Searching for new, cheap cars can be a tricky process – especially since many people equate cheap cars with bad quality. Luckily, it’s not as hard to find good, inexpensive new cars as you might think. It can be an overwhelming process if you’re not sure what you want, so we’re here to help you narrow your search. We set a price cap of $25,000 for new cars, SUVs, and trucks to provide a list of some of the best affordable cars on the market, according to the U.S. News rankings.
2020 Honda Fit
$16,190 | Class: Subcompact Cars | U.S. News Score: 8.4/10
The subcompact Honda Fit is one of the best new cars you can buy. We named it our 2020 Best Subcompact Car for the Money for its combination of quality and value. It has premium cabin materials and sporty handling, as well as a decent amount of cargo space. You can also take advantage of Honda’s Magic Seat to configure the rear seats in a number of ways to accommodate bulky or lengthy cargo.
2020 Volkswagen Golf
$23,195 | Class: Compact Cars | U.S. News Score: 8.0/10
Outside of a poor predicted reliability rating, the Volkswagen Golf doesn’t have many glaring weaknesses. It’s a hatchback with a tremendous amount of room for cargo. It also has roomy seats and lots of advanced safety features, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring, among others. Inside, this hatchback almost feels like a luxury car thanks to its first-rate materials and stylish design. On the road, it’s a decent daily driver, with an eager four-cylinder engine and poised handling.
2020 Volkswagen Tiguan
$24,945 | Class: Compact SUVs | U.S. News Score: 8.0/10
The VW Tiguan is a solid option in our ranking of subcompact SUVs, particularly because it has a good predicted reliability rating. It may be a bit expensive compared to other models in its class, but it comes standard with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. It’s also one of the few compact SUVs to offer a third row of seats. Its turbocharged base engine is fine for city driving, but it feels strained on the highway.
2019 Chevrolet Cruze
$17,995 | Class: Compact Cars | U.S. News Score: 8.2/10
Available as both a hatchback and sedan, the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze is great to drive for daily commutes, thanks to its gentle ride and above-average fuel economy ratings. Regardless of which model you get, the Cruze has a fantastic predicted reliability rating, and the base model comes with lots of easy-to-use tech, including the MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, two USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.
2020 Hyundai Veloster
$18,600 | Class: Compact Cars | U.S. News Score: 8.2/10
Lithe handling and well-weighted steering help make the Hyundai Veloster a joy to drive. You can even upgrade to a 201-horsepower turbocharged engine with a manual transmission and still spend less than $25,000: Prices start at $23,150 for models with the stronger engine option. The Veloster also has a longer powertrain and basic warranty than many class rivals.
2020 Toyota Corolla
$19,600 | Class: Compact Cars | U.S. News Score: 8.2/10
Toyota fully redesigned the Corolla sedan for 2020 and carried over the hatchback unchanged. This Toyota has a perfect predicted reliability rating and gets great fuel economy – up to an EPA-estimated 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. However, both of its engine choices are unimpressive, and Android Auto is not available.
2020 Hyundai Kona
$20,100 | Class: Subcompact SUVs | U.S. News Score: 8.2/10
Not only is the Hyundai Kona one of the cheapest small SUVs, but it also has a handsome cabin and one of the most intuitive infotainment systems on the market. It looks and feels like a more expensive model. Bolstering the Hyundai’s appeal further is its sporty handling. Buyers should note that the Kona is not available with all-wheel drive, unlike most other SUVs.
2019 Mini Cooper
$21,900 | Class: Subcompact Cars | U.S. News Score: 8.2/10
Mini is not the first name that springs to mind when thinking about cheap cars, but the Mini Cooper isn’t all that expensive. Its dynamic handling makes it enjoyable to drive, and a top-notch predicted reliability rating may help ease some consumers’ concerns. The Mini Cooper is a stylish, great car that can be had as a two-door hardtop, a four-door hardtop, or a convertible – although getting the drop-top bumps the price above $25,000.
2020 Toyota Camry
$24,425 | Class: Midsize Cars | U.S. News Score: 8.6/10
As of this writing, the Toyota Camry is our top-ranked midsize car. It has just about everything you could want in a sedan, including great fuel economy estimates, an agile and smooth ride, and a long list of standard safety and tech features. Some of these include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a 7-inch touch screen, and a suite of driver assistance features.
2020 Kia Soul
$17,490 | Class: Subcompact SUVs | U.S. News Score: 8.5/10
Kia fully redesigned the Soul for the 2020 model year. Whether you consider the Soul a subcompact SUV, a hatchback, or a compact car, it’s a great vehicle with an affordable price. Its passenger and cargo space fall more in line with a small crossover than a small car, and it has an intuitive infotainment system with a standard 7-inch touch screen, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. However, some of its rivals drive with more athleticism.