Since the average price of a new car in the United States is just under $30,000, what can a consumer except to purchase with a budget of $15,000 or $20,000? Some might say what’s a good cheap car? Others might look at it as buying a good car at a good price.
Turns out, for whatever reason, the options are plentiful. Seven U.S. and international manufacturers combined offer 10 cars all with a base price of less than $16,000.
Based on the average transaction price, including the MSPR, taxes, license, factory rebates and dealer discounts, 10 U.S. and international manufacturers combined to offer 10 cars priced at less than $18,000.
The cheapest car available nationwide is the Nissan Versa with a base price of $12,780. The cheapest car available throughout the United States via the average transaction price is the Smart ForTwo at $14,264.00
The rankings are based on sticker prices, including shipping charges. All vehicles listed are 2013 models except the 2014 Versa.
The 10 cheapest cars based on MSRP:
•Nissan Versa S Sedan, $12,780
•Chevrolet Spark LS Hatchback, $12,995
•Smart ForTwo Pure Coupe, $13,240
•Ford Fiesta S Sedan, $13,995
•Kia Rio LX Sedan, $14,350
•Ford Fiesta S Hatchback, $14,995
•Chevrolet Sonic Sedan, $14,995
•Toyota Yaris 3-door, $15,165
•Kia Soul, $15,175
•Hyundai Accent GLS Sedan, $15,340
The 10 cheapest cars based on average transaction price (ATP). The ATP is the all-in, out-the-door price that includes taxes, license, factory rebates, dealer discounts.
•Smart ForTwo, $14,264
•Chevrolet Spark, $14,707
•Nissan Versa, $16,092
•Ford Fiesta, $16,361
•Scion iQ, $16,688
•Kia Rio, $16,786
•Toyota Yaris, $16,881
•Hyundai Accent, $17,102
•Honda Fit, $17,651
Article Last Updated: September 8, 2021.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.