Tips, Tricks & Trends

Kia and Mazda Have Some of the Best Cars You Can Buy Under $30,000

Shopping for a new car used to be a hassle for anyone on a budget. While it was possible to get a decent car, new owners often had to forego all the cool new tech that everyone was raving about. Those days are long gone. It’s now possible to buy a new car for under $30,000 with all the bells and whistles, especially if you’re interested in a Mazda or Kia. Here are four cars that made U.S. News‘ list of The Best Vehicles to Buy for Less Than $30,000.

The 2020 Mazda6

The Mazda6 is one of the unsung heroes of the midsize sedan segment, but it’s definitely worth taking note of. Especially since it starts at $24,100.

It comes with a massive amount of safety tech that includes: automatic high-beam headlights, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warnings, pedestrian warning systems, and rain-sensing windshield wipers, just to name a few. The interior is also made up of high-quality materials that make drivers and passengers feel right at home.

Not all is perfect with the Mazda6, however. Poor acceleration is probably one of its biggest pitfalls, since most people who drive Mazdas expect a certain amount of playfulness with it.

2021 Kia Soul

Kia used to be known for its cheap cars that weren’t worth buying. That’s changed in recent years, and the Kia Soul had a huge role to play in that.

With the subcompact SUV division booming, it only made sense that cheaper SUVs would draw in consumers, even if they came with a wide array of problems. That’s where the Soul stands out, however. 

Yes, it’s cheap. No, it’s not a bad vehicle. In fact, it’s one of the best subcompacts on the market, and it has a price range from $17,490 for the base model up to $27,550 for the Soul Turbo.

One of the many features that drew U.S. News in was the boxy shape that makes for a very roomy interior. With the rear seats folded, there is 62.1 cubic feet of cargo room, making the Soul an excellent vehicle for anyone who occasionally needs to haul small loads.

The interior is also quite nice, and loaded with enough tech to keep mostly everyone satisfied, even if they didn’t get everything they wanted. It comes standard with a 7-inch infotainment system that supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

One of the biggest downsides is that it only comes with front-wheel drive. For anyone entertaining fantasies of going off-road in their new 2021 Kia Soul, that’s not going to happen. Still, it’s a very nice SUV for the price.

2021 Mazda CX-30

RELATED: No, the 2020 Mazda CX-30 Isn’t A Budget Mazda CX-5

Mazda came out with the CX-30, and it’s already making waves. It comes with an impressive 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. Mazda’s Skyactiv-G motor is used to power up things. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that is available as either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

Many fans who were eagerly awaiting the 2021 Mazda CX-30 were disappointed to learn that it would not debut with the Skyactiv-X engine. Even so, drivers still seemed pleased the Skyactiv-G. Automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist come standard, as well as front-wheel drive.

It starts at $21,900. Even after adding in beloved extras such as all-wheel drive, leather upholstery, adaptive headlights, and a head-up display, the price is still less than $30,000. 

2020 Kia Forte

The 2020 Kia Forte is the cheapest of the cheap, with a price tag of $17,890. In spite of this, it still made its way into the top third of the list. It also won U.S. News 2020 Best Compact Car for the Money award, which just shows off how great it really is.

To get a really great car, you might want to consider going for a higher trim level. According to U.S. News, “The Forte seats five, though only putting two in the back row is a better plan. Cloth seats come standard, with synthetic leather included on upper-trim models. At the top of the trim range is the $22,490 Forte GT, which comes with a 201-horsepower turbo, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and paddle shifters.”

For anyone on a budget, it’s well worth the money. Even if you can afford something pricier, the Kia Forte is still a great little car.