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If you’re car shopping and want a car that can get you where you need to go without spending a lot of money, you have some decent options. As the price of cars continues to grow, it might feel like you’ll have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get what you need. However, these five cars are among the cheapest cars you can buy, and they have a lot going for them, too.

A red 2022 Subaru Impreza against a white background.
2022 Subaru Impreza | Subaru

The 2022 Subaru Impreza is a solid choice

A red 2022 Subaru Impreza driving with bicycles on top. The Impreza is one of the cheapest cars you can buy.
2022 Subaru Impreza | Subaru

The 2022 Subaru Impreza is a great choice for someone who wants a solid, safe car – and doesn’t want to pay big bucks for it. The NHTSA gives the Impreza five stars for its overall rating, frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests. 

The Subaru Impreza also comes with some important safety features, including brake assist, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist. Coming in at just under $20,000 – $19,755 to be exact, the Subaru Impreza is a great deal. 

The 2021 Hyundai Accent is a cheap, no-frills option

U.S. News calls the 2021 Hyundai Accent the 2021 Best Subcompact Car for the Money “because it offers the best combination of quality and value in its class.” At $16,400, it’s one of the cheapest cars you can buy.

The Accent’s safety ratings aren’t as high as the Subaru Impreza’s. The IIHS gives the 2021 Accent good ratings for moderate overlap front, side impact, rear crash protection, and roof strength tests. Small overlap front driver test results are also good, but small overlap passenger tests are just acceptable. The headlight ratings for the 2021 Hyundai Accent is poor. On a positive note, the front crash prevention results are superior. 

The NHTSA gives the Accent four stars for its overall rating and frontal crash, as well rollover. Side crash does get five stars, which is good. 

The 2021 Nissan Versa may not be powerful, but it’s still a good car

An aerial shot of a red 2021 Nissan Versa.
2021 Nissan Versa | Nissan

The 2021 Nissan Versa comes with just a 122-horsepower engine. For $15,930 though, it’s still a good car. The Versa is solid and roomy, and it will get you where you need to go. 

The IIHS didn’t fully rate the 2021 Nissan Versa, but it did give it good ratings for the moderate overlap front crash and side impact test results. The NHTSA gives the 2021 Nissan Versa five stars for overall crash and four stars for a rollover rating. 

The 2021 Chevrolet Spark is the cheapest car of the bunch

At just $14,595, the 2021 Chevy Spark is the cheapest car you can buy new. Consumer Reports notes that it’s one of the smallest cars out there. It comes with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking for the city, and rear cross traffic. The IIHS gives the Spark a good rating for the moderate front overlap and side crash.

The 2021 Kia Rio is a basic choice

A silver 2021 Kia Rio with a city in the background.
2021 Kia Rio | Kia

The 2021 Kia Rio is a basic car without any extras. Consumer Reports said that it “suffers from deficiencies endemic to this class, such as slow acceleration, a stiff ride, and a loud cabin.”

As far as safety is concerned, the Rio’s safety features are somewhat limited. The Rio only comes with a rear view camera, antilock brakes, traction control, and stability control. The IIHS gives the Rio all good ratings except for the small overlap, passenger side, which was only acceptable. 

Just because these five cars are the cheapest cars you can buy doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the best choice. As with any major purchase, you’ll want to do your due diligence. Compare safety ratings and features, and figure out what your priorities are when you’re car shopping. Of course any car that you choose should be within your budget, too.


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