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The average car buyer is always on the lookout for a great deal. And with prices of new cars skyrocketing in recent years, car buying in 2023 can be a daunting experience. Thankfully, there are plenty of reliable and affordable options out there. According to TrueCar’s report, the top three cheapest cars this year are all less than $20,000. So, if you’re buying a car on a budget, here are the cheapest cars of 2023 you may want to consider.

1. 2023 Nissan Versa

Subcompact sedans remain popular for budget-minded buyers, and the Nissan Versa is no exception. Despite being one of the cheapest cars on the market, it doesn’t skimp on features. Its warm angular accents and sporty looks give it an edge over its competitors. Inside, you’ll also get a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration as standard. 

A 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine offers 122 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque, suitable for a frugal 30 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. Its default five-speed manual transmission comes standard with the S trim. An upgraded Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is an option, but standard on SV and SR trim levels.

According to Truecar, the Versa offers excellent value, starting at a mere $16,825 and going up to $17,610. Also, there is more cargo space of 14.7 cu-ft, providing a generous seating capacity that can fit up to five passengers. However, its sluggish acceleration and tight backseat make it less competitive against its rivals.

2. 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage

When Mitsubishi first debuted the Mirage in 2014, it was a revolutionary car in terms of fuel economy, affordability, and cheap to own thanks to its 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. In 2023, the car still stands out with its affordability and fuel economy.

Power comes from a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine making 78 hp and 74 lb-ft of torque. All Mirage models are front-wheel drives equipped with continuous variable transmission (CVT). Driving the Mirage is rather uninspiring, with excessive road noise at highway speeds, and exhibits lackluster acceleration.

Fortunately, it offers an impressive fuel economy of 36 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway, outperforming some hybrid cars. The Mirage also offers many standard features, including a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, push-button start, and adaptive cruise control. Behind the cabin, there’s also a roomy 17.2 cu-ft trunk with 60/40 split rear seats for extra cargo capacity. The base ES trim level has an MSRP of only $17,290 and offers excellent value for its price.

3. 2023 Kia Rio

A silver 2023 Kia Rio parked outdoors in front of a city skyline.
2023 Kia Rio | Kia Media

 Available as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback, the Rio is a modern, stylish, and practical choice for budget-conscious customers. It packs a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine making 120 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque, enough for city driving.

Despite a low price tag, the car’s comfort and convenience remain. A well-tuned suspension helps the Rio feel surprisingly comfortable and composed when taking corners, despite its size. Steering is far from sporty, and too much input is required to take sharp turns.

The Rio also offers many standard features like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a 7-inch infotainment system with smartphone integration, and a rather generous 17.4 cu-ft of cargo capacity with rear seats in use and 32.8 cu-ft with rear seats folded. However, the sedan version has a smaller cargo capacity compared to its rivals of the same class. Buying the 2023 Kia Rio will cost you just $17,850, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious buyers.

The three cheapest cars of 2023 offer excellent value for money with their affordability and fuel economy. Despite being cheap cars, they don’t skimp on features and boast impressive specs. However, it’s essential to consider other factors like cargo capacity or acceleration before settling down on one option. 


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