With the average price of a new car now topping $30,000, affordability is a huge factor for consumers, right? No, that is wrong. The average price is pulled up by luxury models, but is also offset by more affordable vehicles including a handful that retail new for under $15,000. Several models that fit the bill are named here including five that we have chosen.
1. Smart Fortwo — It is the smallest and one of the cheapest cars that you can find. It is surprisingly roomy, offering plenty of room for drivers as tall as 6 feet, 5 inches. The Smart Fortwo seats just two people and is powered by a three cylinder engine. This model is priced from $12,490 and can be leased for as low as $99 per month. Your cost of ownership is also held down as it sips gas — returning 38 mpg on the highway.
2. Nissan Versa — Priced from $11,990, the five passenger Nissan Versa is one of the lowest priced cars sold in America. It is surprisingly roomy too as this subcompact seats five with ease. Standard equipment includes a tilt steering wheel, air-conditioning and an audio system. This model gets 36 mpg on the highway.
3. Ford Fiesta — Choose the subcompact Ford Fiesta and you come away with a car that is surprisingly affordable. The sedan is priced from $13,200, the hatchback from $14,200 for a vehicle that seats up to five people. Standard equipment includes cloth seats, a four-speaker audio system, air-conditioning, power door locks and a tilt and telescoping steering column. This model is rated at 39 mpg on the highway.
4. Chevrolet Spark — Chevrolet’s Spark is in the Smart Fortwo’s class, but it offers seating for four and has four doors. It is powered by a 1.25-liter four cylinder engine and comes equipped with air-conditioning and power windows across the model line. Chevrolet prices the Spark from $12,185 and includes OnStar, stability control and 10 air bags standard. This model is rated at 38 mpg on the highway.
5. Kia Rio — Kia is still known as the cheap-priced car leader, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at its line of modern cars. The Rio is a five passenger, four-door sedan that is priced from $13,600. This model comes equipped with an audio system, air-conditioning and a tilt steering column. It is also rated at 37 mpg on the highway.
Most of the models featured here are minimally equipped, but for about $2,000 more you can upgrade to a better sound system and enjoy such amenities as alloy wheels, power accessories and in some cases navigation systems. Fully loaded, each model can be had for well under $20,000, demonstrating that new car affordability may still be within your reach.