People often associate ‘cheap’ with ‘bad’. Think - gas station sushi or that frat house sofa you saw on Craigslist. We firmly believe that just because something is cheap, doesn't mean it has to be bad. While we strongly advise against buying the sofa, there are plenty of good things in life that come cheap. Think - dollar menus, matinee movie tickets, and some very solid cars. If you’re set on buying a new car but don’t like the idea of a price tag so high, it may force you to also live in it, you're in luck. We’re coming to the rescue with the most affordable cars in each popular segment. Here are the winners and runners-up for these four segments:
- Pickup trucks
Buying a sedan is a great option for budget conscious folks because they’re generally fuel efficient and practical. If you don’t have a large family and don’t need a ton of cargo space or towing capabilities, a sedan will be the perfect fit for your needs and budget.
1st Place: 2018 Nissan Versa ($12,110 Base MSRP)
The winner of this category is the Nissan Versa with a starting price of $12,110. While the styling isn’t exactly our cup of tea, the Versa is an efficient and reliable vehicle with a spacious trunk. It receives an average of 3/5 stars (good) for these reasons. Another huge selling point is that it’s the most affordable car sold in America. ‘Inexpensive’ doesn’t mean ‘bare bones’ in this case. You can get the Versa with tech options like Bluetooth, NissanConnect and a backup camera.
2nd Place: 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage ($13,395 Base MSRP)
The Mitsubishi Mirage gets the silver medal for the least expensive sedan. It’s our least favorite out of the three. We’re not fans of the 3-cylinder engine, ride quality or comfort which brings the average rating down to 1.5/5 stars (poor). On the plus side, the Mirage comes with the best warranty out of the competition and great fuel economy, which should also help the pocketbook. Having the peace of mind thanks to the warranty can make this car worthwhile.
3rd Place: 2018 Ford Fiesta ($14,205 Base MSRP)
The third least expensive sedan is the Ford Fiesta coming in at $14,205 starting price. This car earned an average 4/5 star (very good) rating. Its 1.0-liter optional engine beats the competition in efficiency, and the infotainment is one of the best. It also happens to have great styling.
SUVs and Crossovers offer many benefits for people looking for more flexibility, a higher ride height, standard or available all-wheel drive, cargo space or more space for passengers. They’re great for active lifestyles, and many good SUVs out there don’t come with a high price tag.
1st Place: 2018 Jeep Renegade ($18,445 Base MSRP)
The Jeep Renegade is a double threat. The
2nd Place: 2018 Hyundai Kona ($19,500 Base MSRP)
Trailing the Renegade for least expensive SUV/crossover is a totally new model for Hyundai, the Kona with a starting price of $19,500. The Kona earned a coveted 4.5/5 star (excellent) average rating. We’re big fans of the styling of this crossover and the interior is well-designed. We also admire the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder option with the seven-speed auto.
3rd Place: 2018 Honda HR-V ($19,670 Base MSRP)
Honey, they shrunk the CR-V! The CR-V’s mini-me is the Honda HR-V which just barely missed the second place spot for least expensive crossover. It comes in at $19,670 starting price and earns a 4/5 average star rating (very good) for its ingenious flexible seat configuration and its smooth driving and maneuverability. It loses a few points due to its 141 horsepower's lackluster acceleration.
Pickup trucks have become much more car-like in driving dynamics which has popularized this segment with a wider demographic than ever before. Pickups are a wise choice for anyone needing more cargo space, ruggedness, as well as hauling and towing capabilities. While many budget-friendly, mid-size pickups may feel like driving a car, they are often just as capable in the performance department as full-size trucks.
1st Place: 2018 Nissan Frontier ($18,990 Base MSRP)
Nissan takes another blue ribbon in the affordability race for the Nissan Frontier. You’ll be able to haul in this mid-size truck for the very modest starting price of $18,990. The Frontier receives a 3/5 star (good) average rating. While we think this truck is desperately waiting for a refresh, we like that it has customizable cargo tie-downs and a sliding bed extender which offer full-size truck capability. Tech options include a 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio upgrade and NissanConnect app suite.
2nd Place: 2018 Chevy Colorado ($20,200 Base MSRP)
Chevy knows what they’re doing when it comes to pickup truck performance.
3rd Place: 2018 GMC Canyon ($21,100 Base MSRP)
Although GMC’s Canyon pickup truck gets third place in the most affordable pickup truck category, it wins in the acceleration department. Its V6 engine beats the mid-size pickup competition for 0-60, and the 2.8-liter Duramax diesel earns it a 4/5 average star rating.
Minivans are ideal for large families and anyone that needs more passenger space. Minivan shoppers, we get why you’re searching for a deal. Kids are expensive and need room! When it comes to buying a minivan, safety and convenience are of the utmost importance and you'll notice the price tags jump up a bit for this segment. There’s no need to throw a temper tantrum, though. Here are the least expensive minivans on the market that will be easy
1st Place: 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan ($26,250 Base MSRP)
The Dodge Grand Caravan is the least expensive minivan coming in at a base price of $26,250. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles like some of its competitors, and it will eventually be phased out for the 2019 model year, but it earns a 3.5 star (good) average rating based on great Stow
2nd Place: 2018 Chrysler Pacifica ($26,995 Base MSRP)
The Chrysler Pacifica is the next most affordable minivan on the market at $26,995, which is surprising since the Pacifica is one of the best minivans on the market thanks to its great styling, robust power, and serious space. This one is the teacher’s pet and gets 4.5/5 gold star average (an excellent rating). Paranoid parents will breathe easy because it has the highest safety rating in its class and no sticker shock unless you get high up in the trim levels.
3rd Place: 2018 Kia Sedona ($27,000 Base MSRP)
Bringing up the rear for the 3rd most affordable minivan is the Kia Sedona at $27,000. The Sedona is the closest thing to a good looking minivan we’ve seen, though it's not the roomiest in the segment. The 3/5 star (good) average rating is based on style and the standard equipment that is available. Plus, Kia is ranked #3 out of all automotive brands for reliability. We thought that would be music to most parents’ ears.