With rising auction costs and easier access to financing for new-car buyers, used car managers need to be mindful of the cars they take in and the way they market their inventory. Though close to 41 million used vehicles are expected to be sold in 2013, a number that nears 2007 levels, getting customers into a vehicle that meets their needs is still one of the most important parts of the sales process.

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Pre-owned shoppers are looking for a car or truck that they can afford, yet also provides value. Our editors took that into account when putting together their 2013 “Top 10 Cars for $10K” list, vehicles from 2006 and later judged on quality, features and affordability. The wide-ranging list helps give price-conscious shoppers guidance when making their buying decision.

Among the top picks are the responsive 2007 Ford Fusion, the unexpectedly roomy 2008 Nissan Versa and the family-friendly 2007 Hyundai Sonata, to name a few.

According to Jonathan Banks, Executive Automotive Analyst of NADA’s Used Car Guide, helping a customer get into a used or certified vehicle that’s right for them, rather than a new vehicle that’s outside of their comfort zone, is still a goal for most dealers.

“Dealers have really figured out that their used vehicles sales, and new, are all a continuum,” shared Banks during an interview at NADA 2013. “They’re getting customers into the right car.”

Patrick Olsen, Cars.com’s Editor-in-chief, reinforced that, in a growing market, there’s ample space for both new and used vehicle sales.

“Although the price gap between new and used cars has decreased, many shoppers are still going the used route,” said Olsen.

If any of our editors’ featured cars are on your lot, you may find that highlighting them as a Cars.com “Top 10 pick” provides value to customers and makes them stand out from the crowd. Showcasing a neutral perspective can help confirm a decision and build trust.

Check out the full Top 10 for $10K list here.

What used cars would you put on our Top 10 for $10K list? Let us know in the comments below!

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