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With base prices as low as $14,095, there are still new and affordable sedans and hatchbacks to fit many budgets.
Many car buyers are limited by a tight budget, but we have some good news. It’s possible to buy a new car for less than $18,000 without having to meet a stranger in the parking lot of a Target with an envelope of cash. For 2020, even the least expensive cars come with a backup camera and with Bluetooth capability, touchscreen infotainment controls, and, if you’re cool enough, a manual transmission. If these options fit your budget but you need a bit more space, check out our list of the cheapest compact SUVs. The prices listed here are determined by a combination of base price, fuel, and insurance expenses for the first three years of ownership. Here is a list of the least expensive cars for sale right now in the U.S., sorted by highest to lowest base price.
The Honda Fit is starting to show its age, but it remains a compelling contender with proven reliability. Honda puts useful features in every Fit, things like Bluetooth compatibility and LED brake lights. The Fit has a surprisingly spacious back seat and offers more cargo space than you’d expect in a car its size. The Fit comes with a three-year or 36,000-mile warranty on all its models, but offers a five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty with three years or 36,000 miles of roadside assistance specifically for the Fit.
Whoever said affordable subcompact cars can’t be entertaining is either flat-out lying to you or has never been behind the wheel of a Toyota Yaris. Formerly known as the Scion iA, the Yaris is available with a 106-hp 1.5-liter inline-four, which can be had with either a six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic. A 7.0-inch touchscreen controls the infotainment in every Yaris trim level. Keyless entry, Bluetooth compatibility, and low-speed automated emergency braking make this playful bargain worth considering.
The 2020 Kia Rio sedan comes with an affordable price and a load of standard features. Every Kia Rio has a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen that offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. For under $800, the Rio S adds keyless entry, SiriusXM satellite radio, LED headlights, and automated emergency braking among other safety features. Kia’s 120-hp 1.6-liter inline-four and CVT automatic combo is capable of an EPA combined 36 mpg, which is a notable improvement over last year’s six-speed automatic-equipped model. The Rio is an affordable car that has distinct looks, and delivers a pleasant ride for any commute.
The Chevy Sonic sedan LS is $2600 less than its hatchback counterpart. A five-speed manual is standard, but if you want to dish out an extra $1300 for the dull six-speed automatic, that’s on you. The front wheels are driven by a 138-hp turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four with 148 pound-feet of torque, a healthy amount of power that still results in an EPA combined 31 mpg. Standard features include LED daytime running lights as well as 10 airbags to improve safety. Even in its base LS form, it will comes with built-in 4G LTE data, Wi-FI, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Buying a car like the Hyundai Accent SE might feel a little bit like walking out of a gas station without paying for a fill up. It’s a steal at $16,125. Accent SE buyers get a roomy four-door with an impressive list of standard features. New for 2020 is the Accent’s inline-four with optional CVT that boosts its EPA combined fuel rating up to 36 mpg, a 4-mpg improvement over last year. Unlike some of the less-expensive options on this list, the base Accent comes with 15-inch wheels, cruise control, Bluetooth capability, and power windows and locks.
Meet the Mirage G4, it’s a very basic sedan with room for five. A hatchback version is also available. A 7.0-inch touchscreen display and Bluetooth capability are standard, but to get a driver’s-seat armrest, Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and Apple Carplay will cost you $2700. It’s not remotely fast, but affordability and speed rarely cross paths. All Mirages are covered by an impressive 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle warranty, a 7-year 100,000-mile anti-corrosion warranty, and 5 years of roadside assistance.
The Nissan Versa held the title of the least expensive car sold in America for two years, but for 2020 the Versa is completely redesigned, vastly improved, and more expensive. A 122-hp 1.6-liter inline-four powers all versions of the Versa. Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and automatic high-beams. The entry-level Versa S sedan retains Bluetooth functionality, but lacks the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration offered in SV or SR trims. Secure handling, a raft of safety and entertainment features, and an Altima-like look make the Versa a strong choice in the segment.
The party’s almost over for the Ford Fiesta. Production might have ended in May 2019, but you might still be able to find one of the most fun to drive cars on this list before they disappear forever. Its 120-hp 1.6-liter inline-four is standard with a five-speed manual; the optional six-speed dual-clutch automatic adds another $1095. Standard features include a 60/40 split rear seat for added cargo space and, believe it or not, manual windows operated by a crank.
The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage is real cheap. It’s one of the least expensive ways to get remote keyless entry and a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth capability. It’s a tiny car, with an equally small price. Provided you don’t ask too much of its 78-hp 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine, it’ll return an EPA combined figure of 39 mpg. That’s good enough to make our list of most-efficient non-hybrid, non-electric cars. When you need to commute in a new car for very little money, the Mirage checks all the boxes.
Refreshed for 2019, the Chevy Spark hatchback in LS form goes for less than some colleges charge students for a semester of general studies. And while the Spark is value leader, its compact size doesn’t leave much space inside for passengers. The base LS is now equipped with daytime running lamps, 15-inch wheels, a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality. Its little 1.4-liter inline-four gets an EPA-rated 38 mpg on the highway when paired with the CVT automatic. Stretching each gallon is all part of the Spark’s value play.