It’s no secret that many buyers are looking at more used cars these days. But not every buyer wants to go back as far as the early 2000s to find something. However, there are some benefits to going back this far. One big benefit is the price. Most of these early models are pretty inexpensive by now, and some of them are considered classics of their generations.
The Pros and Cons of Older Model Used Cars
It may not seem like the early 2000s was that long ago, but in car years, 20 years is a long time. While certain technologies we take for granted in today’s models either didn’t exist or were in their infancy, buying an older used car is a great option. You can get a solid-built vehicle with plenty of high-end features like premium sound systems and leather seats. Let’s take a look at four of the best used cars from the early 2000s.
2004 Toyota Prius
The second-generation Prius had the distinction of turning a basic economy car into a status symbol. A complex gas-electric hybrid powertrain offered drivers up to 60 MPG, and its distinctive teardrop shape stood out on the road. The early to mid-2000s was a time when gas consumption in large SUVs and trucks was common. The Prius offered an alternative for those who wanted to do their part for the planet. This blend of Toyota’s reliability, economy, and unique style made the Prius the first successful hybrid.
2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
In the early 2000s, the Jeep Wrangler was still in its iconic TJ generation, which maintains a strong following today. Wranglers from the TJ generation tend to hold their value more than almost any other vehicle from this time period. IN 2003, the Wrangler Rubicon was introduced. Still boasting the bullet-proof 4.0-liter inline-six, the Rubicon was made to take on even tougher off-road adventures right out of the gate. It came standard with a locking front differential, a 4:1 low-range gear ratio, 31-inch tires, and disc brakes on all four wheels. The Wrangler TJ is arguably the most sought-out generation of Wrangler, but the Rubicon models are even more prized.
2004 Ford Focus SVT
The Ford Focus SVT offered aggressive, hot-hatch styling that was definitely a bit before its time. The recipe was already there with the Volkswagen GTI, but the hot-hatch wasn’t yet a hot trend in the early 2000s. The Focus SVT turned out to be a hit right from the start. Along with its sales popularity, it was also featured widely in various video games, automotive TV shows, and automotive magazines. The Focus SVT offered aggressive performance right off the lot, and it didn’t cost a fortune. This blend of affordability and fun made the Focus SVT one of the best cars from the early 2000s. In 2004, the Focus SVT debuted the popular European Appearance Package, which included a high-end audio system, a power sunroof, and heated seats.
2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata
In 2001, the Mazda MX-5 Miata was in its second generation and got a mid-cycle refresh for this year, which gave it a more aggressive and striking appearance. Many Miata fans consider this sub-generation to be the most attractive Miata of all time. The 2001 model offered a six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential, and the 1.8-liter engine was enhanced to make 143 horsepower.
What to Know When Shopping for Older Used Cars
If you’re searching for used cars from the early 2000s, it’s important to get a vehicle history report and have the vehicle thoroughly checked out by a quality mechanic. Buying from a reputable dealership can also ensure that you get the best car for your money.
This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.