Sedans & Coupes

These Are the Best 2021 Models Under $30,000

According to Car and Driver, there are some pretty great values to be had in the 2021 model year. The folks over there put together this awesome list of the best 2021 models under $30,000. If you are looking for a new car that won’t break the bank, there is a great chance you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for on this list. Car and Driver says that these are the best 2021 models under $30 grand.

Car and Driver’s list is a little more extensive than this condensed one of the top 6 best value 2021 cars. These top 6 are a pretty good group to narrow things down into. They all cost under $30,000 and still come with high praise and recommendation from the pros.

Kia K5

The 2021 Kia K5 looks like something from the future. It’s a sleek and contemporary replacement for the former Kia Optima, and it’s one of the best new cars under $30,000. According to Car and Driver, the Kia K5 has a larger back seat due to its wider wheelbase.

The EPA estimate for the 2021 Kia K5 is 29 mpg in the city and 38 on the highway. The 2021 Kia K5 gets a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4 cylinder that generates up to 180 horsepower as standard equipment. Plus modern safety and driver assistance tech are standard on the new Kia K5 as well.

A gray 2021 Kia K5 sedan, successor to the Kia Optima, passes through a downtown city street.
2021 K5 GT-Line AWD | Kia

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Hyundai Ioniq

The 2021 Hyundai Ioniq made it onto Car and Driver’s editor’s choice list. It’s a compact hybrid with surprisingly punchy 139 horsepower city driving enthusiasm. This Hyundai hybrid gets 57 mpg in the city and 59 on the highway.

The starting price for the 2021 Hyundai Ionoq is just $24,195. We see plenty of standard features and Car and Driver reports that it “drives like a regular small car. You’d hardly know it’s a hybrid.” Plus, you can upgrade to a plug in version for just $3,000 more.

The Hyundai Ioniq is shown at AutoMobility LA on November 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California
The Hyundai Ioniq | David McNew/Getty Images

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Volkswagen Golf

Another one of the best new cars for under $30,000 is the 2021 Volkswagen Golf. Both the base Golf and the legendary GTI hatchback come in right under $30 grand. They are less likely found under $30 grand with an automatic transmission.

A red 2021 Euro-spec Volkswagen Golf GTI
2021 Euro-spec Volkswagen Golf GTI | Volkswagen

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The base engine is a turbocharged 1.4-liter good for up to 147 horsepower. The GTI engine for the 2021 Volkswagen Golf is more exciting. The power plant in the hot hatch model generates up to 228 horsepower.

Honda Insight

Honda’s focus hybrid sedan, the 2021 Honda Insight competes with other popular hybrids like the Toyota Prius. All of the models for the 2021 Honda Insight start under $30,000. The base model comes in at $23,885.

“One of the most fuel-efficient sedans in the world.”

Car and Driver
A Honda Insight on display at an auto show demonstrates great hybrid sedan that is also one of the best 2021 models under $30 grand
The Honda Insight on display | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

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This Honda hybrid gets 55 mpg in the city and 49 on the highway. It’s a serious value that keeps giving due to the long term fuel savings. The 2021 Honda Insight also has plenty of available features and modern tech.

Honda Civic

This is a long-running popular sedan that is no stranger to making lists like this one. The 2021 Honda Civic “drives better than many cars that cost twice as much”––according to the report from Car and Driver. Additionally, it starts for just $20,955.

2021 Civic Type R Limited Edition
2021 Civic Type R Limited Edition | Honda

It boasts the classic Honda integrity with its chassis and powertrain. The 2021 Honda Civic is one fo the best new cars under $30,000. However, it’s also just one of the best cars period.

Toyota Corolla

The 2021 Toyota Corolla is rarely a surprising list topper-–especially when it comes to a car with stellar value. This is a tried and true sedan that earns fantastic fuel economy. In addition, the 2021 Toyota Corolla is the best car new car under $30,000 with a starting price as low as $20,920.

2021 Corolla Apex driving
2021 Corolla Apex | Toyota

The Toyota Corolla recently received some massive updates. It now boasts style and personality like never before. The 2021 Toyota Corolla sees not only some fun new colors but also an actually fun-to-drive powertrain.