Here Are the 10 Cheapest New Cars You Can Buy Right Now

Cheapest new cars illustration illustration by Paul Dolan; Elnur/manufacturer images

The days of the sub-$10,000 new car are long behind us, and the days of the sub-$20,000 new car may not be far behind. But if a rock-bottom base price is what you’re looking for, a variety of models still deserve consideration. Many of them also get good gas mileage, which will help keep a lid on ownership costs for as long as you own one.

Related: Here Are The 10 Cheapest New SUVs You Can Buy Right Now

To help with your cheap-car search, we rounded up the 10 least expensive new cars. They’re ordered by base price from least to most expensive, and all prices include the destination charge, but not any cash incentives or taxes and fees. To make the list useful to as many car shoppers as possible, all prices include an automatic transmission, which bumps the price for some models that otherwise offer a manual. For cars with more than one transmission choice, the EPA-estimated combined mpg rating is for the automatic version.

Cheapest New Cars (With Automatic Transmissions)

1. 2022 Chevrolet Spark LS: $15,695

2. 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage ES: $16,990

3. 2022 Kia Rio LX: $17,275

4. 2022 Hyundai Accent SE: $17,670

5. 2022 Nissan Versa S: $17,775

6. 2022 Kia Forte FE: $20,115

7. 2022 Hyundai Venue SE: $20,125

8. 2022 Kia Soul LX: $20,505

9. 2022 Nissan Sentra S: $20,535

10. 2022 Hyundai Elantra SE: $20,875

2022 Chevrolet Spark LS

Price: $15,695, including $995 destination charge

Combined fuel economy: 33 mpg

chevrolet-spark-2021-exterior-front-three-quarter-oem 2021 Chevrolet Spark | Manufacturer image

With a starting price of just over $15,500 when equipped with its optional continuously variable automatic transmission, the 2022 Chevrolet Spark four-seat subcompact hatchback is the cheapest new car you can buy today. Despite its low price, the Spark comes standard with important connectivity features such as Bluetooth streaming audio, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot (data plan required after initial trial) and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. On the flip side, it’s concerning that Chevrolet doesn’t offer automatic emergency braking, an important safety feature, until you get three trim levels up. The Spark’s small four-cylinder engine also doesn’t make a lot of power and the car has a tight backseat, but perhaps these characteristics aren’t deal breakers if you’re looking for an urban runabout.

2022 Mitsubishi Mirage ES

Price: $16,990, including $995 destination

Combined fuel economy: 39 mpg

2022 Mitsubishi Mirage 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage | Manufacturer image

Like the Spark, the Mirage is a subcompact hatchback, but it has room for one additional person in its five-seat interior. The combination of a tiny 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine and optional CVT deliver impressive EPA-estimated gas mileage of 39 mpg combined, but it comes at the expense of performance; the Mirage is slow. That said, we thought it was reasonably fun to drive when we last reviewed it. The 2022 Mirage carries over unchanged from the 2021 model, which got a refreshed face and revised rear bumper, an updated interior with new soft-touch materials, a new standard 7-inch touchscreen and standard safety features including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection across all trims. If you want a trunk, Mitsubishi also offers a sedan variant called the Mirage G4; it starts with the CVT at $17,990.

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2022 Mitsubishi Mirage ES
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2022 Kia Rio LX

Price: $17,275, including $1,025 destination

Combined fuel economy: 36 mpg

kia-rio-2022-blue-dynamic-exterior-front-angle-sedan 2022 Kia Rio | Manufacturer image

The Kia Rio enters the 2022 model year largely unchanged. Under the hood is a four-cylinder engine and standard CVT for a generous combined fuel-economy rating of 36 mpg. An 8-inch touchscreen multimedia display with a rear camera and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay now come standard across the lineup; unfortunately, automatic emergency braking is unavailable until you move up to the Rio’s higher trim, the S.

2022 Nissan Versa S

Price: $17,625, including $975 destination

Combined fuel economy: 35 mpg

nissan-versa-2022-black-exterior-front-angle-sedan 2022 Nissan Versa | Manufacturer image

The Nissan Versa is packed with active-safety and driver-assist features you don’t often see at this price. These include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, reverse automatic braking, lane departure warning and high-beam assist. It’s also fitted with convenience features like cruise control, automatic headlights, push-button start and Bluetooth streaming audio.

