10 Cheapest New Cars for 2022

10 Cheapest New Cars for 2022

Last summer, the average price for a new car hit $40,000. By December, that number had inflated to a bank-account-rattling $47,077. A perfect storm of supply shortages and pandemic-related disruptions left the industry reeling and sent prices soaring. With fewer cars to sell and no shortage of people wanting to buy them, dealerships stopped offering discounts and instead slapped on fat “market adjustment” fees or markups taller than a Ram 1500 TRX. Everything from the Nissan Frontier pickup to the Porsche Macan felt similar effects as their MSRP base prices saw a significant increase. And the 10 cheapest cars sold here are no longer within the sub-$20K bracket.

Making things worse, that segment has suffered a few recent casualties as well. Affordable favorites like the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris, and Chevrolet Sonic all ended production. We pour out a tiny plastic cup for them. And then refill it out of frugality, because you gotta save where you can. Although these rides might not have everything you want, they’ve all got what you need—and for a price many people can afford. And if you’re looking for something a little bigger, check out our list of the cheapest new trucks.

CHEAPEST LUXURY CARS | CHEAPEST PICKUPS | MOST EXPENSIVE CARS

Kia Soul – $20,505

The thrifty Kia Soul is the only entry on this list with not one but two 10Best awards. It carries a small price tag, impressive cargo space, and its 147-hp inline-four with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) doesn’t feel underpowered.

  • Base price: $20,505
  • Fuel Economy EPA combined/city/highway: 27/25/31 mpg (2.0L)
  • Warranty: 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain and 5-year/60,000-mile limited warranty

MORE SOUL SPECS

Hyundai Venue – $20,245

The subcompact segment is stacked with entries. Some of them are good, many are sleep inducing. The Hyundai Venue is at least affordable. Power comes from a 121-hp inline-four with a CVT. Battling micro machines is futile, but the Venue is 1.1 seconds quicker to 60 than the pricier Nissan Kicks and 2.4 seconds quicker than the Toyota C-HR.

  • Base price: $20,245
  • Fuel Economy EPA combined/city/highway: 31/30/33 mpg
  • Warranty: 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain, 5-year/60,000-mile limited, 3-year/36,000-mile complimentary maintenance

MORE VENUE SPECS

Kia Forte – $20,115

The Kia Forte is the Korean brand’s top-selling model. The base engine is a buzzy 147-hp inline-four, and the Forte gets incredible gas mileage with an EPA-estimated 41 mpg on the highway. It also has a larger gas tank than Honda Civic and Volkswagen Golf, giving the Forte an EPA-estimated 490 miles before returning to a gas station.

  • Base price: $20,115
  • Fuel Economy EPA combined/city/highway: 35/31/41 mpg
  • Warranty: 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain and 5-year/60,000-mile limited warranty

MORE FORTE SPECS

Hyundai Veloster – $19,905

With one door on the driver’s side and two on the passenger’s side, the Hyundai Veloster has character. Even though the base engine is a 147-hp inline-four—a steep fall from the sportier Veloster N’s 275-hp turbocharged inline-four—it’s still an affordable three-door compact with sharp looks and nimble handling. There’s not much motion in its ocean, but where bargain prices and enjoyable driving are concerned, the Veloster makes waves.

  • Base price: $19,905
  • Fuel Economy EPA combined/city/highway: 28/25/33 mpg
  • Warranty: 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain, 5-year/60,000-mile limited, 3-year/36,000-mile complimentary maintenance

MORE VELOSTER SPECS

Subaru Impreza – $19,790

The Subaru Impreza is the most affordable vehicle with AWD available today. Power comes from a 152-hp flat-four with a five-speed manual transmission. Its lack of urgency brings better fuel efficiency with an EPA-estimated 31-mpg highway fuel economy.

  • Base price: $19,790
  • Fuel Economy EPA combined/city/highway: 26/23/31 mpg (Manual)
  • Warranty: 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain and 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty

MORE IMPREZA SPECS

Hyundai Accent – $17,690

You’ve likely rented one at an airport or taken a seat in a Hyundai Accent during a recent Uber ride—not that either experience would convince you to buy one. A 120-hp four-cylinder and CVT move the Accent, sort of. The last Accent we tested made it to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, making it one of the slowest cars we tested in 2021.

  • Base price: $17,690
  • Fuel Economy EPA combined/city/highway: 33/29/39 mpg
  • Warranty: 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain, 5-year/60,000-mile limited, 3-year/36,000-mile complimentary maintenance

MORE ACCENT SPECS

Kia Rio – $17,275

Two body styles fit the Kia Rio. The sedan is $940 cheaper than the five-door hatch. A 120-hp inline-four with a CVT is the only powertrain, and the Rio is only front-wheel powered. Its subcompact size makes it entertaining to drive with solid body control through corners, but its dull steering is an immediate reminder of affordability. Gas stations hate them, as the Rio gets an EPA-estimated 33 mpg city and 41 mpg highway.

  • Base price: $17,275
  • Fuel Economy EPA combined/city/highway: 36/33/41 mpg
  • Warranty: 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain and 5-year/60,000-mile limited warranty

MORE RIO SPECS

Nissan Versa – $16,205

The Nissan Versa comes with a slew of standard safety features such as front- and rear-automated emergency braking, automatic high beams, and lane-departure warning. A 122-hp inline-four powers the front wheels, with a standard five-speed manual transmission on the base S model. If it makes you feel any better, people spending close to $20,000 on a Versa SR or SV have just as much horsepower, but with a boring CVT. However, the manual transmission is noticeably worse for fuel economy, with an EPA-estimated 35 mpg highway versus the CVT’s 40 mpg.

  • Base price: $16,205
  • Fuel Economy EPA combined/city/highway: 30/27/35 mpg
  • Warranty: 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain and 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty

MORE VERSA SPECS

Mitsubishi Mirage – $16,125

The Mitsubishi Mirage is nearly America’s cheapest new car. The Mirage hatchback and Mirage G4 sedan come with the same 78-hp three-cylinder engine. A five-speed manual transmission is standard. The last Mirage we tested used a CVT and took 12.8 seconds to reach 60 mph. To get to 90 mph you’ll need to flatten the right pedal for 35.6 seconds. And it takes over a quarter of a mile for the Mirage to reach 75 mph. The savings, however, are immediate.

  • Base price: $16,125
  • Fuel Economy EPA combined/city/highway: 36/33/41 mpg
  • Warranty: 10-year/100,000-mile and 5-year/60,000-mile limited warranty

MORE MIRAGE SPECS

Chevrolet Spark – $14,595

Chevy loses its Spark for 2023, as the model is being discontinued without any direct replacement. The Spark, which has been America’s cheapest new car since 2020, is, however, a great value. Power comes from a tiny 98-hp inline-four, with a five-speed manual standard in its cheapest form. The Spark gets an EPA-estimated 38 mpg on the highway, and its nine-gallon fuel tank is cheap to refill. Unfortunately, the Spark lacks greatly in standard safety features. There’s no forward-collision warning or automated emergency braking unless you pay extra. Cruise control is also extra.

  • Base price: $14,595
  • Fuel Economy EPA combined/city/highway: 33/29/38 mpg
  • Warranty: 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain, 3-year/36,000-mile limited, and one complimentary maintenance visit for the first year

MORE SPARK SPECS

The 10 Cheapest New Cars From 2021

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