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The rear end of a silver 2021 hyundai accent

The Cheapest 2021 Subcompact Cars Offer Affordability and Not Much Else

Buying a brand new subcompact car is one of the best ways to get a new vehicle without breaking your budget. In fact, even among the higher trim levels and packages, these subcompact car options are pretty cheap, and they are a great option if you like to keep things simple and basic without all of the added tech.

When it comes to buying a new car, buying something complicated and high-tech isn’t always appealing. For some buyers, simplicity is key, and if you’re looking for affordable, subcompact cars, there are many options that offer the bare minimum — and for some drivers, that could be a good thing. Of course, with trim level and package options, you can still get all of the new standard safety features and technology that many other, more expensive vehicles have, but there’s also nothing wrong with sticking to the basics of a subcompact car.

Among the tested and rated subcompact options, the highest-scoring vehicle according to Consumer Reports is the 2021 Nissan Versa. The Nissan Versa has been a long-standing popular option among the subcompact car segment because it brings with it the reliability you would expect from a Nissan, low yearly repair and maintenance costs, and it’s a decent car for such a low price. While it won’t win any awards for being a fast or good-looking car, the 2021 model has some much-needed cosmetic updates to make it look modern even in more subtle ways than some more expensive, higher-end cars do.

For the base model MSRP of $16,435, you can expect to get:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Rear automatic braking
  • Lane departure alerts

The 2021 Hyundai Accent comes with a bit of tech

The 2021 Hyundai Accent is a more modern option for the price range, offering drivers something basic with a bit of a flair. In all trim level options, the price for the new Accent still sits comfortably under the $20,000 making it among the most affordable cars that you can buy brand new, and it does have many features and options buyers are looking to get from larger options than a subcompact car.

The base model of the 2021 Hyundai Accent comes at an MSRP of $17,785 and you can expect:

  • Keyless entry
  • 5-inch infotainment system
  • USB and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Reported overall fuel economy of 33 mpg on average
2021 Hyundai Accent in red
2021 Hyundai Accent | Hyundai

The 2021 Kia Rio is Kia’s subcompact car option

The 2021 Kia Rio might seem like an underwhelming option, but for the price it offers a simplistic and reliable option. While it isn’t ranked particularly high on the Consumer Reports rating, the Kia Rio does offer every trim level at a modest price, and even some luxuries like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Of course, it comes with standard options like a mandated backup camera and touchscreen infotainment system, but it keeps driving aids to a minimum for drivers looking for something more basic.

With a modest MSRP of $17,045, the 2021 Kia Rio packs quite a punch even with the base model, which provides the subcompact car with:

  • 8-inch touchscreen infotainment screen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with Bluetooth connectivity
  • Heated mirrors
  • Adjustable steering wheel
A blue 2021 kia rio s
2021 Rio S | Kia

As brand new vehicles, all of these affordable, subcompact cars come with a standard new car warranty, each of which have their own separate restrictions. These simple options are the perfect solution for getting from point A to point B without much worry for how many miles your driving or what condition the car stays in.


Surprisingly, the 2021 Hyundai Accent Has Something More Expensive Cars Don’t