If you’re in the market for a cheap car, we’re here to help.
Believe it or not, there are quite a few cars on the market available today priced under $20,000 whether you’re in the U.S. or Canada. But of course, the popular adage of “you get what you pay for” applies to cars, although not all of these are poor-performing vehicles.
10. Toyota Yaris
The 2018 Toyota Yaris recently got a minor facelift, but currently you can get your hands on the 2017 model for $16,135 in the U.S. or $17,065 in Canada. Pricing for the 2018 model hasn’t been announced, but don’t expect it to change significantly, since the Yaris is Toyota’s entry-level model. Although we haven’t had a chance to get our hands on the updated 2018 model, our review of the Yaris left us liking its aesthetics and interior design, but fuel economy and interior comfort leaves a bit to be desired.
9. Chevrolet Sonic
Updated for the 2017 model year, the Chevrolet Sonic is another affordable hatch starting from $16,020 in the U.S. and $19,845 in Canada. The refreshed model gets a grille similar to those found on the Chevrolet Bolt, Cruze, and Trax models, along with LED daytime running lights, four new colors, and new wheel designs to choose from. For the most part, the Chevrolet Sonic hasn’t seen any significant changes in years, but the last time we reviewed the hatch we found it to be a genuinely great drive that offers great value for its price.
8. Fiat 500
If you’re in the mood for something Italian, the Fiat 500’s unique style might fit the bill. Priced from $15,990 in the U.S. and $20,790 in Canada, the Fiat 500 is a subcompact that’s fun to drive, but it does have awkward ergonomics and big blind spots. But it is one of the most iconic city cars in the world, even if it’s design isn’t for everybody.
7. Hyundai Accent
If you prefer a vehicle from a Korean automaker, the Hyundai Accent starts from $15,580 in the U.S. and $15,604 in Canada. While other cars on the list have recently received a refresh, there’s a redesigned Accent on the horizon that made its debut in February at the Toronto Auto Show. Unfortunately that model won’t arrive until the last quarter of 2017, with the hatchback following early next year. So if you’re impatient, or simply aren’t a fan of Hyundai’s new front ends, the current Accent offers a responsive and frugal engine, while its trunk is surprisingly roomy.
6. Smart ForTwo
Now if you want something truly subcompact, the Smart ForTwo is available from $15,575 in the U.S. and $17,300 in Canada (excluding delivery). While the latest model is dramatically improved and returns impressive fuel economy, our latest review couldn’t help but nitpick at the suspension tuning, blind spots, and pricing – despite it being one of the cheapest cars available. It’s worth mentioning the Smart ForTwo is getting rid of its gasoline engine variant in the U.S., so act fast if you don’t want an all-electric Smart ForTwo.
5. Kia Rio
In September 2016, Kia introduced the fourth-generation Rio at the Paris Motor Show (seen above). But like the new Hyundai Accent, the new Rio isn’t set to arrive until later this year, which means 2017 models are still available at dealerships – and you could get a great deal on one. Pricing starts from $15,060 in the U.S. and $16,155 in Canada. We haven’t gotten our hands on the latest Kia Rio just yet, but the current model gets high marks for its fuel economy and interior comfort. We did wish it handled better and its powertrain wasn’t so noisy.
4. Ford Fiesta
Ford’s entry-level model is the Fiesta, starting from $14,535 in the U.S. and $18,198 in Canada. Like other cars on the list, an all-new model is around the corner, which means great deals on the current version. As you can tell by now, the compact segment is a competitive one, but the Fiesta receives praise for being fun-to-drive, especially if you’re willing to splurge on the high-performance ST trim. However, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to be patient for the new model to arrive, unless you’re really looking for a good deal.
3. Chevrolet Spark
Chevy’s most affordable model is the Spark, which recently added an ‘Activ model to its lineup. But the standard Spark starts from $13,875 in the U.S. and is even cheaper in Canada with a starting price of $11,595. In our review of the Spark, we loved its low price, standard tech, and fun style, but could have done without the rough suspension and small rear seats. It’s also not very fast, but most subcompacts aren’t.
2. Mitsubishi Mirage
You might be surprised to hear the Mitsubishi Mirage isn’t actually the cheapest car available today. But with a starting price of $13,860 in the U.S. and $14,148 in Canada, it’s not too far off. Unfortunately the Mirage is really only recommended for those looking for real good fuel economy and city agility, because the front seats are really uncomfortable and the driving experience is pretty terrible. In this instance, it may be worth it to pay a little more for something better.
1. Nissan Versa Sedan / Nissan Micra
The cheapest car available in the U.S. is the Nissan Versa Sedan, starting from just $12,855. However, the Versa Sedan isn’t available for Canadians – instead, there’s the Nissan Micra starting from $11,588. Surprisingly, the Versa Sedan is not too terrible to drive and its interior is quite roomy for the price. It does however, have a noisy engine and indifferent steering. As for the Micra, it’s spacious for its size but you may be left wondering why its fuel economy isn’t any better. The quality, fit, and finish of the Micra is a bit questionable, and it does wander in the wind a bit, but overall it’s a fun little car.