Skip to main content

Luxury, performance, speed, all the things we say we want in a car. But sometimes you need to get from point A to point B without spending a ton and being reliable. Here is a list of some of the top reliable cheap cars out there right now.

Cheap cars you’ll be proud to own

Two brands instantly jump to mind when the terms affordable and reliable; Honda and Toyota. These two automakers have created a solid nitch in this market. With that said, not all cars on this list will come from these two badges. Why not save a few extra bucks while you’re also being economical?

KIA Forte 

Autobytel recommends the 2020 Kia Forte stands at the top of the list for a few reasons. First is the major redesign that debuted in 2019, and Kia is consistently scoring for quality and value among the top brands. 

It comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. You can have a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable automatic. The 2020 Forte is a compact sedan with an up-to-date look that follows the Kia Stinger perfect styling characteristics all for a starting price of $17,890

2020 Chevrolet Sonic

Chevy Sonic
Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback | Chevrolet

The Chevrolet Sonic Entry-level 2020 places the focus on essential commuting. But spend a little more, and this subcompact will become a quiet, well-configured, affordable daily driver. The Sonic is large for its class of compact cars. It is offered either as a sedan or as a hatchback. With a 1.4L turbocharged engine that only provides 138hp, you’re not winning any races, but you will be able to stay well within the winning budget at a modest price of $16,720.

2020 Toyota Yaris

Blue Toyota Yaris
2020 Toyota Yaris | Toyota

This next car is a Car and Driver editor’s choice award winner. With an 8 out of 10 ratings, the Toyota Yaris 2020 has much more to deliver than you would expect from such a budget-priced vehicle. This experienced subcompact, which is available in hatchback and sedan body styles, sports the kind of outstanding fuel savings that will save you money in the foreseeable future.

The base L sedan with the manual transmission provides enough standard features to keep many other consumers pleased. Should you enjoy an automatic transmission, a six-speed automatic gearbox for only $1100 is also available. The starting price of $16,605 makes it the lowest cost car on our list. 

2020 Honda Fit 

2020 Honda Fit EX-L
2020 Honda Fit EX-L | Honda

What Is Gazoo Racing and Why Does it Make Toyota Cars Better?

The 2020 Honda Fit rounds out the list of our top picks for cheap but reliable cars that are out there right now. This one is not only phenomenally fuel-efficient, but the deceptively spacious back seat and smooth ride make this a winning small car. This hatchback packs a 1.5L 128 hp engine making it great on gas, and for just a bit more, you can get a sport mode 130 hp in a manual transmission as well. At $17K, it’s well priced for all buyers. 

This goes to show that there are options to get around with reliability, as well as cost savings. Not all cars need to break the bank to get you where you need to go. If you want to save even more, consider checking with the dealer for a certified pre-owned model, with a factory warranty. This means they are not only cheap but also have the reliability of a warranty. There are options, and it’s worthwhile to look at them all in the long run.