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It’s hard to find a bargain car in 2022. Crazy high car prices have been a mainstay for months, with only a couple of signs prices may go down later this year. If you’re on a budget for a new car, your options are limited. But they’re not bad by any means. Here are the eight best options under $25,000, according to Edmunds.

The 2022 Mazda3 is one of the best cars under $25,000

A red 2022 Mazda3 car indoors with the doors open.
2022 Mazda3 | Getty Images
  • MSRP: $23,765

The 2022 Mazda3 is a compact sedan that gives you an upscale look and feels without a high price tag. For less than $25,000, you can get the Mazda3 2.5 S trim, which is powered by a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder pushing out 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. 

Every Mazda3 model comes with a host of standard features. For driver aids, there are rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, drowsy driver monitor, and frontal collision mitigation. The Mazda3 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2022 as well. Inside, the eight-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 8.8-inch infotainment screen give you plenty of technology to enjoy.

Behind the wheel, the Mazda3 is fun to drive, giving you response steering and handling to pair with quick acceleration. It’s an easy daily driver that can give you a little more if you want to have fun. It’s no wonder this year’s new Mazda3 landed a spot on Edmunds’ list of the best cars, trucks, and SUVs for under $25,000.

The 2022 Honda Civic is one of the best cars you can buy

  • MSRP: $23,365

The Honda Civic is one of the best sedans you can buy on the market today. The Civic has a history of reliability, comfort, and affordability, and the 2022 model is no different. Edmunds even named the Civic the top sedan of 2022.

You can also get two trims for less than $25,000: the base Honda Civic LX and the Sport. Both Civic models are powered by a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder giving you 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque. All Honda Civic models come with many of the same drivers aids as the Mazda3: lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and forward-collision mitigation. A few more are included, like automatic high beams and a traffic sign reader system.

The Civic Sport trim gives you a larger 18-inch wheel instead of a 16-inch. It also includes a remote ignition and keyless entry, sport drive mode, an eight-speaker audio system, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Though it’s less powerful than the Mazda3, the Civic’s cargo room and fuel economy with 33 to 35 combined miles per gallon make it a worthwhile option.

The 2022 Kia Forte is a cheap new car for under $25,000

  • MSRP: $20,145

Redesigned for 2022, the Kia Forte has a reputation as one of the most affordable sedans on the market. All of Forte’s trims are under the $25,000 budget cap. 

But that low price does not mean you compromise on driveability or options. There are two powertrains: a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder pushing out 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque for the FE, LXS, and GT-Line trims and a 1.6-liter inline-four producing 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque in the GT. 

All 2022 Kia Forte models come standard with cruise control, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and at least an 8-inch touchscreen display. The Forte comes standard with driver aids like forward-collision mitigation, lane-keeping systems, driver attention warning, and lane departure warning. Top trims like the Forte GT-Line and GT come with navigation-based smart cruise control and pedestrian and cyclist collision avoidance.

There’s more cargo space than the Civic with 15.3 cubic feet. It also has great warranties like five years or 60,000 miles basic and 10 years or 100,000 miles on the powertrain to give you peace of mind. 

The 2022 Kia K5 has plenty to offer new car shoppers

  • MSRP: $24,845

While the 2022 Kia K5 made Edmunds’ list of the best cars, trucks, and SUVs under $25,000, only one Kia K5 model makes it under the budget cap: the LX. The LX trim comes with a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine giving you 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The K5’s engine is efficient at 32 combined miles per gallon.

Like the Forte, the Kia K5 comes with forward-collision mitigation, driver attention warning, and lane-keeping systems standard. Inside, you get an 8-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as well. You can also enjoy the five-year or 60,000-mile basic and 10 years or 100,000-mile powertrain warranties standard on each model.

The 2022 Mazda CX-30 is one of the best SUVs under $25,000

  • MSRP: $23,425

While Edmunds calls the 2022 Mazda CX-30 one of the best SUVs under $25,000, Edmunds reviewers note that the Mazda CX-30 is much like an SUV-sized Mazda3. Like the Kia K5, only one trim level for the CX-30 comes in under the budget cap: the 2.5 S

It’s powered similarly to the Mazda3 with a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder giving 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. The CX-30’s standard features set it apart. It’s the only vehicle on this list that has standard all-wheel drive. 

Drivers can also enjoy a host of safety features, including forward-collision mitigation, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and drowsy driver monitoring systems.

The CX-30 is easy and fun to drive and handles, much like the Mazda3. There’s more cargo space than most of the sedans on this list with 20.2 cubic feet of space, and it has a luxurious feel inside the cabin. But it has the worst fuel economy on the list at 26 combined mpg.

The 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer offers two budget-friendly trims

  • MSRP: $22,795

The Chevrolet Trailblazer has two trims that fit under the budget: the LS and LT. Both are powered by the smallest engine on the list: a turbocharged 1.2-liter inline three-cylinder giving 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. That means the two Trailblazer trims get stellar gas mileage for a non-hybrid SUV at 30 combined mpg for the LS and 28 mpg for the LT.

With 25.3 cubic feet of cargo space, there’s a lot more room in the Trailblazer than in the CX-30. Standard features on the Trailblazer include a Wi-Fi hotspot, a fold-flat passenger seat, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For safety features, forward-collision mitigation and lane-keeping assist come standard. The LT trim adds a few perks like cruise control, keyless entry, and heated front seats.

With these features at a great starting price, it’s no wonder Edmunds included this year’s model on its list of the best cars, trucks, ad SUVs under $25,000. Additionally, Edmunds ranked the Trailblazer the second-best extra-small SUV for 2022 and 2023. 

The 2022 Hyundai Kona is a subcompact SUV under $25,000

  • MSRP: $22,545

Hyundai’s subcompact SUV, the Kona, offers two trims below $25,000 MSRP: the SE and the SEL. Both Hyundai Kona models have a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine with 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. It’s a fuel sipper at 32 combined mpg.

The exterior styling is revamped for the 2022 Hyundai Kona but maintains the standard features that have been a mainstay since 2018. Driver aids like forward-collision mitigation, lane departure mitigation, and a lane-keeping system are available on all models. All-wheel drive is optional on both trims, and the Kona handles well in the corners.

It has less cargo room than the Trailblazer or the CX-30 at 19.2 cubic feet, but, as one of the best cars, trucks, and SUVs under $25,000, the Hyundai Kona is an affordable and fun option to keep below the budget.

The 2022 Ford Maverick is the best truck under $25,000

  • MSRP: $21,490

The 2022 Ford Maverick is the only truck on Edmunds’ list of the best cars, trucks, and SUVs under $25,000. It offers a lot without a high price tag too. The XL and XLT models fit comfortably below the $25,000 budget cap. 

Each Ford Maverick model comes with a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder gas-electric hybrid engine that produces 191 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid system shines in fuel economy; the 37 combined mpg is the best on this list.

Based on Ford’s Escape compact SUV, the Maverick gives you a 4.5-foot long bed behind four seats in the cabin. The 2022 Ford Maverick can also tow up to 2,000 lbs. and load up 1,500 lbs. of payload when needed.

Standard features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear under-seat storage, and forward-collision mitigation. It’s not as comfortable and roomy inside as the SUVs or sedans on the list. But if you’re looking for an affordable truck, the Maverick’s tough to beat. TrueCar even named it the second-best midsize truck on the market.


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