The average transaction price of today’s new car is about $37,000. That’s a figure that will send many shoppers running for the used car lot. But while a used model may get you more features for your money, you can still find plenty of cheap, affordable new cars that hold appeal. That’s especially true if your preferences are flexible and you can live without some creature comforts.
Here we’ve gathered today’s most affordable cars in various segments, from hatchbacks to pickups to electric vehicles. Some will catch your eye with a rock-bottom starting price but provide dubious quality or questionable performance. If that’s the case, don’t worry — we’ll warn you. Others have managed to score well in our comprehensive vehicle testing program despite their exceptional affordability. That’s the combination you’re looking for, and you’ve come to the right place to find it.
By the way, you’ll see in our vehicle listings that we don’t just leave it at the model’s starting MSRP. Drawing on Edmunds’ peerless automotive data, we also give you the average transaction price for that model, including all trim levels. Watch for cases where the average transaction price isn’t much more than the starting price — that means you might be able to score some cool added features for only a little extra dough. Conversely, if there’s a big gap, it could be difficult to find the price-leading base model on dealer lots.