. From 2006 onward, Toyota Australia changed the name of the Camry V6 to Aurion. Toyota also added revised exterior styling to these sedans to help pitch it against the Falcon and Commodore.