The Best New Cars and SUVs Under $30,000 According to Consumer Reports

There’s no getting around it. Cars these days are expensive. In fact, Kelley Blue Book reports the average new vehicle cost car shoppers approximately $40,857 in January 2021. The good news is that many popular new cars and SUVs won’t have you spending quite that much. As a matter of fact, according to Consumer Reports, these affordable new cars make up the best new cars and SUVs for under $30,000. 

The 2021 Toyota Corolla is the best new compact car under $30,000

2021 Toyota Corolla driving, the 2021 Toyota Corolla is among the best new cars under $30,000
2021 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

For those in the market for an affordable new car, Consumer Reports says that the 2021 Toyota Corolla is the best new compact car under $30,000 that you can buy. Base models will have you spending $20,025, which makes it among the cheapest cars for sale. Meanwhile, a range-topping Corolla will cost you $28,310.

An affordable price tag isn’t the only reason to put the 2021 Toyota Corolla on your list of cars to check out either. According to Consumer Reports, this year’s Corolla boasts “agile handling without sacrificing ride quality.” It’s also fuel-efficient and available as a hybrid car.

Perhaps what’s most enticing about the Toyota Corolla is its reputation for reliability. Consumer Reports gave this year’s model a five out of five predicted reliability rating. RepairPal gave the Corolla a similarly high-reliability rating, adding that it has excellent ownership costs and major repairs are fairly uncommon.

The 2021 Toyota Camry is the best new midsize car on a budget

2021 Toyota Camry parked
2021 Toyota Camry | Toyota

Say the 2021 Toyota Corolla just doesn’t offer enough space. If that’s the case, the 2021 Toyota Camry could be a good fit. Not only that, but the 2021 Toyota Camry is also among the best new cars under $30,000. Though, that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. 

This year’s Camry boasts a starting price of $25,045. Opt for a range-topping model instead, and the Toyota Camry’s price bumps up to approximately $35,620. The good news is that for those shopping for a new car under $30,000, the Camry offers several cheaper trim levels to choose from.

Consumer Reports gave the Toyota Camry some pretty high marks too. It not only earned an 86 in road tests but, the organization also gave it a five out of five predicted reliability rating and a four out of five predicted owner satisfaction rating. Consumer Reports predicts that owners of this affordable new car will be happiest with its driving experience, styling, and comfort. Meanwhile, RepairPal gave this year’s Camry an Above Average reliability rating, adding that repairs are both less severe and less frequent.

The 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a sporty new car under $30,000

A 2021 Mazda Miata parked at sunset, the Miata is an affordable new car
2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata | Mazda

Consumer Reports also included the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata among its best new cars under $30,000. This affordable convertible starts at $26,830. The Miata is also available in two additional trim levels, the Miata Club, which starts at $30,290, and the Miata Grand Touring, which starts at $31,770.

The 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata has more going for it than its affordable price, however. According to Consumer Reports, the Miata’s six-speed manual transmission makes this year’s model a joy to drive. Its impressive fuel economy ratings certainly helped too.

And when it comes to reliability? Consumer Reports gave this affordable new car a perfect five out of five. Meanwhile, RepairPal gave the Miata an Above Average reliability rating, adding that it has excellent ownership costs and is one of the most reliable new cars on the road.

The 2021 Subaru Forester is a wallet-friendly compact SUV 

A green 2021 Subaru Forester with a kayak on top of it, the Subaru Forester is among the best new cars under $30,000
2021 Subaru Forester | Zhe Ji/Getty Images

The Toyota Corolla Is Cheaper and Better Today Than It Was 20 Years Ago

For an affordable new SUV with all-wheel drive, Consumer Reports suggests the 2021 Subaru Forester. This year’s model is among the most affordable new SUVs and boasts a base price of $24,795. Treat yourself to a range-topping model, and this year’s Forester costs roughly $34,895.

But what is it that makes the 2021 Subaru Forester one of the best new SUVs under $30,000? Aside from its affordable price, Consumer Reports explains that the Forester delivers a “combination of a roomy interior, excellent visibility, commendable fuel economy, simple controls, a comfortable ride, and responsive handling.”

This affordable new car is reliable too. While Consumer Reports gave it a four out of five predicted reliability rating, RepairPal gave it an Above Average reliability rating. According to RepairPal, the Forester has average ownership costs too. 

Buying a new car or SUV doesn’t have to break the bank

While the average new car might cost roughly $40,857, that doesn’t mean you need to spend that much when shopping for your next vehicle. Instead, begin by considering Consumer Reports’ picks for the best new cars and SUVs under $30,000.