The Cheapest New Car You Can Buy – Last summer, the average price of a new car hit $40,000. In December, that number jumped to $47,077 in the bank account. A perfect storm of supply shortages and contagion-related disruptions has thrown the industry into overdrive. The price goes up. Because few cars have been sold and there’s no shortage of buyers, dealers stop offering discounts and instead use gas “adjustment” prices or high marks like the Ram 1500 TRX. Everything from the Nissan Frontier pickup to the Porsche Macan has been affected, and their MSRP prices have also increased. The 10 cheapest cars for sale here aren’t in the sub-$20K bracket.
To make matters worse, the segment has suffered recently. Favorites like the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris and Chevrolet Sonic are all out. We poured a small plastic cup for them. Then fill it up sparingly because you want to save where you can. While these rides don’t have everything you need, they all get what you need — and at a price most people can afford. If you’re looking for something a little bigger, check out our list of cheap pickup trucks.
The Cheapest New Car You Can Buy
The Nissan Sentra won’t knock your socks off with excitement, but it’s loaded with safety features. Under the hood is a 149-hp inline-four engine and a CVT. The last Sentra we tested hit 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, slightly faster than others on this list. It’s not as fun to drive as the Honda Civic, but even the highest Sentra SR trim starts at the Civic’s starting price.
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The frugal Kia Soul lands on the list with not one but two top 10 awards. It has a modest price tag, impressive cargo space, and its 147-hp inline-phone doesn’t feel weak with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Stacked with subcompact segment entry. Some of them are good, many are sleep inducing. At least the Hyundai Venue is affordable. Power comes from a 121-hp inline-four with a CVT. It’s futile to fight the microtechnology, but it’s 1.1 seconds faster to 60 than the Nissan Kicks’ price tag and 2.4 seconds faster than the Toyota C-HR.
The Kia Forte is the Korean brand’s best-selling model. The base engine is a sizzling 147-hp inline-four, and the Forte gets incredible gas mileage with an EPA-estimated 41 mpg on the highway. It has a bigger tank than the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Golf, which give it an EPA-estimated 490 miles before returning to the gas station.
The Subaru Impreza is the cheapest car with AWD available today. Power comes from a 152-hp flat-four mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Its lack of speed brings excellent fuel efficiency with an EPA-estimated 31-mpg highway fuel economy.
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You may have rented one at the airport or sat in a Hyundai Accent on a recent Uber trip — neither experience will convince you to buy one. A 120-hp four-cylinder and CVT move the Accent, no. The last Accent we tested hit 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, one of the slowest cars we’ve tested in 2021.
Both body styles are suitable for Kia Rio. The sedan is $940 cheaper than the five-door hatch. A 120-hp inline-four with a CVT is the only powertrain, and the Rio is front-wheel drive. Its compact size makes it fun to drive with motor control through corners, but its sluggish acceleration is an immediate warning of cheapness. Gas stations hate them, as the Rio gets an EPA-estimated 33 mpg city and 41 mpg highway.
The Nissan Versa comes with standard safety features like front and rear automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams and lane-departure warning. A 122-hp inline-four powers the front wheels, with a five-speed manual transmission standard on the base S model. If it makes you feel better, spend nearly $20,000 on a Versa SR or SV with more horsepower but a boring CVT. However, the manual transmission is worse for fuel economy, with an EPA-estimated 35 mpg highway compared to the CVT’s 40 mpg.
The Mitsubishi Mirage is virtually the cheapest new car in America. The Mirage hatchback and Mirage G4 sedan come with the same 78-hp three-cylinder engine. A five-speed manual transmission is standard. The last Mirage we tested used a CVT and took 12.8 seconds to hit 60 mph. To reach 90 mph, you need to hold the pedal for exactly 35.6 seconds. And the Mirage takes more than a quarter of a mile to reach 75 mph. However, the savings are immediate.
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Chevy dropped its Spark in 2023 as the model was discontinued without a direct replacement. Still, the Spark, America’s cheapest car in 2020, is a good value. Power comes from a small 98-hp inline-four, with a five-speed manual model available in its cheapest form. The Spark gets an EPA-estimated 38 mpg on the highway, and its nine-gallon gas tank is cheap to refill. Unfortunately, Spark doesn’t have good security standards. There’s no forward collision or emergency coverage unless you pay extra. Cruise control is also included.
Yes, he’s still working on the 1986 Nissan 300ZX Turbo project car he started in high school, and no, it hasn’t sold yet. Austin Irwin was born and raised in Michigan, and despite being hit by hockey pucks during a failed high school and college career, still has all of his teeth. He loves cars from the 1980s and loves his Great Pyrenees Blue, and is a member of the Buffalo Wild Wings Society. When Austin isn’t working on his cars, he’s on the side of the highway helping others fix them.
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Average transaction prices hit a high of $46,000 in October as inventory is low and the situation will take some time to recover.
The increase is due to a market shift to trucks and SUVs and many customers are buying more models, but some commercial vehicles are still being offered with lower sales. That’s not to say sellers won’t try to squeeze a little more out of the sale. We’ve seen examples of our cheapest cars for sale with tags ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, but there are many names on the sticker.
The price of the Nissan Versa sedan is up $100 for 2022 to $16,055, which gets you a 122-hp four-cylinder engine, a manual transmission, and a surprising amount of space per segment.
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The Mirage’s 76-hp three-cylinder engine makes it the most powerful car on sale today, but the all-wheel-drive subcompact makes up for it with an industry-leading starting price of $15, 290 and 41 mpg highway.
With the Fiat 500 discontinued, the Chevrolet Spark is now the smallest new car in America, and it comes at a lower price. At $14,595, the same car costs less than $15,000, but manages to pack four doors and a 98-hp four-cylinder into its smaller package. A new car will be the second most expensive part of your life. There is no need to overpay when choosing a new car. According to Car and Driver, the average price of a new car in 2021 will be $43,600, but many car manufacturers offer cheaper models for those on a tight budget. Whether it’s the best looking, fastest or best car, it’s a 9/10 for a small portion of your wallet.
The Toyota Corolla is a four-door that will take you from A to B with ease and safety. It may not ride like a Supra, but it does its job well.
The Kicks is a compact crossover with tons of practicality and good gas mileage. It won’t win any drag races, but then again, you shouldn’t drive like that anyway!
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The new Elantra has the best fuel economy for the non-hybrid, at 33 mpg city and 43 highway.
The special-looking Kia Soul is a compact, boxy crossover whose cabin is wider than it appears at first glance.
Of all the cars with a sticker under $20k, the Volkswagen Jetta is the nicest. It’s comfortable, has lots of cargo space and is good on gas.
The Hyundai Veloster is an affordable hatchback
This Is The Cheapest New Car You Can Buy In 2023
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