Top 10 V6 sedans for under $10,000

Looking for a used family car that is not only practical but has decent power? This is the list for you. We have researched the US used car market and selected several V6 sedans based on the reliability, handling, fuel economy, ownership costs and other factors.

2005-2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6L V6

Cadillac CTS 2007 The sharp-looking CTS is a rear-wheel drive sport luxury sedan powered by a V6 or V8. Out of the V6 options, the 255-hp 3.6L V6 is probably the better engine, but you need to make sure that it has been maintained well by previous owners. The reliability is not the best, but not too bad. Crash-test scores are between 4 and 5 stars. The CTS V6 models are even available with a manual transmission, but they are very rare. The V6-powered CTS is not the most sporty sedan, but it drives pretty well. The 3.6L V6 2007 Cadillac CTS is rated at 16/25 MPG.

Chrysler 300 V6 2005-2013

Chrysler 300 2011The 300 is a product of the joint efforts of Daimler-Benz and Chrysler; it shares many components with the Mercedes-Benz E-class. This large rear-wheel drive sedan surely has a bad-ass image and can be easily modified to suit your style. All-wheel drive is offered but rare. Two V6 engines are available, the 2.7L dual-cam (DOHC) and the 3.5L single-cam (SOHC). The 250-hp 3.5L V6 is a better choice even though it has a timing belt that needs to be replaced at around 105K. The gas mileage is not great; the reliability is about average, but no major problems.

2005-2011 Lexus ES 330 / 350

2011 Lexus ES 350 The Lexus ES is a luxury version of the Toyota Camry; it rides on the same front-wheel drive platform and only comes with an automatic transmission and 3.3L or from 2007, 3.5L V6. Lexus ES is very comfortable and has soft and quiet ride. The sound system is excellent. Parts are expensive, but Lexus is the most reliable brand. Another big plus is that it's very likely to be well maintained by its original owner. The 2011 Lexus ES 350 is rated at 19/27 MPG.

Infiniti G35 / G37 2006-2012

Infiniti G37Infiniti is a luxury brand owned by Nissan. The G35/37 is the most sporty car in this list; it's even available with a manual transmission. The G35/37 offers rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. It handles beautifully and comes with a very strong VQ-model V6. The interior is roomy and nicely finished. Reliability is well above average, although parts are expensive. The 2012 rear-wheel-drive G37 sedan ia rated at 19/26 MPG.

2007-2011 Toyota Camry V6

Toyota Camry The best-selling car in the US is most known for its reliability and comfort, but the V6 Camry is actually quite fast. The 0-to-60 mph time for the 2008 3.5L V6 Camry is around 6 seconds. There are plenty of V6 Camry models available for under 10K. The Camry has front-wheel drive; it's very roomy and offers soft and quiet ride. The V6 Camry is the most fuel-efficient V6-powered family sedan on this list. The 2007 Camry automatic is rated at 19/28 MPG city/highway. The 2007-2010 Camry scored perfect five out of five stars in frontal and side-impact government crash tests.

2004-2011 Acura TL

Acura TL Acura TL is a premium front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive V6 sport sedan. For under 10K, you can buy the third (2004-2008) or fourth (2009-2014) generation of this car. Acura TL is well equipped and has plenty of power; the 2009 Acura TL SH AWD will get you from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. A manual transmission is available, but rare. Crash-test scores vary between 4 and 5 stars. Overall, Acura TL is very reliable. Ownership cost is higher than average. The EPA rates the 2011 FWD Acura TL auto at 18/26 MPG on premium gasoline.

2005-2012 Honda Accord V6

Honda Accord 2009 The V6 Accord is the safe bet for a fast family sedan. Compared to its arch rival, Toyota Camry, the Accord offers firmer ride and sportier handling. The Accord's 271-hp V6 is very smooth and has plenty of power. The 5-star frontal crash test rating is a big plus. The interior is roomy and stylish. The Accord is dependable and holds its value well. Maintenance costs are low despite the fact that the V6 engine has a timing belt. The 2012 Honda Accord V6 is rated at 20/30 MPG city/highway.

2003-2009 Mercedes-Benz E-class

2007 Mercedes-Benz E-class The E-class is a well-built comfortable rear-wheel drive luxury car with unmistakably-German interior and soft ride. All-wheel drive is available as an option. The E-class is actually pretty reliable, but parts and service are expensive. You won't have troubles finding this vehicle for under 10K in the US. The 2009 Mercedes-Benz E350, which is the most popular model, is rated at 17/24 MPG.

2007-2013 Nissan Altima V6

Nissan Altima The Altima is a front-wheel drive mid-size sedan. We found several hundreds of 3.5-liter V6 models for under $10,000. What makes the Altima stand out is its sporty styling, excellent handling and comfortable ride. The continuously-variable transmission (CVT) is the only automatic option in 2007-plus models. The reliability is not bad, but not spotless. The city fuel economy is rated near the top among V6 sedans. The 2013 V6 Altima gets 22 MPG city, 30 MPG highway.

Reader's choice: BMW 5-series

BMW 5 seriesMost of our readers (514 out of 2.090 total votes) picked the 5-series as a winner in our previous poll despite the fact that it has an inline-6 engine and not a V6. Dodge Charger and Nissan Maxima took the second and third place respectively. The 5 series combines performance and luxury in one package and is widely available for under $10K. You can even get it with a manual transmission. Of course, it requires premium gasoline and parts aren't cheap. The 2007 BMW 530i is rated at 18/28 MPG.

Worth Mentioning

Chevrolet Malibu V6 2008-2013 – looks stylish, handles well, rides comfortably, pretty good highway gas mileage, but it's not exceptional in any way. The interior space is tight, the trunk opening is narrow and the reliability is average at best.
Dodge Charger 2006-plus – the Charger is pretty much the same car as the Chrysler 300, but in a different body. Same as with the 300, the 3.5L V6 is the better choice.
Ford Fusion V6 2006-2009 – drives well, looks good, but not very fast and the interior is a bit plain.
Volvo S60, S80 – very stylish upscale cars with available advanced safety features and great handling. Some models are pretty fast, reliability is not bad too. You won't have trouble finding this vehicle in the US for under 10K. On the downside, repairs and maintenance could be costly. Technically, Volvo does not have a V6 engine to qualify for this list; they come with a 5-cylinder or inline-6 engine.
Nissan Maxima – a sporty premium front-wheel drive sedan available with a manual or automatic transmission. The 3.5L VQ-model V6 engine propels the Maxima from 0 to 60 mph in around 6.4 seconds. Transmission issues kept it off this list.
Mazda 6 V6 2009-2013 – handles very well on the highway and the interior is nicely finished. The reliability is about average.
Chevrolet Impala – lots of space, strong engine, but the styling is outdated and the reliability isn't great.
Audi A4, A6 – both are great cars, high-quality interiors, excellent handling. Why is it not on this list? At this age, it will need frequent repairs and those are costly.
Volkswagen Passat V6 – a very nice car to drive when new; will disappoint you with expensive repairs when old.
Toyota Avalon – reliable, roomy car, but it just doesn't have that sporty image.