2022 Hyundai Accent SE

Price: $17,670 including $1,025 destination

Combined fuel economy: 36 mpg

hyundai-accent-2022-dynamic-exterior-front-angle-red-sedan 2022 Hyundai Accent | Manufacturer image

The Accent subcompact sedan is Hyundai’s smallest car, and like its Kia Rio platform mate, it’s powered by a four-cylinder engine and available CVT that results in a combined fuel economy of 36 mpg. Higher trim levels add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, but convenience features on the base SE include power windows and locks; a 60/40-split, folding backseat; Bluetooth; and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. Unfortunately, automatic emergency braking isn’t part of the mix — you have to move up two trim levels to get that.

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2022 Kia Forte FE

Price: $20,115, including $1,025 destination

Combined fuel economy: 35 mpg

kia-forte-2022-17930-dynamic-exterior-front-angle-sedan-silver 2022 Kia Forte | Manufacturer image

Under the hood, the Forte FE houses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and CVT. The compact sedan offers a commuter-friendly 35 mpg and is loaded with standard features like a large 8-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and automatic emergency braking. Although the Forte is a good value for a daily driver, shoppers looking for plentiful cargo space won’t find it in this sedan’s small trunk.

2022 Hyundai Venue SE

Price: $20,125, including $1,225 destination

Combined fuel economy: 31 mpg

hyundai-venue-2022-exterior-front-angle-grey-suv 2022 Hyundai Venue | Manufacturer image

The inaugural winner of our Best Value award, the Hyundai Venue returns for 2022 as a faux SUV (i.e., it looks like one and Hyundai calls it that, too, but all-wheel drive is unavailable, so we’ll leave it off the category). Advanced safety features including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, and a driver attention monitor are standard, and all models are equipped with 8-inch touchscreen displays with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The base SE and mid-level SEL have wireless versions of both, too. Power for all versions of the Venue comes from a four-cylinder engine paired to a CVT.

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2022 Hyundai Venue SEL
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2022 Kia Soul LX

Price: $20,505, including $1,215 destination

Combined fuel economy: 30 mpg

kia-soul-2022-compact-dynamic-exterior-front-angle-red 2022 Kia Soul | Manufacturer image

Kia’s quirky, utilitarian 2022 Soul hatchback ditches its previously available manual transmission; power for all but the Turbo model now comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired to a CVT. The base trim, LX, gets an 8-inch touchscreen display (other models get a 10.25-inch touchscreen) with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though automatic emergency braking is optional, not standard, on this trim.

2022 Nissan Sentra S

Price: $20,535, including $1,025 destination

Combined fuel economy: 33 mpg

nissan-sentra-2022-blue-exterior-front-angle-sedan 2022 Nissan Sentra | Manufacturer image

After a complete overhaul for 2020, the Sentra is now more than just a bargain buy thanks to styling improvements and a tech-focused interior. Powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to a CVT, the Senta S gets a combined fuel-economy rating of 33 mpg. The Sentra provides a controlled, comfortable ride with sharp steering, but the CVT lacks the giddy-up of some competitors. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all trims, as is Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of advanced safety tech, which includes automatic emergency braking.

2022 Hyundai Elantra SE

Price: $20,875, including $1,025 destination

Combined fuel economy: 37 mpg

hyundai-elantra-2022-exterior-front-angle-sedan-silver 2022 Hyundai Elantra | Manufacturer image

Car shoppers on a tight budget will be happy to learn that Hyundai completely redesigned the Elantra for the 2021 model year with a more refined powertrain and larger interior, and the 2022 model carries over unchanged. The Elantra is available only as a sedan, and the most affordable SE trim is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a capable CVT. The Elantra gets an impressive 37 mpg that makes it as budget-friendly to own as it is to buy, and standard features include wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a blind spot warning system and lane-centering steering. Shoppers who can overlook the sedan’s low-rent interior will appreciate the Elantra’s value.

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2022 Hyundai Elantra SEL
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