Right now it’s a buyers’ market in the auto industry . . . well that depends. It depends on what kind of car you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to spend.
When you purchase a car you have to think in terms of how much it’s going to cost you to drive the vehicle, not just the sticker price, and that means factoring in fuel costs, warranty options, and insurance premiums.
Here’s a list of the top ten most affordable new cars – the list takes all factors into consideration to give you the best price, for the best vehicle, over the course of a year.
Table of Contents
- The Honda Fit LX
- Hyundai Accent SE
- Chevy Sonic LS
- Toyota Yaris L
- Kia Rio LX
- Ford Fiesta S
- Smart ForTwo Pure
- Mitsubishi Mirage
- Chevy Spark LS
- Nissan Versa
The Honda Fit LX
This zippy little ride is only going to set you back about $850 annually in fuel, that’s because it gets around 41mpg on the highway.
It’s also got a new trim and a CVT transmission and 130hp, which is not bad for a car that’s this light. It’s not the cheapest on the list, but it’s one of the roomiest and has some unique style and character.
Hyundai Accent SE
It’s one of three true sedans on the list. This family car gets 37 highway mpg, which puts your yearly fuel cost at right about $1000. It’s certainly one of the roomier cars for the price and has a little more power under the hood than the Fit, coming in at 137hp.
Last year this was the GLS model but it’s been given the more apropos moniker of “SE”. It also has an outstanding Hyundai warranty
Chevy Sonic LS
This model claims to be a sedan but there’s not really enough room in it to make the claim mean much. It also only gets around 35mpg on the highway – that’s about $1100 a year for fuel. The 1.8L engine isn’t incredibly efficient so you can opt for a 1.4L turbo version but it’s going to cost you more.
Toyota Yaris L
This one hasn’t been updated in a while, so if you saw one four years ago then you know exactly what to expect. It gets around 36 highway mpg but with the relatively efficient 1.6L engine it’ll only set you back about $950 in fuel costs.
The other problem with the Yaris is that it’s one of the smaller cars on the list – it only has 3 doors and not even the hatchback helps much.
Kia Rio LX
The 37mpg and $1000 yearly fuel costs lumps this car in with most of the other’s in the bottom five, but the sticker is a little less shocking to compensate. It’s the other one of three actual sedan on the list with enough adequate room for four, and also like the Hyundai it has a great warranty. The hatchback version also looks fairly sleek.
Ford Fiesta S
Again we’re right at 37 mpg and $1000 annual fuel cost. So, no surprises there. It does come with a decent warranty and you’ll be the envy of the town as you party in your Fiesta, just kidding.
But in all seriousness: This car has been around for a while and Ford has had lots of opportunities to tweak this gas saver. It’s also still one of the top 5, bestselling, compacts in the U.S.
Smart ForTwo Pure
This is the most unique car on the list. Whether or not it’s a smart buy is debatable . . . it’s small, so small that calling it a coupe is maybe stretching it by half a foot of elbow room. And it’s not just the size that makes it small – the engine comes in at 0.9L and it only gets around 89hp.
The price is nice, but it doesn’t standup to the competition because of its size. The only thing you can say that’s great about this car it that it’s a turbo, but you can put a turbocharger on a push mower if you really want to.
This only comes in at number three because of the sticker price. It’s got the highest highway mpg at 44 and will only run you $750 a year in gas, plus it’s a Mitsubishi and for my money the only make that performs more consistently is a Nissan, but the margin between the two is narrow.
It’s a four door but the rear seating is tight. The only real two caveats with this car are the horsepower (it’s only got 74hp under the hood) and the fact that you’re going to have to get a 2015 because for some reason Mitsubishi skipped a year.
Chevy Spark LS
Rocking 20 more HP than the Mirage is the Chevy Spark. This car has also been updated last year with a sleeker look, and it comes in some fun colors – if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s got a 1.4L engine which is pretty good when you consider the size of the car and did switch to a CVT from the 5-speed it had last year.
It’ll get around 41 highway mpg, that’s about $850 a year in gas. Also, it’s well in under 15 grand, and that certainly counts for something.
This is the first on the list and the last of the three real sedans, and also comes in lowest in price hitting rock bottom at just over 14k. You gotta like that price and the fact that it’s as reliable as a car as you can get, Nissan has consistently been a great performing make across the board with all of their vehicles.
It got a 16v, 4-cylinder and pulls over 100hp. This car is at number one for a reason – it’s damn hard to beat for the value.
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