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Kelley Blue Book names top-10 used cars under $8,000

With the average price of a new vehicle at more than $30,000, a growing number of car shoppers are turning to the used market. Indeed, used cars have gotten so popular that many models are hard to find. There have even been cases of used cars selling for more than new ones.

But used-car buyers in general are looking for bargains by avoiding the depreciation that hits new cars in the first year or two of ownership. Often shoppers are working on tight budgets with a maximum price they are able to pay.

Kelley Blue Book, which provides auto-industry pricing information and analysis, released a list of what it considers the top 10 used cars for less than $8,000. The prices are based on the company’s well-known Blue Book Value calculations for used cars from the 2002 model year and newer.

The vehicles that made the list have, according to Kelley, “the most appealing mixes of reliability, versatility and desirability, with an emphasis on track record.” It is an interesting group.

 Here they are, with Blue Book values as of December, 2011:

Kelley Blue Book names top-10 used cars under $8,000

2004 Honda Civic

2008 Kia Rio, $7,895

2004 Ford Crown Victoria, $7,970

2003 Mazda Protege5, $7,360

2002 Toyota Tundra Standard Cab, $5,925

2003 Ford Escape, $7,560

2004 Scion xA, $7,805

2004 Pontiac Vibe, $7,630

2002 Toyota Corolla, $6,125

2002 Infiniti G20, $5,965

2004 Honda Civic, $7,970