How do you plan to use the car? Around town use or highway travel? Will you be commuting to work and how far is your commute? Do you live in an area where the roads are salted in the winter which causes vehicles to rust?
I’ve purchased everything from a $75 Pontiac back in 1961 to better used cars to new cars. The $75 Pontiac was purchased to get me to graduate school 350 miles away from home. There weren’t many interstates in those days and I held the speed to about 55 mph. It got me and my possessions to my destination and got me around town. For travel back home, I used public transportation.
The great used cars owned were a 1993 Oldsmobile 88 purchased in December of 1995 for $14,200. The car had 15,000 miles at the time and was a GM executive car. Another good purchase was a 1988 Ford Taurus purchased in the fall of 1988 that had come from a rental fleet. It carried the balance of the warranty and had 7500 miles on it at the time. A better comparison would be a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander that I purchased from the Chevrolet dealer that was a “program” car with 15,000 miles. I drove it to 65,000 miles and then we sold it to our son who has driven it to 110,000 miles with no problems. I replaced it with a 2011 Toyota Sienna which I purchased new in March of 2010. I didn’t have to replace the tires on the Uplander until the vehicle had gone 60,000 miles. The tires on the Sienna purchased new were worn out at 36,000 miles. I put about 18,000 miles a year on each vehicle. The Sienna cost almost twice as much as I paid for the Uplander. I think my cost per mile of the Uplander was a lot less–I didn’t expect to have to replace the tires on the Sienna as soon as I did.
My suggestion is to assess your needs and go from there. In recent years, a new car can be had for not much more than a late model used car and the new car comes with new tires, battery, wiper blades, etc. The Fusion and Camry you mentioned are good choices. I’ve had good experience with Toyota products (a 2011 Sienna and a 2003 4Runner), but have not driven a Camry. I did drive a Ford Fusion from my institution’s fleet to a conference-- a trip of over 200 miles and was impressed with the car.