The Top 5 Cheap Cars for 2023 Could Save You Money, Says Cars.com Affordability Report

Saving money while car shopping doesn’t have to be difficult if you choose wisely. For instance, you could pick one of Cars.com’s picks for the best cheap new cars on the market. Check out the top five cheap cars for 2023, like the Nissan Versa SV and Kia Rio S, which offer much of the 2022 model year’s value. 

What are some of the best cheap cars that offer the best value for 2023? 

These five cars offer the best value for the money for 2023, according to Cars.com’s newest affordability report. 

  • 2023 Kia Rio S
  • 2023 Nissan Versa SV
  • 2022 Nissan Sentra S
  • 2023 Kia Forte LXS
  • 2023 Nissan Kicks S
The 2023 Kia Rio shows off its similar styling to the 2022 model as the cheap car drives city streets.
2023 Kia Rio | Kia

Considering the median starting price of around $21,000, these vehicles definitely qualify as cheap in the new car market. However, the 2023 Kia Rio S, and its 2022 predecessor, offer a competitive warranty and attractive starting price point to secure the top spot. 

Is Kia Rio being discontinued?

Kia isn’t discontinuing its Rio sedan and hatchback quite yet. Instead, the 2023 Kia Rio heads into the new model year essentially unchanged. Moreover, the Rio S earned the top spot on Cars.com’s list of the best cheap cars for their value. 

No wonder, either; the Rio starts at around $20,000 with one of the lowest annual fuel costs in the segment: $1,400. Also, the Kia model’s five-year, 60,000-mile warranty offers much more peace of mind than comparable Nissan models like the Versa SV.

What is the difference between a Nissan Versa S and a Nissan Versa SV?

The Versa SV packs a continuously-variable transmission (CVT). Also, it adds features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, heated mirrors, wireless device charging, and a split folding rear seat. Moreover, the SV keeps the seven-inch touchscreen from the S model. 

The Nissan Versa S with a manual transmission is one of the cheapest cars on sale today. However, Cars.com considers the better-equipped Versa SV a better value overall. 

A 2023 Nissan Versa shows off its post-2022 design refresh while maintaining its status as a cheap car.
Nissan Versa | Nissan

Which is better, a Nissan Versa or Sentra?

The Nissan Versa is dimensionally different from the Sentra, as it’s around seven inches shorter and about three inches more narrow. Moreover, the 2022 Nissan Sentra S has a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that produces about 149 horsepower, about 29 more than the 2023 Versa SV.

Moreover, with a median trim price of around $21,380, the Sentra S is an excellent value in the new car market. 

What is a Kia Forte LXS?

The 2023 Kia Forte LXS is the second trim offering of the Forte model, which adds split rear seats and larger 16-inch wheels to the entry-level LX platform. Moreover, TrueCar says the LXS starts at around $21,085 and boasts Kia’s lengthy warranty.

No wonder the LXS snags a spot on Cars.com’s list of high-value, cheap cars. 

A new Kia Forte shows off its aggressive styling for a cheap car, which is much more aggressive than the 2022 Kia Rio.
2023 Kia Forte | Kia

Is the Nissan Kicks good in snow?

While the 2023 Nissan Kicks S earned a spot on the list of the best cheap cars by value, it’s worse in snow than small SUV competitors like the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Ford EcoSport. Specifically, those models offer optional AWD and a smart 4WD system, while the Kicks does not. 

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Still, the Nissan Kicks S’ abundance of features for its attractive starting price point makes it a sensible choice for a list of cheap cars that offer the best value. 

Which of these cheap cars should you consider? 

The 2023 Kia Rio S takes the top spot on the affordability report. With an industry leading-warranty, commendable fuel economy, and a competitive price, the Rio is a solid choice for economy car hunters.