The 10 Most Affordable New Cars You Can Buy in 2021

The pandemic and its shortages have caused huge effects on the economy, and one of the hardest-hit areas has been car sales. Fewer cars being made means higher prices for what cars are made, and rising gas prices mean higher prices to own a car. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable new cars available right now, and they’ll be affordable at the pump, too. 

It’s a seller’s market right now

The affordable car Toyota logo on a smart phone with dollar bills in the background.
The affordable car Toyota logo | Getty Images

Any folks who’ve considered buying a new car lately probably understand better than anyone. It’s a seller’s market right now. Due to the chip shortage, many automakers had to cut car production, leading to fewer cars hitting dealerships. Some automakers have prioritized chips for their more popular models, which means a shortage of less popular cars.

Many of those popular models are bigger cars like SUVs. This trend creates another issue, as gas prices are steadily rising due to lower oil production worldwide. SUVs can be fuel-efficient, but generally, they are less fuel-efficient than a sedan. Many customers spend a lot of money on a new car, only to spend more money on gas due to how inefficient their car is. 

10 affordable new cars in 2021

According to Autoweek, there are a lot of affordable options right now. The 2022 Kia Soul, the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta, the 2021 Hyundai Veloster, the 2022 Subaru Impreza, and the 2021 Hyundai Venue are great options that cost about $20,000 each. 

These cars all have their own quirks, but they all get good fuel economies, especially compared to SUVs. The Subaru Impreza, even as a hatchback, gets 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on highways. It also gets up to 55 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The Kia Soul is actually an SUV. But it’s such a small SUV that it actually gets a pretty good fuel economy too.

More affordable options include the 2021 Kia Rio, the 2021 Hyundai Ascent, the 2021 Nissan Versa, the 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage, and the 2021 Chevy Spark. These cars range from about $14,500 for the Chevy Spark to about $17,000 for the Kia Rio. According to Autoweek, the Chevy Spark is currently the cheapest brand-new car available in the United States. It should also get a great fuel economy of about 33 mpg combined.

The slightly more expensive options 

The Chevy Spark may not be for everyone, but Autoweek has a few more affordable options. The 2021 Nissan Sentra, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra, the 2021 Nissan Kicks, the 2021 Toyota Corolla, and the 2021 Mazda 3 cost between $20,000 and $21,000. These may be great options for folks who got just a bit more to spend in their budget. 

The Corolla is one of the most popular cars right now. Some folks might not want to consider buying a lesser-known car like the Mitsubishi Mirage or the Hyundai Venue when the Corolla has a great reputation and is relatively affordable. According to Autoweek, the Corolla starts at about $21,000, which isn’t too far from the rest of Autoweek’s list price tag.

Additionally, the Nissan Kicks is a small SUV, just like the Kia Soul. Autoweek’s list provides some affordable SUV options, as well as affordable sedan options. Just like the Kia Soul, the Nissan Kicks has a decent fuel economy, too.

RELATED: The 2021 Toyota Corolla Is as Good for College Students as Ever